Tuesday, June 30, 2015

leap of Faith

Not feeling led to write lately, I've journaled..... a lot.  So much that I wasn't quite understanding that if I was journaling that much, then why wasn't I writing and posting on the blog?  Feeling frustrated like I must have missed something, I wrote in my journal this morning that I just wanted to be with HIM, not here, but there.... where no pain, sorrow, sadness, and this overwhelming heartache exists.  As soon as I finished journaling my plea, the next sentence I wrote was, but I know that isn't possible, as YOU aren't through working in me and through me here yet, so that means that I'm just going to have to TRUST YOU, that YOU LORD know whats best for me.

The more I poured my heart out, the further HE took me back to last week, which started a whole new perspective of how I got to where I am.  More specifically what happened on the worst day of my life.... a day that would forever change who I am, how I think, how I love, how I speak, absolutely everything would change.

Last Monday was my 37th birthday, and it was so bittersweet for me.  One because my 36th year was hands down the hardest, most heartbreaking year of my life.  Two because it was THE YEAR that HE taught me all about HIS PERFECT LOVE, PERFECT PEACE, and ENDLESS GRACE.  This past year has been the most intense year of growing that I have EVER done in the last thirteen years of walking with HIM.

My phone rang last Monday and it was my brother calling to wish me Happy Birthday.  Our conversation started out lighthearted, and soon was heading straight into HIM speaking HIS truth to me, through my brother.  My youngest niece, his youngest daughter was diagnosed with ALL a form of cancer when she was just six years old.  She's now thirteen and in full remission, PRAISE JESUS, but the heartache, the pain, the suffering, the unknown that my brother his wife went through as parents was heartbreaking and painful to see, to know, and to hear about.  

His words that day spoke VOLUMES to my heart when he said, "I don't know how you feel, I can't begin to imagine, as we walked to the edge and looked over to what life would be like without her.  However, we NEVER had to jump.... Heather..... you didn't jump..... you were PUSHED off the cliff.  HIS grace is what has kept you from falling into the pit.  Whenever I pray for you, I pray for more of HIS grace to guide you, to help you, to sustain you in your fall."

After our conversation I thought long and hard about being PUSHED off the cliff and what that meant for me.  I can tell you that on the most ordinary, rainy afternoon of October 13, 2014 at 4 p.m. I was most definitely PUSHED off the cliff.  Not only was I pushed but HE let me know that HE would catch me as I fell with HIS grace, and I had to TRUST HIM that HIS promises are true that HE would come always come through for me.  HE let me know that in trusting HIM, to teach me, HE would have to allow my heart to become so incredibly broken...... devastatingly broken..... broken the point that would make me question whether or not HE really did love me, and did HE really have my best interest at heart.... all of which HE would answer with a RESOUNDING YES!!!

For months I clung to my FAITH in HIM, HIS promises, and poured myself into HIS word daily.  Even if that meant just laying my head on my bible, and weeping oceans of tears into HIS word, I clung to HIM.  HE held me in the darkness, and kept HIS light SHINING on me, even when I was too blind with tears to SEE it.  HE was there when the pain cut me so deep that I felt as if though I would surely die.  HE was there.

After 28 weeks of asking WHY and HOW did this happen, and HOW LORD could this possibly be the plan for our lives.  How could Seth's life here just be over?  One week before we moved into our new home HE gave us the answer.  Our precious little son Seth died of complications from a rare lung disease that we didn't even know he had.  There it was written on his death certificate, cause of death, "natural causes."   It left us reeling as to what could possibly be natural about a healthy little boy who was just going to be turning two dying, two days before his second birthday?  What could possibly be natural that his Mama and Daddy would have to plan his celebration of life and pick out his casket on what would have been, should have been his second birthday.... NONE of it made sense.

It's now been nine weeks since HIS truth was revealed to us of what happened to our precious little sweet Seth, and it hasn't gotten any easier.  Knowing, processing, how, going back into that day reliving, and even more than that, re-examining, our life with him, we could now SEE what we "thought" was teething, and colds, was something more..... something that without us knowing would take our precious little baby love away from us.  Where we would learn the hardest lesson as parents that our children are really HIS children, and that they are on loan to us, to raise, to love, to lead straight back to HIM.  Our time with Seth was over........ so what now?

A few days ago HE revealed to me WHY HE didn't warn us, WHY HE allowed Seth to die alone without any intervention.  HE revealed to me WHY all of the struggles, heartache and pain have been allowed to happen in my life.  Even replaying HIS words as I think about typing them..... I struggle..... 

