Category Archives: trust

these are my friends

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“Though my natural instinct is to wish for a life free from pain, trouble, and adversity, I am learning to welcome anything that makes me conscious of my need for Him.  If prayer is birthed out of desperation, then anything that makes me desperate for God is a blessing… Puritan pastor William Gurnall makes this point in his writings, “The hungry man needs no help to teach him how to beg.” Nancy Leigh DeMoss

I’m learning to apply this quote.  I’m learning painfully and slowly and through many tears that anything that makes me desperate for God is a blessing.  I’m learning to meet God in the barrenness that my soul has felt over the past 8 months… though I have continually begged for God to take it away.

It was hard when I realized that this season of trying to conceive a child is now the same length as my worst season of intense migraines several years back.  It seems this is a topic most don’t really talk about openly and I understand why.  But my life has too much of God’s fingerprints on every twist and turn to not share.  And I can’t divorce what I’m going though from who I am.  So, you get it all.  The good, the bad and the ugly.  Looking back at that season of physical pain I have no answers to why.  Looking back all I see is that season brought me closer to God.  And though I didn’t feel that way then, I’m grateful for it.  And though often again I struggle for hope and joy, I know God is at work.

My friends and my sweet husband have hope for me on the days when I have none of my own.  I just want to brag on them.  They have carried me through so many days and tears.  5 new babies. 19 pregnant friends.  And yesterday 19 became 20.  And I wept.  #20 is yet to be publicly announced, but #20 is harder for me than probably all the others combined.  I’m grateful to God for my friends and for Ted.  Here is some of their encouragement to me:

Wish I could hug you right now. So grateful that we can always find comfort and rest in God.  Was just praying for you too.  So wish you weren’t so far away.

“As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number…” Job 5:8

God has laid that on your heart and Ted’s, and so we will walk in that promise, and each month ask for grace…I want you to have a bowl full, a universe full of Hope in Jesus. I want that more than anything, but waiting for a baby is such a difficult hurtful time for anyone as you know. However, as your friend, I have enough hope for the both of us. So for now, I will carry your heart regarding the pain of all of this, praying! Let me also be full of hope for you….When you have dried your tears and are able to get up again by His grace, remind yourself that He will bless you no matter if you are good or bad. Blessings aren’t necessarily earned, they are grace bestowed gifts often given to remind me(us) that they come even when we are at our worst. That is mercy. So, I don’t want you coming home working hard to get any results. I want you coming back to your home resting. (in your heart) Resting in the knowledge that God is steadfast in His love and gracious and merciful and faithful, and He will choose to do things that will bring honor to His precious name. I just want my friend to know that He is for YOU. He is For you! He is for you.

“One thing I think is so awesome through all of this trial is that you and Ted are so close! It is SUCH a blessing to have a husband you can depend on for emotional support!!! Wow =) And this might be bringing you even closer. I really admire your relationship together. I understand how you can feel anger. Wait on the Lord and He will renew your strength.  And smile knowing that you have a wonderful husband and Heavenly Father” =)

Once again, so grateful for my friends and my dear husband.  God has blessed me greatly.  Gives me hope to wait for dawn.

“In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, but for ours also.” Romans 4: 18-24

a steadfast heart. and unwelcome news.

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this morning I was praying and thinking of Psalm 57 “My heart is steadfast O God, my heart is steadfast. I will sing and make music.”

I wrote the poem below as I was thinking through that passage and the fact that my heart is  steadfast because of the nature of my God, not my circumstances.  I had a moment last night where I thought “what did i just do!!??… i just quit my job and walked away from it all.” and immediately my mind went to this verse.  My heart has felt such peace since Ted and I made the decision to quit my job.

We know that this is what God is calling us to do.  My last day will officially be September 10th.  So, right after lunch, I got a phone call.  It appears my grandfather had a heart attack last night.  I don’t know the details but it seems it wasn’t a major one (whatever that means) though he was crying and begging God to just take him home at one point because he was in so much pain.  So, I call my husband to give him the news and where is he but stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire on his lunch break.  Great, just great.  Instantly I feel the freak-out-ometer rising…

And then my mind goes back to this morning… steadfast because of God, not circumstances.  Steadfast because the God who changed my life controls my days as well.  steadfast because I have example after example of how trustworthy He has been.  So, I trust.  God loves my Pop-pop.  He knows what will happen.  I will choose to be steadfast there…

