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Why Should I Trust Him?

I have been reading the posts on our private support group page. My heart aches for you…I feel the pain, anger, frustration, and hurt in your words. I have been praying about what I can say to you that might help. I think that first, I need to share my story in a nutshell. If you read my story, I hope you will be willing to open your heart to hear what I am learning as well.

I had a relatively uneventful childhood. I was blessed to meet my husband when I was only 15 years old. Besides a couple of years in college, when we broke up, and I dated someone else, we have been together ever since. We were married in August of 2000. All that I ever wanted was to be a Mom. I never dreamed of being a teacher or a nurse or an astronaut…just a Mom. We had a five year plan: get good jobs, get settled into our own home, and have lots of kids! Well, within six months of marriage, we both lost our good jobs, because we had to move, due to a fire. We moved in with my in-laws to help save some money, while we got established into new jobs. My husband’s job paid $4,000 the entire first year. We were broke. We ended up living in my in-laws’ basement for four years! They are wonderful people and we were very thankful for their help, but I just wanted my own place, my own kitchen, my own home.

Well, in the following couple of years, my husband’s job finally took off. We built our first home, after much hopeless searching. During this time, at the beginning of 2012, I discovered, through much pain and agony, that I had an extremely degenerative spine. Now, lots of people (usually over 45 yrs) have degenerative discs in their backs, but it’s usually only one or two. I had seven degenerative and three herniated discs. I had the back of a 65 year old, as one doctor put it. He said there wasn’t a fix for it, “since most people that old will die soon.” I went for opinion after opinion. Over 20 doctors later, the only common consensus was that they had no idea how I would fare, and that I absolutely should never get pregnant. I was crushed! How could God give me such a passion and desire to have children, and then, take it all away like this? Not to mention, even if we adopted, how could I care for a baby, when I suffered from terrible and non-stop pain and muscle spasms? I felt that we were doing everything right. Why did we have to go through this? So many women could just think about babies and get pregnant, and some didn’t even want them! I just didn’t understand.

I fought with God for the next five years. I cried, begged, and screamed. I wasn’t really angry with God. I just wanted answers. I didn’t feel that I could trust someone who could control my life, without any explanation at all. I began a journey to find the true meaning of faith and trust, as well as a discovery of who I am and who God is.

FAITH:

  1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
  2. A strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

 

TRUST:

  1. Firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
  2. Acceptance of the truth of a statement without evidence or investigation.

 

I soon found that neither faith nor trust had anything to do with what I wanted. Neither one involved my getting my dreams, desires, and hopes fulfilled. I still wasn’t sure how that worked, and I still wanted to be a Mom, more than anything in the world. I needed to know this One that I was supposed to trust and have faith in. So, I decided to seek out who God really was. I had always kind of felt that He loved me, when I was good, and punished me, when I was bad. I figured that He had a bigger plan, but that it only involved me, when it benefited Him. I began reading Scriptures about the attributes of God. Here are several blogs that we wrote on this topic:

https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/online-studies/gods-love/

I discovered that not only was I wrong about God…I was REALLY wrong! God did love me, more than I could ever imagine. Not only did He love me, but He had a plan designed just for ME! His heart longed to give me the very best.

Matthew 7:7-11 Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

  1. Long ago, I had given my heart and life to Him. I knew that unless I was a child of God, His promises didn’t apply to me. He wasn’t obligated to meet my needs or to answer my prayers. There is a difference from knowing about God and actually knowing God. So, the first step is to be sure that you are a child of God. Here is an excerpt from my book, “Joy Comes with the Mourning:”

Isaiah 55:6 – Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

God understands the loss of a child. He chose to give up His only Son for the weak, helpless, and sinful creatures that He created. He watched the human race defiantly ignore Him and decide to live life by their own selfish standards. He watched as His creation shook its fist in His face, and laughed at righteousness and truth.

Romans 3:12 – They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Romans 3:23 – For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

And even though He could have easily chosen to destroy us, He chose to save us instead. Because sin cannot be tolerated by a holy and just God, payment had to be made. The punishment for sin was death and separation from God.