"Time is my gift of protection for you.  If you knew ALL that would happen in your life, you wouldn't show up, you would shrink back.  I know it hurts, all of it hurts so much, but I promise you that GOOD will come from ALL of this.  I need you to TRUST ME that I do know what is best for you.  I will wait as long as I need to to teach you, to show you that I really am trustworthy.  Even in this heartache, sorrow, and pain, I'm with you, my heart aches with you as I am with you, and I ask that you trust ME, and hold on, just wait till you SEE what I am going to do.  I love you."

"For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord." Isaiah 55:8

So there it is, time is HIS gift of protection for me.  When time has hurt me so badly for the past eight months.  Time has been ripped from my hands, my heart, my life with my sweet little boy.  Time has taken me even further from the precious moments, that were made into precious memories with Seth. Time has wrecked me, and hasn't been my friend, and now I'm supposed to just understand and know that time is HIS gift of protection?  

This has left me digging even deeper into HIS word, and clinging even harder to HIS promises for my life.  Instead of backing down, shutting down, or walking away from HIM, the further I have flung myself deep into HIS word, soaking in HIS presence, surrendered myself, as I TRULY want to know and understand and SEE and LIVE out HIS goodness and GLORY that has always been intended for my life.

"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him." Psalm 34:8

HE is letting me know today that this means that in order to continue on this portion of my journey with HIM its going to take a Leap of Faith.  HE is telling me that it's not that I don't know WHO HE is, or what HE can or will do, but rather HE needs me to be ALL IN, when it comes to TRUSTING HIM, that HE does TRULY know what is best for my life.  To trust HIM that if HE says HE'S going to do something, that I will have the confidence to claim it for my life. 

""I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 27:13

In looking back on my journey since being  PUSHED off the cliff of oblivious living  I know that my FAITH in HIM has only brought me so far, that I didn't get to where I am on FAITH alone, I had to learn to TRUST HIM completely.  I had to seek HIM in the darkness, where my feet couldn't even feel the ground beneath me, I had to TRUST that HIS hand was there in mine, guiding me safely on the path.  When my tears fell like rain, and pooled as oceans at my feet, I had to TRUST HIM that HE would catch and bottle every single tear, and that ONE day HIS promise would come true for my life, that ONE day I would be able to LIVE, TRULY LIVE in PARADISE with HIM and OUR FATHER in HEAVEN with no more tears, no more heartache, no more pain, and I would no longer have to long to hold, to see, to kiss, to dance, to be with my precious little boy.

" Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." Hebrews 11:1

"And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." Hebrews 11:6

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 

"You number my wanderings; Put my tears into Your bottle;Are they not in Your  book?" Psalm 56:8

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelations 21:4

Today I, Heather, HIS daughter am CONFIDENT that HIS HOLY SPIRIT LIVES within me,  I, Heather am CONFIDENT that through HIS HOLY SPIRIT HE is doing a good work in me and through me for HIS purpose.  I, Heather am CONFIDENT that HE will continue to work in me and through me, until my time here on earth is through.  I, Heather am CONFIDENT that no matter what comes my way, HE'S there, holding my hand, and HE WILL keep me safe.  Though that may not mean keeping me safe from earthly death...... this was hard for me grasp and to understand, as it was the ONE thing that I struggled the most with in learning to accept and embrace my reality that my son's life here on Earth was through.

" 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

"Keep me safe, my God, for in you I take refuge." Psalm 16:1

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28

I had to let go of what I "thought" HIS promise was to me that HE would always rescue and save us, that we were under HIS protection meant that HE would save my family from the evil one's clutches. Learning this took another huge Leap of Faith that Seth wasn't alone that afternoon, HIS angels were with HIM, and they saw HIS face as Seth was dying in his bed , and HE told them to GO and they did, and they rescued him.  Through HIS truth of HIS words, I was able to take that HUGE Leap of Faith that HE rescued Seth, and gave me the confidence and peace of mind knowing that Seth went from his loving sister's arms straight into JESUS' loving arms.  

