He Knows My Name

Last Fall I had a conversation with my kids about saving money to buy something.  The conversation went like this:   Alliyah: “I could save up to buy a kitten and kitten stuff.”    Joshua:  “I’d buy squitos (mosquitos) and dragonflies!”   Alliyah:  “Yuck!  I wouldn’t want that.  (Alliyah pauses for a moment)  I would buy a fly if it could say my name.”   I think that is just hilarious.  First of all, if my son ever pays money for a mosquito, we will have a serious talk.  Then there is Alliyah, whose initial reaction was spot on about buying a bug until an idea formed in her head.  If the fly could say her name, suddenly it would have worth.  In other words, if the fly could relate to her personally or be special in some way, then she would want it, even if it was a fly.   I don’t plan to over-spiritualize this interaction with my kids, but it did get me thinking about how we want people to know our name.  Our name is the representation for who we are.  We want to be known.   I will openly admit that for some reason the name of a person flies right in one ear and out the other.  Names rarely stick.  I will easily remember every detail of the conversation I had with someone, but for some reason, I can not recall their name.  This frustrates me.  It feels good to be remembered.  It feels good to be known.  Usually a person feels remembered and known if you can address them by name when you see them again.  I hate that I have a hard time remembering a person’s name.   Maybe that is why the song, “He Knows My Name” is so impactful to me.  The song says,   “He knows my name.  He knows my every thought.  He sees each tear that falls and he hears me when I call…”   It is easy to feel forgotten by God when life circumstances are less than ideal.  When the Author of Life is not[…]


In High School, I had to memorize a poem and recite it in front of my English class.  I knew nothing of Jesus at the time, but I was drawn to Robert Frost’s, “The Road Not Taken.”  In case you are not familiar with it, here it is:   The Road Not Taken   Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I could not travel both And be one traveler, long I stood And looked down one as far as I could To where it bent in the undergrowth;   Then took the other, as just as fair, And having perhaps the better claim Because it was grassy and wanted wear, Though as for that the passing there Had worn them really about the same,   And both that morning equally lay In leaves no step had trodden black. Oh, I marked the first for another day! Yet knowing how way leads on to way I doubted if I should ever come back.   I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence: Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference   I have always had two warring desires within me:  the desire to fit in, and the rebellious desire to not conform.  As I have gotten older, I am realizing that the rebellious non-conformist is the one I get most excited about.  It is the side that stirs my heart most, yet it is difficult, and often lonely to be different.   As Todd and I have been on this journey involving infertility, we have been the only ones of our friends who have not gotten pregnant from merely looking at each other.  Although our oldest is the same age or older than the eldest child of our friends, we only have two children, whereas the majority of our friends have 3 or more.  We are running a 2:1 ratio.  We have had one child for every 2 that our friends have had.  That has been tough for a[…]

Sick and Tired

It all started on March 10, the day before Alliyah’s 7th birthday.  Sickness circulated through our family, including, Alliyah being sick on her birthday, a puke on the way to school, being home-bound for 2 weeks straight, an ER visit, and we are not finished…   We thought the sickness had cycled through everyone until Joshua threw up in the car (a new sickness) two days before we were supposed to leave to visit my brother and family in South Carolina.  By the time the day came to leave for our trip, everyone seemed healthy, so we set out.  A couple days into our trip, Joshua threw up AGAIN.  We were homebound for Easter.  The next day, I started battling nausea and stomach pain.  This continued for the remainder of our time there.   As we were making our travel plans for home, we decided to drive the whole way home in one day (13 hours), instead of breaking the trip into two days like we typically do.  I am SO THANKFUL we did.   We got home just last night.  Due to the fact that we had been dealing with sickness for 2 1/2 weeks prior to leaving, we did not have the time or energy to leave our house as thoroughly in tact as we typically do (turning down the heat, cleaning out the fridge, etc.).  When we walked in the door last night, we were welcomed by a terrible odor.  We quickly learned that the smell was coming from the fridge.  At 11:00pm, with a clean fridge, two sleeping kids, and an episode of Parks and Recreation under our belt, we finally fell asleep, exhausted.  At 11:30, we awoke to hear, “Daaaaddy…Daaaaaaaddy…I threw up in my bed.”   My body literally started going into shock when I stepped out of bed to help tend to Alliyah.  You know that feeling when your body is shaking, like you are cold, only you are not cold?  For some reason, when your body is trying to deal with trauma, you shake.  I had this feeling after I gave birth.  I[…]