Romans 6:23a – For the wages of sin is death…

This meant eternal damnation in hell for anyone who fell short of His perfect standard. No matter how “good” you believe that you are, if you have been guilty of one sin, you are guilty of them all. God had compassion upon us and allowed His only child – holy, perfect, and completely without sin – to come to this evil world, in the form of human flesh, in order to be the ultimate sacrifice for all sin.

Romans 6:23b – …but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Philippians 2:7-8 – But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

What an amazing sacrifice! This holy child was entrusted to a young woman, a mom – just as sinful and unworthy as the rest of us – to be cared for. Jesus was mocked, hated, and even homeless for most of his earthly life, and ultimately was “sold out” by one of His own followers to face a grueling death. He was nailed to a cross – crafted from a tree, which He created – and He was hung there for the entire world to scoff at. Yet, as He died, He thought of you and me, and forgave us with His last breath. The cross and the blood that He shed upon it became the bridge that can connect us to a holy God.

Romans 5:8 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Ephesians 2:13-14,18 – But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us…For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

Colossians 1:13-14 – Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. 

What a humbling thought. He knew all about you and me – including every single action, intention, and thought of our hearts, souls, and minds. He designed each of us before the world began. He knew every feature, every detail, and even the number of hairs on our heads. He knew that we would continually sin, that we would reject Him over and over again, and that many would hate Him, but He chose to love us and to give Himself for us anyway. As He rose from the grave on that blessed day, He conquered death, sin, and hell – for you and for me. The only thing that He asks in return is for us to confess and repent of our sin, to accept His payment for it, and to allow Him to be Lord of our lives. He wants the dominion in our hearts, souls, and minds.

Romans 10:13 – For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

John 1:12 – But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name.

Salvation from sin and death was certainly not free, but it was paid for us by Christ. If you have never asked Jesus to come into your life and to free you from the bondage of the devil and his lies, to give you eternal life, and to rule and reign in your heart and life, I beg you to do it now!

Romans 10:9-10 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

Acts 26:18 – To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

Only God knows the length of our days, and the number of opportunities we will be given to accept Him. If God is calling you, seek out someone you feel comfortable talking to, contact me via email at joycomeswiththemourning@hotmail.com, or send me a message through Facebook. I would be thrilled to explain this amazing gift to you in further detail or to answer any questions you may have.   If you would like to read the entire account of Jesus for yourself, I would suggest you begin in the Bible with the Gospel of John in the New Testament. Please, do not wait until it is too late. The time to answer God is now.

II Corinthians 6:2 – For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

  1. Because I belonged to God, I knew that the second step was to build a foundation for trust and faith with a hope that will not disappoint.

HOPE:

  1. Possessing a feeling of expectation and a desire for a certain thing to happen – often, without any proof that it will.

Without hope, all seems lost. However, if you find someone or something to place hope in, it makes life worth the struggle. Again, this goes back to having a fail-proof reason to hope in that person or thing. Without a doubt, you can never waste your hope, when you place your hope in God. He is the only One Who will never fail you. We have hope in the redemption of our suffering, hope in comfort of our Saviour, and hope for a better day. Our God is a God of hope, “an anchor for the soul.” The goal is to re-ignite the hope of God in your heart.

Romans 5:5 – and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Romans 8:24-30 – For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

Romans 15:13 – May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

I Thessalonians 4:13 (NIV) – Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.

Titus 1:1-2 (NIV) – Paul, a servant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ to further the faith of God’s elect and their knowledge of the truth that leads to godliness – in the hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time.

Hebrews 6:17-19 (NIV) – Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.

  1. As a child of God, I could claim every promise…in Scripture. I discovered that I was actually taking my own dreams and desires and expecting God to fulfill them. However, there isn’t a promise in Scripture that says that God will make me a Mom…not even one. Even though I never struggled with infertility, being able to accept that having a biological child might not be in the cards for me was just as difficult. It was then that I discovered the third step – find my identity. If it wasn’t in being a Mom, what was it in?