Steadfast is my heart o God
As I fix my eyes on you
Through every test and trial, Lord,
To me, you have been true.
You’ve guided through confusion
You’ve led me every step
With patience, care and tenderness
You brought me from the depths.
So I sing with joy, for you’ve redeemed
This sinner from the grave.
You’ve change my nature, changed my name
No longer to death a slave
With joy I serve you Lord, my King,
My Master and my Guide
I trust you hand to keep me safe
From the trials on every side.
Guard my heart, keep my thoughts fast
As I fix my gaze on you
With confidence and trust may I
Trust what you plan to do.
My heart is steadfast, Lord, it is
Steadfast with trust for my King.
The One who redeemed, the One who gave life
The One who caused my heart to sing.

sometimes God gives you what you want to reveal that its not really what you want

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its interesting how God works at times… i find that He’s merciful in giving us what we ask for, though He knows that later we will look back and see what we’ve asked for is not really what we end up wanting.

for years i wanted a career in international business. it’s what i went to school for.  it’s what i know.  it’s what i wanted to know.  i’ve fought to be here… i’ve fought to see myself as a success.  i’ve gloried in the fact that others saw me as a success.  and today i resigned.

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

Over the past seven years I have seen women in my church live by that verse and “sacrifice” career and worldly success for something that God deems to be praiseworthy.  I mocked them.  I ridiculed their resolve.  I didn’t understand and I continued my pursuit towards success.  And in many aspects, God gave that to me.  Yet, I wanted more.  I wanted to be more of a success.  It wasn’t enough that I had a good job that paid well… i wanted more security, more pay, more benefits, more recognition.

and yet i continued to be surrounded by women who in some way, though i didn’t agree with their choices, i was beginning to respect.  i was seeing wisdom in what God designed as their roles.  Not that there’s no place for a woman outside of the home, but i began to see a benefit FOR them investing at home (which before I never really had cared to see).  And as I saw their lives, and compared that with God’s standard of success, my heart began to praise them as well.  I’m not sure this was a conscious choice or simply a result of seeing the power of God at work in them… women who you don’t know.  Women who aren’t known for success.  But women who in my eyes are more successful than Oprah or Katie Couric or Sarah Palin.  These women are Julie and Robin and Kelli and Corri and Judie and Erin and so many more I can’t name.  These women are my example.

They do their husbands good.  Their husbands trust in them.  Their children rise up and call them blessed.   They work hard and diligently and care for their families.  They are generous.  They laugh at the days to come.  They are my examples.   I want to be like them.

I don’t want to measure my success by worldly standards.  It might be weird that a 29 year old “successful” program planner at an international manufacturing plant would just up and quit with no big career goal.  But I have a big God and my goal is to serve Him.  And its gotten to the point where I can’t do that to the degree He’s called me to and stay here.  So, I go.

Ted and I feel a little blind right now.  We are not sure what’s coming. But we truly have a peace in following God through this and a hopeful anticipation of what is to come.  I look forward to continuing to learn how to care for him and how to follow him as he follows God.  I look forward to finding ways to earn extra income to serve and care for my family.  I look forward to finding ways to save money and provide with wisdom.

i’m excited.  God is up to something.  He has changed me and that means something.  this might seem strange to some, but i’m okay with that.

thy way not mine, o Lord

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Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be;
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough,
It will be still the best;
Winding or straight, it leads
Right onward to Thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not, if I might;
Choose Thou for me, my God,
So I shall walk aright.

Take Thou my cup, and it
With joy or sorrow fill,
As best to Thee may seem;
Choose Thou my good and ill.

Choose Thou for me my friends,
My sickness or my health;
Choose Thou my cares for me
My poverty or wealth.

The kingdom that I seek
Is Thine: so let the way
That leads to it be Thine,
Else I must surely stray.

Not mine, not mine the choice
In things or great or small;
Be Thou my Guide, my Strength
My Wisdom, and my All.

Horatius Bonar

my hope

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Here I am again
In this raging sea
On my knees again
Deep calls to deep
I feel I’m drowning
My arms are
Just too tired to swim
I feel like I’m sinking
On my knees again
In the roar of Your waterfall
In the storm of You
May You find me holding on
May You find me true

Chorus:
And I put my hope
And I put my trust
And I put myself in You
In You, Lord [2x]

Here I am again
In need of you
Broken, Beaten
Needing You
In the roar of Your waterfall
In the wonderful storm of You
May You find me holding on
May You find me true

(Chorus)

Bridge:
Wash me clean
Set me free
Hold me close
And cover me

(Chorus x4)

Here I am
Here I am…

David Crowder Band

He never will leave

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I have been greatly comforted lately by the promise and hope that my God will never leave, never forsake, never dissapoint and never abandon me. 

