Saturday, July 18, 2015

Monday, June 22, 2015

Hope In The Dark

There is HOPE. Oh yes there is. There is always HOPE. It's when we feel HOPE less that everything starts to fall apart. Yet, we do not grieve as those without a HOPE. If we are in Christ, we have all things and it is He who gives us the hope to continue moving forward in this life. 

You see, the last time I wore this shirt, I was in an abortion clinic. If anyone knows me and who I truly am, you would know that this was one of my biggest nightmares ever to endure. I am a very vocal believer that life begins at conception and I have a passion to be a voice for the voiceless and the unborn children on this earth. 

Just a little over one week ago, my husband and I, discovered the heart breaking news that the son we were greatly expecting to arrive in November had indeed died in my womb at 14 weeks. We found out just one day shy of being 17 weeks pregnant. My midwife could not find our Dylan River's  heart beat. She rushed us to the ultrasound room where we saw our son on the screen with no movement at all. Devastated doesn't even really describe the feelings we felt but that is the closest word I can use. Even now, there are actually no words to describe the pain we still feel over the loss of him, the precious child we never got to meet. 

In the midst of the storm, we had to make some very fast decisions because my midwife said, "You don't have a lot of time to decide when to do the DNC." The DNC is when the doctor removes the baby from the mother's body. Again, no words to describe what I felt when she said that. She said, "Your body will start to recognize that this is not a healthy pregnancy and you don't want to put yourself in jeopardy with an emergency situation." 

The complicated situation we were in was we were too far along to do a DNC at a hospital but we were too early to do a delivery at a hospital. Our only choices were to go to one of the only two doctors in the city who happen to be abortion doctors in an abortion clinic. Our hearts ached even more. 

My heart was so full of questions, and the main one was "Why Lord?" "Why?" I still don't have answers but I have come to the realization that I don't need an answer. I know my God and I know that He is always good. I did feel the Holy Spirit tell me though when we had to go to the clinic: "This is one of the darkest places. I turn all things around for My good. These women, these doctors, these babies need my HOPE and my LIGHT in this hour." So, I decided to wear my HOPE shirt. Even in the pain and loss, I felt compelled. I felt I may not be able to share with my words, but perhaps they would see this one word and maybe, just maybe something would change. 

Jesus didn't have to speak words to shift the atmosphere. Just His very Presence changed everything. We believe that we are carriers of His Presence so what if? What if? I wish I could tell you everything that happened that day and all that we saw in that dark place. No, I'm not thinking of sharing the bad stories, but instead the many testimonies of Jesus we encountered by our very presence being in that place and time. I don't just think, but I KNOW Dylan's life had purpose. I KNOW God didn't cause something bad to happen to him. I KNOW that God turned around what the enemy wanted to use for bad, instead, for HIS glory. He turned it around for good. 

The abortion doctor accidentally walked in on me when we were getting our last ultrasound to double check on Dylan's heart beat. He never would have seen my shirt, had he not walked in because the next time he saw me, I was in a hospital gown about to be knocked out. The ultrasound technician said, "He never walks in here. I'm sorry. I don't know why he did that." Yet, I knew there are no accidents in God. There are no "coincidences" in the One who knows all things. It wasn't just a shirt I was wearing. That word: HOPE meant a lot of things. It may have meant a lot of things to the woman about to make a decision to take her baby's life and a decision she would regret the rest of her life. It may have meant a lot of things to the counselor we had talked to before our procedure took place. 

One woman, came into the clinic and looked at me. She paused as if she were uncertain. She looked afraid. When I looked up at her, she was looking at my shirt. The guy with her was asking her, "Are you ok?" My friends, Jesus is real. He will take us through the darkest places because there are those who need His light desperately. We are not without it if we are in Christ. We overflow with it. It pours out through us even when we don't feel it. 

I will close with this last story. As the doctor was putting me out to do the procedure, I said, "We lost our son. He was a person. He had a name, Dylan River." He told me, "Dylan River? You should save that name for another one." I said, "There is only one Dylan River and he can never be replaced. He is with Jesus now." I said so many other things as it was my last chance to talk about Jesus. 

