Category Archives: waiting

waiting. and goodbye.

Standard

on June 13th my grandpa passed away.  He had 82 years here but I still didn’t want to say goodbye when the time came.  When he died, so did several dreams I’ve always had.I wanted him to meet our kids one day. I cried knowing that day would never come.  And then I cried even more wondering if my PopPop was up in heaven holding my sweet baby Amos who we lost in May… and the baby we lost in January too.  the funeral was the following week and Ted and I really enjoyed having  a few days to spend with my grandma and other family members.  God is clearly at work even in the midst of heartache and loss and we got to observe that in many little ways during our trip.

we came back to SC and life has found a new routine.  We are enjoying the fellowship and friendship of our care group in this season and grateful to have so many good folks surrounding us with prayer.  I’m loving the summer weather and the pool in our back yard.

And now we find ourselves in another waiting room.  wondering if God will say yes this time to our prayers (and the prayers of so many).  Last week we got a positive pregnancy test.  Monday we got another one even though there was some spotting and other reasons for concern.  Yesterday I went to the doctor for some bloodwork and to start on a progesterone supplement.  And now we wait.  I do know that I have been exhausted more than what would be normal.  I do know that the spotting is not the same as it was last time.  But I also know that this little baby’s life is fully and completely in the hands of my precious Savior and He knows how many moments we will have together.  I pray that the moments will turn into years.  I pray for a baby to hold in my arms.

knowing my dream is so close, I don’t want to have to say goodbye again.  I don’t know what will come of this season.  But God keeps reminding me He is good.  I shouldn’t grieve the unknown or assume the worst.  Today, God has given me a gift and that gift is a little life growing inside of me.  So, I rejoice in that truth.  And I pray for grace and help no matter what tomorrow brings.

I was trying desperately to remember that when the doctor’s office called with the results from yesterday’s bloodwork.  My HCG level came back as a 16.  The doctor was expecting somewhere between 75-100+.  She is not hopeful but wants tomorrow’s blood results to confirm what we expect.

waiting. goodbye.  things that are so uncomfortable, but have seemed to become almost routine in my life lately.  I need strength.  I need help.  I don’t want to do this again.

these are my friends

Standard

“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

“wait”

Standard

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;

Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.

I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate…

and the master so gently said, “wait.”

“Wait? You say wait?” my indignant reply.

“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!

” Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?

“By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your word.

My future and all to which I relate

hangs in the balance and you tell me to wait?

” I’m needing a ‘yes’ a go-ahead sign.

Or even a ‘no,’ to which I’ll resign.

You promised, dear lord, that if we believe,

We need but to ask and we shall receive.

Lord, I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:

I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,

as my master replied again, “Wait.

” So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,

and grumbled to God, So I’m waiting…. For what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine…

and He tenderly said “I could give you a sign.

I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.

I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

I could give all your seek and pleased you would be.

You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.

You’d not know the depth of My love for each saint.

You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;

you’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.

You’d not know the joy of resting in Me

when darkness and silence are all you can see.

You’d never experience the fullness of love

when the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.

You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,

But you’d not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

The glow of my comfort late into the night

the faith that I give when you walk without sight.

The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask

from an infinite God who makes what you have last.

You’d never know would your pain quickly flee,

what it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.

Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,

but, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see

that the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.

And though oft my answers seem terribly late,

my most precious answer of all is still…. Wait

-Russell Keller 1933-200

O God, I cling with feeble fingers to the ledge of your great grace

Standard

In the past two weeks, my plate has been full  …working full time again, fighting one of the worst ear infections (STILL) that I can remember, planning 2 parties for two dear friends and celebrating the births of five friends babies…  that’s just life though.  life is always busy.  one month its party planning, the next month its something else.  I think where I really feel full is emotionally.  As of yesterday, Ted and I are now in month 8 of trying to conceive a child of our own.  My heart is full. and heavy. And mourning.

I love John Piper’s poem “Job.”  It is a four-part poem and so many of the lines describe where I am emotionally.  Not saying my struggles and pains are on equal par with Job, but my heart can sure relate.  One thing I’m grateful for though is that my friends are no comparison to his.  What a comfort they have been to me lately.  random e-mails.  from MANY people over the last week.  lots of prayers and facebook messages and I can just feel the compassion and love.  Thank you.

“I came with nothing from the womb,
I go with nothing to the tomb.
God gave me children freely, then
He took them to himself again.
At last I taste the bitter rod,
My wise and ever blessed God.”

… so count the cost;
And ponder everything we’ve lost.
And let us bow before the throne
Of God, who gives and takes his own,
And promises, whatever toll
He takes, to satisfy our soul.

Come learn the lesson of the rod:
The treasure that we have in God.
He is not poor nor much enticed
Who loses everything but Christ.

