Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Joy and Peace in Suffering

What do you do when the journey of life gets rough? Do you panic and wonder where God is and why He isn't intervening?

The disciples panicked when they were faced with a furious storm, even though Jesus was with them. (yeah, I know, ridiculous, right?)

*Mark 4:37-41*
A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

Do you have faith? Do you trust God and take joy in your circumstances, no matter how painful they are?

*James 1:2-4*
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything."

Don't run from God!!! That's exactly what the devil wants you to do! He has no authority over those who have been saved by Christ! Instead, press harder into God. Beg Him to restore joy and peace to your life!

*Philippians 4:6-7*
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Seek after Him with EVERYTHING you have. The fervent and effective prayer of a righteous man avails much!! And if we are righteous through Christ taking our sins upon Himself, then why don't we capture this concept?? Why do we settle for mediocre misery when we can have joy and peace despite any circumstances in our lives?! It doesn't matter if you're having troubles in your marriage, difficulty conceiving, trouble finding a job, dealing with the death of a loved one, or just depressed by the mundane of life... He meets us where we are! He can bring you peace and joy if you will just ASK!!

*Matthew 7:7-8*
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened."

I DARE you to ask in prayer. I DARE you to seek after His promises in the Bible. I DARE you to claim those promises by bombarding the doors of heaven with your prayers!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


As I write this blog, I'm sitting at Starbucks by a window, and a group of women showed up with their strollers and occupied the table just on the other side of this glorious piece of glass that is soundproof. How timely that I would be writing this post right now. God sure does have a sense of humor, and it will definitely fuel this post!!

My pastor has a blog, and one day when I checked my email, I read the first paragraph of this post and was floored. "If you ever realized who God made you to be, you'd want to be you so badly you wouldn't know what to do."  Wow. That's not where my head has been. As I sit here and look at these young moms, no older than me, I'm reminded of the almost 1 month old I should be holding, or the fact that I should be entering the second trimester and announcing my pregnancy to the world. I don't know why God does what He does, and I may never know.

So the fact of the matter is that we DON'T know who God made us to be, so how do we live our lives in full contentment, knowing that we're living out God's will for our lives? I don't know that I will ever know that contentment, unless I'm fully focusing on God. Pastor Mike (the same pastor) did a sermon a long time ago and one of the things he discussed stuck with me. He was talking about people who say "Oh, if I just made an extra $5,000 I'd be content." But when they get that money, they want another $5,000, or even $10,000. 

There is never contentment in the things of this earth. I remember thinking that if I could just find someone to date. Then, if he would just propose and we get married. Then, if we just had our own house. And now, if we just had one child. But is that really going to satisfy me? Is it possible that the reason I don't have children now is because God has some great things in store for His kingdom and it requires me having the freedom of time that I wouldn't have with a child? Ultimately I should stop asking "Why?" because all will be revealed in His time. 

I look back on the home we were so desperate to get, and impatiently waited 3 months (it was a short sale) to see if our offer was approved, and when we turned the house down, frustrated and hurt at why God let us waste so much time, I found our house. A brand new house that wasn't finished 3 months before. I looked back and saw the "Why", and I understand why they say "hindsight is 20/20."

All of this wordiness can be summed up in one sentence: God has a plan for your life, so why pine over the things that life could offer when you KNOW, in the depths of your soul, despite all pain and fear, that He only has the BEST in store for those who love Him?? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The end of my Rainbow...

On a day when our nation saw so much tragedy as 20 innocent little children and 6 brave adults were tragically shot, I experienced my own form of tragedy. But let me back up for a moment to give you the whole story.

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving, I found out I was finally pregnant again! After 3 years spent trying to get pregnant and to REMAIN pregnant, I was pregnant with my little rainbow. I had a hunch for the past few months that it wasn't far off, and that it would be a girl. One night in bed, James confessed he thought it was going to be a girl, not knowing my thoughts! My mother even expressed the same thing!!

After a small bout with spotting and a low progesterone number, I quickly got on a progesterone supplement and all was well! My numbers looked great, the spotting stopped, and we had an ultrasound scheduled for the next week, when I should have been 6 weeks along. I felt different this time. I felt like God was giving me this one for keeps! It was amazing to be pregnant after a loss without fear! More like a MIRACLE! I knew how big my God was, and that's all that mattered! :)

Our ultrasound went well, although the baby was measuring a little behind at only 5w2d, but this didn't concern me. Why? Because my God is so big, so strong, and so mighty! After my ultrasound I started having some spotting, which is COMPLETELY normal. I spoke with a nurse and was given all the scenarios of when to call for help or when to not worry at all. I handled it like a champ! Somehow I wasn't freaking out!

Until the next night at dinner, when there were some microscopic clots (this is a red flag). Then there was one that was slightly bigger. When I got home, the spotting turned into a flow. Commence my entire body shivering with nerves. I spoke with the doctor on call, and she told me what I already knew. I could go to the ER, but it wasn't entirely necessary because none of my symptoms were putting my life at risk, and there wasn't anything they could do to stop a miscarriage. I laid in bed, completely numb, and after another trip to the bathroom, my worst nightmare was confirmed. Another very large clot. Just like last time.

How do I go on? How do I continue my journey for children? Is my body defective? How do I risk more heartache? I know I'm meant to have children, but is this REALLY how God wants to prepare me?

My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty.
My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty.
My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty.
And I am so weak.

All I want is my sweet Gabriel and my sweet Magdalena Rose. Is that so much to ask? Oh God, my God, why do I feel like you have forsaken me???

Yet somehow, in the midst of all of this pain and heartache, there is this quiet, lingering sense of peace.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Pain, Grief, & Joy

What is pain?

Is pain the presence of something that hurts us, or could it be the absence of joy?

I believe the latter, and I'll explain why. In my life, I have experienced much pain. However, I believe that pain is different from grief. Grief comes from losing something, or someone, that brought joy to our lives, like my Gabriel. I grieve that I won't be meeting him in 2.5 weeks like I should be. I should have been a giant pumpkin for our church's festival, but instead I didn't have a big belly to decorate. I grieve that I won't be able to celebrate is first words, his first steps, first day of school, and every other first, second, and third in his life. 

Despite my grief, I have joy. I rejoice that he won't be experiencing the pain of this world. He won't endure the mudslinging of politics, the heartbreak from women, and the all important divide between him and his Savior. He got to skip straight to home plate!!

To me, if I didn't have those things to rejoice in, I would be enduring pain. Instead, I CHOOSE to have joy, despite my sorrow, and know that the Maker who made me is the same one who made my son. He is also the same Maker who sacrificed His own only son to save this wretched world. Who better knows my heart than a Father who grieved the loss of His son?!

So when someone asks me if I'm in pain over the loss of my child, I say no, because I believe with my whole heart that pain is the absence of joy, and I take joy in the circumstances God gives me, whether I like them or not!