“Fly A Little Higher”

Within a 24 hour period, I experienced a flood of emotional intensity that still lingers, as it seeps through my bones and mists my spirit with a delicate balance of joy and pain.  This has been one of those ‘raw’ weeks that rips your heart open and shakes your soul with those shattering tremors.  Moments that suddenly force your wheels to come to that palpable screeching halt, crashing into the floodgates that brake open the threshold that was holding it all together.

The waves overcome you to your very core… and the ripples of these waters linger.  Yes, my friends…

You’ve probably had these moments too.

Mine started with reading an incredibly powerful post by Beth Teliho, in which she delved into her self-tormenting reflection, and attempted to define who she was after being stirred into painful eruptions from the past.  Responding with that powerful sense of “I get this… I get you”,  I felt that we were mustering how to do this together.  How to heal and put all the shattered pieces back and become whole again.  We immediately had one of those ‘soul connections’.  Miles away, having never met- yet intimately aware of our hearts and the healing we search for over and over again.  It affected me… still does.  And I know we both will face that moment again, where we will whisper-

“I don’t know how to do this.”


I then woke up to mail from my precious beloved friend Kim Robinson, and as I discovered this beautiful purple cross inside, I gasped with that resounding soul shaking painful joy.  Kim’s beautiful and battered sister Kay, was shot to death by Kay’s husband.  Ever since I met Kim and learned of this horrific piece to her life and discovered Kim’s light and amazing strength in having a voice for such atrocities… My heart cracked open and she came inside.

Moments later, I received the truth about this gift. 

“Hello, Sweet Chris,

God brings the right people together at the right time, doesn’t HE?

Sometimes HE amazes me.

The purple cross was Kay’s. It was one of the markers in her worn out, shaded, torn bible, which, btw, I shall be buried w/ one day.

you want the truth? Kay would have wanted you to have the cross. She ADORED Jesus. And she loved Godly, compassionate women like you…

Just as I do.

xxxx KISSssss

I have no words for this moment.  This cross that now hangs on my laptop for me to see every time I write, reach, connect…pray.  I don’t believe I have ever received a more treasured gift in my life.  I gently touch Kay’s cross every time I look at it, and I feel herI sense she feels me too.  I stare at her cross with a deep gaze and trembling heart as if she is right here with me.  And I think of precious Kim, and I wonder if she wakes each day facing this world without her beloved sister and cries out…

“I don’t know how to do this.”


Later that day, I felt the urge to reach out to my loveliest of lovelies, Lizzi Rogers.  She has poured her precious time and heart into sending me and my family packages and cards full of glitter and gifts and encouragement.  I still feel the ripples flowing from them.  She is a great source of light in our lives- as we have grown so close while divided by ‘the pond’.  It’s a rather extraordinary friendship.  Divinely designed.

She had been on my heart every time I have posted about and promoted Mothers in anticipation of Mother’s Day here in the states.  As I began my campaign to feature mothers, I cringed every time I hit publish while thinking of her precious haunted heart and barren womb.  There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t pray for her.  We are tight.  And I battle within my purpose to inspire mothers and my deep desire to encourage her.  Such a chilling dichotomy… and yet profoundly on purpose.

I shared my deep concerns and angst over this dilemma and she responded with the most gorgeous and overwhelming love that I simply couldn’t stop crying. 

“But…there was a reason I sent you that card, especially picked with a lighthouse on it – did you get that, did you see? You and your friendship and your constant supportive wonderfulness and your graciousness and your spiritual input and care and just, SO MUCH LOVE IN CAPITAL LETTERS -have been a HUGE, massive, enormous, can’t even tell you how big and important source of light for me.”

How she manages to share such beautiful encouragement, despite her loss of her two babies and the pain of not having a child- simply amazes me.  And as I think of her waking each day, with the relentless yearning to hold her babies, I can hear her desperate sigh…

I don’t know how to do this.”


That afternoon I received a text from my dear friend Marcia.  Her husband is battling Parkinson’s Disease and his health is deteriorating rapidly.  This amazing man of deep integrity and enormous talent has endured the greatest hardship of his life, all the while going after his dream.  He received his Masters in law, and set out to take the bar exam.  The crashing reality of his inability to take this test without assistance left him to do it on his own, and ultimately not pass the test.  His tenacity is relentless and his drive is unstoppable.  The man went for the bar exam again earlier this year.  Marcia’s text?

“Chris, John did not pass the bar.  Just so devastated…struggling to make sense in all this…and be strong for him.  My heart is shattered.”

