Truth

Truth

            I wince as high heeled strappy shoes bite my heels.  I kneel to rub and find relief.  As I straighten I see my old friend’s husband he stands frozen as wedding guests whizz past him oblivious to the gaiety around.

“Hi, how’s it going?” I inquire. He startles; recognition uncurls. The weight of his 6 foot- 4- inch frame crashes into mine. Unaware of the awkwardness of the embrace, he remains motionless.

“Where’s your wife?” I probe.  Composure crumbles.  Reeling, my held breathe escapes as I prop him onto a high stool.  The moment his body touches the support, he spews forth his daughter’s neuro-psychologist report. It’s devastating.  Number after number daggers of 40 and 45 pierce him as he spoke, his face contorted with pain.  He manages to say his wife left them unable to deal with “such” a damaged child.  He was left to stand in the wake.

Silent, I unfold a scrap of well-worn paper with a simple drawing which had brought profound relief and healing to me.

His eyes transfix on the picture as I smooth it against the crisp white table cloth.

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Time stops, my voice a whisper. All the while, the celebration continues around us.

“Your child and the fullness of her beauty did not change upon the addition of a number given to you by some human paid to quantify and qualify life.  No where in creation is there a number written on a child.  Numbers and labels spoken to you are not to be written into her heart or, yours.

You will see but a glimpse of the beauty she possesses here on earth. The depths of her is yet to be revealed.

Each person is created before time, knit together in love and sent to fulfill their own purpose.  Her purposes are not your own.  Do not be confused; your daughter does not belong to you; she is a gift given only for a moment by a great and glorious God for His perfect will.

I unfold the rest of the picture.  It’s edges crackle, reluctant to expose its treasure.

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“Consider the rest of the picture she is not left alone to drift. The stem travels down strong and steady with one purpose to find strength rooted and grounded in Christ.  See the roots, as she withstands adversity; they grow deeper.  I tell you there are not many on this earth who will have as strong of roots as hers.”

Do you see a place on this flower for a number?  Would you damage its flawlessness to etch into its delicate petals?  No, let her beauty stand as a testimony to the great God who gave you her.” I implore.

His red eyes scraped mine, searching “What purposes- what are you talking about?  Did you not hear her IQ scores; 40, 45, 50? What can God do with that?” His arms fall in defeat, they crash against the table, the paper stands.

I push on as I recall the discovery of this truth for my own life, it unfolds as I speak- a crackle of pain emerges.

“Each person is sent to their own specific people group only they can reach.  Can you touch the hearts of all the therapist and evaluators with your courage?  Can you lift up someone with a flash of your smile?  Why are you remarkable?  Her very existence and valor to conquer each and every challenge is an inspiration.   Can you reach other people who are mentally challenged- will they trust you and know your common struggle?”

“She can do that and more.  Your wife will miss out on daily miracles; you will be gifted to see.  Your daughter will reach many, not despite her numbers but because of them.  There was no mistake made, only a miracle.  Receive the miracle and participate in the joy.”

I press the folded paper reduced to a 4 by 2 inch rectangle into his hand and walk away, praying it would expand to cover his heart and hers.  I do not look back I no longer need the paper, the truth is etched within me.©

Homicide averted

wushuThis is the story of an averted homicide. I should start out by saying I did not strangle her. Partially because she was too far away, but also because I to, am often in need of grace.  This averted homicide took place in the most unlikely of places, during a discussion about motherhood.  I was in the process of describing my awe at the rich depth and complexity of the process of being and becoming a mother.  This woman leapt forward with the statement, “Well that’s easy, all you have to do is give birth” and gave me a look like, duh aren’t you stupid.  No strangling took place, but I sat rocked at the depths of her ignorance and apparent lack of real- life experience. I have watched many women become mothers through such varied, lengthy and often torturous circumstances having nothing to do with an actual physical birth.  In my reverent observance of this transformation to motherhood, I have seen all women go through an emotional birth into motherhood, sometimes initiated before the child is even known.  What varies is the physical aspects, whether it involves torturously long labor pains or torturously long court pains.  No one should refute or belittle the pain that is indwelling in the process of becoming and in being a mother.  Women should not have to defend their right to call themselves a mother however they acquired their children or further more whether their children are still living or not.   

