I never experienced pain like I did the day our daughter died. It was completely unexpected and rocked our world to the core. I felt as if my heart was ripped out of my chest and I didn’t know how I could go on. I love each of my children with every part of me, even the one I hadn’t held in my arms. I never imagined I would experience something like this.
As I sit here and prepare for this weekend’s Easter service, I am reminded of something. God willingly gave up His son. He sent His son to Earth to die, for our sins, for me. I know the level of pain I felt when we lost Bella, unexpectedly, without warning. I can’t imagine the pain God must have felt when He gave His one and only son. He sacrificed His life so that we may be saved and have eternal life. He knew the death that He would endure. The torture and pain He would experience. How hard it must have been for Him to deny His son’s request to take that burden away.
I don’t know that I could willingly sacrifice one of my children. I love them more than words could describe. But to know that God’s love for me is greater than that, is unimaginable. My daughter, Bella, and His son, Jesus, dancing on streets of gold together, waiting for my arrival, is a vision so sweet and makes Easter that much more special to me.
“God blesses those who patiently endure testing and temptation. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” ~ James 1:12
You can read part one here and part two here…
I began to feel knots in my stomach as if something was wrong. We walked into an empty room. My other coworker, who works in a different department, began to speak. She knew I wanted to attend our church’s annual ladies retreat that was coming up in April. Unfortunately, by the time I went to register, all the slots were filled and there were no more scholarships to give out. I was placed on a waiting list and should a slot become available, I would have to pay the full cost of $175. I came to the conclusion that maybe this wasn’t God’s timing and I accepted the fact that I couldn’t go. I was pretty disappointed needless to say and she knew about it.
She began to tell me how a slot became open and I was going to the retreat. I was a little confused because I didn’t have the money and wasn’t exactly sure how she knew I could go. Little did I know a few of my coworkers and friends were trying to make this happen for me. My friend proceeded to tell me that after talking with her husband, they decided they would pay for me to attend. She knew how badly I wanted to go, and because she couldn’t, she wanted to bless me and give me the opportunity to experience what she had in the past. Because she paid for my slot, I was moved to the top of the list and for whatever reason, someone cancelled allowing me to take their place.
It took a few seconds for it to completely register and to understand what she was saying. Once it did, my eyes began to fill with tears. (Yes I cry a lot.) Once again I was humbled and reminded of God’s presence. It was as if He was saying, “I hear your cries and I know your struggles. Here is a blessing to remind you that I am with you always and if you stay faithful throughout all the trials, your reward will be so much greater.” God used my friend and those around me to be a blessing. During a very trying time, I was given hope and my faith was renewed. I was able to refocus and march forward so I could handle whatever came my way. Although I don’t hope and pray for trials, I know they will come. And although it may difficult I need to keep my eyes on the Lord so that when the blessings do come, I am all the more thankful!
“For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy. He has not turned his back on them, but has listened to their cries for help.” ~ Psalm 22:24
You can read part one here…
One morning on my way to work, I shared my heart with my husband. I shared my frustration with the recent events that took place in our life. I shared my confusion about why we have had to go through so many things. I wondered if this was God’s plan for our life. I won’t bore you with all the details, but that was the gist of our conversation. As I pulled into the parking lot God spoke to me. Continue reading
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.” ~ 1 Peter 4:12-13
Do you ever feel like you experience one trial after another? That you can’t catch a break? Do you begin to question God and ask why? I know I have. Continue reading
Words. They have such power. A gifted writer can stir up emotion and speak to your heart. Along this journey I have read many things, blogs, testimonies, websites, books, etc. I searched for something that I could relate to, something that would make me feel better. And I did time and time again. But the things I read were fleeting. There wasn’t anything I found that I would go back and revisit. Except for one… Continue reading