I’ve Graduated!


Graduation is a amazing event.

I love this picture of my daughter, Amanda, as she graduated college several years ago. You can see so much in her face:

  • Confidence
  • Completion
  • Joy
  • Hope and expectations

What you don’t see in that picture are:

  • The suffering and trials it took to get there
  • The fears she has about the future

The good news is that I have “graduated” in regards to my foot. The orthopedic doctor has released me. There was no cap and gown, but there was the same sense of confidence, completion, joy, hope and expectation that glowed on Amanda’s face.

But what is not so easily seen are the impact the ordeal left on me. I’m still hesitant to trust my foot going down stairs. Escalators, the fear of falling forward, is still with me. I can’t walk long distances or my foot swells.

And I have graduated to fears about the future, especially as I head into cancer treatment. Last time the doctor said he didn’t want to wait any longer, so tests begin later this week. Just like Amanda, I wonder what the future will bring.

So right now, I’m celebrating. I’ll take each day as it comes, knowing that God gives grace for each day. I’m so grateful for those who are celebrating with me, but am even more grateful for those who walk with me into the future.

Have you “graduated” lately? Resonate with these feeling? How can I pray for you? (leave a comment; let me know if it is personal and you don’t want it posted)

July Newsletter

July 31, 2013

 Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers this last month. So much has happened, it’s hard to capture it in a letter.

First, Maggie is walking! She has been walking with a surgical boot, and last week we got the word she can start walking with a regular shoe, starting with a few hours a day. She’s been going to rehab to try to regain a natural gait and has some pain, but overall it’s given her (and me) an incredible amount of freedom. We’re defining a new normal for which we are grateful.

Secondly, doctors have not been able to locate the source of the cancer and therefore, have not begun treatment. For some, this would be a stress builder, but having been through chemo before, this has been a window of opportunity for us to do some things before hard times come. We keep praying that if God wants us to find it and treat it, He will make it high visible. And if He doesn’t, we will continue on the path before us and trust Him.

Third, we had an amazing time at our staff conference and Maggie was able to join me for part of it. Alastair Begg, a pastor from Cleveland, spoke from Jude, encouraging us to stay true to our calling and the faith to which we have been called. I had the privilege to speak to 4 of the ministries that report to me, encouraging them to continue to trust God for the future was we continue to transition them for even greater effectiveness.

Fourth, Maggie was able to complete a project as our President, Steve Douglass, made a report before the Board. There had been confusion on statistics that Maggie waded through and figured how to communicate in a way that affirms our values and goals. She enjoys working on big challenges, but she is also glad when they are over.

Lastly, God is providing the resources to pay for Maggie’s medical and staff conference expenses. We have hit our yearly “out-of-pocket” so Cru is paying 100% of her treatments, for which we are grateful, but we still have a deficit we are trying to cover. Wonderful friends of the ministry have already donated 2/3 of the cost, but we still need about $3000. Could you pray with us that it will be covered.

And if you have not signed up for Maggie’s blog at www.thebruehls.com, I really want to encourage you to do so. She’s done a great job summarizing the spirit at staff conference as well as her thoughts and feelings with her health. I know she’s inspired me through the transparency of her walk with the Lord.

Thank you so much for partnering with us in ministry. We are grateful each day for our partnership that keeps us going. It’s been a good month, and we want you to rejoice with us —

Roger and Maggie

P.S.  If you would like to give towards our medical deficit please go to htpps://give.cru.org/0008787

I Can Walk!

IMG_0147I can walk!

It was amazing to hear those words from my doctor last week! He was so excited, he got out of his rotation of seeing patients and threw his staff off from their routine.

As Roger and I caught his excitement, he began to back away. I think he was afraid I would being jumping and leaping for joy, so he told me to begin with 1-2 hours a day  without the brace.


Spiritual lessons from this? You bet!


1 – How often have I dampened the excitement of a new believer, fearful that they might trust to much and become disillusioned? It’s ridiculous when I write the words, but a reality. Why not just let someone enjoy the unbridled feelings of grace in their life? Reality of the pain in life will come soon enough. I don’t need to bring it.


2 – My walk is not pretty. It’s amazing how quickly (although it was 8 months!) we forget something as basic as walking. All sorts of muscles in my hip and left leg compensated for my weakness. I have to re-train them to do what is “natural” in a walk — but I have forgotten what natural is!

I think of sin in my life and how I compensate for it. Even when God removes it and there is victory, there is a time of re-learning. I’ve been on compensation mode for so long, it’s easy to let old habits slip back.


3 – I’m switching internal messages. When I used to think of something I needed or wanted to do, I usually had to tell myself, “You can’t do that” or “You’ll have to ask Roger to help you.”  Now there is new potential. I can drive. I can go into the office. I can meet friends. It’s amazing freedom. I do have to ask, “Is is worth the energy to do it?” and “Is this what God wants me to do?” but it’s so much fun to consider the possibilities.


4 – I am SO grateful to all who have loved me and prayed for me through the last 8 months. I have one more appointment with the orthopedic (he called it a “high five” appointment to celebrate!) in September, but I know it was not he who heals. God holds our lives, our legs, in his hand. Many have been his arms around me during this journey.


Don’t stop now.