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I write to celebrate and defend motherhood.  As mothers we gain strength in unity.  Strength cannot be gained behind a front of perfection but rather in integrity.  I need other Christians to lift me up when I fail and remind me of why I walk in the first place.  I write to encourage others and to be encouraged. 

            I created this blog not as a perfect mother but as a flawed mother, battered and bruised by life. A mother with a depth of understanding felt within my own heart or seen within the heart of those I love, of the joy and pain of receiving the gift of motherhood.  I am a mother in constant need of replenishing.  I have found the one true source to sustain me, Jesus Christ. I have come to realize my Christian walk is my ‘mother walk’ they cannot be separated.  As my obedience to Christ improves my ability to be a mother improves. It is my highest calling that in all things and at all times I point my children to Christ and show them the path of obedience. 

As their mother I cannot bear their cross.  For in their struggles they are transformed.  They are becoming who they were created to be.  This does not take place in the shelter of my arms but in the example of my obedience.  I cannot attempt to shelter them from the pain of their choices or the life they have been given in order to reduce my own pain.  I must trust in the living God, Jesus Christ with my most precious gifts my children.  This truth has been both life-giving and exquisitely painful at the same time.  I need other mothers to come alongside me in this walk.

Proverbs 19:21 Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. (NIV)

Prayer: Lord Jesus you have begun this process of creating a mother, worthy of this calling and I trust that You will complete a good work within me.  Holy Spirit bring into remembrance the scriptures that keep me focused on Christ and keep my path steady toward You.  I don’t want to wander off into my own desires or thoughts of what is right I need Your steady hand on my life.  You have entrusted me with these children and I ask that you grant me the wisdom and strength to carry out the calling of motherhood.  Provide me with divine connections to other women on this difficult and rewarding journey.  Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

 

Shadow of a doubt.

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Shadow of a doubt

A flame does not create a shadow. Light is incapable of tolerating darkness it only knows how to dispel it. John 8:12 Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” (NKJV). We cannot tolerate a shadow of a doubt.

There’s nothing like doubt to crush faith. It never starts out as a crushing pain but more as a subtle inkling. A minor itch of the mind that begs for scratching. The itching of the deviant named ‘doubt’ is what starts that crack in our shield of faith. Hindering our ability to grab a hold of the promises of God. Casting out doubt is a daily necessity. We must diligently tend to this chore.

Pray: Lord Jesus I cast out doubt in Your precious name and authority. Let me live in your boldness of faith, so that I might reach out and grab hold of the lost. Establish within me Your dwelling place, a tower of refuge from which to draw strength. Grant me wave after wave of Your love so that I might sit in the stillness of Your truth and rest. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

Despair revoked, Hope revealed !

Despair revoked, Hope revealed!  Part One

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Grey wall, stark, ever-present, and monstrous- fear. What have I done? There is no hope, nothing will change. I will cry out forever and none will know my inner heart. None can know my pain or see me.  I deserve this, I brought this on.  Despair and hopelessness are my constant companion.

Jen’s cry went out as Hannah’s did ages ago.  Grant me a child God, not because I deserve it but because your daughter asks. I ask out of a humble heart. Humble enough to know that what the Lord gives belongs to Him.  When Hannah exposed her heart to the Lord, her humble petition was heard. Hannah was granted a son.  Read 1 Samuel chapter one if you are interested in the biblical account of the life of this prayer filled woman.

When Jen and her husband cried out to the Lord for a child.  Days led to years of constant prayers. These petitions were known and heard, God granted them Zoe. Her birth gave life to hope. In Hebrew the word hope comes from the same root word as wait. Times of waiting, create space and time for God to establish miracles within us.  During that time of waiting it was discovered that Zoe had a fatal diagnosis.  She was not expected to make it to her birth. Jen Stolz was taught the fullness of the word hope from her tiny daughter. Against all the odds Jen was given the gift of Zoe.  Zoe’s two hours of life created an eternal ripple both in the spiritual and physical realm.