Limited…yet, unlimited

The end of my rope?  Nothing left to give?  No more strength to fight?  Yes, welcome to my yesterday.   After a full 2 weeks of fighting sickness in the Heerlyn home including:  a sick birthday, a week of missed school and an ER visit, I thought we were finally in the clear.  Then it happened.  On the way to school to drop Alliyah off, I looked in the rear view mirror to see Joshua vomiting.  I quickly pulled the car over just in time to swing the door open to the back seat as round two was ramping up.  There really is nothing you can do when your child is strapped in a 5 point harness and the “stuff” is all over and it just keeps coming.   In that moment, I’m pretty sure I looked over my shoulder for someone who could jump in and take over.  You want to tag someone else and say, “You’re it,” only, YOU are it.  I knew that if I turned around and cleaned him up at home, Alliyah would be very late for school and then it could happen all over again.   So I cranked a window and the heat and drove on.  When we finally got back home, my poor little buddy was soaked in his “stuff,” and I was just about sick from smelling it the whole drive.   I got him all cleaned up and settled on the couch in front of the TV.  Then it hit.  The adrenaline rush was gone and shear exhaustion set in.  After 2 weeks of being stuck at home and fighting my own battle with sickness for the latter half of that time, I was mentally spent and physically exhausted.  Yet ahead of me stood piles of laundry, the need to pack for a long road trip, and a doctor’s appointment in less than an hour to check and see if I might have skin cancer.   I have fought anxiety and panic-y-ness for about 10 years now.  It began when I took my first real step to whole-heartedly follow after[…]

Spring Unseen

There have been a lot of complaints flowing throughout Facebook this week with the arrival of the first day of Spring in Michigan as we were under a Lake Effect Snow Advisory.  Poor Punxatawny Phil must have received countless death threats.  I never did manage to get Joshua (3 yrs. old) to believe me that it was the first day of Spring.  He kept looking outside and saying, “No, it’s not Spring.  It’s Winter.”   It is amazing how what we see in the physical can make it so difficult to believe in the unseen.   As humans, we have begun to rely more and more on what we can see, hear, feel, smell, or taste.  Scientifically speaking, if you can not measure something with one of these senses, then it does not exist.  It all comes down to proof.  Can you prove it?   If you google “What is Science?” you will find a variety of different definitions.  What they all have in common is the quest for understanding and being able to organize information in a way that explains anything one might encounter.  I am on board with science in many ways.  I really like to understand.  I REALLY like to understand.  If I do not understand something, I have a hard time laying an issue to rest.  However, science falls short on many issues.   For example, how can science explain the couple who has been married for years and never used protection who suddenly gets pregnant?  How can science explain the couple who is “too old” to have a baby, holding a baby from her womb in their arms?  How can science explain how a husband and a wife can feel so far gone in their relationship, yet find reconciliation and a happy marriage?  How can science explain the ankle that is hurt that is suddenly without pain?  There are far too many scenarios in life in which science can offer no understanding.   “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).   Faith.  Faith[…]

Welcome to unwaveringhope.com!  I am so glad you are here. This space was created when my life story was not following the path I expected.  For years, infertility was the main topic of my wrestle.  These days, I find myself sorting through the mental chaos of mothering, wife-ing, friend-ing, teacher-ing, daughter-ing and what-is-my-life-purpose-ing.  As I try to steady my thoughts and park them in a healthy place, God has made one thing clear:  maintaining hope in Him is the key. Check out my blog for a window into my story.

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