Wednesday, April 24, 2013

He Finishes...

I have been thinking about this post for awhile--close to 2 weeks to be exact. As many of you know, my husband and I took on a big project spontaneously on Saturday, April 7. Everyday, we were working. I would work while Simeon was at work, he would come home and we would work some more. Sanding, sawing, painting, scraping, pounding, cleaning. It seemed all that we did was work on this house. Some days it was stressful, and I let anger out, whilst other days, it was enjoyable, and exciting...being able to see the picture in my mind (and maybe Simeon's, but his mind just doesn't really work that way) come together.

Many days I worked, I would be listening to Matt Redman, Jonny Diaz, Kari Jobe, and other artists like them. I was also in the habit of listening to something from Mark Driscoll. As each day wavered on, I began to notice something. Every night, I was exhausted, but happy with the progress that was made. Every morning, I didn't want to get up and sand a floor, or paint poly on it, or do the drywall, but I did. We sacrificed our time, our gym time, even our alone time, to get this done. I kept focusing on these facts, then I realized that the picture was just like our God.

He is constantly working on each and every one of us. Some may be small changes, like putting in an outlet (adjusting a heart attitude that was already there), while some may be no less than major. He is constantly scraping away the stains, painting over the ugly colors with His blood, sacrificing Himself, day in, day out, for the betterment of me! Every single thing I did to our house, I asked God to show me what He was changing in me.

This project also made me realize how quick I am to get things done that are tangible. I don't sacrifice my time to be my Lord. We do our Bible reading, talk a little, pray then go to bed. These have been GREAT for us, so many new insights and truths have been revealed. But, if I truly want a change, am I going to sacrifice my time, energy, hanging out with friends to be pliable for Him? What if I did? What would He do?

I am sitting here on my couch, still admiring what a change has taken place in our home. I can't help but feel a smidge how must God have felt when creating the worlds. I am sitting here, proud, of all the work I have done. I can't help but feel similar to how proud the Father must be every time I allow another part of me to be scraped or sanded to perfection. I am sitting here, feeling accomplished, of all of the work I have done. I can't help but wonder if this is how He felt when His Son went to the cross and said "not my will, but yours, Father".

The funny thing is that we are still not done with our house by any means. We aren't even 100% done with this project. Just like our walk with faith, it is never completed, never finished until our Lord takes us home.

So this is my challenge to myself--to be still in His presence, to not rush it, and to allow God to "remodel" me. Not my will for my life, but His will for it.

Philippians 1:6 "...being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

He is...

I am sitting here tonight, saddened. Not pitiful, not woe is me, just sad. Simply sad that Simeon and I never got to meet our little Hezekiah. We thought she was a girl, and if the child was a girl, I would have called her Kiah. We were never going to name this little one Hezekiah, but with all of our children in the heavenly realms, we have searched for names that create meaning. Our first one, who we thought was a girl, is Micah/Myka, which means "who is like God". We felt she was exactly like God. Not yet exposed to sin, innocent, and created in His image. Nathaniel was the second child we lost, we felt he was a boy, so we named him with the meaning "Gift from God", because he was a gift...sadly one we had to return into the hands of our loving heavenly father, but a gift nevertheless.

Which brings us to Hezekiah/Hezzie/Kiah, which means "God is my Strength". Not to keep riding the miscarriage train or anything, but if you have never been through one, two, or even three, you don't realize how desperate you are for our Lord. He is the only strength I have to not despise others for having children whilst Simeon and I are barren. He is the only strength I have to not hate those children. He is the only strength I have. Period. Those sound like awful, terrible, words, and they are--but they are what someone faces.

I am sad that my sister-in-law and her husband got to meet their little one, and can be joyous. It's so difficult to not feel in a competition, to not feel inferior, to not feel like Simeon and I are the lesser of the married spouses since theirs was a pure courtship, a grounded and faithful marriage, a financialy stable relationship. In comparison, I have baggage Simeon has the pleasure of dealing with, we haven't always been financially stable, our faith has been rocked like a tiny raft on tsunami waves, and our relationship was way less than pure. Granted, everyone has loved us still, but I feel like whenever we do something, there is a question of doubt. My opinions pale in comparison. We cannot yet give Keith and Audrey grandchildren, so of course the first grandchild comes from the more perfect couple. There is nothing for me to show, and yet God continually keeps testing us...teaching us...breaking us.

I am sad that my dear friend has had 2 children, one of whom was a week apart from me. It is so hard to continually be happy for others while God is denying you one of the deepest desires of your hearts. All the while when it seems as if everyone around you is having the blessing and joy of becoming parents...and having no difficulty. There is a piece of my heart and even soul that breaks every time someone else gets to have the joy of becoming a "mama", while I cannot. While I mourn 3 children I never even got to meet once, where I only saw life forming, once.

To be sure, I am not angry, or bitter. I wish nothing for the best for these children that God has blessed with earthly life, and I know they are in completely faithful hands. But my heart yearns. My heart cries, "What about us? Have you forgotten us? When, God, when?" I have never been put in the position where I have ever yearned for heaven, until now. There is a deep desire that is hardly even able to put into words, where my soul longs to be rejoined with God, and my children. Where my very being feels dim in comparison to the hope of heaven. I am not suicidal. I am not hopeless, I just see where the happiness lies and it is not here, not for me, not for Simeon...yet. We see hope, we desperately crave hope like its's the very air we breathe. How do I say, "not my will, but Yours" when my desire is one He has placed within me. How do I surrender a dream that most everyone else has never had to surrender? Why did he chose me to be another Sarah, when I am so weak, so undeserving, and so doubtful?

