These Words Are Still True

Jan 17, 2016

photo by Kelli Campbell

photo by Kelli Campbell

“Whether we speak of poems or paintings or places, all art acknowledges an absence and dreams of something other, something more. Art is the material form of hope.”

– Christie Purifoy, Roots and Sky

I did not really know what those words meant when I wrote them.

Today, my family is confronted by a terrible grief and a great absence. My brother-in-law, my sister’s husband, is missing at sea. He is a Marine and a pilot, and his aircraft was lost off the coast of Hawaii last Thursday night.

His four young children are waiting for their Daddy to come home. Soon, I will travel to Hawaii to be with them.

I had other words, other stories, planned for these last days before my book is released into the world. Instead, you will most likely find only silence in this online space. I will share any updates on my facebook page and instagram account.

It is likely that many of you will receive my book and begin reading it before I return home to Maplehurst. The only words I would add to the words already written within those pages are these:

The book I wrote is not diminished by this sorrow. It is more true than I knew, and it has become, for me, an anchor outside this grief.

It is, quite literally, the material form of my hope.

If I once thought it was my gift to God then it is a gift he has given back to me. I can hold hope in my hands, even if I fail to see it in these circumstances.

Thank you for your prayers. I speak for so many in my family when I say,

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.

Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning: great is your faithfuless.

I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'”

– Lamentations 3: 19-24




  1. June

    Christie, we don’t know each other. Lisha introduced us, in a way, through her beautiful space. My heart is with you and your family. You have my prayers of hope and comfort. God is enough. Blessings.

  2. Lisa-Jo

    While you go we will be here sharing your message and anchoring ourselves to your hope. I love you so much long time friend.

  3. Ro elliott

    I have read your words over the past couple of years and have been blessed by them… I am so sorry for this great sadness of your family right now… Praying the God is all comfort will blanket you all with The warmth of His Love and Grace!!!

  4. Barbie

    I am lifting your family up in my prayers!

  5. Jordan

    I received a message from Kelli that simply said “God is the same God today.” It’s true. He’s our hope, he’s our portion, he’s the same. Praying for all of you and thankful you get to go comfort them.

  6. Emma

    I liked your blog and started to follow you yesterday, I came across one of your articles somewhere online and directed to your page, I connected with your raw honesty and the beauty behind your thoughts and penning of them. I sit here in South Africa and know that pain in life is not avoidable, we are no longer residents of the Garden of Eden as it was planned, may you take great hope in that thia pain was never meant to be and may you gain great strength from Jesus as you grief with and also support your family.

  7. Sarah

    All my love and prayers for you and your family, Christie.

  8. Laura

    So many prayers for your family. When your beautiful book and note arrived yesterday, it felt like a holy gift even in the midst of all this pain. Holding you in light amidst the darkness.

  9. Leigh Kramer

    I’ve been praying ever since the I heard the news. Keeping you and yours close to my heart.

  10. Danielle

    Hugs and love to you. Thank you for holding onto hope and sharing that with us.

  11. Twila Bennett

    Yes, this. As I have said to you–we will keep releasing your beautiful words out for the world to read. Even now. Especially now. So often in loss, our anchor gets unleashed for awhile. Home brings stability. People we love are there to hold us tight. Praying over your family. Much love, Christie.

  12. Beth S.

    While you do not really know me, I have been here on your blog several times and am always so touched by what you share. Ever since hearing that your brother-in-law was one of the missing my prayers have been with you and your family, and will continue to be.

  13. kristenchasingblueskies

    Waiting with you, dear one, with real tears and real hope and the most heartfelt prayers. *So* much love to you and your family, Christie. xo

  14. Judy

    Oh Christie – such hard news.
    As you travel to be alongside family, here is prayer you might use when you cannot find words for your own… It is followed by a blessing – my prayer for you and your dear ones.

    “Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom,
    Lead thou me on;
    The night is dark, and I am far from home;
    Lead thou me on.
    Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
    The distant scene; one step enough for me.” – John Henry Newman


    “May the everlasting Father himself
    take you
    in his own generous clasp,
    in his own generous arm.” – Celtic Prayer

  15. katieleigh

    My heart is with you and your family, Christie. So much love.

