A Bee in the Bucket

You wake up exhausted. Your “restful night’s sleep” barely resembled sleep. You get out of bed and you feel an ache.

Maybe it’s a headache. Maybe it’s a back ache. Maybe it’s an emotional heart ache. Whatever it may be, something this morning aches.

Tired achy steps shuffle into the kitchen, and as you lift a tired achy hand to cook a breakfast you’re really not in the mood to cook, it happens.

A husband needing lunch now because he forgot he’s leaving early today.
A child dropping the dog’s water bowl all over the kitchen floor.
A baby screaming with a full diaper saved up for you.
A phone ringing because a bill you paid never made it out of the house.

It happens.

And when it does, temptation tries to sink its teeth into your tired, achy, soul to act like a bee in a bucket.

The thing about a bee in a bucket, is that no matter how hard and fast it flies, no matter how angry it gets and tries to use its stinger to display its anger, the most it will accomplish is simply beating its head (or stinger) against the sides of the bucket.

Over and over.

It will make a lot of noise while it does so. It will sound ferocious, and maybe even the more timid of us will shy away from the bucket, hoping it doesn’t tip over. That ferocious sounding bee will not inspire us to lift the bucket and set it free. No. We want to keep it there. With that racket, how could such a creature be trusted outside of the bucket?

Here is the other thing about a bee.
That same bee pollinates the flowers and clover.

I remember as a child always looking for the illusive four-leaf clover, because it would bring me great luck.

Clover of course has other uses, such as being a nutritious option for farmers with livestock. Many farmers with grazing livestock need their clover fields to scatter and reproduce each year, paying to bring bees from bee farms to accomplish this important task.

When bees are trapped in the bucket, they are not out in the world,
and when they are not out in the world, we lose many beautiful things.
Flowers. Vegetables. Fruit.
Even Clover.

A four-leaf clover cannot bring us any great luck.
The bee who pollinates the clover fields cannot bring us any luck.

However, there is ONE who can bring us far more than just “luck.”

He brings us Freedom, for He is the one who can lift our buckets, heal our aches, transform our frustrations, and send us out into the world.

(We pray) that you may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy, ~Colossians 1:11 (AMP)

Sometimes, I’m the bee in the bucket.

A friend recently shared the above verse with me during one of my bee in the bucket moments, and it spoke some truths to me about His Glory, and what He is capable of.

 photo MyAlbum3-005_zpsbc09a323.jpg
It doesn’t happen because of what I do. It doesn’t happen because of luck. It happens because of who He is.
It happens because of His power, His grace, His love, His strength,
His promise to transform us.

We take our tired aches to Him, so He can give us what we need.
Rest. Comfort. Hope. Strength.
And then we persevere to spread our wings,
and pollinate the world around us,
so that when it happens,
He can use us for His glory to spread His beauty.

As a woman who is sometimes tempted to become the bee in the bucket, I encourage my sisters in Christ to find that time of rest with Him.

Allow Jesus the opportunity, through His Word, through Prayer, through the Holy Spirit, for Him to heal your aches and by His strength give you Joy to persevere.

Because He wants us to pollinate our homes, our churches, and the world all around us, so that He can bring all of His beauty into every part of our lives.

In Love & Faith,
RaZella

 

A Broken Heart

I remember parts of the day like it was yesterday, and it has been 18 ½ years.

I remember what I was wearing.

I remember that it was an early summer day with beautiful weather.

I remember trying to hold it together.  Again.  I was not going to break down!

I WAS. NOT.

We were supposed to attend the retirement party of a very good friend.  I wanted to go, but I didn’t see how I could stop crying.

“Everything is OK.”   I kept repeating this to myself over and over.  “It will be fine.”

But it wasn’t.  And it wasn’t going to be.

At least not without some help.

It had been two years since we had buried her.  Two years since dear friends carried her tiny casket out of the chapel.  Two years since I sat at her grave on a sunny June day, with friends gathered around, and felt like my life was over.

I had to get through this…I HAD to.

I had been reading passages on grief.  I was clinging to 1Peter 5:7 and Matthew 11:28.  I had been trying to pray.  I had been asking the Lord to help me with my grief.  I was functioning, but only on the outside.  I went through the motions every day.

