Masthead header

Author Archives: Anne Nunn

There is this place we can visit to remember. Two names are etched on a square stone and their short life is measured in hours. There is a promise written on the stone, a promise that we will be with  our sweet Joshua Paul and Kaleb Stephen one day. We don’t visit this place often; the first and most recent time we visited was 6 years ago to take our children to see where their brothers’ earthly bodies are buried. We choose to keep the memory alive in their minds with framed photos of our boys’ tiny faces and shared stories of the hours their brothers were held by us.

But sometimes it’s important to visit the place that reminds me of how broken my heart was (for what seemed like eternity) because when I remember the brokenness, I get to remember the way my Father put it back together.I also get to remember the conversations I had with my Father following the boys’ loss. Specifically one conversation we had for many years. I know He remembers it because he answered it.

I  asked him for miracles.

On this past July 4th, after many years of praying that familiar prayer, I saw this side of my Father. Our 7 year old daughter Gracelyn was riding on a flat bed trailer in in our local Independence Day Parade. She was sitting on top of the hay bales  on the float and was passing out candy with the other kids.  Then she impulsively decided to get off of the float and in one quick instant her foot caught under the tire and the tire drove on top of her leg and up  over her hip. Paul heard her scream and picked her up and ran a few blocks to the fire station where she was eventually life flighted to the hospital and underwent surgery for a broken upper femur.

The mere recounting of the story void of the miracles our Father performed doesn’t do it justice. I’ll tell it again.

As the float began to turn a corner, about a minute before the accident, two of our friends separately felt that they needed to pray for the safety of the float and those riding on it. And when our sweet girl decided to step off and her foot caught under the tire, the driver felt a  very small check to stop the vehicle even  before people began screaming for him to  to do so. If he would have driven any further up her small  leg, she could have suffered life long injuries – or worse. Once Gracelyn arrived at the ER and was admitted for surgery, we found out through a friend who works at the hospital that we had one of the best surgeons in the area performing this difficult surgery on a type of break uncommon for children.

You see, it’s important to add to our stories where we see our Father walking and touching and healing. Even if that story doesn’t end where we want it to end.

I see my Father walking in the hospital room as Paul and I said goodbye to our boys and weeping with us. I see my Father sitting with me in my garden as I talked with him all day long those  months after losing Joshua and Kaleb.

I see my Father walking  amongst the laughter and warm summer sun of that 4th of July Parade and once he sees my little girl want to step off the float, he tells our friends to pray. I see Him walking to the driver’s side of the car and telling the driver to stop.

There is another place, a place I can see. It’s a scar on my little girl’s leg where the surgeon cut her open and screwed a plate to her femur. It’s a scar that says “I see my Father here.” I see it often. I get to see it when my little girl runs and jumps. I see it when she is snuggled on my bed in her nightgown while I read a bedtime story. And when I see her rubbing it or looking at it I say, “What does that scar mean?” And she says, “Jesus saved me.”

Shouldn’t that be what we say at the end of all our stories?


I took the kids to Joshua & Kaleb’s grave today where we made daisy chains (their little sister’s idea) and I told more of their big brother’s story to them.

I have been reading The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis for the first time. If you aren’t familiar with this book, the story takes place in a realm between what we would call heaven and hell, a place where people choose if they want to go further up the mountain to heaven or back to hell. I came across a passage in the book where a mother was visiting this realm and was met by her brother who had come down the mountain to persuade her to return with him. The mother had come with hopes of seeing the son she had lost on earth years before. Her brother soon realized that she hadn’t grown past this loss that had enveloped her while she lived her final days on earth. She still wanted nothing to do with moving past this emptiness and believed the only healing would be to see her son again. The mountain was merely a place to climb to see her son, not to see The Father of all good things.

This resonated with me, but in a different aspect.

A couple of years ago, the Father asked me to stop thanking Him for healing my heart from grief each time I reflected on His goodness. He told me that He had even more for me, and after doing this I soon realized that what He had for me wasn’t a thing, it was Him.