"See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven." Matthew 18:10

" Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

Seth knew only of love in this life, and left this life to LIVE with the most PERFECT LOVE, and that brings me such peace.  I am thankful that yesterday was another Monday, and at precisely 4 p.m. as I sat on my couch, I breathed in HIS peace.  I breathed HIM in, as I knew that NOTHING could EVER take away HIS perfect peace from me, as HE has proven to me that HE is always with me, and HE will help me get through anything that comes my way.  I say this with CONFIDENCE because I have lived through the worst day of my life.  I have survived that day, and months following, all because I chose to take a HUGE Leap of Faith and TRUST HIM with everything.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7

"I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4:13

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS,  It is my fervent prayer that you will come to know HIM as I have come to know HIM.  Not because you have memorized scripture, or that you can quote verbatim HIS word, or pray eloquently, but rather that in your realness, and rawness of your sorrow, sadness, and pain, you choose to seek HIM.  To allow yourself to be rescued by HIM, as HE is your SAVIOR.  I pray that you will have the courage to take a Leap of Faith and allow HIM to teach, lead, and guide you to know, to understand, to TRUST that HE does indeed know what is best for you.  I pray today that if you too are living in darkness, that you will tilt your head back and look up and SEE HIS light shining for you.

Always with so much love and compassion,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The List......

Walking into my bathroom this morning, I heard HIM speak straight to my heart.  "Make a list of ALL the people who offend you and annoy you."  Hearing those words made me cringe.  I "tried" to play it off like I didn't hear HIM, and began getting ready for the day, and the voice was persistent.  Over and over ALL I could hear, and think about was The List.

I quickly text my best friend, and asked her to call me.  I shared with her what was said to me, and she laughed.... and well I think even cringed herself, as if she were to do the same, well just how long would The List be?  Knowing full well that I was supposed to be writing this blog, I vented to her instead, and "tried" my best to avoid what I knew HE was calling me to do.  We ended our conversation with her saying that she would be looking forward to reading today's blog sometime after 4 p.m. today. I laughed, but secretly cringed, as I knew HE was going to have be me writing it even sooner rather than later... and well I couldn't have prepared that sooner would be just ten minutes later.

In thinking about The List, it makes me want to run and hide because after all how can I, Heather profess to be HIS FAITHFUL Follower, when I act, and react in the flesh far more than I do through HIS HOLY SPIRIT.  YIKES!!!  What I mean to say is I can't begin to tell you how many times I have reacted poorly, and completely unholy or honoring to how I am being treated.  To take it even further, I react poorly when it doesn't have anything to do with me, but is hurting someone else.

Case in point..... yesterday...... driving with my teens, a situation arose, about someone who hurt one of my teens.... I had similar encounters with this person, and instead of keeping a level head about what was said, and happening, I went straight into the emotions and "feelings" that I had obviously been harboring obliviously to my own knowledge..... well that is until I opened my mouth, and well words of anger, hatred, animosity, and pure disgust came out. 

Not feeling any remorse or guilt right away, I assumed that it was okay because I was just venting.  I mean after all, it wasn't like I was saying it to this person, I was just..... venting...... right?!?  HE let me know right away this morning just how detrimental just venting is for my spirit, my heart, my mind, my bones....well ALL of me.  HE made it clear that each time that I allow myself to just vent instead of speaking words of life, I speak words of death, and the more I speak words of death, the more I allow words of death, the enemy to sink even deeper into my heart, and keep on distorting HIS truth that HE is breathing daily into my very heart, soul, mind, spirit, and bones.  

"A heart at peace gives life to the body, but envy rots the bones." Proverbs 14:30

This is WHY HE made sure that I heard HIS words loud and clear this morning in giving me a heart check of the truth of the matter of what the condition of my heart really is.  HE reminded me of the book that is laying on my bedside table just waiting to be read by me.  The same book, that I read only half of the first chapter, promptly closed it and said, "oh this can't really be for me, I don't struggle with unforgiveness......"

"Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord." 2 Chronicles 34:27

Okay, okay, I know what your thinking... um have you met yourself?  Yes, you see I have, and well that is why I have admitted to being a slllloooooow learner.  This is because I "think" I have conquered something in the way that I "think" how I was supposed to.  However, in my foolishness, I forget how HE NEVER teaches me the same way twice, and is always switching things up for me. Today I am eating humble pie once again, as HE is revealing to me just what really lies deep within. 

