Thursday, January 29, 2015

Badge of Honor

The early morning hours greet me with such a vengeance.  As soon as I open my eyes, the deep pain of loss hits me with such a force I have to decide right then and there if I am going to actually get up and fight, or if I'm going to stay where I feel safe, where my tears can flow as I cry with all the pain in my heart deep into HIS chest.  Today I chose to stand, to fight, and with that I got out of my bed, and made my way to my office.  Today I am choosing HIM once again, to listen, to ONLY HIM, to seek HIM and HIS wisdom, for HIS vision, as even though I may not understand WHY, or HOW, I know and understand with ALL my heart WHO.

I'm sure by now you are intrigued as to why the title Badge of Honor.  To be honest when the concept first came across my heart, I struggled to understand how that could possibly be for me.  So much in fact, I tried to talk HIM out of saying those words to me.  However, knowing how much HE loves me, and wants me to receive my wisdom, and discernment from only HIM, when I heard it for the second time, I knew it was HIM speaking directly to my heart. 

"I am your servant; give me discernment  that I may understand your statutes." Psalm 119:125

In hearing it for the second time, I have to tell you I was NOT only floored as to how could YOU possibly be saying to me that my suffering for YOU is my Badge of Honor.  It didn't take HIM long to respond, and today HE is wanting me to share what that means to me and for me, and well for you as well.

HIS Daily Teachings today is taking me back to earlier this past week where HE began to work so intently in my heart about the accepting and embracing of this massive loss of my son.  This suffering that I, myself, and my family have had to endure.  This past week has been filled with many emotions and moments, some of which have taken my breath away, and some that have made me cry the same horrific tears and sobs that I did in that first week where my life was forever changed.  Simply put, this past week has been brutal.  

All I could write today in my journal was, "LORD JESUS, speak to my heart today, fill me with YOUR HOLY SPIRIT, and lead me where I am too afraid to go on my own."  HE is wanting me to know that because I have asked HIM, HE is going to do just that.  Today HE is going to take me through what it is that I must know and understand about what it means to suffer for HIM, and more importantly how that means that I, Heather, HIS Daughter have received my Badge of Honor in knowing and understanding through HIM teaching me that to suffer for HIM, is truly an HONOR.

""I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

"If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you." James 1:5

HE is wanting me to know that if ever I doubt whether or not in these moments where I am hearing the hardest concepts to know whether or not they are from HIM, is to always remember that TRUE DISCERNMENT comes from within, NOT from around me.  HE is taking me back to the first part of my breakthrough with HIM, by reminding me the utmost importance of my turning my ear up to HIM, to listen to HIM, and HIS whispers to know only HIS voice, and because HE has taken so much time to teach, lead, and guide me HIS wisdom and discernment, I know that I am hearing HIM loud and clear this morning, as I know that EVERYTHING that HE has done to prepare me for this portion of my journey with HIM is all because of HIS deep love for me.

"turning your ear to wisdom and applying your heart to understanding" Proverbs 2:2

HE is wanting me to understand that in wearing my Badge of Honor there are going to be times where NOTHING is going to make any sense to me.  HE is telling me that in those times is where I must remember WHY HE has taught me the importance of pressing through, and pressing deep into my FAITH and TRUST in HIM.  HE is wanting me to know that though I may not have experienced this challenge before in my walk with HIM, HE knew where I would be at this moment, and HE knew just how much I was going to need to remember to press through, and press in.  

"As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,“Where is your God?” These things I remember as I pour out my soul:how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise  among the festive throng." Psalm 42:1-4

In reading HIS word in the above Psalm, I feel as if though someone has gone deep inside my weary and broken heart, and have seen just how shattered I really am.  Once again HIS word is my only source of comfort that I receive on a daily basis.  I am thankful that HE captured my heart and attention when HE did, as I can't imagine how I would be in surviving the massive loss of my precious little one. 

HE is telling me that though to me, and to the world my circumstances don't make any sense to me, they make sense to HIM.  I know this because HE has promised me that HE has gone ahead of me, and walked the journey, that I have yet to take.  In knowing that HE has done that, fills me with true confidence that NO matter what may happen, HE's in it all.  Once again HE is filling me with HIS loving reminder that HE is truly in the details.

