Stacey Morgan’s life reads like a choose-your-own-adventure story, with more twists and turns than seems possible in one person’s life – complete with blasting her husband into outer space.  While most of us have never nervously held our kids hands while we wait for a rocket launch countdown to begin, Stacey invites us into the moment with her, and in turn, into an opportunity to experience God’s hope in a new and powerful way. Her life stories may be unique, but Stacey’s willingness to share the most vulnerable aspects of herself make her incredibly relatable and deeply encouraging. In our current culture dominated by anxiety, isolation, and despair, Stacey shows us what it can look like to stare your fears in the eye and move forward, choosing instead to live a life of faith, peace and hope.  It’s a grace to welcome Stacey to the farm’s front porch today… 

Guest post by Stacey Morgan

It’s July 20th, 2019 and today will either be one of the best, or the worst, day of my life.  I am an astronaut’s wife, and my four children and I have traveled to the other side of the world, to Kazakhstan, to witness my husband, my children’s father, launch into outer space.

“Two minutes out,” my escort tells me.

My fingers tingle as I grip a small, sweaty hand with each of mine; my breathing is shallow and rapid. If I didn’t have the children there with me, I might be tempted to sink to the ground and let the intense feelings of anxiety overwhelm me. But as I glance down to check my watch, I catch a glimpse of the tattoo peeking out from behind my watchband. It is brand-new, and the fancy, slanted script reads “Esther 4:14,” a reference to an Old Testament Bible verse that has always spoken to me, but never more than in this moment.

My tattoo references the point in the story when Queen Esther is at a crossroads. Her uncle has told her of a plot to kill their people and he’s asking her to do something. The verse inked on my wrist is her uncle’s response when he senses her hesitation: “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14, ESV).

God placed Esther into a moment of history for a specific purpose, but he gave her the choice of how to respond. Would she choose the path dictated by fear and do nothing? Or would Esther choose the path paved in hope, willing to act and face her fears, confident that God would use the situation, regardless of the outcome, for his greater purpose? Either way, she knew her life would change dramatically, and her decision could prove fatal. Spoiler: Esther decided to step up like a complete boss and declare, “If I perish, I perish” (Esther 4:16, ESV).

Man, I wish I had guts like Esther.

Though standing in a hot, dry field on the opposite side of the world waiting for the one-minute countdown to begin pales in comparison to the life-or-death decision this biblical queen faced, in this moment, in my soul, I am Esther. The emotional cocktail of pride, excitement, elation, nervousness, stress, and fear is so potent I feel completely overwhelmed.

My mind is filled with unanswerable questions, as I imagine Esther’s was. What if something goes wrong? What if the rocket explodes? Have I just said goodbye forever to my husband of twenty years? What if something happens while he’s gone and he can’t come home? Will I be able to handle all the logistics and emotional burden of raising four children on my own?

Even with years of training and full confidence in the equipment and technology, things happen, mistakes are made.

On the flip side, even if everything goes perfectly, what comes next? What will life be like with Drew in space and us back here on Earth? Will our relationship suffer? Do I have the skills, support, and endurance I will need for this marathon mission?

I am standing on the edge of a psychological cliff, my toes dangling off the edge, not knowing if in a few short moments I will be filled with the elation of a successful rocket launch or the shocking downward plunge of mourning the loss of my best friend and my children’s father.

“It feels like a holy moment, standing silently in the dark, watching the rocket travel farther and farther away until it’s just a dot of light in the sky, like a distant star.”

My fear and uncertainty are palpable as I stand at this crossroads, and my heart is pounding like a drum. No matter which way this launch goes, I know that my life, and the lives of my children, will never be the same. Both outcomes are filled with uncertainty and unknowns, the fear of which far outweighs my fear of the rocket launch itself.

“Thirty seconds,” a voice calls out from the darkness behind me. We can see the support structures beginning to move on the launchpad.

3 . . . 2 . . . 1 . . . The engines ignite in a massive explosion and slowly lift the rocket off the ground.

We feel it before we hear it. Sonic rumblings travel through the hard ground, and the vibrations course through our feet. The wave of the massive engine roar reaches us, rolling up through our bodies, vibrating in our chests.

