Friday, October 31, 2014

The Goodness of God When Life isn't Good

Today I watched a video about a young couple who were expecting a baby. They found out after several weeks that their son would most likely not live to full term due to a major heart condition. She mentions that she cried out to God to save her son. Soon after this, the ultrasound showed that the problem was gone, and their son was born healthy. The doctor's called it Divine Intervention. We would call it a miracle.

Much of the video reminded me of what we went through except that they never thought our son would die. They just knew he would need surgery on his heart. Anytime I watch a video like this, I can't help but ask "why?" It's not wrong to ask why. It's wonderful that their son was born healthy, but being human, and being in our situation, it's a question that comes to mind periodically.

I remember a time early in my pregnancy for Trenton where I too prayed a prayer to please save my child. It was very early, and I had symptoms of complications. I thought I had lost him. I prayed that prayer, and besides a normal complication that was more of a risk to me than him, everything was fine. Maybe that was one of my moments of Divine intervention. Perhaps God saved him then, but he was born with serious issues, is developmentally delayed, and he doesn't eat by mouth. God showed His intervention again in having me have that extra ultrasound at 32 weeks. Had in not been for that, Trenton may have had no blood running to his organs and body not long after birth. He might have died. That was a Divine intervention - miracle that we didn't know to pray for. Our son isn't a normal child, but looking at God and how He worked, we know God has a purpose.

It is so easy to call God good when the ending is the best case scenario. It is easy to say He is good when your baby is miraculously a new person. He is good in that, but He is also good in cases like ours where, "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God and to them that are called according to His purpose." That good is simply the good that makes God look good. The good that glorifies Him even when life doesn't look good. Because goodness is an attribute of God, nothing He does is anything but good. He doesn't cause the cancer, genetic mutations, and death. We live in a cursed world, and He allows these things, and as Job worshiped in the worst moment of His life, that is what God desires of us.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

ANew Season

I am thankful that I had the opportunity to write for ANew Season. Here is the link:

Thursday, October 16, 2014

"I've Never had One Like That"

The thought sometimes comes when I see a mom holding a normal, healthy baby.

"I've never had one like that."

Yes, my first son is healthy now and quite the smarty pants, but when he was a baby, he spent his first 24 days in the NICU. We held him, but we were advised to let him sleep as much as possible. When they are in the NICU there are so many lines and tubes, that it makes it difficult to really hold them.

When we found out that our second son was going to be born with at least one major complication, my biggest worry was that I wouldn't get to hold him after delivery. It's an odd thing to worry about, but I could just imagine them sweeping him away before I had the chance. Thankfully, that did not happen, and I did get to at least see him right away and get a picture with my husband and I. And then I was able to get a beautiful picture of him before his heart surgery.

After his surgery, it was difficult to hold him again. In fact, one day we were holding him and the IV line pulled out of his head. You can imagine how awful that was. Trenton ended up almost doubling the time that Braydon spent in the NICU.

So because both of my boys were born like this and spent a large number of days in the hospital where we couldn't just hold them and cuddle them, sometimes I think, "I've never had one like that." It's not necessarily a discontented thought, although sometimes it is. It's not that I want to have another baby, but sometimes it's easy to long for that normalcy that bringing a baby into the world usually includes. A birth without complications seems like a wonderful thing.

So if you are a mom and have gotten to hold your newborn without all of the lines and tubes, be thankful. If you have gotten to hold a baby that lived through delivery, be thankful, for some have not. If you have been able to conceive a child, be thankful. Many never are able. We have so much to be thankful for. It's easy to get caught up in the demands that we have for life.

"I must have a natural birth - no C-section for me!"
"We will be happy as long as he/she is healthy."

Some people just want to have a baby.

May I be content even in the moments when I think, "I've never had one like that."

Monday, October 6, 2014

Personalizing our Problems

When is it that we start to personalize our problems?

When does depression become "my depression?"

When does bitterness become "my bitterness?"

"My bad habits."

"My grief."

"My sadness."

It's a red flag to me when we take such ownership of our problems or our sins.

Taking ownership of a sin means that it has become too much a part of us. Most likely, if we are questioned about one of these particular sins, we will be more defensive than if confronted by other issues.

What is it that all of these problems or sins have in common? They are based in our emotional responses to problems. The last two are not really sins, but unfortunately they lead to the sins of fear, bitterness, and anxiety if we take too much ownership of them, and bad habits also lead to these other sins creating a circular structure to our problems.

So how can we experience grief and let it run it's course along with the sadness without letting it turn into sin? How do we break the cycle of depression, bitterness, and bad habits before we begin to take ownership of them?

As with everything in life, the answer is in Christ. Our ownership for life lies in Christ, and the only thing that we should truly take ownership of is Him and His attributes.

love, joy, peace, long suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance (Galatians 5:22) - These are the fruits that come from the tree of knowing Christ. They cover everything that we need to give over the ownership of our problems to Christ, confessing them when necessary, and striving to be fruitful in Christ.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

You Might not Know

I'm often fairly transparent in my writing, but as most of us would admit, we do not show everything we are going through.

When I am going through a dry time and perhaps struggling with bitterness, sadness, or anxiety, you might not read that in my blogs.

I learned a while ago now, that it is not deceptive to do the right thing.

What I mean by that is that even on hard days, it sometimes is the best thing for me to write what is right!

If I only right when I'm feeling godly, then I'm like the person who won't go to church because he/or she thinks it would be hypocritical, since they didn't feel like it.

Sometimes I do share in the midst of a trial. Sometimes I share after, but the main thing is that I share what God shows me and what His Word says even when I may not have yet conquered the issue myself.