 "But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them." Matthew 15:18

HE is wanting me to know that HE knows how much I am hurt by people and their actions.  Their words cut deep like a knife, and HE knows how much I cry by people misunderstanding me, or judging me, or whatever it is that I am "feeling."  HE is telling me that in asking me to forgive them isn't because it negates what I am "feeling" or what I have been through, rather it is HIS gift of TRUE FREEDOM for me to LIVE with HIS TRUE PEACE.  HE is wanting me to know that in order to LIVE, TRULY LIVE according to HIS PLANS, and HIS PURPOSE for my life, I must understand that I don't have the time nor the energy to waste in being upset, angry, and harboring unforgiveness in my heart.  

" But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." Matthew 6:15

This for me is so hard to grasp, as I look back on my journey with HIM, and even though I can SEE and remember how HE has set me free, I become discouraged in how I am treated, and frankly I'm sick and tired of being hurt, disrespected, annoyed, and offended.  So much in fact that I have two sayings that I have foolishly been saying for the past eight months.  The first being I hate everyone and everything. This particular saying is my go to whenever I am jealous.  Jealous of so many different things.  Families smiling, being happy with ALL of their children, families WHO LIVE in oblivious living.  Jealous of goodness being showered over people who have hurt me, or someone that I love and care about.  Jealous that people who offend me continue to do so without what seems to me as repercussions. 

"Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else" Galatians 6:4

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.  For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." 1 Timothy 6:6-7

Ahhhh this takes me back to the number one rule in our household.  Worry about yourself.  There it is right there.  Keeping my eyes OFF of what is going on in other people's lives, and getting them, and keeping them focused on HIM, and what HE is telling me, teaching me, leading me, and guiding me to do.  Even in knowing all of this, I still struggle..... and because HE loves me HE is letting me know that in order to move forward in my walk with HIM, I must understand that this behavior has to stop.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

The second saying that I have allowed to spill from my mouth is I'm all out of Grace.  Thankfully because HE words tells me I know that HE is NEVER out of Grace for me.  HE is wanting me to know that because of this, this is how I will be able to endure a life of dealing with difficult people. HE is wanting me to always remember that it is because of HIS grace that I will be able to look past the offensive things people say to me, and those that I love.  HE is telling me that I will be able to look past because HE is gifting me with HIS vision to SEE what is really going on in the way that particular person is being.

"But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Hearing this, typing this out, reading this, meditating on this, soaking ALL of this in...... ahhhh PRAISE JESUS for HIS amazing grace.  PRAISE HIM that HIS mercies are new EVERY single morning.  PRAISE HIM that HIS grace is ALL sufficient for me, so that I don't have to worry, or waste time or energy focusing on the distractions that the enemy wants me to remain focused on.  

"Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,  for his compassion's never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." Lamentations 3:22-23

In thinking about The List, I'm starting to SEE who these people are in HIS eyes.  I starting to SEE that just as I struggle with  dealing with the waves constantly crashing over me, so are they.  I'm starting to SEE that list dwindling into NOTHING, as no one is my enemy, rather an opportunity to PRAY HIS goodness, favor and blessings to be poured over their lives.  

"But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,  bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.  If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you." Luke 6:27-31

"But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked.  Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.  Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
 Luke 6:35-38

This is why through my soul sister D's blog the other day I read, that there are no enemies, but rather just an illusion created by the enemy to keep us from seeing that who the world SEES as enemies, are really our friends.  Ahhhh this is so refreshing and just what I had been needing to hear, to know, to LIVE, because frankly is was becoming exhausting holding onto these silly little grudges.  

Today I'm seeking HIM and HIS WILL for my life.  Today I'm choosing to follow JESUS, and asking HIM to teach, lead, and guide me to learn to know WHO HE is in ALL of this.  Today I'm surrendering ALL of the bitterness and unholy thoughts that I have allow to take up residence within my heart.   Today I'm clinging to HIS HOPE that no matter how offensive or hurtful people are towards me, HE will pour HIS strength into me to TRUST to know that NONE of it matters.  Today I am TRUSTING that HE knows what is best for me, and so if HE is calling me to let go, then I'm going to do just that.  

