Tag Archives: sadness

Psalm 51:7

A Lifetime of Regret If We Allow It {Weekly Scripture}

Read: Isaiah 12 

A common theme of my blog is growing and changing – pushing off from where I was to make a better future for myself and my family from what we’ve had in the past. Like many men and women from the Bible, I’ve made many grievous mistakes in this life, yet I seek the God who will rip the sin from my hands and feed me – truly feed me spiritual food and wash me clean.

Psalm 51:7

I could live a lifetime of regret, thinking about all the people I’ve hurt, all the opportunities wasted, all the messages I’ve failed to hear, but what would that really solve? I’m not advocating a hardened heart, but rather a repentant one. Repent, friends, and be free from all of that. Those moments are past, and there is little you can do to fix it sometimes. I’ve lost some truly wonderful friends due to my selfish and destructive behavior. Recently, I’ve wanted to reach out to them and apologize, to try to make things right, but I know it’s not possible. They are as gone from my life as my abuser and his wife. If there were ever to be reconciliation, it will have to come from God and God alone. No amount of meddling, regret, apologizing or pleading can make it otherwise. I’d lie and say I easily accept this, but what good would that do, Brothers and Sisters? It hurts to know I’ve foolishly thrown away a friendship, yet I know I can still pray for their success and joy in this life. I do not need to allow myself to marinate in regret, or open up old wounds for them. I can pray and move on, growing and changing as the Lord sees fit.

Thought for the week: You are never stuck in the place where you are right now. No matter how repugnant others say you are, you are God’s blessed, beloved son or daughter. You belong to the King and He will always come after you to save you, even from yourself. Call out to Him now.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, I need You in my life. I am lost, lonely, confused. I’ve made some poor choices in my life and I need Your help to grow and change beyond the person I am today. Give me the strength to fight this battle, the faith to know that You are with me, and the courage to keep going even when others say I should quit. I also need Wisdom and Peace that can come only from You. It’s in Your Holy and Precious Name I pray, Jesus. Amen.

 

 

strength

The Many Benefits of Praying Without Ceasing – part 2 (mourning during miscarriage)

I have to admit that I have not done well this week with praying about a certain subject matter. Yes, I have prayed without ceasing about many topics, but not my latest miscarriage, and that is the topic I have been avoiding with those closest to me, including (and especially) God. It’s not that I don’t want to talk about it – it’s that I can’t. I just don’t know what to say because the pain is too deep. I was only pregnant for a couple of weeks. In my mind, that seems to mean (erroneously) that I don’t have the right to take the time out of my busy schedule to mourn for a life lost. Somehow I have convinced myself on a superficial level that it is not okay to grieve, but deep down I know better. I cannot stop grieving and it is keeping me awake late into the night, considering what might have been, screaming silently into my pillow.

One of the lies I have continued to tell myself is that if I were a better mother, I would still be pregnant. In fact, I would never have had a miscarriage at all, ever. Medically, I know this to be untrue, but it is a lie that I have beaten myself up with for years. I wonder sometimes if God doesn’t get tired of this pity party, because really, that’s what it is.

My husband’s blood type is O+ and mine is A-, and therein lies our issue with carrying a baby to full term. Without a routine shot of RhoGAM, there is basically no chance of carrying a baby to full term. In layman’s terms, it means that my body is basically allergic to my baby due to the differing blood types, (especially since my husband’s blood type is more prominent than mine) and my body spits the alien life form out. You can read more about it here if you’re interested.

I have had more miscarriages than I have fingers on one hand, despite having been up to date on RhoGAM shots prior to this pregnancy. I wonder sometimes if there isn’t more that God wants me to take from this, but right now I just don’t know what it is. I suppose He is asking me to trust Him – something that comes easier with almost every other situation in my life, but not this one. This pain is hard to take to Him. It’s hard to speak about with anyone, let alone take to God. What if He were to change this situation or to cause me to grow from it? What then? I confess I fear that He will do nothing, but I know intellectually that is not true. Perhaps it is the unknown that is more frightening than anything.

The other day I was telling my girls something I felt was profound. “Prayer is the hand that moves the face of God.” It is something I have deeply believed and been moved by in years past, but recently that belief has been shattered by the writings of none other than respected Reformer RC Sproul. In his book, The Holiness of God, page 46, Sproul describes God’s transcendence in relation to His holiness. In the description, Sproul reminds us that God is” higher than the world. He has absolute power over the world. The world has no power over Him.” When I read that, my jaw dropped and I was reminded of what I’d told the girls just a day or two before.  The world has no power over God? Not even in prayer? Then what, by golly, is the point of prayer? Especially for those of us who pray often? Could it be that prayer changes us, rather than prayer changing God? And could it also be said that prayer is more than a crutch, but rather a stretcher on which we lay, broken and bloodied while a Holy and perfect God cleanses us and removes our iniquities? Prayer does not move the face of God, rather it causes us to move our hands and feet as we face God and our problems with new insight and clarity. After all, God has been there all along. We see this in Genesis 1 and John 1.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

