Today I'm joining the Five Minute Friday link up with the prompt "Last". I will write for 5 minutes flat with not editing. :)
I look at his sweet, 3 year old face and I wonder, "Will he be the last?" My Noah. He is my little one. The one others say looks like me. The affectionate, compassionate, tender-hearted, very expressive little one. He melts my heart and makes me smile.
My oldest has his own special traits. Andrew is hard working, deep thinking, inquisitive, daring and a detail oriented leader (even at 6). He loves quality time with mom (which I love too!). But, his ability to freely and sincerely offer words of encouragement is one of the things I love about him most.
Both of them incredibly bright, talkative and full of energy. Each of them a unique and special individual.
I wonder what our three babies in Heaven would have been like blended into our family.
Sometimes with a bit of sadness I wonder, "Will he be the last?" I'm open to what God has for us. Another child or not. Another pregnancy, adoption or foster care. Something else? Still, I grieve what could have been. What I thought was a perfect plan.
As I cuddle my two growing babies, both last and first, I praise God for what He's given and I cherish them. Trusting that He gives what's best. Knowing I'm never His last priority, rather His first choice. So I surrender my ideas, in faith believing His plan is the perfect one...even when I don't understand all of it. Even when I have no idea what that plan will look like in the days ahead.
Today as I wonder about my future as a mom, I, one more time, but probably not for the last time, lift up my hands and let go to the One I trust. Whether Noah is my last child or not, I anxiously anticipate what God has for me next.
Friday, August 23, 2013
Monday, August 12, 2013
On Saturday I had the opportunity to to share my testimony at ReNEWed Life Women's Event. The focus was "How God has Transformed My Life Through the Word". Here I will share what I said (or at least close to it)
Really there was soooo much more I wanted to say. I mean, really, how has the Word NOT transformed my life?! I love God's Word! But I had a 5 minute or less goal (even though I think I might have talked 6 minutes). This seems like such a vague overview of my life and the way the LORD has worked in me. Then again, I believe it was what He wanted me to say for "such a time as this"...and so I never want to say more or less than that. :)
I grew up faithfully attending church and went to Christian school from kindergarten through 12th grade. At the young age of 5 I made the choice at the preaching of the Word of God to ask Jesus Christ to be my personal Savior. I had a strong faith growing up. I was taught the Word. I even memorized a lot of scriptures.
But as a young adult I found myself in a different place. I was not only exposed to different ways of thinking, I became angry with God when things didn’t go the way I thought they should. I aslo had this nagging feeling that I could never measure up to the perfectionistic expectation God and others put on me. So I gave up. One bad choice at a time, I began living life my own way. I sought after the things the world had to offer me.
During that time, I twisted the Word of God to fit my own agenda. I told myself that it didn’t really matter how I lived, what I did or what others thought of me, that God loved me and I was okay with Him. I thought I was so free. But I had forgotten the truth I had learned, that a person can either be slave to Christ or a slave to sin, there is no other way.
Even though I was still often smiling on the outside, inside I was so conflicted. The Holy Spirit used the Truth I learned as a girl to convict me. I couldn’t escape it. His Word most certainly is alive and active…” (Heb 4:12) and it was working in me.
One day I came to a crossroads. The world had left me, as it always does, in a pit. My poor choices had left me with consequences. I fell down on my knees and cried out to God. I asked Him to forgive me and I promised to submit my life to Him completely.
Everything changed from that day. I realized I had been believing a lie. God never asked me to be perfect. But He did say, “If you love me you will obey me.” Ironically, when I became a slave to Christ, I never felt freer!
When I recommitted my life to the LORD, I began to get back into His Word and let His Word get into me. I have found that every time I open the Bible (with little kids it can be hard to find time, but when I take the time) God show me something that is relevant to my life. I have grown in my faith. I’m thankful for that because when hard days come (and they still come whether you’re a Christian or not), I am prepared. I have my heart and mind set on Truth.
I was thankful for that foundation when despite being overjoyed at the birth of our first son, weeks later my hormones plummeted and I experienced a severe case of PPD. I was filled with such hopelessness, fear, despair and a desire to die. It was the Word of God, the Truth that I knew from being in His Word beforehand; the Truth that other shared with me that got me through. I repeated over and over II Tim 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind.”
Then the miscarriages came. During those tough days others spoke words of encouragement to us, but it was the Truth in God’s Word, that encouraged me the most. Yes, it was hard. But even in the midst of grief His Word filled me with peace and hope.
(I wish I would have shared what I originally planned...I knew that as Proverbs 3:5 says that I must "Trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.")
When I had my third miscarriage last year, I knew it was time to put the faith I said I had into action. Faith is taking God at His Word. In Psalm 33 (4-5, 20-22) I read, “For the Word of the LORD holds true and we can trust everything He does. He loves whatever is just and good; the unfailing love of the LORD fills the earth. We put our hope in the LORD. He is our help and our shield. In Him our hearts rejoice for we trust in His holy name.” The question was did I believe it. I chose to believe. No, I didn’t understand why, and I still don’t, but I don’t have to really, because I trust my Master.
I still have a lot to learn and that’s why I keep going back to His Word.
This isn’t just for me, friends. As I close I want you to know, it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’re from or even where you’ve been or what you’ve done, God has a plan for your life. There’s nothing He can’t forgive. There’s no one He won’t change. There’s not one thing He won’t see you through… if you will submit your life to Him completely. Get into His Word. Abide in it. “Then” as John 8:32 says, “you will know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.”
Soon I hope to share more about that fabulous day at ReNEWed Life Women's Event. After so much planning and preparation, it was a joy to see it all come to fruition. It was a day of answered prayers! Our God-gifted and spirit-led guest speaker, Wendy Blight, spoke beautiful Truth to our hearts. The worship music was amazing! The other local speakers "hit it out of the ball park"! God was glorified...and my heart rejoices! He is amazing!!