Thursday, March 28, 2013


Raccoons have invaded my life for over a month now. One night back in February, I heard what sounded like a human being on my second floor. Being that Josh was gone, I jumped out of my skin in a panic. A few evenings later, Josh heard it and we concluded that an animal was somewhere in our attic. Over the course of three weeks, trappers entered and exited our home with empty cages. We couldn't find this animal and I can tell you, I was defeated. One morning last weekend, while having coffee with a friend in my living room, we heard what sounded like animal babies crying. OH NO! This raccoon mama had her babies... in my house! For the next few days, I heard crying through the walls all the time. I was losing it! I would sit on the couch and pray audibly to God, "Please help me. Send me your peace. I don't know what to do. Are these animals ever going to leave. God, I am a mess. I can't sleep, all I can think about is what they are doing to my home. What if they die up there? What if they damage wires, insulation, what if they cause a fire?" The what-ifs took me captive and were not letting go. I was suffering and needed PEACE!

Two nights ago, Josh and I learned that the raccoons were between floors of our house. They weren't going to leave on their own, they needed to be extracted out. Did I mention that we were not handy people nor wildlife experts? The trappers explained to us that if we could make a hole in the floor, they would extract them, but WE had to make the hole. My poor husband doesn't even own a saw. What were we going to do? Then I remembered that a friend's husband from church was in the remodeling business and maybe he could help us. Maybe we could orchestrate the time to have the trappers there, and pay our friend to make the hole and repair it. Yesterday, Operation Raccoon Extraction was in full force. Josh, Clint and the trappers all arrived at 3:00 to work on getting these animals out of our home. 4 babies, eyes not yet opened, were taken out of the crawl space between floors. The hole was repaired, and the house was quiet. When Josh tried to pay our friend, he wouldn't accept our money. He said that he was happy to help, but maybe we could remember him if we wanted to do remodeling to our home.

When Josh walked into the house and told me this story, I was overwhelmed. I was in awe of the kindness, the mercy shown to us, and the beauty of it all. What I thought was going to end in disaster, actually ended with such beautiful grace and mercy. It was all God... God using His children to help eachother... showing kindness, compassion, love and using the gifts He gave to help others.

This morning, I can't seem to stop crying. Through this circumstance I see the cross for what it. I understand Easter a little more than I did before. This is Jesus. This is what He did for us. He saw suffering, He saw our sin, He saw our ugliness and by His death... He extracted it! I am overwhelmed by His sacrifice for Me. His sacrifice changed my life. My soul that was in turmoil over my ugly sin, has been transformed by a SON who paid His life in exchange for mine. God uses what looks like defeat to bring victory... Mercy

Jen Hatmaker says it better than I ever could. " I simply can't get over Jesus. His humanity moves beyond words. His suffering shatters my heart. His courage leaves me undone. I am aching, so gratefully devasted. By His wounds, I am healed. The story that crushes me also saves me, and there is nothing to do but worship through the tears."

The truth of the matter is, God showed me all this through someone else sacrificing for me... all for free. This is what Easter is about. It really is, but Jesus paid His own life for you and me! Jesus sacrificed for us, and the only way this story really can pierce our soul, and change lives, is by us sacrificing for others. That is how Jesus gets into the hearts, that is how this story of Easter is fully comprehended. When we sacrifice, we see Jesus for truly who He is. We get to show mercy, grace and His perfect love. There is no better ending than that.