I rejoice with my friends. I can’t wait to hold their babies. But how I long for and pray for a baby Riley (many in fact) soon. I’m 29 and my husband is 36. We really would love a large family and I would love to be pregnant with so many of my close friends. My heart is rejoicing yet also breaking. I struggle to see the kindness of God when He chooses to take.  Yet I know his timing is good. But to my heart it feels anything but good. But I see his faithfulness through every step of my life, so my faith is strengthened in this trial as I look back.  Like Job I say…

O God, I cling
With feeble fingers to the ledge
Of your great grace, yet feel the wedge
Of this calamity struck hard
Between my chest and this deep-scarred
And granite precipice of love.

guess I’m just weary. Weary of the fight. Feeling hopeless… Knowing God has never promised me a child that I will hold in my arms so struggling with how to persevere in faith in my request. We both would love to adopt but right now there is not a peace to pursue that.  But the desire is there.  And God keeps asking us to pray in faith.  That in and of itself is a glimmer of hope.

One little flame when all is night,
Proves there is such a thing as light.
One answered prayer when all is gone,
Will give you hope to wait for dawn.

I know part of the struggle is the physical weakness. My body is worn down from the infection. Cramps never help either.  I am adjusting to a new schedule. All while in this dichotomy of rejoicing with others yet grieving for myself. So many hurts resurfacing from my past as I face all this yet again.

Oh so weary. Thank you friends for your prayers. Thank you for listening to the Spirit and for caring for me. More grateful than words can express.

Beware the thought that all is vain,
In time God’s wisdom will be plain.

…What we have lost God will restore
When he is finished with his art,
The silent worship of our heart.
When God creates a humble hush,
And makes Leviathan his brush,
It won’t be long until the rod
Becomes the tender kiss of God.

joy in Your presence

Standard

In your presence, Lord, there is joy.
Am I far from your presence?
Am I missing your glory when I focus on my pain?
I am weak.  You are great.
Have I forgotten what is truly important?
Why do I not feel the joy that once proved so precious to me?

If you can be glorified through my weakness, will I be content with it?
If you become bigger though my pain, will I give you thanks?
Can I live in gratitude despite exhaustion? Or frustration? Or confusion?
When it’s a sacrifice, will I still choose to praise You?

How long, Lord can I go on like this waiting for your voice?
Help me to listen. Help me to see it.
Help me not to focus on a conclusion as my answer, help me to focus on You.

For You are my answer.  You are my hope.
In Your presence I find my joy.
You drew me out of my pit.  If you’ve done that, why do I doubt?
Why does my heart cry out in anguish and fear?

You’ve proven your faithfulness time and again
Why is my soul downcast yet again?
I look to You. My feet are on You, my Rock.
My ways are secure.  Though hidden in darkness for now.

I will rest.  I will hope.  I will have joy.

wait

Standard

Desperately, helplessly, longingly, I cried;
Quietly, patiently, lovingly, God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate . . .
And the Master so gently said, “Wait.”

“Wait? you say wait?” my indignant reply.
“Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heard?
By faith I have asked, and I’m claiming your Word.

“My future and all to which I relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to wait?
I’m needing a ‘yes’, a go-ahead sign,
Or even a ‘no’ to which I can resign.

“You promised, dear Lord, that if we believe,
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord I’ve been asking, and this is my cry:
I’m weary of asking! I need a reply.”

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate,
As my Master replied again, “Wait.”
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut,
And grumbled to God, “So, I’m waiting for what?”

He seemed then to kneel, and His eyes met with mine . . .
and He tenderly said, “I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead and cause mountains to run.

“I could give all you seek and pleased you would be.
You’d have what you want, but you wouldn’t know Me.
You’d not know the depth of my love for each saint.
You’d not know the power that I give to the faint.

“You’d not learn to see through clouds of despair;
You’d not learn to trust just by knowing I’m there.
You’d not know the joy of resting in Me
When darkness and silence are all you can see.

“You’d never experience the fullness of love
When the peace of My spirit descends like a dove.
You would know that I give, and I save, for a start,
But you’d not know the depth of the beat of My heart.

“The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when you walk without sight.
The depth that’s beyond getting just what you ask
From an infinite God who makes what you have last.

“You’d never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that My grace is sufficient for thee.
Yes, your dearest dreams overnight would come true,
But, oh, the loss, if you missed what I’m doing in you.

“So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
That the greatest of gifts is to truly know me.
And though oft My answers seem terribly late,
My most precious answer of all is still . . . Wait.”

by Russell Kelfer

my hope

Standard

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

every tear

Standard

Every tear is in your bottle
Not one is beyond your grasp
God of mercy, grace and compassion
Won’t you answer my prayers at last?

For years I have been praying
For this dream to be realized
Many nights spent asking…yet
these longings seem to be denied.