Here is a link for blogs we have written on this topic of identity crisis:

https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/online-studies/identity-crisis/

I found that my identity was to be found in Christ alone. Being a mom was just a role that I might be blessed to play at some point, but it wasn’t who I was. When I discovered this truth, I felt a weight fall off my shoulders. If I didn’t become a Mom, my life wasn’t ruined. I wasn’t worthless. I still had purpose and a reason to be here on earth. It was then that I was finally able to surrender this part of myself to God. It was one of the hardest prayers that I ever prayed, but one of the most freeing. “God, if you never allow me to be a Mother, I will still follow you. I will still trust you. I know that you want the very best for me. If there was an easier, better, or more painless way for you to accomplish your will in my life, I know you would do it, because you love me that much. You are giving me exactly what I would ask for, if I knew what you know. Take my life. Take my dreams. Take my desires. Let your will be done.”

In 2007, I finally found a doctor who felt that I could carry a child. She also felt that the narcotics that I was taking at the time for the non-stop pain would not harm an unborn baby. I couldn’t wait to tell my husband! We were pregnant within a week. Our first son was born in January of 2008. It was a perfect pregnancy that resulted in a perfect baby. Just what I had expected…and deserved, of course.

About 18 months later, we decided we would risk my health again, and have another child. We really wanted a full house. Again, I got a positive pregnancy test very quickly – actually two positive tests. A week later, I began bleeding badly. An early miscarriage was certainly disappointing, but I wasn’t too upset. I hardly had time to get excited. I figured we would just try again. Another positive test came about a month and a half later. I still had no reason to believe that anything would go wrong. I had worked way too hard at this for it to “not work.”

We went in for our 10 week check-up…no heartbeat. NOW, it was real. This “having a baby” thing was getting difficult. I was crushed. The doctor’s office was crawling with women about to give birth. Why me!? Why did my dream have to die…again?

This is when I began my deep soul-searching. Would I ever be happy again? Would God continue to allow struggle after struggle? Why did life have to be so very hard?

  1. Well, that is when God reminded me of the fourth truth: “Life isn’t fair.” “Life isn’t easy.” “It’s not all about me.”

John 16:33 – I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

1 Peter 2:19-20 – For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.

1 Peter 4:12-13 – Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

1 Peter 5:10 – And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

I began writing down my thoughts and feelings. These, eventually, became a book, “Joy Comes with the Mourning,” which was published at the end of 2011. (You can purchase a copy through Amazon.com or Barnes and Noble.com)

I became pregnant during this time, and my second son was born in September 2010. A difficult pregnancy, but another healthy baby. The three years following his birth would prove to be the most trying and difficult of all.

  1. Through the losses and the scary pregnancy of my first rainbow baby, I began to realize that I was not placed on this earth just to be a Mom. The next truth and primary purpose of my life on this earth is to bring glory to God and to become more like Him. Whatever it took to accomplish that was “good” – not easy – but definitely good.

Philippians 3:8 – Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ.

Romans 5:1-4 – Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.

Everything that happens to me must be approved by Almighty God. Nothing is left to chance or is without purpose. I studied the book of Job. It blew me away. Not only was Job godly and without fault, He found favor in the sight of God. So, what did God do? Did He give Job all of the dreams and desires of his heart? Nope. He actually brought Job to Satan’s attention and gave permission for him to take away everything that was precious to Job. Was Job aware of the heavenly debate? Did Job know why God allowed this? Was this punishment for something Job had done? Was God just trying to torture him? No. No. No. No.

When God finally spoke to Job, in the midst of his pain and heartache. Did He give him answers? Did He give him reasons?

Job 38:2; 40:2 – [God said,] “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Nope. He answered Job’s questions by telling him that the reasons were not for him to know. God’s thoughts and ways are so above and beyond anything we can fathom. Even if God did choose to give us all of the answers for our trials, we couldn’t understand them. Our human minds cannot even abide on the same level as God’s. This is why we must simply trust Him. The perfect, omnipotent, omnipresent, and all-powerful God of the universe is also our loving Father. His decisions for us are always perfect. He sees the beginning and the end – at the same time. In Scripture, we find that questioning God is foolishness:

Isaiah 29:16 – Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

Romans 9:14-23 What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.

You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory.

I found that my response must be much the same as Job’s:

Job 42:1-6 – Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things,  and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’ Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. ‘Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me.’ I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.”

When my son was a little over a year old, we decided to try for a third child. So far, the health issues that I had encountered had been manageable, and we really felt that our family was not complete. We got pregnant quickly, but this time, the health issues started to increase. Before I even had a positive pregnancy test, I began having severe problems with my thyroid. I met with a surgeon and planned to have the gland removed. However, a positive pregnancy test put it on hold.

