Saturday, February 26, 2011

It’s been forever

I’ve been a terrible blogger…I’ve been really busy and…well, I just haven’t felt like blogging.  :)  I don’t even know what to blog about since it has been so long.  Where do I start?

The past few weeks have been rough and yet God has given me a strength to get through it all that I can’t even explain.  Last Saturday was our due date and I had dreaded that day since the miscarriage.  I just knew it was going to be the hardest day.  But God is good, He really really is!  We ended up going to the beach for the weekend just to get away and it ended up being a good weekend.  A good weekend when I thought it would be the worst!  God gave us great distractions through beautiful weather, a great resort, a gumbo festival, peaceful alone time…it just really was a good weekend.  We even got our picture taken at the Gumbo Festival by a local paper…we’re famous!  :)

Gumbo FestivalPicture courtesy of The Destin Log

The things that could have put a damper on the weekend?  We got another negative pregnancy test (2nd IUI since the miscarriage), I started my period and a gigantic pregnant lady decided to sit right in front of us at the beach.  Two of my good friends (plus several other acquaintances) gave birth this month when I should have been right there with them.  AND I had to teach a 3 hour class on Grief and Loss in the midst of it all.  As hard as all of this should have been, I felt at such peace that I still enjoyed our beach weekend.

I just can’t really explain how hard all of this is and how easy God is making it at the same time.  Trust me -there are still tears, there are still hard days, but He is so good in getting me through it all.  The future is so unclear and it’s scary when I let myself dwell on it but God doesn’t want us worrying about the future so in those moments I again turn my thoughts back over to Him.  I know that whatever comes at us He will get us through it…I have always KNOWN that but now I FEEL it.  Now I know it through experience, through living it…

I wish I could find the words to express the way that the Lord is helping us through this time in our lives, but I just don’t think there even are words to express it all.  No words to express my gratitude to Him for holding me up and no words to express the strength and comfort and peace He has given.  Those just sound like churchy words that people throw out but I’m not just throwing them out…I TRULY FEEL them.  Just trust me when I say if you don’t have a personal relationship with the Lord, you need one!  You need to experience this kind of peace!  :) If you don’t know the Lord, please talk to me about how you can have the kind of peace that He has given me.  Seriously, there is nothing like it. 

I also want to take a brief second to say that I have awesome friends.  There were several of you that remembered our due date and I got many encouraging phone calls, texts and emails.  God has blessed me with each of you and I am so glad to have you all in my life!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Waiting Patiently

Psalm 40 has popped up several times in the past few weeks in various devotionals and I love reading through it.  I can really relate with many of the things that David says in this passage.  Here is Psalm 40 (emphasis mine)…

1 I waited patiently for the LORD;
   he turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
   out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
   and gave me a firm place to stand.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
   a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the LORD
   and put their trust in him.

4 Blessed is the one
   who trusts in the LORD,
who does not look to the proud,
   to those who turn aside to false gods.
5 Many, LORD my God,
   are the wonders you have done,
   the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
   were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
   they would be too many to declare.

6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
   but my ears you have opened—
   burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
   it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God;
   your law is within my heart.”

9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
   I do not seal my lips, LORD,
   as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
   I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
   from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, LORD;
   may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
   my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
   and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, LORD;
   come quickly, LORD, to help me

14 May all who want to take my life
   be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
   be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
   be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
   rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
   “The LORD is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
   may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
   you are my God, do not delay.


Below is an excerpt from, of course, Girlfriends in God on Psalm 40.  I didn’t include the whole devotional, just bits and pieces of it…also, my thoughts are in italics…

February 4, 2011 
Coming Out of the Dark
Mary Southerland

"I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God." Psalm 40:1-3

1.  Wait.  The psalmist simply says, "I waited." Waiting is not passive. Waiting is meant to be a time of preparation, a time of rest and healing.  To wait means to accept the pit.  (I LOVE the statement that “waiting is not passive”.  God doesn’t ask us to sit around and twiddle our thumbs while we wait for a baby, while we wait for a new job, while we wait for more money…waiting is ACTIVE.  It is a time of preparation, rest and healing…what does God want YOU to do while you wait???) 

Isaiah 45:3 (NIV) "I will give you hidden treasures of darkness, riches stored in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who summons you by name."  Any time "LORD" is capitalized in Scripture, it means "Abba Father." This verse indicates that our Father has gone before us and in every dark moment or painful circumstance has buried a treasure or stored a secret. The only way we can find the treasure or learn the secret is to pass through that darkness. Some things cannot be learned in the light. To wait means to accept the pit, knowing it is for our good.  (Isn’t that a pretty awesome thought too?  We aren’t going through the darkness in vain…God IS teaching us something if we only listen.)

2.  Be patient.  David said, "I waited patiently for the Lord."  The word "patiently" means "without tiring and with perseverance."  (Man, waiting patiently is HARD stuff! Without tiring?  Can’t do that without God!!)

Depression may not be the problem you are facing, but at some point in life, we will all face some kind of pit. It may be a pit that we have dug with our own hands of wrong choices or it could be a pit that has been uniquely designed for us by the enemy. But a pit is a pit - a place of paralyzing fear and numbing doubt that is constantly fed by our human frailty and desperate attempts to escape the darkness. (How many times have YOU had paralyzing fear and numbing doubt??  Um how about on a daily basis??  :)  But God is there to rescue us!!)

The good news is that God is drawn to broken people. Psalm 40:1 says "He turned to me." Notice it does not say that David turned to God. Honestly, I doubt David had the strength to turn to God ... so God turned to him. (I LOVE this too…I can’t count the number of times that I didn’t have the strength to go on.  In those moments all I can say is “God HELP me”, and He turns to me and helps!) God heard the cry of David and he will hear yours. I don't know if you are in a pit and need help or if someone you love is in that pit and needs your help, but one thing I do know is that the purpose of the pit is to purify and then restore. Right now, surrender the broken pieces of your life to God. He can and will bring you out of the dark. 

Let's Pray
Father, I am so tired. I can't hear Your voice or sense Your presence in my life. My faith is weak and I need Your strength to go on. Right now, I am laying the broken pieces of my life at Your feet and counting on You to come through for me.
In Jesus' name,

Now It's Your Turn
Read Psalm 40:1-3. "I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God."

Circle all of the "action" words in these verses. What does God ask you to do? What does God say that He will do? Do you believe Him? Are you willing to let Him be God in your life?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Fear, Trust and Courage

I wanted to share a few quotes from Becky’s blog from a long time ago…Well the Bible verses are actually originally quotes from the Bible… :) :)

  • "Overhearing what they said, Jesus told him, ‘Don’t be afraid; just believe.’ ” Mark 5:36
  • "When I am afraid, I put my trust in you." Psalm 56:3
  • In the Bible, the antidote to fear is trust; it is believing.
  • Courage isn't the absence of fear, but the judgment that there is something more important at stake.
  • We don't just trust God to let us avoid what we fear most. We determine to trust Him no matter what, even if our worst nightmare befalls us. "If ____, then God will take care of me."  "If ____, then God has a plan."  "If ____, then God desires to accomplish something monumental in me."  "If ___, then God will demonstrate His sufficiency to me."

Thanks for sharing Becky!