And on that day, 18 ½ years ago, I collapsed in my kitchen.  I slid to the floor in a crying, sobbing, withering mess.

I couldn’t do this.  I could not continue pretending that I was fine.  That I was OK.  I couldn’t function.  I couldn’t even stand.  This was NOT working.  I felt like I was at the bottom of a deep hole.  A VERY deep hole and I had NO IDEA how to get out.

My husband called a doctor friend who suggested some ways to get through the rest of the weekend and gave him the name of a doctor he thought could help us and told us we should call him on Monday.

I made an appointment with one of the doctors and it was like I had been given a gift.

The doctor assured me that my grieving cycle was normal.  He told me I was not alone.  Many people get depressed.

He encouraged me to write a letter to my daughter.  He encouraged me to talk about my feelings.  He listened to me and he listened to my husband and me together.  He gave me steps to help me climb out of the dark hole.  And he helped me to learn the signs of depression and what some of my triggers were.   He equipped me to recognize when I might be slipping into that hole again.

Slowly I began to feel better.  Slowly I began to reclaim my life.  I was climbing out of the hole and I felt like I could begin to see the sunshine.

I was going to be OK.

I have shared about Amy on my blog. But I have only shared portions of the story.  I have not shared this dark part.  You might ask why I am choosing to share this part of my story here on Must Love God.  Our theme for February is heart health.  After much prayer about what to write and what direction to take my post, it became clear that the Lord wanted me to share this part of my story.

I was depressed because my heart was broken.  I needed to learn how to deal with my broken heart so that I could move forward with my life.  I had a wonderful husband and a young son…my life wasn’t over!

Yes, I had endured heart ache and pain, but I had much to live for.

A broken heart – no matter what the cause – is not a reason to crawl in a hole and give up.  It is a reason to seek professional help when necessary and learn that there is life on the other side of the darkness.

 

A Review: “I’ll Hold You in Heaven” + An Offer

In this space of hope, healing, and love, you may have noticed some of our writers centering on a theme recently.  A theme of remembrance in honor of National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month – a theme that touches many of our own writing team and an even greater number of the women in this grace-filled community.

In keeping with this theme, today I’d like to share a small, but incredibly powerful resource with you.  Whether you’ve had to walk the dark road of surrendering a child back to God yourself, or if you are a ministry leader who interacts with those healing from a miscarriage, or you volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center, or perhaps you’re simply a woman who wants to bless and encourage another sister who is grieving and in pain…this book is for you.

The Review

Jack Hayford has packed beautiful words of wisdom, healing, grace, and hope into just over 100 pages of a small book that takes the reader on a journey through Scripture into the heart of God as it concerns the loss of a little one.

 ”I’ll Hold You in Heaven: Healing and Hope for the Parent Who Has Lost a Child Through Miscarriage, Stillbirth, Abortion, or Early Infant Death.”

Hayford is clear in the introduction of this little book, to state the purpose of its writing.  That is, “to offer a path to hope and healing – not through happy talk or platitudes, but through the solid footing of God’s Word.”  With that foundation firmly set in place, the first three chapters work through issues like, “Was my unborn child, in the fullest sense of the meaning, actually a human being,” “Is [my child] sensitive and responsive as a spiritual entity,” and “Is there any evidence that he or she possesses insight or intellect in the most spiritual sense?”  Moving forward, Hayford then addresses the heart cry of every parent who has lost a young one, “Will I see them again in Heaven?”  As a huge spoiler alert (if the title of the book didn’t already alert you), the answer is a resounding, “YES!”  Again, pointing to Scripture as the backdrop of every point made, every issue tackled, every question answered, Hayford gently handles the heart of the matter with hope.  He concludes the book with advice on the grief process and practical, Biblical steps to addressing the issue of abortion, using his own heart struggle and wrestling with God as a framework.

I understand that beyond a brief summary and outline, I haven’t given you many details of the Scripture Hayford uses, the points he makes, or the practical steps he details in this book…that, dear one is because I want you to get the book and read it for yourself!  For a few dollars, you can work through the questions this book brings to the light for the sake of healing your own heart, or perhaps for walking through the dark spaces with a friend who is in pain.  Most assuredly, your deepest pain will find restoration.