When I lost this baby, I was equipped with truth. Honestly, it was the hardest loss for my Mommy’s heart, simply because I was further along. I was wearing maternity clothes, and the little one was so perfect – fingers, toes, and a precious little face. Saying good-bye was really tough; however, I felt complete trust and faith in God, which brought joy and thanksgiving, in the midst of it all. (I actually named this baby “Bliss,” which means “Perfect Joy.” Hence, the name of this ministry, and the beginning of it.)

We quickly scheduled surgery for a thyroidectomy. The results of the biopsy were unbelievable: cancer in two places! Due to other circumstances, this cancer would not have been found any other way, at least for some time. My trial, my heartbreak, my pain was, actually, my salvation, my blessing, my gift.

You would think by now that I had learned everything that I needed to know about faith and trust. Nope. Two months later, I suffered a blighted ovum. Anyone who has had one of these knows the intense confusion and the roller coaster ride of emotions that accompany it. Once again, God was showing me that I needed to trust Him with every single area of my life – the ones that I could explain, and the ones that I couldn’t.

  1. The sixth thing that I needed to learn was that we don’t deserve anything. This was a tough one…

Didn’t I deserve something better? Didn’t Job? Here is a blog on the word “deserve:”

https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2012/11/25/even-if/

No. We all deserve death and eternal punishment. Period. Everything is a gift from the hand of God. EVERYTHING. So, when I had told God that “life wasn’t fair,” I was right. It could be a LOT worse. Only God’s unbelievable grace had made a way for me to have what I don’t deserve. Wow. Talk about perspective!

We went on to have our second rainbow baby, a precious little girl, in August 2013. So many gifts, and I don’t deserve any of them.

I recently had a cervical spinal fusion – the first of several, which finalized the fact that my body could definitely not support another pregnancy. As difficult as it was, I had a hysterectomy this past year. We always wanted a huge family. Well, we have seven children. I don’t get to parent all of them. I have to wait a bit to meet four of them – to hug them and hold them. But they are still my children…undeserved gifts from the hand of God.

  1. Lastly, in the end, it’s all about eternity. We are to live our lives for our heavenly home. This life is a vapor. We are just passing through. Our final hope lies in the promise of resolution and redemption of our pain in the next life.

Romans 8:18 – For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

James 4:14 – Yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.

2 Corinthians 5:1-10 – For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, if indeed by putting it on we may not be found naked. For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.

 So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.

1 Peter 5:10 – And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

So, back to the original question: Why should I trust Him? The answer is pretty simple: He is God. I am not. Knowing the truth about Who God is and who I am, along with understanding how God sees me, will truly set you free.

John 8:32 – And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.

Original material by Holly M. Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2015. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp49p02-11-15

Unimaginable

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us… Ephesians 3:20

Ever feel like the desires of your heart will never become reality? Ever feel like God somehow overlooked your feelings, when He neglected to fulfill your deepest longings? Ever think that true joy is elusive, and that God is failing you?

Let me suggest a few things, which may demonstrate that you are putting God into a box that is just way too small.

  1. God will not force us to allow Him to take control. If we drop our burdens and desires at His feet, only to grab them back again, or if we cling to our heartbreak and our suffering, refusing to release them into His hands, He cannot work. We cry out to Him, questioning why He isn’t doing anything to fix our current plight, when at the same time, we tighten our grip on it, refusing to allow Him access to it. How can we expect to find true and lasting peace and joy, when we stubbornly carry around burdens that keep us bound in confusion, grief, and pain? We must allow our Heavenly Father to lift our burdens from our tired shoulders, and trust Him to do what He desires with them.

Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved. Psalm 55:22

  1. Often, our longings are not focused on the appropriate things. It is not wrong to ask God for and to desire blessings in our lives, but each and every one of our wants should be followed with the phrase, “Not my will, but Your’s be done.” Ultimately, our greatest desire should be to glorify God, as we seek to become more like His Son. We must trust the sovereignty of All-Mighty God enough to realize that He will only do what is the very best for us. When this becomes our heart’s cry, we will find that the things of this world truly do “grow strangely dim.” The fulfillment of our wants will no longer determine the level of our joy. Instead, we will find our satisfaction in complete and utter obedience to God.