Genesis 1:1 (Darby Bible Translation)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

John 1:1 (Holman Standard Christian Bible)

God knows exactly what is going on, and how we’re – I’m feeling. There isn’t anything we – I can hide from Him,  despite our – my best efforts.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

I am certain that God knows our deepest secrets and loves us not in spite of them, but because of them. He knows our weaknesses, and brings us to a place where we embrace them and offer them to God instead of holding them back, nursing old wounds and worshipping them like the lame idols they are. Can one worship a wound? Absolutely! It is what I have spent this entire week doing, instead of praying about the pain I feel at having lost another child in early pregnancy. Do I need to continue to speak about this miscarriage? Perhaps, but more than that, I need to allow prayer to change me as I take this grievance to God, reaping from it what He will have me reap.

Prayer is not the hand that moves the face of God. No, it is the force that moves my hands and helps me to face what God has placed before me. In His arms will I rest.

strength

Gladness in Trials

It’s been a long time since I’ve written in this blog. I keep looking at it, thinking about it, and wondering when I’m ever going to make time to write again. The Lord has brought me on such a journey since I began writing for Nest Full of Birds. The entire vision has changed as I have changed. The structure of my family has changed as well. God has grown us into the people He has desired us to be at this time, and we have accepted that call, moving into His will and letting ours go. It has not been without a fight, and therein lie many of the struggles we have faced. Once we finally settled down and accepted that God can be trusted both in good times and in bad, we began to see the many blessings – the rich blessings which are far too many to be named,  bestowed upon us. If I tried to list every blessing we’ve been given in the last few years, I could not do it. They are too many. What I will do is list some of our greatest blessings. Some may surprise you. I know it has surprised me to consider some of them blessings, but they are! They are proof that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. (Romans 8:28 NLT)

  • We lost a baby 2 days before Christmas in 2010. This certainly took a long, long time to recognize any amount of blessing from this tragedy. What I learned is profound and deep. God cried with us. Our child was born into heaven and “Jesus wept.” John 11:35 (NIV)
  • My husband was deployed many, many times during the six years he was in the Navy. In fact, he was away more than he was at home. I learned that my husband is not an idol to be worshipped, but a flawed, sinful human like me, who needs love and prayer. Exodus 20:3 (ISV) “You are to have no other gods besides me.”
  • We moved many times and I met a diverse number of Christians who taught me that there is more than one way to love and worship our Lord. This opened me up to considering others’ needs, wants and feelings once again and I was stretched and grown in the face of my own sin, and that of others. Isaiah 1:18,19 (NIV) sum it up best, saying “Come now, let us settle the matter, says the Lord.“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land…
  • My husband was unemployed following his honorable discharge from the Navy. There were days when we went hungry. My stomach would growl loudly and painfully as I walked through the grocery store with a borrowed $20 to purchase food for my children so they could eat. Philippians 4:12 says “I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.”
  • I got a speeding ticket and was pulled over shortly before that for driving without my lights on during a time of darkness. Ever since I was a very small girl, I have been deeply afraid of authority figures, especially cops. When I was pulled over, I was shaking because I was afraid the cop would try to hurt me. I was a woman in a car alone with two small children. No man to protect me. The cop could’ve done anything he wanted to, and no one would’ve protected me. But the cop did not treat me unkindly. He was professional and kind. My fears were all for nought. I cried as I pulled away, and thanked God for reminding me that He can and will heal the hurts of the past. He sure did on those two occassions.
  • My husband told me I was a bully. He called me out on something I’d been picking on him about. For those of you who know Anthony, you’re well aware that he never says an unkind word to me, even when I’ve deserved it! But one day, he’d had enough of my nitpicking and called me on it. It shocked me, but I was glad to have heard the truth about how my behavior affected him. Proverbs 27:6 (NASB) says “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.”

Finality

The finality of the last few days of military life is hitting me and I truly wish I could say I am sad to see it go, but I am not. I am a selfish woman and I am glad my husband will soon be home for good.

As I struggle through these last days, desire, pride and anger ripping at my heart, threatening (but not succeeding) to rip me from God’s tender care, I sit and weep and pray and hope. I hope in Christ and I hope for healing. It has been a long six years and while I am (foolishly) too proud to go back and repair bridges with people, I am not too proud to admit we are leaving military life broken-hearted and sorrowful over the state of our country and it’s politics, including the scattered and backwards way of “progressive thinking” that the military has employed over the past few years. To the Christian families who remain in service to this country and maintain their faith amidst back to back deployments, harassment, abuse and denied benefits, we salute you and keep you in our prayers.

Almost there…. Almost done. Praise God!