The Offer

In closing, I’d like to offer one more thing, dear one.  If you have walked through, or are currently in the middle of, the darkness that comes with losing a child…I want to walk with you.  As your sister, I want to intercede on your behalf in the Throne Room and ask God for His grace, healing, and love to surround you.  Simply send me an email…you can share your story with me (knowing it will be held in the strictest confidence), or you can simply ask, “Please pray.”  I promise to stand with you…you can connect with me at alle@chasing-eden.com

Grace and Blessings, Dear Ones.

Pregnant Woman Image from CreationSwap//Button Design by Finding Eden Media

Being a Friend Through Infertility

A hard lump formed in my throat and tears burned inside my eyes as I focused my vision on the opening scenes. “The Odd Life of Timothy Green” took me by surprise. What I thought would be a fun outing for the children had become a walk down memory lane for me.

After being told there was nothing left to do, the infertile couple drove home in silent reflection of the last few months. I have driven down that road. My mind lingered in remembrance of tests, promises, phone calls and finally, the answer.

Strong emotion stirred within me as the woman in the movie locked herself in an empty nursery and mourned for what might have been. I recalled holding back my tears until a night away gave opportunity for release. And when she walked out of the nursery to declare, “It’s finished.” I remembered my own resolve to move on; “Not my will, but yours.”

The movie captured my attention and gave pause for thought in many areas of life, but the issue of infertility rang most true. Unlike the couple in the movie, our journey came as a surprise since my womb had already held one child.

They call it secondary infertility, but I called it prison. Counting days, taking pills, and tracking bodily functions, became a ritual of pursuing a goal beyond my reach. Waiting in the OB’s office with pregnant women, succumbing to invasive procedures and listening to empty promises felt more like torture than help.  We laid the boundaries and when they were reached, we knew it was over.

As we silently drove home, a weight lifted from my shoulders and I remembered to trust God. Our first baby was a miracle and so would any others be. This fertility issue was out of my hands and I was free!

Do you know someone with secondary infertility?

Have you stopped to consider what they might be going through?

Infertility comes as a shock after previous success. Even though we had waited three years for our first positive pregnancy test, we figured we had this conception gig down. We guessed the rest would be easy. Almost four years later, we were told otherwise. That was eight years ago and my womb remains empty.

The social stigma can be just as difficult as the ache for a baby. According to Resolve (The National Infertility Association),

“Sadly, couples with secondary infertility tend to receive less social support from others than couples who have primary infertility because the infertility is unacknowledged, the pain associated with infertility is invisible as the couple has a child, and there is no concrete loss in the family. In addition, couples experiencing secondary infertility may be recipients of criticism by others who think they should be grateful for one child and that it is foolish to go to extremes to increase family size.”

In addition, people assumed we did not want more children, which was a painful misconception to correct.

Have you found a way to just be there?

I felt misunderstood when people advised me to relax or have faith. When we announced that the pursuit was over, people assured us we would finally conceive. They did it again when we announced plans to adopt. People were trying to help, but all we needed was acceptance where we were at and for others to support our choices. We did not need any more predictions or promises.

People accused me of giving up when I gave away maternity clothes along with bins of baby clothes. They did not see the joy I experienced by blessing someone else. Seeing the clothes used again warmed my heart, and I knew it was God’s will. He would be faithful to provide in the future. I was not giving up hope, but setting dreams free by placing them on the altar.

There is always hope when we trust God for his plan.

Now that our family is complete, the empty womb is completely forgotten . . . by others. I will never forget, but give thanks for secondary infertility. Had it not been for my first son, I would not have known what I was missing and then wanted more. Had it not been for an empty womb, I may not have opened arms to my second son and daughter.

God is the one who brought our family together.  He used special people and circumstances to make it happen. Every child in our home is a miracle.

Just as my story is different from Timothy Green’s, your friend’s story will be different from mine. Sorrow and joy are common in every story, as well as the need for friendship. Are you willing to be a constant and supportive friend?