The fiery blast blinds us as the rocket rises higher and higher into the night sky. The light is so bright, it’s like looking directly at the sun, but I want to see every second of it.

So whether the rocket continues to rise off the ground in a glorious arc of fire or suddenly explodes in a massive plume of smoke, I’m watching.

It feels like a holy moment, standing silently in the dark, watching the rocket travel farther and farther away until it’s just a dot of light in the sky, like a distant star.

Just like I’ve never had to save my people from utter destruction, you’ve probably never launched someone into outer space. But you probably have, at some point, stood, like I did, like Esther did, in the crossroads of hope and fear. A place in time where God allows you to make a decision, and you know that either path you choose, life will never be the same.

Having stood in this crossroads enough times now in my life, I now feel like I now fully understand this fundamental truth: While we are in the midst of our unique, difficult circumstances, whether combat deployments, illness, financial troubles, loneliness, addiction, relationship struggles, or even rocket launches, God gives each of us the ability to choose the path of either hope or fear. Whether we like it or not, we will live our lives dictated by one or the other, and if we don’t make an active decision to choose hope, our default will always be fear.

“Hope enables us to live confidently and with peace, no matter what happens, because we trust in a God who is with us in both the best and worst of times.”

Fear is reactionary and defensive, and it leads to an eventual downward spiral into despair. Fear tells our hearts that scary, outside forces have dominion over our lives, so we better grasp and grapple for whatever scraps of control we can reach. Fear tells us that if the worst thing happens, our lives will no longer be worth living or that everything good in our lives as we know it will be over.

The alternative—hope—isn’t blind optimism or denial of reality. Like fear, hope says that our lives are not our own, but unlike fear, hope speaks the truth that a force much greater than current events or our own abilities is in control, and we can rest in that divine power to sustain us. Hope enables us to live confidently and with peace, no matter what happens, because we trust in a God who is with us in both the best and worst of times.

God’s hope speaks to us, telling us that even if the worst thing happens, life might be different, but it would still be worth living and full of good things.

Even so, each day, we have to make a choice. Which path will we travel: fear or hope?

“If we want a life of meaning, of purpose and of adventure, but also of confidence and peace, we have only choice each day:  we must choose hope.”

As I think about what’s next, I know this journey did not begin when the rocket launched, just as it did not end when it landed. My story began years ago, when I chose a life full of excitement and adventure, but also risk and heartbreak and danger.

And I can see now that the first big reason I’ve been able to thrive and not just survive is that no matter what comes up in life, I actively choose hope. Not a hope based on wishes and dreams, rainbows and unicorns, blissful happy endings, or even my own abilities.

It’s the kind of hope we are offered each day, with God’s strength, to look our fears and uncertainties straight in the eye and continue to move forward, no matter what happens, because he is with us and will enable us to do what must be done. It’s the kind of hope we have to choose anew each morning, the type of gutsy hope we hear in Esther’s voice when she says, “If I perish, I perish.”

If we want a life of meaning, of purpose and of adventure, but also of confidence and peace, we have only choice each day:  we must choose hope.

Stacey Morgan is always ready with a funny or thoughtful story from her own life; whether it be holding down the home front during Special Forces military deployments, working for the Smithsonian, skydiving, or blasting her husband into outer space. A women’s military leader for over fifteen years, Stacey is an executive leadership coach for MOPS International, a nonprofit focused on the unique needs of mothers around the world. She and her husband have four children.

Stacey’s new book, The Astronaut’s Wife, is a true story about making the most of your one incredible life. While the love of her life orbited the Earth, Stacey was about to embark on a knock-your-socks-off adventure right here at home. Experience this deeply meaningful season with Stacey—full of unique challenges and surreal opportunities—and discover rich lessons in trusting God when you feel weak or alone.

Containing behind-the-scenes glimpses into a side of space flight that most of us will never experience, The Astronaut’s Wife is a funny, poignant, and meaningful exploration of living life to the fullest—no matter where you roam.

Learn more at

[ Our humble thanks to  Tyndale Momentum for their partnership in today’s devotion ]