I stared at my phone in utter disbelief.  Why?  Oh why?  They have been through so much anguish and now this?  I lowered my head in a desperate prayer for God to pour His Hope into their shattered hearts.  How will they survive this?  I hear her cry…

“I don’t know how to do this.”


Later that evening, I received texts from a dear, sweet teen who was placed in my life to mentor.  In her limited years on this earth, she has been abandoned by her father and lived with the plight of her mother’s debilitating disease…attempting to navigate survival with each forfeiting turn.  Bless her weary worn soul… at 16.  Sammy’s text?

“It’s been a rough week and it’s only Monday.”

I know this beautiful girl is struggling to hold on to things she can’t control, and terrified to let go of those pillars that barricade her in safety. I whisper a quiet prayer and text her back, trying to instill hope that God has a plan for her and she will find her way through this terrifying time…and eventually come out of the crumbled debris- shining.  And I wonder how she does it, managing to go forward into the unknown threats that take over her existence.  I believe the echoes of her wounded heart scream…

“I don’t know how to do this.”


When I returned home that night, there was a package on the counter for me.  It was this:

FlyALittleHigher - cover



Have you heard of this story?



It will change you.



I immersed myself through the pages and the pictures with tears pouring down my face as I forced myself to take a breath.  My heart torn open once again…  and here is where it seems to stay. 

Laura Sobiech’s precious son Zach, was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a terminal cancer.

This book journeys you through their agonizingly beautiful story of Zach’s last days here on earth, as his mother shares her inspiring and powerful testimony of his purpose and ultimately hers.  Zach knew he was going to die, and wanted to leave behind a lesson in living.  His music, his character, and his faith will cause the currents to turn into mighty waves crashing into your heart too.   There is a gripping message in how Zach embraced every single day with his gifted strength and sheer will, that simultaneously plunges your soul to bottomless depths and lifts your heart to soaring heights.

As I read through the story of Zach coming home from his first day as a Senior in high school, I immediately started to sob.  The first assignment at school was to write a college essay.  Zach knew he wouldn’t be alive by that time, and he wondered what was the use in writing such a thing? 

“He took a deep breath, rested his forehead in his hand, and with huge tears spilling from his eyes, said, “I don’t know how to do this.”   And then he sobbed.”  (Excerpt from Fly A Little Higher)

Take that in for a moment.  Let is resonate with your heart.

How many of us have said those very words, with our head in our hands and our eyes crying out with utter hopelessness and helplessness and defeat.

“I don’t know how to do this.”

I have a good feeling that my dear friends Beth, Lizzi, Kim, Marcia, and sweet Sammy know.

Me too.

I believe Zach will teach us all a thing or two in this book. 

And dare I not mention his faithful mother.  The true hero in this story.  Her peace within the anguish is resounding and purposeful.  Her unshakable faith shakes my soul.

How do we navigate the relentless suffering blows in our lives?

Zach learned how.

How do we trust a God who allows such agonizing turns in our lives?

Laura learned how.

And as I sit here with all these waves of people I love, and drift off into the lives of even more loved ones facing that very question in their lives…

I find deep faith in believing that they too, will discover “how to do this” through each day they live- just as Zach and his beloved mother did. 

Come join me in reading this amazing story that will teach us all how to…

“Fly a Little Higher”.

Fly a Little Higher is written by Laura Sobiech, the mother of Zach Sobiech. Laura spent the last three years walking the road of cancer with her teenage son, Zach, and blogging about their battle with the disease. Zach wrote the song “Clouds” which hit #1 on iTunes the same week he passed away in May 2013.

Grab your copy HERE.

This post is part of the Fly a Little Higher Blog Tour which I am delighted to be a part of along with hundreds of bloggers raising awareness and giving hope to those with cancer. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE!

Author Signature


  1. says

    Totally need to read this book even though I know I will be shedding a ton of tears. And yes Chris, I can relate some much to having a trying, crazy week, but I just keep telling myself during these times that this too shall pass. Hugs and wishing you a great Friday and weekend, too now 🙂

    • says

      These are the weeks I actually love most- when I am catapulted into such depths where God speaks into my heart and opens such profound hope in believing in His Purpose, His Light, His Plan. The raw and deeply intense emotional journey always brings me to a deeper perspective of His Love, and how each precious soul in this world can truly have an incredible mission and purpose that comes from their pain.

    • says

      I know. I know. Kim is one of those illuminating lights in this world… birthed from the darkest parts of this world…

      She constantly takes my breath away.

  2. says

    *******“I don’t know how to do this.”*****

    Oooo, I’ve said this every single day, my dear.