 

Why You Need To Let Your Light Shine

Welcome! We’ve created a Special Series for you this month! We’ll
take 4 weeks and focus on 4 elements to ‘Reset’ our lives for Him.
We’re calling it ’4×4 Reset’. If you missed the introduction, you
can find more details here. Each post will feature a READ IT
(scripture verse), a SEE IT (motivation), & a DO IT (challenge/
call to action). Our 4×4 Reset Toolbox is available and has links
to all the posts and to our resources, including our Build a Firm
Foundation Printable tracking page. Be sure to subscribe to not
miss a day, & join us on Twitter & Instagram using our hashtag
#4x4Reset!

Why You Need To Let Your Light Shine

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.   ~Romans 12:1-2

We’ve spent this whole month of September studying how to RESET our lives; Spiritually, Physically, Mentally, and this week Emotionally.  I believe the emotional aspect of our life is often the one we overlook, hide, or bury down deep, locked away in a hidden part of our souls.

Romans 12:2 says Do not conform to the pattern of this world… The pattern of this world is hiding our hurt, denying that we struggle, and trying to do it all on our own, without help. God doesn’t want us to do that.  He wants us to be transformed and to do it by the renewing of our minds.  He wants to transform us by changing our attitudes & how we think.

He wants us to stop hiding our brokenness.

 

For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
~Psalm 139:13

He wants us to stop hiding our brokenness because we aren’t really broken at all.

You see, I was recently courageous enough to break the patterns of this world and seek treatment for depression.    I’ve been hurting, denying my struggle, and trying to do it all on my own for more than 20 years.   In being diagnosed officially, and starting treatment, I’ve learned that no matter how hard I tried on my own, there was still a chemical imbalance in my brain.  It’s just how I’m wired.  What I realized smack in the middle of worship this Sunday was this:  God made me this way.  He created me with this chemical imbalance.  Intentionally.

My first thought was “Why would He do that to me?  Why would he create me broken?”

Almost before I could finish that thought, He answered, “Because it makes you realize you can’t do it all on your own. It makes you Trust Me and ask for help.”

He wants us to stop hiding our brokenness because we aren’t really broken at all.

He made me this way on purpose.   He created my inmost being, He knit me together in my mother’s womb. This disease, this disorder, this whatever, is not a curse.  It’s a blessing.

It is a blessing.

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Stop hiding.  Look at what feels broken in you, emotional or otherwise, as a way to connect deeper with Your Father.  He loves you.   And he designed you to shine, not hide under a bushel.

Go shine!

 

Read It:

See It:

Click here to watch Our God Is Greater…

Do It:

 

 

 

The Healing Properties of Art Journaling

Welcome! We’ve created a Special Series for you this month! We’ll
take 4 weeks and focus on 4 elements to ‘Reset’ our lives for Him.
We’re calling it ’4×4 Reset’. If you missed the introduction, you
can find more details here. Each post will feature a READ IT
(scripture verse), a SEE IT (motivation), & a DO IT (challenge/
call to action). Our 4×4 Reset Toolbox is available and has links
to all the posts and to our resources, including our Build a Firm
Foundation Printable tracking page. Be sure to subscribe to not
miss a day, & join us on Twitter & Instagram using our hashtag
#4x4Reset!

 

The Healing Properties of Art Journaling

 

So God created….God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.

Genesis 1:27a, 31

 

Ten years ago, when I was pushing 30 rather than 40, I never would have guessed that I would someday struggle with mental health issues.  Even typing those words makes me want to be liberal with my delete button and go back to being hush-hush about it.  But nevertheless, here I am, five years past my first episode with depression, and one year after being told I probably have a mood cycling disorder.  I chose to research and implement non-medication based treatment options.  Art was one of those options.

 

“Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”

~Thomas Merton~

 

Quite simply, art heals.  Picasso said that art cleans from the soul the dust of everyday life, but I would argue it does much more than that.  The desire to create comes directly from the Father Himself.  Art in any form communicates things that are deeper and more profound than the reasoning mind can fathom.   It taps into parts of us that otherwise we may never know, more digging than dusting.  I find that when I write, tear, glue, and paint, my arm and hand seem to mysteriously know things that I only realize are true after they are out on the page.  When I combine both the visual and the written, magic happens.