Several months ago, I began dating a wonderful man of God and have been greatly blessed and encouraged by his deep love for God and his tender care for me.  But there have been times already where we’ve disagreed.  There have been moments where i’ve done something sinfully to make him angry and I’m sure he could have found it easier to simply walk away.  and vice versa. 

we were talking last night and I was crying and my heart was struggling with being full of fear… i am so grateful for the gift he is to me and am scared of the thought of losing him.  i’m very aware that God knows the end result and though we plan our steps that His plan may not be for the two of us to be together… or that if we end up together that one of us could die and that life may not end up looking like what we hope and plan at this point.  I hope and pray that is not the case.  well, last night, I was really struggling with trusting God and was fearing that God would maliciously or vindictively take Ted away from me to simply teach me a lesson or punish me somehow. 

Ted graciously reminded me that our God is not vindictive or harsh.  He does not hold our sins over us and his desire is for good for His children.  And as His child, that means His desire is for good for me. 

But sometimes that’s hard to believe because life doesn’t feel that way.  Yesterday was one of those days… I spent most of the day with a heavy cloud over my head and with a fear of God’s judgment or vengence.  I was yet again, more aware of my sin than of God’s grace as displayed through the cross of Christ. 

I’m grateful for the reminders God gives us in our weakness.  Yesterday, He reminded me that He is good, His mercy is everlasting and His goodness and truth endure through all generations. 

I don’t need to fear the unknown future.  I don’t need to worry about “what-ifs”.  My God has promised never to leave.  Even if all around gives way, He is the confident Rock on which I stand.  And I know that even if He were to take me down another undesired path, just like He upheld me through every path I’ve faced thus far, He will do so again.

So, I was able to sleep last night, resting in that promise.  Resting in knowing that my God will always be by my side as my friend, underneath as my support, ahead as my guide and behind as my protection.  And how grateful I am that those are truths that will never ever change.

when God speaks

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there seem to be times in my life when God seems more active than at other times. I don’t know if this is just me, or if everyone feels this way.  But at times, I feel God is silent, absent, missing or just simply uninvolved.  Then at other times, I see such clear and precise answers to prayer that I cannot doubt His presence. 

Now I’m aware that He is just as active in my life when I don’t feel it, that God is always present in my need, that He will never leave or forsake me, and that He cares for me as a Father cares for his children.  Not a moment in my life escapes His sovereign gaze, not one hair from my head falls without His notice, and not one step I take is overseen by His guiding purpose.  He cares for me.  Even when He feels absent.  Even when I don’t hear answers.  He still cares.  Nothing can avert his love from me.

In God’s mercy though, He doesn’t always leave us in seasons of walking by faith despite lack of answers.   Sometimes He calls us to walk blindly… sometimes He gives us little glimmers of light along the way.  The past few months have kind of been the latter for me.

There are several very very specific answers to prayer that God has given me since July.  I thought I’d fill you in on some of them…

1. I considered for several months the possiblity of moving to the DC area.  I had been applying for jobs, looking for housing and had a job come along, I would have jumped on the opportunity.  After I got back from my DC trip in June (the 3rd one for the year), I was nearly 100% convinced I’d be going there… it was just a matter of the timing.  Less than a week after that, I got really sick again.  God used that sickness to clearly communicate to me the fact that this was not the right move at this point.  There are many reasons why but I am very confident that God closed that door, and that it was a good thing. 

2.  God’s been working OT in my heart on trusting Him.  This has been something He’s worked on over and over again in the past year, but lately its been different… there’s been a complete peace about the fact that I have no clue what God is doing. 

3.  About a month ago I met someone.  Well not just anyone.  :)  Again, this is an area for me of trusting God… do I trust God to keep providing clarity in this relationship when I can’t look 5 years down the road and see how this will end?  I know God is at work in me because I’m not worried about that.  I am (albeit imperfectly) trusting Him to make that clear in his timing.

I’m excited.  I’m more confident today than I was 4 months ago in the fact that my God cares about my life in a very personal and intimite way.  And I’m grateful for that.