Summer Solstice Sunrise – Karen Castleberry

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves.” — Malachi 4:2 (NIV)

My mother-in-law, June, celebrated her 81st birthday on the summer solstice, June 20, 2020, the longest day of the year. We gathered her children and grandchildren at her home in celebration of her life.

It has been over a year since she was diagnosed with lung cancer. Driving to the hospital one day, I was sad that our relationship had been strained for the 39 years I have been married to her son. I wondered how I would remember her when she was no longer with us.

Suddenly the sun came out from behind a cloud, its rays healing my memories and reminding me of the joy June feels when it is shining on her face. I also remembered she had a date night every week with my son until he was in his late teens. That day, God gave me hope that it wasn’t too late to have a real relationship with June.

Christian family relationship
Photo by Brittnye Potter

During this past year, I have seen God work miracles in our relationship and in relationships with other family members. We have been gathering around her dining room table sharing life, weekly and sometimes daily, spending precious time together.

My prayer for her 81st birthday is for God to continue to heal her body, mind, and soul. To draw her closer in her relationship with Jesus, as He heals and draws her closer to us too. I pray that we get to enjoy many more years of sharing memories and making new ones with my mother-in-love.

Christian family relationship
“June, Son and Daughter, and companion Mikey,” Photo by Karen Castleberry

I encourage you to seek God in healing of your relationships with your parents and in-laws. Repent for any wounds you have inflicted and ask God to reveal and heal those places in your heart that have been hurt by others.

Copyright © 2020 by Karen Castleberry


Karen Castleberry is a Missionary of Prayer. She lives with her husband, Gary, and 2 dogs, in a little cottage nestled in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains of North Georgia. Their son, Jeremiah, lives and works nearby. Karen loves reading, writing, photography, knitting, and all things creative. Her greatest joy in life is spending time with Jesus, her family and friends.

Christian writer, Christian photographer

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