I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:8

Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. 1 Peter 4:19

  1. We often forget that God is unchangeable, unshakable, unstoppable, and unimaginable. Our little human minds cannot fathom the extent of His power and the depth of His understanding. We cannot even begin to grasp the measure of His wisdom. God executes His design in dimensions that we cannot even imagine. Think of the complexity of this solar system – from the workings of the human body to the unexplored regions of the ocean, to the heavens, which alone keep scientist pursuing and discovering in endless amazement and wonder. If He created this sophisticated universe with such diversity and such mystery for the pleasure of the human race, what must paradise, God’s dwelling place, be like? Our feeble and finite minds cannot begin to comprehend what our God is capable of.  Many times, when we do not attain our desires, we automatically assume that the opposite of our desires – which is far worse – will befall us; however, in reality, God’s plan is greater than we can even dream of. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. We forget that God is not of this world, rather, He created and now holds this world in the palm of His hand. His best for us is so much more awesome than we can ever possibly wish for, so again, our over-riding desire should be, “Not my will, but Your’s be done,” knowing that His plan leads to everlasting joy.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

  1. We just assume that our desires will make us happy. It is so hard for us to imagine that what we want may not really be what we actually want. Last week, my six year old son did not want to get out of our pool. I asked him to get out, and he started into a tantrum. I went on to explain that dark clouds were gathering it was beginning to thunder, and that lightning was very dangerous, especially near water. His angry tantrum very quickly turned into a mad rush to get into the house. His immature mind had him believing that the only thing that would make him happy was to stay in the water. When he got a dose of wisdom, he quickly decided that his desire was actually not so desirable after all. Perspective has an amazing way of changing what we believe. Because God does not choose to give us reasons for everything that He allows or brings into our lives, we must trust that His promises are sure, that He desires to protect us, will only give us the very best, and that the eventual redemption of our heartache will be far greater than the pain we suffer. Whatever we are willing to pour out in sacrifice to Him, will be multiplied and returned to us. It is not simply a “loss,” it is actually an eternal investment.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 2 Corinthians 9:6

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

  1. Another reason we often feel slighted is that we believe that we deserve our desires. We feel that somehow we are entitled to our wants, and that if we do not receive them, life isn’t fair. We use comparison to justify our worthiness. (i.e. “If that person can have three children and treat them like that, I deserve to at least have one.”) The biggest problem with comparison is that your standard of measurement is, most likely, not just. You cannot read the hearts and minds of others. You are comparing your “insides” to another person’s “outsides.” We need to stop looking around and start looking up. We need to measure our worthiness to God’s standards. We are all broken and flawed. None of us deserve anything good. We all deserve eternal punishment. It is only through Jesus that we are worthy of anything. Everything we receive is a gift and a blessing that originates from unmerited grace alone, and reflects the power and glory of God. Because of this, we must learn to accept and hold these gifts with open hands, knowing that if God asks for them back, He has a perfect reason.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding. 2 Corinthians 10:12b

  1. Our beliefs do not change truth. If you believe that the sky is orange, it doesn’t change the truth that the sky is actually blue. Our lack of wisdom that allows us to fall for lies, will not hinder God’s promises from being fulfilled. We cannot thwart His plans. We are all broken and flawed individuals. We will make mistakes and be deceived over and over. However, these will only serve to remind us that we need a Savior. Like little children, we must trust in the strength of His arms to catch us, every single time. What a comfort! Rest in the truth.

He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young. Isaiah 40:11

For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:10

 

Original material by Holly M. Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp47p07-28-14

Consuming Desires

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:21

It is so difficult, if not impossible at times, to avoid becoming consumed with our current desire. Whether it is love, marriage, having children, getting a better job, a better car, or a better house, we tend to allow these things to become the center of our universe. When things are going “right,” we are joyful and thankful, but when times get tough, we get angry and bitter. We love God when we can control the outcome of our circumstances, but as soon as He begins to work and takes away our control, we question and turn away from Him.

The Problem?