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." John 14:27

"The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." Psalm 18:2

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, friends I know how much  your hearts are hurting, and have been hurt by people.  I know that because I'm human and I know that I'm someone who has hurt people just the way that you are hurting.  Through lies and manipulations that I have allowed to be lived out, that were, and are orchestrated by the enemy.  I have let people down, I have crushed their spirit, I have failed them.  I say this because I too am a sinner, in NEED of a SAVIOR.  HE is our SAVIOR, and I pray today that you will have the courage to lay down and let go of The List of people that you are harboring in your own heart, and allow HIM to cleanse you of all of those unholy thoughts that are festering around in your mind, and heart.  I pray today is the day that HE will set you free from captivity, and that you will have the COURAGE to SPEAK HIS WORDS, WORDS OF LIFE to this broken and fallen world.  I pray today that you too will come to know and SEE that HE is all that you need to eliminate The List.

humbled by HIS grace, fervently praying for your aching hearts,

Love your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Monday, June 22, 2015

where FAITH grows

If you would have told me a year ago that in my 36th year of life that I would suffer the most immense, tragic, massive, devastating loss of my entire life, I wouldn't have believed you.  If you would have told me that my FAITH would be tested and stretched beyond all measure, I wouldn't have believed you.  If you would have told me that I would question everything HE ever said to me, or promised me, well I wouldn't have believed you.  Honestly a year ago, I was growing at the pace that I "thought" I should be, and honestly NOTHING further from the tragedy that was waiting in the near distance could have or would have ever been on my radar.

Oblivious Living ~ This is where I was one year ago today, on my 36th birthday.  I remember waking up that morning feeling a new sense of purpose, and that go-gettem attitude that seemed to fit the criteria of what HE was wanting me to do.   I remember writing in my journal, LORD JESUS, I'm all in.  I Praised HIM for another year, and thanked HIM for giving me peace about my past, and contentment with my present, and excitement for my future.  That day was so incredibly FULL of promise and HOPE, that I was practically bursting at the seams.  

I spent the day at Six Flags with D and our precious five, and even accepted the challenge to ride an incredibly intense thrill ride.  Upon conquering said challenge, I spent time with my sweet little Seth as the other's enjoyed their challenges.  I remember just feeling so blissfully happy... like NOTHING could ever harm us, as we were protected, and well beings I suffered so much in my past, and because I was HIS FAITHFUL servant...... well nothing could hurt us.... right?!?

Tragedy ~ On the morning of the worst day of my life I journaled that I was so elated that I was finally free.  I celebrated in how far HE had brought me, and couldn't wait to SEE what HE had in store for me.  The day was being lived just like any other day, expect for the fact that I was the happiest I had been in my entire life.  I had D, my precious five, and a HUGE desire to know HIM more.  

HE was growing in me a heart for people, and on that particular day HE gave me several opportunities to pray for people who were hurting.  To be a source of encouragement for them, and to speak HIS word, words of LIFE into their lives.  This was it, I was being HIS hands and feet, under new management, and NOTHING was going to stop me.......... well that is until 4 p.m. on the rainy, dreary dark day, the darkest day of my life..... October 13, 2014 where my world came crashing down, and my heart shattered into a billion pieces.

Hopeless ~ As much as I knew HIS word, and meditated on HIS word, prayed HIS word, soaked in HIS word, breathed in HIS word...... as much as I laid my head on my bible and sobbed into the pages..... reading HIS promises over and over..... I feel deep into a depression of  "feeling" the most hopeless I had ever been in my entire life.

I had always known pain and struggled, from the abuse that I suffered from my birth mother, to the abuse of babysitters when I was just 2.5 years old, to the horrific abuse and manipulation that I suffered from when I was4 until I turned 15 and how I wasn't free from the pain, and aftermath, full of flashbacks and nightmares until I turned 26th, the year that HE would set me free from ALL of that horrific pain.  Pain and suffering that I endured, that I felt as if though HE would be using me to minister to others about WHO HE is, was, and will ALWAYS be in my life.  If I had only known..... 

Aftermath ~ Feeling so incredibly heartbroken, shattered, and completely destroyed, I clung to HIS word, I got up each morning, and sat in my office, tears streaming down my face, begging HIM, to please HELP me understand.... please tell my WHY, WHY LORD JESUS did you decide when youw wrote my story to break my heart? Day after day, crying, begging, pleading, till my tears were all I had left.....even the groans of agony I once had, no longer could be heard...... silent tears fell each and every day, as D and I along with our precious four clung to HIS word, HIS promises that somehow, someway HIS good would come out of ALL of this.

Glimmer of HOPE ~ After surviving the hellacious month of February, we headed into March.  A month where HE would take me through one of the biggest breakthroughs of my entire life.  A month where HE would begin to reveal to us, how HE would make good on HIS promise for a GLORIOUS future FULL of HOPE.  A promise of which we would ALL cling to as our LIFE presever knowing that if we let go, we would surely drown.