“He replied, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked faithfully, will send his angel with you and make your journey a success" Genesis 24:40

HE is wanting me to remember that in knowing that HE is truly in the details this means that HE knows, and understand my apprehensions that I have.  HE is telling me that everything that has transpired in my life, or will, will be used for HIS purpose.  This is where I am learning to grasp the concept of wearing my Badge of Honor for HIM, as I am suffering for HIM.  Just sitting here and thinking about that makes me think about another concept that was easier for me to grasp, which was a pivotal moment in my walk with HIM, and that was when I realized that HE died for me so I will LIVE for HIM.  

"He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification." Romans 4:25

"And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2 Corinthians 5:15

Since September 2014 I have been apart of MOPS at my church, and the theme this year is BE YOU BRAVELY. In knowing that HE teaches me in themes, it is NO surprise to me, that HE is taking me back to the many messages I have heard while at mops about what it means to BE YOU BRAVELY. Today HE is doing just that, as that is how I am to understand how I am to wear my Badge of Honor in suffering for HIM.

HE is telling me that to wear my Badge of Honor I must wear it boldly and courageously. HE is telling me that it is imperative that I understand that in doing so, all eyes are going to be on me, as to the world saying that won't make any sense, however since I know I have been CHOSEN, that means that I am called to live my life set apart.  In knowing that HE is telling me that is when it won't matter what the world is saying to me, rather I will only have my ears tuned into listening to HIS voice, and HIS commands for my life, as I have learned, am learning, and will continue to learn that HE truly does love me, and know me best, and knows what is absolutely best for me.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

HE is reminding me once again that in suffering for HIM, I must remember that the only way I am able to survive suffering the massive loss of my precious little boy, is knowing that it is ALL for HIS glory, for my story to be told, so that HIS KINGDOM will be made known through me.  In sharing my story I am able to share HIS message of HOPE and that is, even when the unthinkable happens, even when our world falls apart, even when our hearts shatter from the deepest anguish, even when our worst nightmare comes true, HE is there, HE cares, HE will hold you as you fall apart, HE will drench you in HIS grace, and flood you with HIS peace, and will pour HIS strength into you, sometimes just so you will have enough strength to ask for more strength.  HE is FAITHFUL, HE is GOOD, HE is LOVING, and HE is SOVEREIGN.

"Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

"Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit." John 3:5

" You are witnesses, and so is God, of how holy, righteous and blameless we were among you who believed.  For you know that we dealt with each of you as a father deals with his own children, encouraging, comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into his kingdom and glory." 1 Thessalonians 2:10-12

HE is teaching me that my story while it was already so amazing as to telling of HIS goodness, HIS mercy, HIS love, and HIS grace, HE knew what am impact this portion of my journey would be in telling and sharing with the masses, as people WHO would NOT only know me in real life, but read my story here on this blog, long before the unthinkable, unimaginable, worst nightmare, life altering change would happen.  HE knew that to those who would witness the triumph over tragedy in my earlier life would mean for me, HE knew that my FAITH in HIM, which HE cultivated through HIS amazingly relentless love and pursuit of my heart would grow and strengthen enough to prepare me to equip me to know and understand that the suffering I have endured for over 15 weeks now, would NOT cause me to SHRINK BACK, but rather Stand, fight, speak, share, and tell to the masses WHO HE is, WHAT HE HAS DONE, and WHAT HE WILL CONTINUE TO DO in me and through me, to reach the last, the least, and the lost. 

"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus." Philippians 1:6

" You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For,“In just a little while, he who is coming will come  and will not delay.” And, "But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved." Hebrews 10:36-39

Yesterday I received a phone call from my dear soul sister K.  She spoke HIS words straight to my heart in saying, "I don't think you realize what an impact you are making on so many lives, in sharing your story.   You are sharing your grief in such a way that is real, relate-able, in sharing and telling that its okay NOT to be strong all the time, that it's okay to hurt, and that when you do its NOT because you have given up, but rather because you have clung to HIS HOPE, which is your FAITH in HIM.  Your story is going to change the world, you just don't know it yet."

