• Big Sad.

    Big Sad.

    It is such a happy time in our family right now with a new baby on the way!

    We are almost to the halfway mark! Elijah is excited as well, but I know that with a new baby means big changes for him in his life again. Over the last week or so we’ve been starting to see how our happy little boy is actually feeling some really big sad’s.

    We have a bedtime routine with Elijah and it’s been in place since before Zach and I got married. It carried on into our marriage and Zach is just now apart of it. We always spend the last hour of the day together typically watching some corny cartoon Elijah likes on netflix and have a snack. Then we do the usual brush your teeth, feed the fish, get in bed. We have memorized a few verses that we always repeat and then pray.

    This has been no issue up until the last week. We do all of the usual things but a few minutes after leaving his room he comes into ours crying.

    “I miss my daddy, and I’m sad.”

    “Every night when I go to bed I start thinking about him and I get sad.”

    “I prayed to God to make me not sad, but I still am… why?”
    So many questions began to fill my head and most of them are still unanswered.

    Like, why now? Why all of the sudden is this bothering him so deeply, causing him anxiety and to not be able to go to sleep? Why is it only at night time? I started to think maybe it has something to do with the new baby coming, another huge life change.

    In the last year and a half he lost relationship with his biological dad, gained a new dad in the household, and experienced gaining a grandma and then losing her to cancer in only a matter of 3 days. Then trying to sort through all of the emotions this brings on while starting a new school year, not to mention the background of abuse he has had. My mommy heart breaks for my son when I think about everything he has had to adjust to. I knew all of these things would always play a part in his life but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to watch your child have to walk through them.

    After discussing each night and everyday we did find out a little more about his heart.

    He is concerned that with the new baby he won’t get as much love. Bingo. It really does relate back to his dad and a lot of the loss he has experienced. The joy of a new baby is so exciting and fun but he is still learning to process how to grieve. In the back of his mind he thinks he is going to lose us in a sense when the baby gets here just like he lost his dad and his grandma and the security of the routine he had always known.

    The hardest question to answer was , “I prayed to God and I’m still sad, why?” I explained to him the difference between “big sad” and “little sad”. We have these momentary sadnesses that can pop up at any moment like when we thought a friend was coming over and then we find out they can’t. We are sad, disappointed, let down… but it isn’t that big of a deal. Losing a parent is a big deal, I would consider it a “big sad”. The “big sad’s” in our lives take more time to heal. They take more prayer and more trust that God knows what is best for us. A big sad may never be completely healed, but our God never leaves us no matter how big the sad is. 

    So as a mom, what do I do?

    We stand on who GOD is. The perfect Father. I reassure my son that he never did a thing to earn my love, just like we do nothing to earn God’s. He can never do anything to lose His love, nor mine. We remember when we are sad that, “The Joy of the LORD is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10, and we pray that at bedtime. We admit this is a “big sad” in his life and lean on God even when it feels like maybe He doesn’t hear or answer us.

    I learn so much from being a mom. Being a mom has humbled me and God has used it to show me how to listen and be discerning and gracious. Let me tell you it isn’t easy when you are pregnant and exhausted to sit in your little ones bed for 30 minutes to an hour dealing with deep rooted issues knowing that when you finally do get in bed, he is going to come in crying and needing you. But we do it. I cannot leave my son to struggle alone. I have to give him the tools and grace and assurance he needs to walk through the pain in life.

    God the Father is the same with us. While he doesn’t always take away our negative situations, mainly because he allowed them there to begin with, He will never leave you to struggle through them alone either.
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  • Identity.

    Identity.
    I recently asked facebook what topic they wanted me to write on and my dear friend Amber said “The importance of identity”.

     

    I see this all around our culture. People seeking to find their identity and once they feel they have found it they will do anything to keep it. We need so desperately to know who we are. We identify with different cultural groups. We identify with different political parties. We identify with different religions and then even within those religions there are different groups of people as well.

