Thursday, September 25, 2014

September 25, 1990

Four words that changed my world.  " Your baby is dead. Your baby is dead."  My doctor  was running along beside my stretcher, in the halls of the hospital.  He must have said it twelve times as I was waking up from the anaethesia.  " Your baby is dead.  There was nothing you could have done differently.  The cord was wrapped around his neck and his stomach. "  I still remember what he was wearing - I still remember the feel  of his hand softly on mine as he delivered the unthinkable news.  I tried to wake up - I tried to comprehend what he was saying.   No it couldn't be.  My baby was just moving around yesterday.  We were at the finish line.  The room was all decorated in brightly coloured clowns and the crib was waiting for a tiny baby to makes its grande entrance.   This didn't happen to us.  These things only happened to other people - but not us. 

One day I was planning, scheming, full of hope and vision for the future and the next day there was a nothingness that hurt more  than if someone had cut my arms off.  One week, I was standing in his bedroom holding freshly washed blankets and sleepers to put in his dresser.  The next week I was standing at his little grave site with baby roses in my hand.  In a moment,  in a sentence, my life was forever changed.

I didn't expect it and I didn't choose it.  Nor would I choose it now if I was able to go back in time and change the history of my life.    I will never fully understand and I will always miss Theodore.   There will always be a place at the table in my heart for him.

 When I look back on what I went through twenty four years ago,  there was so much going on;  so much swirling around my brain and emotions but one thing stands out.   In the midst of the pain, in the midst of the black void - in the midst of the broken pieces and the unanswered questions, was Jesus.   He was there with his outstretched arms ready to carry me through, ready to steady me and ready to make sense of my world.

And this is what I know.  I know that Jesus will carry you too.  No matter where your life is,  no matter what circumstance you are going through or what storm you find yourself in the midst of.  He will carry you.

  If only you will let him...

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Burnt Toast and Answered Prayers

I was young and impetuous and a little bit angry at God.  I was  twenty one and pregnant with my first child.  I had had a job that I loved but standing for hours on end was so hard on my back. ( Must have been those heels. )  So I quit work in order to get ready for my small miracle.

But this particular day,  I was angry.  We didn't have any money.  I needed the job I quit.  Jeremy sold insurance but even though he worked really hard at it,  business just wasn't good.

The day started out grumpy and tired and nauseous as a lot of pregnant days start.   Jer was at work and I really needed breakfast.   We didn't have any peanut butter or jam or butter left.  We had no cereal.  We had no groceries~ no food in the house at all.   But we had two crusts left from our loaf of bread.  That was it.  I slammed the crusts down into the toaster sighing heavily.

Doing something else that needed to be done around the house I returned a few minutes later to the toaster; to my two crusts.  I was just going to eat them dry.  To my horror when I took a look,  they were burnt!!  Burnt to a crisp!  My last two crusts.  Something was horribly wrong with our toaster.

I looked upwards.   "God,  I am tired and I am hungry and I am ANGRY!!  I am going to walk over to that couch and I am going to go to sleep and I don't want to wake up for a little while.  I don't want visitors.  I don't want anyone phoning. I don't want anyone knocking on the door.   I don't want any interruptions!"  (Yes, I was quite bossy back then.)

I walked over to our brown plastic couch and threw myself onto it, falling into an uneasy and fitful sleep.  I hadn't been there for longer than a half an hour when suddenly I was jarred awake by my phone ringing.  Angrily,  I jerked my head up again,   "God you can't even answer that  small simple request?!?!"  I yelled.

"Hello?" I said grumpily.

"Hello?  Faith?"  It was my former boss on the other end.  "Would you let me know your bank account number?  I have some vacation pay that I need to put in there for you.  I figured you might want it right away."  She was right - I did and it was enough to buy quite a few groceries for us.

I learned something that day.  You never know what God is doing when He isn't answering your "small, simple" request the way you would like Him to.  I am so thankful that He is a God who provides,  even when you are grumpy...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Broken and Beautiful

It has been a year since my father in laws death.  He almost died on his birthday and God graciously chose to give us two more months with him.    A piece of me died the day he died.  Dad had such a propensity for casting vision, and for being an encourager that suddenly I didn't know who I was without him anymore.. I didn't know who we were.  The death of my dearly loved father in law, along with many other difficult things this past year, put me in the middle of a very treacherous place.  I spent a dark year trying to find myself.  Trying to find who I was without  the familiar  surroundings of the previous years; trying to understand what the "new normal" was in my life.   I met some bitter tears while I groped my way around some very dark days.

 In essence I crashed and I crashed hard.  But the good news is that I crashed hard into Jesus' arms.  I crashed hard and pieces of me were so broken and so undone I just didn't know what to do anymore. You see,  when Jesus sees broken pieces, he doesn't see ugliness.  When he sees pain, he doesn't scorn you or avoid you.  When he sees the broken pieces of a person's life, He gently bends down and begins to pick up the pieces, one by one,  making a beautiful picture; a beautiful masterpiece. 

Little by little Jesus began to remake me.  He began to rebuild me.  And those pieces that were so broken, so hurt, began to be reinvented.  I have grabbed ahold of some truths and some callings that he has on my life.  I have stepped into an authority that I had never dreamed I could hold in my hand before.  I am not the same person that I was this time last summer.  I am different.  I have stepped out into uncomfortable places and I have come back affirmed and strengthened more.  I have gone through things that I thought would make me want to throw in the towel - and while I did want to for a season - now,  I realize that I have lived through some really hard and bitter things in this last year and He has held me through it all.

 As I look around - I AM STILL STANDING!!  But I am not just barely standing.  I am not just barely holding on, waiting for someone to cut the rope that I am hanging onto.  I am standing with both feet firmly planted, holding onto life with both hands and facing the future that God has for me.  I am holding my life with passion and with joy.  I feel a strength of fortitude that I haven't felt before.  I  cautiously walked through shaky ground and dangerous territory and slowly I felt the strength of God flow into my legs allowing me to run and to leap.

  He is so good and my heart is so full right now.  Because once again,  He has taken the broken pieces of my life and I see beauty again.