To the grieving mom

National Pregnancy and Infant loss Remembrance Day was last month. But sometimes it’s the words of encouragement when you don’t expect it that leave the biggest imprint on your heart. Especially since this month we are focusing on being thankful, I’m going to take the time and boldly say that I am thankful. Thankful for the experiences that caused deep pain, because they brought me closer to my Savior. They allowed me to know him in a way I never had before.

Yes, I’m thankful for the pain, because it broke me down and tore my pride. It made me realize that my strength is not my own but His. And in His supernatural embrace I found peace, joy and rest.

So to the hurting mom who is still mourning her loss, I offer these words of comfort and pray they lift you up. You are not alone….

Though the empty feeling is one you are constantly fighting, there’s one that’s fighting for you. You are not alone.

He’s there to embrace you when the sadness comes. When thoughts of what could have been start to plague you, He reminds you the best is yet to come.

Don’t let the pain build a wall but rather let it break you down, so you can receive all He has to offer. He will not fail you.

This life is temporary. The pain is temporary. And one day there will be no more of that.

We will be in God’s presence, fully secure that nothing will keep us away. There will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more crying. No more aching heart. Only God in his infinite love.

But while we are all here on earth, He is with us. He promised not to leave us, and He always keeps his promises.

Let him fill your life in abundance with joy, laughter, and the desire to keep going.

Don’t give up, he’s there.

Don’t give up, you are not alone.

Though you may feel misunderstood, he’s seen every last detail and he understands.

You’re not crazy, there’s nothing wrong with you. You are just facing the process, and you will get through it.

You’re not alone, God is there. He is love and his love is enough.

It NEVER fails.

You can’t escape the process.

Our God is a god of time. He has been teaching me that things well done take time, therefore, if there is a process that he needs to take me through it’s not going to happen overnight. Being a naturally impatient person I’ve had to learn I can’t fast forward the  process…..and if he needs me to go through it, then I sure can’t skip it.

I experienced this lesson heavily recently, as I walked the process of yet another miscarriage. This one far more painful and traumatic than ones in the past. As soon as we discovered that something was wrong I knew what path awaited. So in a defensive state I wanted to be done with the situation before it even really began, wanting it all to be behind me overnight. Through raw broken tears I quickly brushed it off and said “If I went through it once, I can do it again.” But this process was very different than the others.  The band-aid that I wanted to be quickly ripped off turned into weeks of testing, bloodwork, and more appointments. The pain that I so desperately wanted to be done with was being dragged out, and I had nowhere to run. I prayed, “Just let me move on, let’s just get this over with.”  In my spirit I knew there was purpose, but I battled my flesh aggressively each day that passed.

You see, there are no shortcuts to growth. God is a detailed maker and what he’s doing in you he’s going to do it well done. So it WILL take time. A process has steps and each is necessary to move on to the next. In life our growth is often messy. Perhaps the ugliest thing we’ll ever see, but the end result will be beautiful…if we are willing to go through it.

Grieving is such a process. No one wants to go through it, there’s nothing beautiful about it. You might try to push through emotions to continue moving on with your life and think that you are being “strong”. But you’re not, you’re avoiding the process. Being strong means enduring that process. Allowing yourself to feel, cry, yell, to bleed. And the strength surely doesn’t come from you, it comes from God through his grace. He’s not asking you to hold it together, he’s taking care of that for you.

God knows what you’re feeling, you’re not alone in this. Through the process he will show you things, reveal things that will change your life. He will share the depths of his Word and promises, and his love for you.

Through my pain I experienced God closer than ever before. Though there were days I felt him silent, I knew he was there. Though there were days I had no words to say and no tears left to cry, I knew not a moment escaped him. I learned when difficult moments come, to just brace myself and trust in him. Even when the wave hits he will not let you drown.

So take a deep breath and allow yourself to go through the process. It’s not meant to harm you, it’s meant for your good and the good of those around you. It will bring you closer to him and bring glory to his name.

A most beautiful promise in Romans 8:28 reads like this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Don’t try to escape the process, embrace it. He will not fail you.

Keys to a marriage that thrives

Today marks eight years we have been married. And our marriage has been a book of good and rough moments, sometimes scary or funny. Other times heartbreaking and hopeful. But through it all we have found one thing to be consistently true; that when you have God as number one in your life as an individual, your life together becomes an adventure.

We realize having a thriving marriage seems something foreign or far off for many couples. But it doesn’t have to be. God wants everyone to live a fulfilling and thriving marriage. Not one that gets by just “making it”.

We’ve taken time to discuss and share as a couple some key points that have proven to be crucial in the strengthening of our marriage. These are meant for reflection, and it doesn’t mean our marriage is perfect. But we can honestly say that we walk each day feeling blessed. So here goes:

• Your individual relationship with God must be a priority in your life. He is the solid foundation your marriage will grow on.

• Turn to God about your frustrations. Not friends and family who can be biased and “feed” your negative feelings.

• Learn to love unconditionally. We are far from worthy of God’s love, yet he gives it to us. Don’t live with the mentality that your spouse needs to be “deserving” of your love.

• Seek to live out 1 Corinthians 13 in your life. Make a conscious decision to do so. The flesh wants what is easy, but a strong and thriving marriage is a result of intentional effort.

• Plan life together. You are no longer two but one. Meaning your goals and aspirations should always keep the well being of your spouse and marriage in mind.

• There’s no happily ever after without commitment.

• Never compare your marriage to another. Focus on reaching the best that you and your spouse can be, not who you can “be like”.

•You contribute to the state of your marriage. Meaning what you get out of it is determined by what you pour into it and your mentality about it.

We encourage you to take time in prayer and seek God in the areas your marriage needs improvement. Don’t hesitate to seek help from qualified individuals such as your pastors or counselors. They are in your life as a valuable resource from God to help guide, counsel, and teach. When your relationship with God is strengthened, so is your marriage, and as result so is your family.