Jen writes out of a deep well dug by waiting and redeemed by hope revealed. Jen can be found at www.LivingLifeLovingIt.com. She knows of despair, but they are no longer friends. Hope is her constant companion. I don’t know what God has planned for Zoe’s mother and father, but He does not give such a radiant gift, Zoe, to just anyone. Jen’s light will shine, as she continues to benefit from hope revealed in her daughter’s life. I intend to read what God has developed from within her humble heart.  I have much to learn about waiting and becoming, within the process of being present in the life God has given me.

Pray: Lord Jesus, You know us, even before you knit us together within our mother’s wombs. We cannot be fully known by other mortals. Our brief encounters and fleeting looks do not reveal our inner beings. You know our inner hearts and redeem us. Thank you, My Savior. We surrender to You our entire beings to receive from You what You desire for us. In the waiting times help us to see Your sovereign hand. We love and need you, Jesus. Thank you, Amen.

Jen writes about her daughter in http://www.livinglifelovingit.com/anencephaly-infant-loss-sorrow/

Uncertainty is a Tyrant!

Uncertainty is a tyrant- wielding warriors of anxiety, desperation and helplessness

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There is a deep, raw and primal need to protect our children. In my life I have the privilege and responsibility of listening to the pain, as mother’s hearts are roughly exposed and left vulnerable. Three mothers in differing amounts of struggle from uncertainty poured out their pain as I listened and prayed for them this week.

Between snippets of breathe, I heard the retelling of the story of her daughter’s last moments on earth

I listened to the rigid and unforgiving regimen of cancer treatment endured for a friend’s son battling for his life. We half joked noting that you need therapy just to endure all the therapy.

I listened to a mother torn and confused on treatment options for her son with ADD. Her eyes revealing her desperate desire to quiet the monstrous “what-ifs” the all too familiar, lurking to devour— uncertainty

We have an option, only one, to not only endure the devourer named uncertainity but to conquer it. We have the option of surrendering to the Lord and receiving a whole new perspective. A vision of life that we cannot see because our eyes are darkened by grief and battle torn by circumstances too horrible for us to endure alone.

Pray: Lord Jesus, I am desperate. My heart is breaking and I have no place to find relief. Help me. Help me to see Your mighty hand and to feel Your protection. Guide me Jesus through this mine field. I bind the evil of uncertainty, hopelessness, helplessness and mind numbing mental anguish of the unknown in Jesus name. Take my anxiety from me, I cast it onto You. Let me see the next step in front of me and help me to take it. And then the next, move me as only You are able. Protect my mother heart from the devourer satan as he throws his deceitful darts of doubt. I cry out to the living God to save me, guide me and shelter my raw heart. Only You God. Only You, Jesus. Amen.

You can not carry your child’s cross

crossYou can not carry your child’s cross.  Luke 9:23 states,  Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.  We can not pick up their cross but are called to pick up our own personal cross daily.

We can not pick up our children’s crosses it does not work that way.  God created their cross for them.  Their unique attributes and obstacles; some to endure, some to overcome and some to count as pure joy.  All of these obstacles and attributes are blended together to create the masterpiece that is them.  We can not interrupt the process of them “becoming” to reduce our own pain.  I too anguish over my children’s struggles they seem unnecessary, messy, painful and without purpose.  I say to myself, “Surely the Lord would want me to fix this”, when the answer is, “no this is for them to endure” I languish in my pain and allow joy to be stolen from me.

Someone once told me about the process of a butterflies birth and I believe it applies here.  A butterfly once it is cocooned must then bite its way through the cocoon and slowly squeeze itself out millimeter my millimeter as it’s wings slowly unfold they dry.  Someone seeing that pain and slow progress pulled the butterfly out quickly, “saving it”.  This butterfly never did fully develop it’s wings and could not fly.  Because you see in that slow painful process the wings were fully developing.  We can not “ease” the process it is not possible.

Lord help me to stop trying to “ease” the process.  Let me to live in the moment and to feel the joy that you are granting me.  Strengthen me through your joy.  I love you Lord and I trust you with my children.  Take them Lord for you know the plans you have for them.  Grant me the strength to get out of your way.  Help me Lord instead to pick up my own cross.  Do not let me un-shoulder my privilege and my right to bear my own cross.  I need You in my life.  I surrender my motherhood to you.  I love you Lord, Amen.