 

I began an art journal after seeing the beauty in a friend’s journal.  Images, quotes, color, collage all found themselves together and beautifully joined as she wrestled with questions and emotions that needed more than just a college-ruled page of text.  My first art journal pages were clunky and awkward to my eye, but I fell in love with the process.  I took quotes from favorite books, from scripture, and added a mess of acrylic paint or watercolor pencil or ink.  I grew into a style that relies heavily on metaphor and symbolism and expresses the hard things in a way that is beautiful and raw.  I don’t love every page, but inevitably every page says something about me.

 

Art Journaling is a possibility for anyone and everyone.  Whether you believe yourself creative or not, you can feel the cleansing and purging that art journaling can provide, and find yourself more deeply connected to the Creator in the process and the mess.

 

It’s not about result.  Art journaling is about discovery.

 

This is not necessarily a how-to post.  This is a “why” post, a post to inspire and to give you an option for healing and coping.  A quick google or pinterest search will reveal the hidden world of the art journal community, and a feast for your eyes of all different styles and types.  A library trip will yield books and inspiration for the start of your journey, and Amazon will provide even more.  The materials required can be as simple as sturdy paper (bound or not), crayons, leftover magazines, and a glue stick, but the variety available offers much more if you’re so inclined.

 

 

Read It:

See It:

 

Do it: 

Create a “Who I am” page, either on cardstock, or a good thick piece of paper.  Write “I am” somewhere on the page with bubble letters, cut text from a magazine, or stamped letters, and then collage anything that answers that statement for you.  It could be found scraps from around the house, images printed off the web, or text from catalogs.  Color or paint around the pieces, or doodle, or scribble.  Drip coffee.  Or even trace your hand with sharpie over the collage.  Anything goes.  Make it you, and make it healing.  Be honest and real and true.

 

Guest Writer Christine Heister:

is ‘a homeschooling mom of four beautiful and unique children, cherished wife to my perfect match, musician, singer, writer, and most importantly, a follower of Jesus, though I stumble on my way.’  She writes about whatever’s on her mind at her blog: Fruit In Season.  Find her on Twitter @FruitNSeason and Facebook, and don’t miss checking out her art journal photos on Instagram @fruitnseason!

Count Me Accountable. Because I CANNOT do it alone.

If you have ever been in the dieting, trying to get healthy cycle, you may have noticed that many, many, many weight loss programs have big sales in September.  It seems that after the summer fun, the trend is to buckle down and re-commit to healthier living, more disciplined schedules, and take charge of whatever area in our lives tends to get out of control without constant supervision.

One thing that I have learned, is that you can try to compartmentalize your life —  but it doesn’t really work.  He is in it all.

He is in my early morning routine.  (He is the REASON for my early morning routine.)

He is in my running, or my attempts at crossfit.

He is with me when I am staring into the refrigerator, convincing myself not to eat everything in sight.

He is with me when I am trying to speak in love, and not react in anger to my children.

 

Whatever you are trying to accomplish, or get under control, we are here to support you. If you blog about your challenges, successes and struggles, we would love for you to link up with us.  If you don’t blog, but want the support, then we would love for you to leave your goals, or the progress you have made on your goals in the comment section.

If you are getting to the point where enough is enough, then stick around and let us help you.  In September we will be taking the month to re-set our priorities.  We will explore God’s sovereignty in our spiritual lives, our physical health and well-being, our mental routines, and our emotional states.  We will re-charge, re-focus, and most importantly, re-set. Join us?

During the 4X4 Reset in September, the Count Me Accountable link-up will be held over at my blog, My Journey to Authenticity.  Please don’t wait to start making goals, and seeking and finding a community of women all on similar journeys!  If you have any questions about the process, or where to start, PLEASE ask!  Let’s get some answers!  Together, we can achieve more than we ever dreamed possible.  I have seen it happen!!  Will you be the next one to decide to take one step in the right direction? We are here for you!