    When speaking of religion, there is always talk in the Christian religion of “knowing who I am in Christ.”

    I have found one problem with this that can create a multitude of other problems for us. You see, when I focus only on my identity in Christ it is easy to become puffed up. First and foremost I think it is important to realize who I am without Christ. The realization of my identity before He chose to lavish His truth and love and grace and mercy on me. Our identity before He gave me the gift of faith, so I could believe on Him and Him alone.

    I believe it is important to know that Christ brought me redemption and freedom from my sins. I believe it is vital to know the Holy Spirit resides in me to empower me in walking out the life of holiness and righteousness that I am called to live. At the same time, let me never ever forsake the one who gifted me in the first place.

    When I focus so much on “who GOD made me now” and less on “WHO made me who I am now” I create an idol even of my faith. I idolize the gift and not the Giver, the created not the Creator.

     

    There is no greater sadness to our HOLY LORD than for me to forget who He is before He ever did a single thing for me. If He never did a single thing for me, would I still fall at His feet just because He is GOD and He deserves it?

    As I sit and listen to sermons about how I’m able to speak to my mountains and they have to bow, I must remember that I am not the one they bow to.

    I cannot forget that my disease was not miraculously healed because I declared it. Any good deed I am enabled to do was nothing by my own provision. No money I give, no kind word, not a single positive thought was my own. All things are from Him and to Him and through Him. I must be very careful how I see myself. There is something pleasing to the LORD when I bow low before Him in adoration and wonder of how the GOD of the Universe could save such a soul like mine.

    This is the gospel.

    My identity was stained. It was covered in sinfulness and imperfection. It was dirty and unworthy of ANY good gift. Jesus Christ was sent by GOD to relieve me from all my sinfulness and give me freedom from a life of death. The Holy Spirit lives in me, as a gift from the LORD, to empower me to walk out a life of repentance. He has poured His beautiful crimson blood over my stained identity and that is what the Father sees when He looks at me. The perfection of Christ’s blood covers me. 

    I am the beloved of the Father, the One who created the Heavens and the Earth. A Holy GOD who could destroy the entire universe with one thought chose me.

    He has just as much wrath stored up in Him as He has love.

    I know that I am truly nothing short of evil without Him living inside of me. He alone is good. The identity I choose to keep in the front of my mind is the identity of my Father, of His son, and of His Holy Spirit. 

    I must have a reverence for HIS identity before my own. I must know that I am nothing apart from Him. That is my identity.
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  • The F Word

    The F Word.

    It starts with an F and it’s four letters but it isn’t the one you’re thinking of.

     

    Fear.

    We all have it. Some of our fears are legitimate and some are not. We have fear of spiders, sharks, heights, drowning, public speaking, rejection, the list goes on and on. Fear shows up in so many ways in our lives. But today we are talking about the hidden fears.

    While fasting with my church this January I set my expectations on several things, one being my physical healing and two being that God would speak to me about which direction he would have Zach and I go in our pursuit to have more children. Would that come through my healing and my body beginning to function the way it should? Or did God want us to adopt, or maybe foster? These were a few things I was expecting Him to direct my path on.

    God spoke and I didn’t like what He had to say. He allowed me to realize that I have a deeply rooted fear when it comes to physical healing and having a child. I never even KNEW I had any fear related to these things. While praying one day wondering “Why have you not healed me? I know you want to answer me, why am I not getting an answer from you?”. He made me see that I have fear of asking Him and believing because when we ask for the desires of our hearts we then set an expectation and when you have an expectation it sets you up to be let down.

    I have been let down many times in my life. I was let down when my sons father didn’t follow through. I was let down when I believed I had been physically healed and haven’t seen it manifested. I’ve been let down when I gave so much to people to have them steal from me. I’ve let myself down. These let downs have two things in common: Humans & expectations.

    In my heart something tells me believe will only bring disappointment.