Knowing that each morning that we opened our eyes, was HIS gift to us, for another day in HIS KINGDOM here on Earth.  Our chance to LIVE our FAITH out loud, to show the world WHO HE is, was, and will ALWAYS be.  Our chance to BE HIS hands and feet.  Our chance to share HIS message of HOPE through our lives....... our chance to be HIS ambassadors.

Rebuilding ~ As you know by now March was a HUGE turning point for our family.  In just one months time HE would reveal to us so much about our FUTURE.  HE made it known that we would be moving, and NOT to another rental, rather this time into our very own home.  If that blessing didn't blow us away enough, HE revealed any even greater blessing, and that was our family was growing by two precious little feet. 

We were all so overwhelmed by HIS goodness, and couldn't hardly comprehend ALL that HE was doing, but knew it was ALL HIM, as HE was truly keeping TRUE to HIS promises for us.  In all the elation of what was to come.....we still couldn't help but to feel the devastating loss of our precious little Seth.  Knowing that we would be leaving the only home that Seth really knew in this life, ALL the memories, good and bad that were made.... we would be leaving..... as we were being blessed with the opportunity of rebuilding our lives in the aftermath of the most horrific event of our families lives.

Rainbow ~  "Rainbow Babies" is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope."

This is our family, this is our reality, this is what we are living, in HIS promise for a rainbow.  This is the very reason why we are calling our precious little one #rainbowbabyj . J is for HIS word that HE led us to in November of 2014 in the book of Joel.  We feel strongly that if our precious rainbow baby is a boy, his name will be Joel, and if our precious rainbow baby is a girl, her name will be Joy.  

It is my fervent prayer that HE will flood us with immense PEACE and JOY, so overwhelming, that healing will be ALL that we are able to know, and that pain, sorrow, sadness, loss, and anguish will be of the past.  Not that we would ever forget about our precious little Seth, but so that we would be able to look back on our memories, and smile, with without tears, and smile because we know that Seth doesn't live in our past, rather Seth lives in our future, in HEAVEN, and he is waiting for ALL of us to spend eternity with him and our LOVING FATHER IN HEAVEN.  

Where FAITH grows~ in reflecting upon this last year of my life, I can smile.  NOT because I'm no longer sad, but rather I can smile because even though I have lost the most precious little gift of my son Seth, HE is FAITHFUL.  NOT only is HE FAITHFUL, but HE is also GRACIOUS, LOVING, KIND, and MERCIFUL.  If I have learned anything this last year, is that HE is most definitely close the brokenhearted, and truly does save the crushed in spirit.  I know this because instead of sitting here typing venomous words of hatred, anger, and distrust for HIM as the enemy is salivating at the mouth for me to do.  I, Heather, HIS Daughter am able to write about HIS goodness, HIS faithfulness, as HE is indeed SOVEREIGN.  

It is because of how much HE loves me, and how HE proves to me time and again that HE loves me daily that HE restores and renews my FAITH in HIM every single day .  It is in the trenches, and the deepest part of the oceans of life where you will find the place where FAITH grows.  It is in the sleepless nights, of "feeling" hopeless where HE will SHINE HIS light for you to SEE that HE is there.  It is when tears fall like rain, and pool as oceans around your feet, where you feel as if though you will break in half at any moment, that HE floods you with HIS overwhelming PEACE.  It is when the first's of life happens, that you are flooded with bittersweet memories, and realizations that NOTHING will EVER be the same, but that HIS promise for a GLORIOUS FUTURE FULL of HOPE is on the horizon.  It is in the darkest hours of your life, where HE will speak straight to your aching and weary heart. "I'm with you......"   words that will become the lifeline to your soul, that will KEEP you anchored to HIM, and HIS HOPE.

Today instead of looking back on this past year and saying "I'm so glad this year is over, it was the worst year of my life..."  I can look back, smile, laugh, and cry ALL at once, that HE is indeed SOVEREIGN, FAITHFUL, MERCIFUL, GRACIOUS, LOVING, KIND, GIVING, CARING, PEACEFUL, and through ALL of HIS loving words, and promises is the place I know where FAITH grows.