Give me faith to trust in your mercy.
Give me hope to rest in your ways
Give me patience to wait for your timing,
For you’ve promised you’ll give me much grace.

I don’t understand your timing
I can’t see your great master plan
But I trust that you know my desires
As I feel them sink into the sand.

Gracious Father, full of compassion
Have mercy on me. I am weak.
Be my comfort, give my heart peace
Its your Presence alone that I seek.

You’re the God who turns morning to dancing
You’re the God who brings rain in the drought
You’re the One who can answer my prayers
Even as my heart’s full of much doubt. 

Sweet Father could it be that I
Could glorify you through this test?
I know, even in times of waiting,
That You do for me what is best.

I will trust you will lead through the sorrow
I will trust you to guide past the pain
 will trust you to hear as I’m crying
Sweet Father, I’ll trust through the rain.

Every tear is in your bottle
Not one is beyond your grasp.
God of mercy, grace and compassion,
Won’t you answer my prayers at last?

blindness and sight

Standard

John 9:1-3 As Jesus passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.

 Isaiah 42:16 And I [God] will lead the blind in a way that they do not know, in paths that they have not known I will guide them.  I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground.  These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.

 

 As I was thinking of these verses this morning, I saw a picture of a blind man, crying out to Jesus.  As others saw this man, they assumed that God had not answered his prayers because of sin, particularly the sin of unbelief.  And the blind man was also aware of his own sin and unworthiness.  He knew he needed mercy and was powerless to change.  The next thing I saw was God reaching down and guiding this man by the hand.  But this time, He did not heal the man’s blindness.  The man still could not see, but now instead of sitting, God was guiding Him.  He was leading the blind man to walk in spite of the darkness.  God was graciously leaving him in darkness so that he could better understand the presence of his God who had promised never to forsake.  The encouragement to me was that whether God heals the blind eyes and allows sight or leaves you in the darkness, that in both circumstances, He is working to display His greatness and He is the God that does not forsake His children. 

 

The idea was sparked by a quote I read this morning (one of the quotes in my post below)… 

Often I have heard people say, “How good God is! We prayed that it would not rain for our church picnic, and look at the lovely weather!” Yes, God is good when He sends good weather. But God was also good when He allowed my sister, Betsie, to starve to death before my eyes in a German concentration camp. I remember one occasion when I was very discouraged there. Everything around us was dark, and there was darkness in my heart. I remember telling Betsie that I thought God had forgotten us. “No, Corrie,” said Betsie, “He has not forgotten us. Remember His Word: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him.” Corrie concludes, “There is an ocean of God’s love available – there is plenty for everyone. May God grant you never to doubt that victorious love – whatever the circumstances.”   Corrie Ten Boom

trusting God

Standard

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make  straight your paths.  Proverbs 3:5-6

This past Sunday, I attended Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg Md.  I was there for the Worship God 09 conference, and my friends and I decided to stay through the weekend and drive back after church.  Its funny how God’s sovereignty works… 

The conference was very challenging physically for me.  Due to the noise and busyness of the week, I had many migraines and other health issues.  I was grateful to be able to attend at all, though there were many sessions I was either resting on a couch in the lobby, or sitting on the floor in the back.  I really enjoyed the songwriting seminars and learned many helpful tips to incorporate into my writing…

Well, on Sunday, Josh Harris got up to preach.  Their church is currently working through a series on Proverbs and the topic this week was about trusting God.  His passage was Proverbs 3:5-6.  He talked about what it means to trust God, what it means to lean on Him and what it means to acknowledge Him. 

i think it is the only time in my life that I cried through an entire sermon.  God revealed so many areas in my life where I fail to trust Him.  I fail to trust that He is good, that He loves me, and that He has my best in mind.  Instead I often trust my own understanding… “this doesn’t make sense… God must not love me… or He must have forgotten about me…” 

He mentioned that leaning on God does not mean simply resting like you would against a podium but when the podium is taken away you’re still able to stand just fine.  Instead its a full dependence of “God, if you are not there to catch me, I will fall flat on my face.  Help.”  I spend much of my life trying to avoid this feeling, but this is where I was created to live… in utter dependence on God’s grace and strength and provision. 

There are so many unknowns in my life right now…  What’s going on with my health?  Will I be “stuck” in Greenville forever?  Where am I supposed to live?  Will I ever get married?  have kids?  be financially sound?  oh, so many unknowns…

How grateful I am for Josh Harris and this past Sunday.  I am grateful for the comfort that comes from being reminded that my God has not forgotten me… He is not angry at me or withholding goodness.  His steadfast love and faithfulness have followed me all the days of my life.  He has led me through valleys.  He has led me through paths of rejoicing.  And He has promised not to leave… even now, in confusion…