    I believe this because I set my expectations on humans rather than who God is. My fear is ridiculous. If I would trust that God is who He says He is and not set my expectations on the outcome but instead have a desire to know Him above what He can give me… I have no reason to fear. God won’t keep himself from me. He won’t keep himself from you.

    I had to continue my fast. I had to learn to “Count it all as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him…” (Philippians 3) And guys this is HARD. To tell yourself, “I know how badly you desire to be healed and to have a baby, but that is all garbage compared to knowing God.” It sounds crazy- but I had to do it. I believe that through the fast God has gave me the desire to have healing and have a baby- He has it for me. God will deliver on His promises, He has too. But the joy that comes from his blessings are nothing compared to what He is going to give me in knowing Him more.

    As hard as it is and as much as I have to force myself to say it… this has to be the cry of my heart:

    I believe your promises are for me. I place my trust not in man, or in the outcome of my prayers. I know your word does not return void and I will see the goodness of the Lord. But more than that, You are my true blessing. You are the only thing that fulfills. I lay down my desires to you and say they are nothing compared to knowing you. Help my heart to believe.

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  • “The One.”

    "The One."

    When you read this title you either smiled or cringed.

    Hearing the term “the  one” usually brings one of two things, joy or frustration. With valentines day we are bombarded with ideas of this. You can’t go anywhere without seeing flowers and chocolates and pink and glitter and romance novels. You may be the one full of joy because you are in a happy dating relationship or marriage with a promising future and you feel you have found “the one”. You may be frustrated because your dating relationship is non-existent, or not progressing how you wish it was left wondering if this person is “the one”. Or maybe you are like so many people who wonder if they will EVER even find “the one”.

    The LORD spoke to me about this earlier in the week. We were discussing the issue of soul-mates. The world tells us that we have to search and pray for God to give us this one certain person who will complete us. We have this idea in our head that another human will come in and make everything finally whole about us. I am here to tell you my friends this is simply not true.

    Don’t get me wrong, God cares about your desire for relationship.

     

    He created us this way. It is not WRONG to have these dreams of god-honoring marriages. In fact marriage is intended to be a picture of the GOSPEL for the world. He created us in this way to find help in each other and to grow us closer to HIM. There is a spiritual element to marriage and relationships that is unlike any other. But why? Why are relationships so important to God and to us?

    The answer is because we have a longing (placed in us by GOD) to be fully known and fully loved. We want to feel whole and complete. We want to be accepted exactly as we are. Not only do we want to be accepted for who we are but we want to be cherished regardless of our flaws. We so desperately long for this intimacy that will leave us feeling full and satisfied and desired. That’s one reason why we enjoy sex, because of the intimacy that is created when we engage in it. It is a spiritual connection to another human that for a time leaves us feeling full and satisfied. But, with that being said, you always have to go back for more. The feeling is not sustainable.

    You may think you have found “the one”, 

    But have you?

     You may think you need to be searching for “the one”, 

    But do you? 

    You may think “the one” is never going to come around,

    But is this relationship right in front of you?

    I hate to break the news to you my friends but God is not so concerned about this “one” person as much as we would like to think he is.

     

    As I said, the LORD values relationship and he wants to bless them. But GOD is more concerned about him being “THE ONE”, than another human. But why? God knows how he created us and he knows our love for each other will fail in one way or another at some point. Thats why our human love or our sexual encounters never leave us full permanently. He created us in a way that HE was meant to be “THE ONE” for us. He knows that only HIMSELF can fill this gap. In the end of our lives God is the one who will continue a relationship with us on the other side of Earth if we choose him.

    Quit thinking you’ve found the one who completes you. Quit thinking you are left to search for the one as if they are hiding. Quit thinking you will never find the one.

    The God of the Universe is the one not your spouse or significant other. The God of the Universe is not hiding from you,  He is after you. The God of the Universe is already right here, waiting.

     

    He is “The One.”

    “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever. “

    Psalm 136:2

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