 

Maker of the Rain

May hangs in the balance of the seasons – between the rain showers of April and the whispered promise of summer in June. Some years, the long-awaited flowers spring forward and move us closer to sleeping in, mowing the lawn, backyard barbeques with friends, and a much needed time of rest and relaxation….

But other years, the rain lingers.
It hangs on and pelts the already drenched ground with more water than it can hold. And we begin to wonder if the sun will ever come out to play again.

Our hearts go through “season changes” like this, too. There are those mountain-top moments after a rough patch where God’s promises come to light and we bask in the glow of being stronger and hold onto another piece of our story to share with others.

But sometimes, the rain lingers…and lingers…and pours flood-threatening amounts of pain, loss, stress, emotion, and fear on our already heavy souls…

My heart has traveled through several of those kinds of seasons in my short 24 years on Earth.  And in some ways, I feel like I’m in one now…there are plenty of good things in my life, blessings that I desperately do not want to ignore or miss…

…but there are also some very dark, stormy patches that my tired soul would rather do without.

For those days – the rainy ones that seem to offer no hope or peace – my first response is always to allow my emotions to dictate my actions.  Not always the best choice, although sometimes a good cry is in order.  Instead, I’m trying to develop the discipline to turn to Scripture and to not seclude myself from others.  I try to confide in a friend, or my husband, or my mama…I ask for godly counsel, I pray, and I try to break the monotony of darkness with things that give my soul comfort.

For me, that’s music.

Specifically, strumming the steel stretched across wood and weaving new melodies with words…one day, several years ago, God gave me a slow, quiet song to encapsulate those dark times and His promise to never forsake me…today, I’d like to share them with you…I wish I had the time to vlog for you, but sometimes the silence can work alongside the simple words in front of the heart and do wonders that a melody cannot touch…

"Rain" via CreationSwap

Raindrops on my windowpane
Echoing the falling rain
That’s pouring in my soul
And if you say that I’m too young
For all this heartache that’s begun
Tell me why, I’m feeling old…why do I feel so cold

But I know the Maker of the rain
The One who sustains me
He won’t let me be moved
And I don’t know what’s to come
But I won’t come undone
No, no, no, no, no
All because I know…
I know the Maker of the rain

Lying here once again
Head and heart still tumbling
Dread the dreams that waken me each night
Flash and thunder strike once more
Find myself hitting the floor
Begging You to stop this fight…when will I be alright

But I know the Maker of the rain
The One who sustains me
He won’t let me be moved
And I don’t know what’s

to come
But I won’t come undone
No, no, no, no, no
All because I know…
I know the Maker of the rain

“Maker of the Rain” Copyright 2008 | Allison McCloskey

 

When You Just Need ONE Thing….

“Oh, Lord, please don’t let me bleed again this month…”

My heart held up this plaintive cry heard only in the recesses of my soul.

After four years of no birth control, some doctor’s visits, possible prognoses, and A LOT of waiting in between, this monthly emotional cycle is no stranger to me.

But somehow, this month the pang and squeeze of my heart feels a little deeper, a little tighter than it has in a long while, and I find myself consciously remembering to take deep breaths lest the sorrow overtake me.

Four years of waiting to be pregnant, three years of unknown chronic illness, 2 years ago since I almost lost my parents in the Haitian earthquake, a year and a half since we stepped down after 10 years of full time ministry, 6 months since we decided to pursue foster care, 5 months after we put in an offer on a house….and in every circumstance…silence, SLAMMED closed doors, windows sealed shut, and when I look at the ugly realities, I can truly often wonder, “Where is God?”

Even Christian friends and acquaintances have looked at me with sorrow/pity/frustration, unsure of what words to encourage and to uplift that just might alleviate the hard place, or some say quick words meant as a healing balm, yet hit like salt in an already bleeding wound, and maybe worse yet, when you can see or hear the relief on their faces that they are not walking this road, “I can’t imagine what you are going through…”

Yet, I know that I too have been in each of those positions — unsure, quick to judge, filled with relief — so I hear the Lord reminding me…

“Grace first, Lindsey. Grace first…ALWAYS!!”