  16. Aimee T.

    I have imagined the day I would first hold your book in my hand and the joy that would bring. None of us could have imagined this sorrow for you all that would fill these same days, but I will still hold it when it comes as a promise and a hope fulfilled, trusting God to still be true in his faithfulness to your family. Love you, friend, and praying on and on.

  17. Jill Wondel

    Prayed for your family this morning at church and still praying. Grateful for a God who is Emmanuel, with us no matter what. May you and your family feel God so near, so close, that it is as if you could feel God’s breath brushing your face, God’s arms enveloping you in love. Safe travels.

  18. Kathy Schwanke

    Holding you all in prayer as you wait on the Lord. He who is your strength and hope. Your stronghold. Your Light and Hope. Praying His grace to bear you up. ❤️

  19. nicoleowens

    I saw his photo in the news, and then your instagram request. We are praying here in Kenya (and also on Oahu, where my home church and family are).

  20. Lori Harris

    Sharing your story until you are home. Prayers for peace and comfort and a miracle. Love to you and yours, friend.

  21. Valarie

    Tears and love. And hope. Yesterday, I had the thought , may the words you have wrapped around me when I needed them most, cover you and yours… and today, this. Oh how, I love Him, Christie. I know He is near

  22. Barbara

    Holding you and your family in my heart. Full of prayers for you all and a miracle. Stay strong.

  23. Robin Dance

    If the only reason our paths have crossed in this online world of ours, it is to pray for such a time as this. Miracle, I beg (and maybe even bargain), peace I know is yours through Presence. Christie, I join throngs praying for you and your sister and all your family, thankful many can uplift these shattered hearts.

  24. Jenn

    Christie, many prayers for you and your family. You will be a blessing to your sister. Lord, may your strong hand be with this family, and Lord, please keep these marines and families in your arms of protection. In Jesus name.

  25. Lisa Hurley

    Christie, you don’t know me, but I follow Lisa Jo and I’m stopping by to tell you that my heart breaks for you today. Your family will be in my prayers throughout the week. Thank you for sharing your words of hope. May the Lord cover you with His presence.

  26. Linda

    Praying with hope.

  27. lizcowans

    My prayers are with you and your family. Be ever hopeful. John 14:27

  28. Cara meredith

    I am a bit late in hearing the news, but am praying for you nonetheless. Might you and your family be held by all the prayers of the saints.

  29. Diana

    Just as your words have lifted me up many days, I lift you and your family up in my prayers today. May God be your source of courage, strength & hope.

  30. Sue Tell

    Oh Christie, tears as I read. Thankfulness for perspective.

  31. Annie Barnett

    Oh, Christie. Holding you and your family up in prayer as you walk forward with that ache of clinging to truth in the midst of such deep grief. Sending love and praying for each of you.

  32. Raelene

    Lifting you and your family in prayer. May you feel God’s amazing presence!

  33. Amy Hunt

    Christie, I am holding your hand, grieving while courageously clinging to hope.

  34. Cathy Snowball

    Praying for your family. Marines are very resilient. The brothers in arms always protect one another.

  35. Kim Ballantine

    Praying for you Christie and your family. I don’t have words, only the deep utterings of my heart to the Father for all of you. So much love from South Africa.

  36. bam

    i am sending love, and more prayer than i can imagine. i am sending it in hope that it might draw light into the dark and broken spaces. i am achingly sorry. and i love that your book, a gift to God, is now coming back to you, a gift from God. bless you…..

  37. lisajobaker

    Cousin – I love seeing you here hugging one of my dearest friends – family makes such beautiful circles. Thank you for being mine.

  38. Tanya Marlow

    I jus just wanted you to know that you all are in my prayers

  39. Kay

    Praying for you, your sister and your family. There are few words. Just know many care and God continues to be enough.

  40. Terry

    Continuing to pray for you, your sister and your family as you walk through these difficult days. His promise is precious. He will never leave us or forsake us. I pray that His presence is especially felt, in a very real and tangible way.

  41. Samantha Livingston

    I’m so very sorry for the news and the outcome. Along with these who’ve already posted, my heart breaks for your family and my prayers are with you. May He carry you all and sustain you through this heartbreak.



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