"For we live by faith, not by sight" 2 Corinthians 5:7

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS, hold fast dear hearts, HE is there, HE is helping you, HE is making a way.  When ALL HOPE seems lost, HE is there, waiting to showing you with HIS promises of a GLORIOUS FUTURE FULL OF HIS HOPE for you.  You aren't here by accident, you are here on purpose, for a tremendous purpose, because HE deeply loves and cares for you.  Even when the world is telling you that your nothing, YOU are everything to HIM.  So much that HE laid down HIS life for you, gave HIS life away for you, ALL so that you could live in paradise for ALL of eternity with HIM and HIS FATHER in HEAVEN.  Friends, today when the tears fall, the heartache comes, and earthly promises are broken.... trust and know, that HE is SOVEREIGN, and when ALL HOPE seems lost, HE will make a way, and that is the place that you will find where FAITH grows.

"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

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

always with love, grace and compassion,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

JOY filled

During the darkest moments in grieving the loss of my precious son Seth, I have clung to HIS word.  Wait, let me rephrase that, I have clung to some of HIS word.  More specifically I clung to HIS promises for HOPE and future, and that HE is close to the brokenhearted, and that HE is SOVEREIGN.  However, to be honest when I read HIS word and this passage kept jumping out at me, I kept getting angrier and angrier, as surely this passage, HIS word this particular scripture wasn't meant for me.

"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."  Romans 12:12

This particular scripture kept jumping out at me in a journal that I was given by my soul sister K.  I remember crying each time I read it, and feeling as if though HE were asking the world of me.  I remember thinking, HOW GOD, how can I possibly be joyful in any of this? Where is there joy in losing Seth?  YOU broke my heart LORD, I am so incredibly, unfathomably, unbearably, unimaginably heartbroken.  I am shattered LORD, YOU have ripped my heart out of my chest, how LORD, how can I ever be joyful ever again?

Week after week, month after month HIS word was there, and the more I read it the harder it was for me to SEE that even though I knew HIS word to ALWAYS be true, my heart, well my heart was too broken to accept it.  That is until today.  Ahhhhhh do you hear that?  That is me singing, you know HIS praise, that a HUGE burden has been lifted off of me, because a LIE that has been spoken to my heart over and over again has been washed away by HIS truth!

"Sing to the Lord a new song;  sing to the Lord, all the earth." Psalm 96:1

"My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you— I whom you have delivered." Psalm 71:23

HIS Daily Teachings today got right to the matters of my heart, and let me know that NOT only was HIS word true, but how I could really truly LIVE it, and TRUST it to be true.  HE is wanting me to know that no matter how hard things get in this life, I can still laugh.  I can still choose JOY, and beyond that I can be JOY filled.  HE is telling me that it's not that my pain doesn't matter, because it does to HIM, but more than that my need to be JOY filled is even more important than that, as that is how I will be able to survive the tests, trials, and storms of my life.

Okay, so take a deep breath, and bear with me, I was confused at first too.  Life has  NEVER been easy for me...... ever.  However, since I began this journey towards wholeness with HIM, HE has been preparing my heart, teaching my heart, leading my heart, and guiding my heart on HIS path, for HIS will, filled with HIS purpose.  Today HE is letting me know that HIS purpose for my life today is to be JOY filled.

"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence,  with eternal pleasures at your right hand" Psalm 16:11

This means that even when the pain cuts deep, and the hurt is so real, I can still be JOY filled because I know that relief is coming.  I can be JOY filled because HE is there, and HE is helping me, by flooding me with HIS PEACE and drenching me in HIS GRACE.  I know this because HE has so lovingly taken the time to show me, to prove to me that HE can, will, and does do ALL of those things.

" Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

I know this to be true because I know my JESUS.  I know HIM because I seek HIM, daily, hourly, and sometimes moment to moment.  I know this to be true because I have often said that I can't imagine going through this tremendous loss without HIM, without knowing that comfort is there for me to receive.  I know this because I am currently praying for a family who has lost their precious little one, and they don't have a relationship with HIM, and don't know that HE is there, and HE will help them.  It breaks my heart that they don't know how much HIS heart is breaking right along theirs, and how HE is ensuring that they receive ALL the help, love, support, and prayers that they are needing.  They don't know that HE is indeed SOVEREIGN, and that means HE is in control, because HE SEES and knows FAR beyond what we ever could to know the outcome of every single person's life.  

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18

My heart is breaking because the journey that they have just begun to walk.... is so long, and honestly I don't think I even realized how long it would be.  It wasn't until the shock began to wear off, that reality set in, and the days that seemed unbearable, began to build as impossible..... it was in those days where I went from feeling helpless to hopeless.  Even being strong in FAITH I was so incredibly, heartbreakingly crushed in spirit.  I am praying that in HIS timing and through HIS provision, when their hearts are ready, HIS truth will be revealed to them.  