He wanted me to only want Him, not the beautiful, mind boggling, miraculous thing He did by healing my heart.  I began to slowly see that He is much more than a Father who heals hearts.

More than a Father who provides.

More than a Father who heals our bodies.

More than a Father who parts the sea.

He is our Father. 

When I was young and my dad worked late nights, I would stay up until I heard the creaky front door open and close; the heavy, sweetly familiar footfalls thump through the house. Then I would come out of my room as my dad was rummaging through the kitchen for some late dinner and wrap my arms around him and feel his scratchy sweater as I buried my face to him.  He would wrap his arms around me and hold me for a long time and tell me how much he loved me. That is the only reason I stayed up late. I only wanted the familiarness of my dad.

And that is where I want to be with my Father. I want to walk this earth with Him, knowing that He is more than a giver of gifts, even of gifts that reveal who He is. He is our Father and that alone should be the place, the refuge, where we rest our souls. A refuge of knowing that if we received no other gifts, the gift of Him walking with us as our Father is the greatest gift of all.

And when I climb that mountain one day, it will not be a climb to thank the Giver of good gifts. I will climb – no, I will run up that mountain to wrap my arms around my Father and breathe in deeply His scent of familiarity and mystery.

The Grand Teton National Park


The photo above is of The Grand Tetons.

I sit here, 3,000 feet above the ground, looking out at the tops of the mountains below me. I see the ridges, lakes, and valleys. The clouds are touching the tops of the mountains and the light is just beginning to stream through, and I think, “This must be what the tapestry of our lives looks like.”

My feet have walked through the lush green grasses and my sore legs have climbed up mountain peaks that are unattainable on my own. I’ve been thirsty in the desert with my heavy heart in my chest and I’ve been refreshed by the river’s edge where my Father showed me who He is.

There are times when I am on one of my mountain tops and look out at the seasons behind me and my valley doesn’t look as vast as it felt. The grief didn’t last as long when compared to the clear water and green grasses that waited  just beyond the bend. The mountain that I climbed, daily battling areas of fear, wasn’t as high as it felt while I was climbing its sheer face. However, when looking back upon my landscape, there is something I see even more clearly than before. The summit. I see the many summits that I have pulled my tired, beaten, discouraged self up to and they look more vast and grand than I had once imagined. I had felt so frustrated because I had to climb this mountain in the first place. Frustrated that the mountain was there because I’d rather be in the valleys, or discouraged because I thought I had climbed this exact mountain before. And I am reminded of something that my YWAM school leader told us: “God cares more about the process than He does the end result.” God wants to know that when we are faced with life’s obstacles, obstacles that He did not intend for us, we are still going to walk through those parched places and scale the mountain side despite how badly we want to quit. He wants to know that we will stop at the river’s edge to sit with Him.

One day we will stand atop one of the peaks and we will only be looking behind us at our landscape. There won’t be any land awaiting us beyond the mountain and what I want to see is not only where I laid my feet, I want to see the footsteps of my Father, the prints of His hands next to mine as we climbed and the imprint in the grass where we sat by the still waters.

I want to hear Him say that after all the obstacles I faced, the battles I fought, and the heartache I felt, I want to hear my Father say He saw what I did with them, and He is proud.


Last summer our family and my husband’s sister’s family went to Lassen National Volcanic Park. We spent almost a week taking small hikes to thermal areas, eating lunch by mountain lakes, and creating wonderful memories together. It was a perfect family vacation.


On one of our last days, we took a 3 mile hike to some beautiful lakes so the kids could swim. The hike began at about 7,500 feet elevation and it was almost all down hill, which meant the hike out was going to be a tad more difficult for the kids and my sister in law, who was carrying my 1 year old niece on her back in the ever-so-handy Ergo. When we arrived at the lake we saw several thunderheads approaching, still we stayed at the lake until the kids had their fill of swimming. Once they had swam enough and reached the point of exhaustion, Paul, Jason, and Isabella decided to hike a bit further to look at another lake while Jessica and I gathered the rest of the kids for an uphill hike back to the car.