I can tell you that if you would have come to me earlier in my walk and told me that I would be pregnant seven times, and have five living children, only to have to lose one of them, I would have said you were crazy.  If you would have told me that I would be married to my husband for 16 years, and that we would survive a journey of heartache, sadness, divorce's door step(twice) I would have told you that you are mistaken.  If you would have told me that NOT only would GOD take me through the massive heartache of my past, and that it in turn would grow and strengthen my FAITH in HIM far beyond my wildest dreams, I would have rolled my eyes at you.  If you would have told me that in losing my son it would create an even greater desire for me to tell my story, HIS beautiful story of SEARCH and RESCUE, REPENTANCE, FORGIVENESS, REDEMPTION, FAITH, GRACE, HOPE, LOVE, and MERCY all which would lead to suffering where I would then learn to embrace and accept that is all apart of my Badge of Honor that I would proudly wear as I am proud to say that I am HIS follower, I choose DAILY to follow HIM, to share HIS message of HOPE so that when my time on Earth here is through, I will have done my part as HIS living vessel to be HIS ambassador to reach the last, the least, and the lost in making HIS KINGDOM be made known through me. Well frankly, I would have told you were insane.  

Just thinking about all of those details, the details which had led up to this very moment in time in my walk with HIM, HE knew, HE was truly in the details.  Laying the ground work, the foundation, my FAITH, my HOPE, my TRUST in HIM, that HE took so much time to create in me, so that I would be prepared, equipped to NOT only survive but conquer the unimaginable, unthinkable, living nightmare that is my life.  HE knew, HE's always known, and to be honest, I am so thankful I didn't know, as I I'm not so sure I wouldn't have tried to talk HIM out of every last bit of it.  I shudder to think ALL that I would have missed out on, because in looking back HE has taken me on a journey where TRUST is without borders, and has taken me into the deepest waters I have ever known.   All because HE loves me, CHOSE me, and knew that I would PRAISE HIM, THANK HIM through it ALL for HIS glory, so that I would BE WHO HE created me to BE.

At the end of the day all that I have learned, am learning and will continue to learn is that no matter what happens to me in this life, with all that changing, HE is unchanging.  HE is the same today, as HE was yesterday and will be tomorrow and forever more.  In knowing that HE is SOVEREIGN I no longer fear what tomorrow holds, as I know HE holds tomorrow.  I no longer fear dying, as I know that HE is waiting for me, and so is my precious little son.  

HE knew I would need a Daily reminder to keep HIS eternal perspective and now because a HUGE piece of my heart is with HIM, I will always remember to shout it, scream it, and tell it to the masses that HE is my LORD and SAVIOR, that HE died for me, so I WILL LIVE for HIM.  HE knew that I would be the writer of HIS Daily Teachings, and HE knew that I would obey HIM by being transparent in sharing my story, through the good, the bad, and the ugly, I would share HIS goodness, faithfulness, love, mercy, grace, forgiveness, and peace.  HE knew that NOT only would I write about what HE is teaching me today, but I would BELIEVE it, I would TRUST it, and I would LIVE out loud, proudly wearing my Badge of Honor in knowing that in the way that I am choosing to suffer is with HIS HOPE, and is ALL for HIS GLORY.

"Yes, my soul, find rest in God;  my hope comes from him." Psalm 62:5

"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," 1 Peter 1:3

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, I pray that you will know that wearing a Badge of Honor in suffering for CHRIST in no way means that you shouldn't hurt.  I pray that you will know that if you are currently suffering, and hurting, that you will know that you are NEVER alone.  I pray that you will know that HE is there, HE is holding you, and HE is wanting you to choose HIM, so that HE can give you the peace that you so desperately want and need.  I pray that when you do HIS peace will flood you, and HE will drench you in HIS grace, while showering you with HIS mercy, and HE pours HIS strength into you to seek HIM, so that you will know HIM, and so that in the end, when your time on earth here is through you too will be called HOME and you will receive HIS ultimate gift of eternal life.  I pray today that this portion of my story, HIS message of HOPE will renew the HOPE that you may have once had, and lost, that it will give you the courage to decide to follow JESUS, and let you heart and the world know that there is NO turning back for you.

Always in love and prayers, with grace, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

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