Friday, October 28, 2016


Empowered means to receive power.

The only prerequisite is to be in need. Tired. Weary. Lacking. Limited.

And then to be connected to a source of power.

Do you not know? Have you not heard? 
The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. 
He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. 
He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak
Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; 
but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, 
they will walk and not be faint.” 
(Isaiah 40:28-31)

Last week was fall break for four of our kids, and we took a road trip to visit Jordan for Family Weekend at Calvin College in Grand Rapids. One of our highlights was the 40 foot high Rock Climbing Wall. After watching a few people climb, David surprised us by saying he wanted to try it. And he did great! His success inspired Daniel, who announced that he wanted to climb too. I knew there was no way he could climb the wall, but he was so excited that I decided to ask.

"Could he wear his own shoes to climb?" I asked the guy behind the desk. "He has braces on both feet...

"Sure," he responded. "No problem."

"I know he won't be able to make it all the way up. But he really wants to try it. Could he just go up a little way and then come back down?

"Of course," he assured me. "You know, we've had Calvin students who were paralyzed from the waist down climb the wall."

Encouraged by this enthusiasm and positive attitude toward disabilities, I told Daniel he could do it.
 He could barely contain himself as his new friend strapped him in.

Then he started his climb.

As he began his ascent, I realized that the guy who had strapped himself to Daniel was pulling him up. It didn't actually matter about his being able to place his feet the right way.

So Daniel kept going higher. And higher. By the strength of his partner.

He told us afterward how scared he felt. But he kept climbing.

And he had a great cheering section.

He reached the top of the wall!

He could hardly believe it.

And his partner didn't seem tired at all.


To climb higher than I ever thought possible.

To soar on wings like eagles.

I know that Daniel believes this verse: "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."
(Philippians 4:13)

His climbing adventure rings true with the song You Raise Me Up.

You raise me up. To more than I can be.


  1. From one Calvin Mom to another, the tears are flowing.
    Thank you for sharing your precious experience.

    1. Thank you Amy. Calvin is a great place isn't it? We're so glad our daughter is there.

  2. Another Calvin mom in tears....just one example of why I am so happy my son chose Calvin !

    1. Thank you Lois. Blessed to connect with other Calvin moms this way ❤️

  3. I love the Calvin community. Thanks for sharing the beautiful story.

    1. Doug, we love the Calvin community too. So thankful to be a part of such a special big family!

  4. What a beautiful story and experience. Those smiles say it all! Such blessings poured out. I am a Calvin mom way up in northern WI., and I feel the ripple effects! Thanks for sharing. Calvin is a special place.

    1. Thanks so much Jean for reading and leaving a comment. I love the idea of the ripple effects of blessings. Glad you can feel it in Wisconsin. :)



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