We began the hike back directly below the ominous sky and we weren’t too far up before I heard the very loud thunder directly above our heads. Immediately, I looked back at Jessica with an expression of “WE ARE GOING TO DIE,” on my face and without waiting for us to come up with a game plan of how not to die, I picked up my 4 year old, cradling him like a baby and grabbed Gracelyn’s hand and ran, leaving my sister-in-law to save her own life. I realize now, this wasn’t the most selfless of decisions.

Meanwhile Paul had Isabella, who is very fearful of storms, and I knew this was going to be a challenge for her. When they had first heard the thunder they were crossing some rocks with Isabella several paces behind him. He looked back at her and seeing the fear in her eyes, he told her that it was okay.  He took a few more steps ahead and all of a sudden she was standing next to him clutching his hand. Throughout the hike back, she continued to act scared off and on and Paul told tell her the facts about the storm and in what ways they are safe. At one point it began to rain and after coaxing her a bit, this is the picture he took.



Arms outstretched in the middle of a lighting storm on a mountain top.

Once we got to our van, I waited for Paul and Isabella to arrive, convinced that they were struck by lighting while I was trying to catch my breath because it felt like I had swallowed a golf ball. This was due to the 7,500 ft altitude with lungs not accustomed to being in this high, let alone running.

I saw him sauntering up the hill and once he got in to the car, I told him how scared I was.

He asked “why?”

Me: “Because of the lighting. I thought we were going to die!”

Then I started crying. Sobs and all while he told me the many facts about the storm. The main fact being “the second rule.” Count the seconds between the thunder and lighting to determine how far the lighting is from the thunder, which is 10 seconds per 2 miles. We were out of the danger zone.

I realize that this story of frantically running up a mountain to outrun a lighting storm while carrying one child and dragging the other by the hand, leaving my sister behind to fend for herself and her two children, simply because I had forgotten the “second rule” can be told as a funny family story from a great family vacation that we will never forget.

However, it tends to be moments like these that my Father removes the curtain to shed light on something deeper and in this case, He used it to show me how I have wrongly believed who He is when I go through life’s storms. I believed that even if lighting doesn’t strike anyone else around me, it will strike me. And that is why I have to run. And not just run, but I have to do it all on my own.

On a February day, 12 years ago, we were told that our two identical twin boys were not going to survive outside of my womb because they had an autosomal recessive disease that affected their little kidneys and the chances of a child having this disease were very small. Both parents had to carry the mutated gene which was a 1 in 100,000 chance and even then, the child only had a 25% chance of getting the disease. And to be pregnant with identical babies is only a 1 in 285 chance.

We lost those two sweet baby boys, Joshua and Kaleb. The twins I asked God for since I was a little girl and then prayed for healing while they lived in my womb. They beat the odds and stayed with us for longer than the doctors anticipated. We held Joshua for almost a day and Kaleb for a day and a half. We buried these boys on a bright day in May in a little plot under a tree. I think of them every day. And not only do I miss them, but I remember the reason we lost them, chance.

These life altering, heartbreaking, never-be-the-same-again moments that were caused by chance. I knew I had to run to beat my odds by reason that these rules of being struck by lightning don’t apply to my life.

And so my Father asked me, “Do you want to run up the hill trying to outrun a storm with fear gripping your heart or do you want to be like your daughter? Holding my hand, as the rain pours, and the lighting strikes around you, while I tell you that you are safe?”

The answer is easy. I want to be safe with Him. Not because the lightning isn’t going to strike, but because when it does I am wrapped up beside Him and He tells me that my heart is safe. He tells me that He closes up the wound and tends to the scar by reminding me of His promises. His promises of redemption.

We aren’t guaranteed a life without any lightning, without any loss. However, we are promised a life where our Father walks with us on a mountaintop during our storms.