    I remember when Kay was murdered… I walked around mumbling, “How can I go forward? What will I do? How can I do this? No. No. No. I cannot. I will NOT.”

    I still can’t figure it out….

    Except God.

    And people like you, Chris, who God is utilizing to reach out , speak out, and LOVE others as you do.

    Beautiful, amazing, gorgeous, heartbreaking, raw post.

    LOVE to you from here. xxxxxxxxxxxx

    PS. I shall order the book. It sounds life-changing. Thank you.

    • says

      I touch Kay’s heart over and over again through out the day… and whisper to her, feel her, and then pray for you. You have gifted me with a treasure, and I will forever be honored and blessed by having Kay’s cross right here, in front of me…with me… I swear I feel her, Kim. I could never put into words how God has placed both you and Kay in my heart. Thank you, for giving me a precious piece of her, of you…

      I will cherish it- and you- and Kay

      Always always always.

  3. says

    Dear word, this wrecked me. How beautifully you tied so many together through the common thread of pain. We can all relate and feel the heartbreak with everyone. Can’t wait to read more about Zach.!

    • says

      Oh Karmen- thank you friend! My heart is both heavy and inspired with these beautiful souls and how they endure… and countless more I know and love. This book is a MUST READ. You will be deeply blessed for reading it.

  4. says

    You always do this to me. I end up reading your posts and crying. This is why I usually save you for late at night! Now I am crying first thing in the morning. I want to read that book! Your posts are truly amazing, Chris…I learn so much from you.

    • says

      Oh Michelle! I can’t tell you how much your comment touches me! Thank you, dear friend- for blessing ME today. And yes- every one of these precious souls inspire me beyond these words. The book is incredible. Powerful. Will change you.

  5. says

    I am going to get that book. It sounds wonderful. This post hurt Chris. Like reached right into my heart and squeezed it. I pray for YOU as you carry the burdens of your many hurting friends that you will find comfort and light and peace. I reiterate what Michelle said… I learn so much from you. xo

    • says

      Thank you so much for your prayers Alexa! My heart aches and at the same time, is blessed by knowing such amazing souls who can endure such hardships. You are one of them, dear friend. XOXO This book? You simply must read…

  6. says

    Chris, I hope that you have people in your life who lift you up. Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about people (like you) who support so many others and hoping that you also have a support system.
    That book sounds like a very emotional/incredible read.

    • says

      I am constantly trying to ‘balance’ the giving and taking *thing* Kim! I often tilt too far to the left, and end up very depleted. BUT, I truly believe it is my calling to minister to people (such a fancy word, but I think it’s perfect all encompassing!!) and I promise, I am SO BLESSED by amazing friends and family that are a HUGE source of support!

      You’re a love to think of that. I struggle all the time, because there are even MORE people I tend to sacrifice my attention to- in order TO take care of myself… and that feels awful! BUT, I can’t be in it with everyone all the time. Has hard as it is for me to accept that… 🙁

  7. says

    Nope *shakes head* no tears from me today. I read this with a big grin on my face and a happy heart, because LOOK – LOOOK Kitty, there is so, *so* much love here. It overflows. It’s pouring out all over the place and filling people’s sad hearts and challenges and their hurts, and washing them all a bit cleaner of grit and grime. You’re a regular little wellspring, my lovely.

    And look at your COMMENTS. More love. More people affected by the love and care and deep friendships you have, and the huge, enormous investment of your heart and your time and your sweet self, into making other people’s lives more bearable when they’re hurting (as ever, make sure you don’t burn out, make sure you take some for you, too).

    By this shall they be known, that they LOVE ONE ANOTHER. Look at you GO! 😀

        • says

          You YOU always do it to me, Tigger. I mean- do you see the LOVE you just poured out all over me?!! Even WHEN you are making ‘that’ statement every day…? That just does something to me…

          *Not gonna cry. Not gonna cry.*

          Btw- I have been wanting to tell you this but keep getting BLINDSIDED by other things (yes YOU). Do you notice how God has grown you? Your transforming… I see it…. I see more joy and light…. I see more of perhaps, the you He so wants you to be.

          • says

            Just grieving less. Or less often. Or differently. I think that’s all. Well, and my personal circs have changed dramatically, what with Husby getting his job and being less depressed all the time. No, a lot has changed. So I’m less Abbyssal generally.

            But happy to come here WHENEVER and pour love or whatever….I learned from the best, Kitty 😉

  8. says

    Chris, You feel so much and it’s beautiful. So often we are told not to be so open, so forthcoming in how others touch us; how we allow it, and yet here, you leave it all on the table for us to be just as open with you.