So I pray, “But Lord if I am not pregnant, please let it come because I do not want false hope…”

And come it does, hard and fast with painful reminders that this season has not yet passed. And on top of it all, my body succumbs to the ravishing of the dreaded flu , and I weep and thrash in fiery melancholy, “Father, when will it be enough? It is just too much…too much. Please give me some relief from this life of endless waiting and heartache.”

The lyrics of a familiar song press into my grief…

“Sometimes He calms the storm and other times, He calms His child….”

And then I hear it…His voice…even more familiar to me…

“I will not give you more than you can bear, child.
That is my promise to you.
Am I a man that I should lie?
I WILL NOT be slack concerning My promises to you.
Trust My heart.
Trust My heart.”

…….

Two weeks later, as we signed papers, took key in hand, and crossed the threshold of this house that is now OUR home {where I sit even now as I type *SQUEE*}, I find myself in awe, breathing deep the relief of sweet breakthrough.

I just needed ONE thing to work out…ONE thing to crash through the walls….ONE thing to remind my doubtful heart of His faithful promises.

I often feel like the man who threw himself at the feet of Jesus….“Lord, I believe!!! Help my unbelief!”

How about you?

May I place courage in your weary hands today?

May I help pull back the barriers, showing you the light shining on the pathway of hope for your circumstances?

May I challenge the space where death seems greater than life in your wounded soul?

May I, as a fellow, injured child-warrior,
squeeze your hand in your RIGHT NOW
and believe WITH you…
and even FOR you…
that He is faithful to complete the work,
to fulfill the promises,
to never abandon you NO MATTER WHAT?

How can I pray for you today in the midst of your storm, your rainy season?


And may I also ask you to pray for me?

In the process of packing and moving and cleaning and painting,
we did not check our mail for almost two weeks,
and a few days ago discovered a letter from our social worker,
ready to start our home study process
for approval as foster care & adoptive parents.
The letter was dated on the very same day that we signed for our house.
WAIT! Did you catch that?? THEVERYSAMEDAY
And while I want to cry and shout with amazement
at God’s perfect timing,
I AM TERRIFIED,
and I could surely use your prayers
and words of advice & encouragement
for what this next WILDLY unknown season is going to hold.
Thank you in advance for the heart squeezes!!

 

I Will Praise You in this Storm

I was driving home from a Ladies Retreat.

Enjoying that ‘retreat high’ that you get after these types of events.

The phone rings.

It’s my Bestie.

I had last talked with her the day before

as I was walking into the Retreat Spa Day.

My Bestie was frantic.

Crying.

“You need to pray for Nic!”

Ok…what’s wrong.

“He’s being airlifted to Harborview”

My world stopped.

You see, we have known each other since high school,

Dyann and I.

We have been through many storms together.

None like this.

My first instinct was to go to her.

To turn my car around and drive the 6 hours to get to her.

I waited.

I checked and rechecked my phone for a text.

I refreshed her Facebook page over and over for an update.

Then I got the text.

“….he will never walk again”

They did surgery on his back.

Pins and rods were involved.

It’s been almost 3 weeks and they

just now were able to fix his broken collar bone.

He is still in ICU.

I prayed last night for wisdom for the doctors

because Nic was supposed to get a trach tube in today.

It didn’t happen because he had a slight infection

at the incision sight of his shoulder surgery.

I will Praise You in this Storm!

He hears our prayers!

He answers them in ways that we may not understand!

We can’t see the big picture….Frankly I don’t know if I want to.

I would probably live in fear if I did know what was around the next corner.

I lift up my eyes to the hills—
       where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
       the Maker of heaven and earth.
(Psalm 121)

Can I say I would feel this way if Nic were my son?

I don’t know.

I would like to think so.

But I am not walking in the middle of the storm that Dyann is walking through.

I will walk along side her as best I can 6 hours away.

But I am not the one that hasn’t been home since they got to the hospital.

I am not the one who has to tell her son that he won’t walk again.

I am not the one that will be humbled by accepting help when it’s not in my nature.

I am excited to see Nic’s future…to see how God helps Nic to overcome the Storm.

You can find a link to Nic’s story on my blog.