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Today I am pressing in and pressing through deep into HIS word, and claiming HIS word to be true for my life, and the lives of WHOM I encounter.  Today I am choosing to seek HIM, so that I can be JOY filled in knowing that HE is there no matter how much my heart aches, and longs to hold my precious little Seth.  Today I am choosing to be JOY filled because I know that in the end HE wins, HE has the last word, it is finished that HE defeated death, and HIS LIGHT overcame the darkness that "tried" to take over. 

"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Matthew 5:4

"When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit." John 19:30

"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Corinthians 15:56-57

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." John 1:5

Today I am standing up,  and standing firm in WHO HE is, and WHO HE has called me to be.  Today I am understanding more and more my calling, HIS calling for my life, as to what I am to fight for, and how HE is going to equip me to do just that.  Today I am so incredibly thankful that HE has taken so much time in letting me know that HE is there, with me every single step of the way.

"Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." Mark 13:13

" Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." 1 Corinthians 15:58

" Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

I am so incredibly blessed to not only know HIS word but to TRUST HIS word about how HIS yoke is easy, and HIS burden is light.  I am thankful to know that HE is gentle and humble, meaning that HE NEVER grows tired of me EVER.  How refreshing to know that when I, Heather a hott mess come to HIM for help, to give HIM my burdens, HE isn't tired of me, HE is frustrated with me, rather HE is loving me, always helping me, and will gladly take my burdens from me because HE delights in me.  I am overwhelmed in finally understanding and knowing that I can trust HIM and HIS word that HE loves me enough to take ALL of my burdens on.  

"Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:29-30

I am so thankful that I can know and understand how to apply HIS word to my life when HIS word says:

"A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones." Proverbs 17:22

HE is telling me that if I remain crushed in spirit, I will miss out on ALL HIS goodness that HE is pouring into me, and over me in my life.  HE is wanting me to TRUST HIM that even when tragedy strikes, HE'S in it, HE'S making a way, and through HIS timing and HIS provision all will be revealed, and every cry is heard, and every tear is caught, and kept, because HE loves me that much.

More and more I am understanding WHY HE gifted me with a shirt that says:

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and can laugh at the days to come." Proverbs 31:25

HE is pouring HIS strength into me each and every single moment I am in need.  HE is telling me that I can laugh at the days to come and be JOY filled in knowing that HE has already walked through those days, and HE knows NOT only the heartache that awaits, but even more the JOY and the GLORY that HE is so eager to reveal to me, ALL because HE loves me.  

HE is wanting me to remember that HE is always with me, and that is why HE was given the name Immanuel which means "GOD with us."  HE is telling me that this is WHY whenever I am crying so hard I can't even SEE, and the tears keep falling, as the pain cuts so deep that my time here on Earth is through with my son, I can hear HIM speak straight to my heart saying, "I'm with you."

"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23

In knowing that HE is with me, I know that I can TRUST HIS word, and I can LIVE out HIS word for my life.  I can be JOY filled just knowing that I am in HIS presence.  I can smile, and laugh even though my heart is so broken.  I can laugh at the days to come, as our families days are about to become even more JOY filled as we eagerly await the arrival of our precious little one.  I can smile because everyday I wake up in our new home, a home where LOVE lives, and JOY is experienced, and I can smile because our memories here are good, and not of death, loss, and sadness.  I can smile because our family has lived through and survived the worst day of our lives, and we're all still together, and HE is building our relationships together stronger than we could have ever done on our own.

HE is in our home, in our lives, in our marriage, in our family, HE is HERE HE is ALIVE, and HE is holding each of us, and helping each of us, and that is something to be celebrate as were are all on a journey of now becoming JOY filled.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters in CHRIST JESUS,  it is my prayer that if you too are struggling to understand HIS word and how to apply it to your life, especially when you are so incredibly heartbroken..... I pray that you will have the courage to even in the midst of your pain and suffering that you will seek HIM.  I pray that you will allow HIS truth to be revealed in your life about  your circumstances, and where HE is in ALL of it.  I pray today that HE will flood you will HIS peace, and drench you with HIS grace, and that HE will give you moments of rest, and comfort, and when you heart is ready, HE will make a way for you too to be JOY filled.

always with love, prayers, compassion, and understanding,

Your Sister in CHRIST JESUS,

~ Heather