    Thank you for your raw honesty and the light you are to others (especially that Lizzy person, I hear she’s a keeper 😉 )


    • says

      Oh thank you SO much Cristina! I am so blessed by your words! I really don’t know how to NOT feel so much… it’s how I exist, and although it is an intensely (Sometimes overwhelmingly) powerful way to live- it comes with ABUNDANT fulfillment.

      I am so glad you came by… 🙂

      (If you ever want to write for my Devotional series about your faith… ooooh I would LOVE it!)

  9. says

    I feel it is absolutely no coincidence at all, that as I was reading this, the gentle, soft lilting, voices of my 2 girls playing in my front yard….drifts in on the breeze from the window.
    what are they singing?

    “And if our God is for us, then who could ever stop us.
    And if our God is with us, then what could stand against….
    Our God is Greater, Our God is stronger, God you are higher than any other….”
    There is much sorrow and trial in this world. But there is much beauty too — you just have to notice it. And sometimes you have to be open to it being little girls singing praise to God while catching worms on a rainy day.

  10. says

    It takes a special person to write something that holds such pain and such hope at the same time. You are that special person, Chris. Going to check out the book now.

    • says

      Oh Dana… how you touch my heart so deeply!!! Thank you friend- this was a doozer to write, and I am so glad you were able to take in both the pain and the hope. That was my ultimate goal in sharing all of this!

      You will love this book. SO worth the read!

  11. says

    Chris, you are such a beautiful soul. Through your words, I can feel the pain of each person you mention, but I can also sense the hope and faith. You are a light in the darkness for so many people. God bless you my friend! Big hugs!

    • says

      I am so so glad you could truly feel it through my words, Lisa. The emotion is deeply powerful from within me, and it’s so difficult to convey those feelings into such limited language! Thank you sweet friend, for you beautiful encouragement.

      This book is something I know you would love. Get it! I know you won’t regret it. It’s a life changer for sure…

    • says

      The book is incredible, and the entire week was powerful- There were other ‘encounters’ this past week as well- but I simply can’t keep writing on and on about them! That would take pages and pages- filled with inspiring and deeply touching moments with amazing souls. Oh, how blessed I am, that God has placed them in my life. And “Fly A Little Higher” encapsulates it all.

      Robin, you would love this book. Definite summer read.

  12. says

    I have followed Zach’s music for a long time now but I haven’t been able to bring myself to read his book.
    I think it’s nearly time.
    You are a beautiful and blessed soul. There are no coincidences with you. Pure amazingness.

    • says

      Oh Tamara! You know I don’t believe in coincidences with anyone… and I am incredibly blessed to constantly be touched and gifted by such inspiring souls that have been placed in my life- for a reason. 🙂 You included, sweet love.

      Do it. Buy the book. You and I are so much a like- I know it will tear you apart, but I promise it will inspire you even more.

  13. says

    All the love in our lives nurture and sustain us when we need it most. And we gain strength when we give it back.

    Although most of us had support systems in our lives before we started blogging, I never could have guessed just how much it would mean to me to have the support of blogging friends who I’ll probably never meet. We are all rich beyond what we could have imagined.

    • says

      isn’t it amazing Karen? TRUE and REAL friendships are born and nourished in this blogosphere. What a gift it is!! I love your line-

      All the love in our lives nurture and sustain us when we need it most. And we gain strength when we give it back.

      Perfect in every way…

  14. says

    That book sounds so inspiring. As you know I’ve said those same words recently. Life is so weird and confusing sometimes. Faith and friends are getting me through right now.

    • says

      Yes, dear friend. Life is absolutely just that at times. And you are pulling through your turns with two valuable anchors- FAITH and FRIENDS. It’s really the best combination you can find.

      I believe in you more than you know…

    • says

      I have been so blessed to have so many people placed in my life! It’s truly an honor to know countless inspiring souls…

      Get this book Stephanie. Oh girl, you will love it!

  15. says

    I was in tears reading this post. I don’t know how I”ll make it through the book, but I know I have to read it. It sounds like it is very inspiring…just like you are. Your beautiful nature shines through in all you do. You’re the best, Chris. XO –Lisa

    • says

      Oh Lisa, you are so good to me!! My ‘nature’ is often far from beautiful! LOL

      Get the book. YOU would love it. Summer read, when you are able to ‘ugly cry’ by the pool. 🙂

  16. Tammy says

    I REALLY have to stop reading your posts during my down time in Sophie’s classroom! Tears! So many to hold up in our prayers.