Hezekiah, could not have been more appropriately named. God is my strength to not grow angry or bitter at these parents and children. God is my strength to keep Satan at bay. God is my force to weaken the enemy's attacks. God is my refuge to run and hide in because I cannot face this alone. God is my hope, because He is even more eternal than being a mother. God is the Love I rest on, because if it were up to my flesh, I would hate these people and children. God is my Father, and my children's Father. God is my patience, because waiting is so hard. God is my Great Physician, because He can heal me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. God is my Creator, who not only created me, but knitted these children from my womb together and did not stop when their lives on earth stopped. God is my Peace, because even in the midst of chaos, He calms the storm in me. God is my Champion, who sends His warriors in continual combat for Simeon and me. God is my Abba, Daddy, who I can always run to.

God is Myka's strength. God is Nathaniel's strength. God is Hezekiah's strength. God is Simeon's strength.

God is my strength.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

He Has a Promise

I haven't written in so long. It's been hard because I have so many thoughts on what I have been reading lately. Since I have all of those thoughts written in a journal, I will just write what I feel I should tonight. There is no great teaching, no "Ah-ha!" moment, just me, being me. Simple. Me.

Satan has been trying to seek and destroy us so much more than he has in the beginning or in the past. The great part is that we recognize it, see it for what it is, and don't put much stock in it. The bad part? It's exhausting, it's hard, and a lot of times, it is emotional.

Awhile ago on a Sunday, a lady at church came up to Simeon and me (keep in mind the only thing I know about her is her 'sometimes' Wednesday night drink order) and told us 3 things that she felt God kept laying on her heart to tell us, and she finally bit the bullet.

One, that I was another Sarah. To be honest, my heart dropped when she told me I was another Sarah. How long will I have to wait for God to let and trust me to have a child? What am I doing wrong? This is what God wanted to tell me a day after my sister-in-law had a son....that I had to wait? That I was a Sarah?! Then I remembered what Sarah's name meant. Sarai meant "my princess", and Sarah means "princess". God changed Sarai's name to Sarah when He had promised an heir, and son to Abraham. This means that I have been given a promise from Him as well!!! Even further, God values me. No matter what. No matter how many times I fail, no matter how often Satan holds me captive. As His princess, God is always willing to pay the ransom...even after He sacrificed His son. So those thoughts, which Satan initially twisted and tried to bring me even further down with, were changed. I still cry, I still hurt, but I know that I have hope to have a child beyond the shadow of a doubt. To be clear, it doesn't make the waiting any easier.

Two, that Simeon was a man after God's own heart. This filled me with pride. Knowing that my husband is a man after God's own heart. I knew it, I always have, but to hear God say it back so clearly brought a whole new perspective to my eyes and heart. If that is what Simeon is, then why do I fight with him? Why do I not trust his spirit (even though it is always right)? Why do I trample all over him with my woman ways, discount what he says, tell my opinion to him loudly or long (whichever the attitude it set for), and not let him be the spiritual leader? I claim I want that from him, but I always take the steering wheel back before he gets 2 hands on it and claim that he isn't doing it right. It is interesting, because I think King David was the only man in the Bible called "...a man after my [God's] own heart..". I am my husband's Bathsheba. I may not be causing him to sexually sin, but I am causing him to not be what God has called him up to be. The last two weeks, since I have been told this, I have made a monumental effort in taking a back seat, being silent when I need to be, and only reminding we need to read if Simeon forgets. As the woman of the household, I have to let him call how things are run, what we do, and how we react to God's calling. If he is wrong, then it is on him. Women were not called to be the head. We are a completely different supporting, important role in and of itself. Something else that I thought about was that he never remembers what I say. We sometimes joke about what his name means. Simeon means "to hear". Then I was thinking awhile ago, it isn't to hear me. He has such a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, that he hears Him. Not my complaining, not my opinions....just the Holy Spirit. That is the gift I am thankful for. When I rarely have insights into the Word, He hears what the Holy Spirit is trying to say, to make us grasp and understand.

Three, to not worry, He's got it taken care of. This has puzzled me for days, but it is kind of nice. I worry. I cry. I wonder. When I am laying in bed at night, wide awake because I woke up, or couldn't sleep, I have gotten into the habit of praying. Then, when I realize I am exhausted, it's almost as if I hear, "Stop. Rest. I've got this. Trust." I relax. I may not fall back asleep, but I relax, I rest in His presence. It's kind of amazing. The beauty of this statement, is that it works for EVERYTHING!

You may think that I am putting too much stock in words, but they weren't sinful, wrong, or even stumbling words. I believe God was shouting at us (as a dear woman told me). Just telling us to sit back, look at the roles He has us in, the roles He is calling us out of, and just trust that He has it taken care of.

This doesn't mean everything is hunky dory. Simeon and I have been extremely alone for awhile. I can't help personally (this doesn't extend to him) feeling like I have a "Micarriage Plague" and because life might be hard for me, no one wants to hang out with me, unless it is for a reason that benefits them. I have had to come to terms that God wants Him to be our focus, I guess. But life sure is hard to live alone. I don't want to harp on any one. Or make any of you few that read this think I am talking directly to you...because you know what? It doesn't matter. It really doesn't. My friends are not what this life is about. I am not angry or bitter...just resigned.  It's sad, but ultimately, God will bring who we need into our life, and let us be needed by them in an equal measure. Not all taking, but only freely giving on each side. I suppose that is just one more thing that I need to be patient about....