I don't know what fully happened that day, but I know Dylan's short life had a purpose and I pray for those people's souls in that clinic who have become numb to what they are actually doing. I pray that, one day, they will realize what they have done. I am confident that if and when they turn to Jesus, He will forgive them and wash away everything they have done. They will be made a new as my Dylan has been made a new in Heaven right now. 

Thank you Jesus for everything you have given us no matter how much time we have. We praise you in the joys, we praise you in the pain, we praise you in the loss, and we praise you in the gain. Why? Because You are the Hope in the dark and because You, oh Lord, are worthy of it all. Amen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

In The Background, But Not Silent


I actually have a moment to write and think. Thank you Jesus, because it's one of those days that if I don't get this out, I feel like I could explode. It's burning in my bones. Ya know? Thoughts. Our thoughts. I don't have a lot of time to talk about my thoughts in this season. I don't have a whole lot of time to actually write my thoughts in the moment, but when that moment comes, oh joy! Indeed, that moment has arrived.

To me, life is like a full circle of different seasons. You have Summer, Fall, Winter, and Spring. Sometimes in that order, sometimes not. Sometimes Winter seems a lot longer than Spring. Sometimes, Spring just keeps on going and those seasons are great. The Fall comes along and a harvest comes. Summer is a time for sunshine and watermelon!

Some are easier than others. Yet, in each new season, we think we "got it." Then we are humbled and actually see that...well, we don't "got it." Ya know what I mean? It's a good thing we don't know our way because we actually learn to rely on Jesus all the more in that place. This is a season, to be honest with you, where I feel I am in the background and that is okay. I actually don't really like being in the front. That's not a false humility statement, but it's actually where I truly feel more comfortable.

I have never really enjoyed being in the spot light, which is why the Lord has often placed me there for some crazy reason. He has taught me many things in that place of leadership, because that place carries a lot of influence. I am not in the "front" so to speak, and well...I wish I were at times. Not for my glory, not for attention, but to feel a part, to feel involved in what everyone else is doing. Though, feeling like I don't have much influence in this place now as a mom, I know that is not the case. I have powerful influence with my son even if I don't see how some days. I also may feel in the background in the rest of the world, but I am definitely not silent. I am right where I am supposed to be, but don't think my heart doesn't get tested in this place.

Sometimes, things rise up in me like the need to prove myself. I have even heard the question in different times of my life involving people working with me, "What are we doing with you?" Wow! Don't think that my flesh didn't rise up and try to fight. It's that Irish fighter in me that comes out every now and then in anger or frustration. You have that? You know, your OLD flesh? It's pretty ugly. However, these thoughts have come to me, like "The audacity! Do they know who I am?!!" Humility is a gift from God and when we humble ourselves, we see that we don't have to prove ourselves to anyone because we have already been approved by Him. That old Irish fighter has been crucified with Christ.

Andrew and I were in a conversation with good friends the other day and I wasn't really able to participate in the conversation because of a quite busy little boy who I actually love to death! However, it bothered me. I wanted to be in the middle and hear everything that was being shared. I was as involved as I could be. I mean, I only have one child too. It's not like I have 4 or 5 little ones running around. I can't imagine the mothers who are running after more than one but who want to be involved somewhere else especially with their spouse. The tension is real my friends. It. Is. Real.

It is real especially when you got married in your thirties and started a family in your mid thirties. You have experienced so much of life such as traveling around the world, doing things all by yourself, having a ton of alone time to write and create, learning other languages, recording albums, doing things with just you and your spouse, SLEEPING, etc. Having your own time. Then an amazing blessing of a child comes into your life and you learn to be even more selfless. God increases your capacity as your family grows from one to two to three to 8! Again,

You learn to be more selfless but you still have thoughts. You still have a spirit, emotions, opinions, wisdom! You actually grow in wisdom in those struggles! So, here I am. I am here in the background and it may seem like I am not really around, but I am not silent. I am NOT silent. It may be a crazy new place that I am learning to place my foot in each moment, but I am NOT silent. To all of you mothers working the hardest job on the planet: (I am convinced it is) this may be a Spring time for you or even a Winter. Whatever the season you find yourself, remember it is just a season. There can be joy in any moment. Nothing holds you back. You have thoughts! You are NOT silent.