    • says

      Yeah- this one is a doozer. And I could have written about SO many more people that have had that raw grasp on my heart and the waves still linger… There are people everywhere- asking this pivotal question. You know. I don’t think anyone lives a life without these traumatic turns in their lives. This book is amazing, Tammy. It would tear you APART and then? Pull you back together in that powerful place of faith. Amazing. What a testimony it is!

  17. says

    You never cease to amaze me with your words and your stories. I’ve told you before and I’ll say it again, I often wonder about you, who is this woman? You’ve touched so many lives, and they yours, and you’re out there sharing and encouraging. I stand amazed.

    • says

      I am so incredibly blessed to have had SO many amazing souls cross my path… none by accident, that I am sure! My entire life has been blessed with countless people that have touched me deeply and I have always claimed it as my greatest calling… to connect with and encourage/be encouraged by such a gift!! Thank you sweet friend- I am sure you also have been blessed like this as well. 🙂

  18. says

    What I love most about you is that you care so deeply for others…it shows so beautifully in your writing and I can just feel you hugging and supporting and lifting up each person you mention…thank you for writing this. That book is on the top of my list too. 🙂

    • says

      Thank you so much Emily… I honestly don’t know any other way to connect with people! I have always been one to dive right into people’s hearts and love them passionately and care deeply… It’s really a blessing to have such beautiful and trusting and inspiring relationships with so many incredible souls.

      I am in awe of you.

  19. says

    thank you so much for tagging me on FB, I did miss this post originally!

    I’m sort of out of breath and overwhelmed with *feels*. Many. But they start with how deeply you connected with that post of mine, and our subsequent conversations. It is sort of mind blowing to me how bonded I feel with you over that. Truly. I have to explain to my brain that I’ve never met you in person, because it defies logic that I could feel our connection so profoundly just over cyberspace.

    These people you’ve helped, supported, touched (including me)…it’s all YOU, and your incredibly caring, giving heart. We are just the lucky recipients.

    I’ll be getting the book for sure. I know it’s the type of book I usually avoid. I don’t like feeling. But I think it will help me ultimately.

    Thank you. THANK YOU. xoxoxo

    • says

      It’s so interesting to me- because when I read your post- it caught me off guard. I was tired and stressed from the long day of ministry and honestly? Ready to shut down. And something in me just froze and I went ‘there’ and took those silent moments to respond to your words…. I even stopped myself from publishing too quickly, and erased a bunch of words and started again. It was seriously, like God grabbed me and said “Look at this closely-this one’s important. Here, let me nudge you further, and give you the words…”

      And then I went off to deal with the kitchen and the house and blah blah blah…. not realizing that it would do you any good, and then you responded.

      I swear, there is nothing more powerful than that.

  20. Marcia says

    My sweet friend – you honor not only my brave husband’s story but our magnificent savior! Update — John has applied to resit for the Bar exam in July! He has such a passion to be a voice to those who might not otherwise have representation.

    I humbly ask everyone to pray for John as he prepares and takes the exam (July 28th thru August 1).

    Thank you for the hope and light you share! xox!

    • says

      I am SO glad you shared the news, Marcia!!! That man continues to constantly amaze me. And you? How you do it all- truly inspires me from the deepest parts of my heart. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t pray for you and that heroic husband of yours. BOTH of you say “I don’t know how to do this” every damn day…

      And BOTH of you somehow, someway… manage to figure it out.

      God bless YOU and your faithful hearts through it all.

  21. says

    Holy Toledo! Do you see how behind I am??? Weeks have gone by and I am just reading this post. I hear what you are saying here and maybe that is why today was the day I read this. I needed it. So thank you, sweet Chris!
    I hope things are a little less “wavy” since you wrote this. I think of you often and wish I had read this sooner so I could be here to tell you to hang in there, keep the faith.
    But I don’t think you need me to tell you that 🙂
    Beautiful, thoughtful post with lovely words for others going through tough times. I will keep them all in my thoughts and prayers.
    Zach Sobiech’s song is amazing. I have it on my playlist. Nik and I listen to it all the time and his story is inspirational and heartbreaking at the same time. I don’t have this book but you can bet, I’ll be getting it!

    • says

      Oh Sandy!!!! Bless your busy mama heart! I absolutely am CRAZY busy here too! Tis the season of May, yes? It’s a freaking whirlwind!

      Thank you love, for coming by. And I am so happy it somehow blessed you my friend!

      Hang on, hang in, hold on and hold ‘in’. XOXO

    • says

      Oh Stephanie! I pray you will discover strength to endure whatever it is you are facing. I’m so sorry you are having to be asking that question. My hope is that each step you take brings answers my friend.

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