When we allow circumstantial things to control our attitudes, actions, and even our belief systems, we are asking for a rough ride. It is like building our lives on shifting sand. When our plans fall through or things do not turn out the way we envisioned them, we see ourselves as failures at life in general. We feel incomplete. We feel lost. Our world crashes down around us.

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it. Matthew 7:24-27

Because we plan on our lives going in a particular direction, we often set unrealistic expectations. We begin to get confused between what we can control and what we cannot. Anger, guilt, and bitterness flood our hearts, as we feel wronged, incompetent, and worthless. (i.e. “If I want a baby, but cannot get pregnant, or cannot hold a pregnancy, I must be broken.” “If I do not currently have a child, I am not complete as a woman. Being a mother will complete me and make me happy.”) We are tricked into believing that we can somehow control these circumstances in our lives. In reality, we can do very little to affect when and how most things happen in our lives. What we can control is our response to what God allows to take place. We need to take time, frequently, in our lives to step back and determine what we can control and what we need to leave at the feet of Jesus. This surrender will release us.

The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.Proverbs 16:9

A man’s steps are from the Lord; how then can man understand his way?Proverbs 20:24

I have mentioned this before, but if we aren’t careful, we will allow our desires to become our identity. We will view the person that we are through this filter of accomplishment or lack thereof. This is dangerous and very wrong. Satan will use this to gain a foothold into your heart and mind, feeding you lies and deceiving you straight into the evil grasp of depression and misery.

You will find that when your desires become your identity, you begin to live a “what if?” life. You will take on a “would’a, could’a, should’a” attitude. You will find yourself using the word “unfair” to describe your current circumstances, and “deserve” to describe what you desire your circumstances to be. Living this way allows discontent, bitterness, and jealousy to take over your heart.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.Galatians 6:7

The Solution?

The sovereignty of God and the unfailing truth of His Word.

The sovereignty of God allows Him to take control of what we cannot. It allows an all-knowing, all-powerful God to stand at the end of our life and then, reach back, take our hand, and lead us through it. What safety! What peace! What freedom! This sovereignty allows us to find security in knowing that it is already worked out – from beginning to end. We cannot thwart the plans of all-mighty God. We do not have the ability to make His plan better, and neither do we have the lack of ability to make His plan fail. What a relief that should be to our often guilt-ridden hearts.

Of course, as humans, our minds will often wander to what might have been. However, that is the moment that we remember that God’s ways are better than anything we could ever imagine. In our minds, the hypothetical is always perfect. The actual reality may have been far different. We must trust that God knows best.

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.Psalm 19:14

The words “deserve” and “fair” are dangerous ones. When you are tempted to use these words, take a moment to consider what is truly fair and what you truly deserve. Each one of us is blessed beyond measure. Each of us has more than we need. We have not been promised that our desires would all be met in full. We not been guaranteed a perfect or easy life. We must learn to be thankful and joyful for what we have been given, patient in prayer for what we still desire, and content in faith that God will only give us what is best for us.

The truth will set you free! This is a promise. God’s Word never fails. His promises are never broken. When you are trying living up to impossible expectations, judging ourselves by unfair measures, and condemning ourselves to live defeated lives, we are living a life based on lies. We must seek the truth. The truth about ourselves and the identity we have in Christ, which is never dependent upon what we accomplish, the truth about God and His deep desire to love us as His children – giving us only what is good for us, and lastly, the truth about our circumstances and desires. We must continually feed ourselves the truth, even when it hurts, even when we don’t feel like it, and even when we don’t really believe it. Because, trust me, when the truth spreads from you head into your heart, a peace and understanding, like you have never known, will flood your life. You will find joy and thanksgiving, in the midst of pain and grief, loss and fear, and tragedy and heartbreak.

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32

Our identity should be found only in our position in Christ. No matter what we do or what happens, our identity as God’s child will not falter. Because we did nothing to secure this identity, we can do nothing to lose it either. There will be many roles that we are called to fill throughout life, and we must be sure to avoid confusing our roles with our identity.

The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.Romans 8:16-17

If you do not have a personal relationship with God, or if you have wandered from His embrace, I urge you to contact us (joycomeswiththemourning@hotmail.com) or talk to someone you know, who can help you. Don’t waste another moment lost in helplessness and defeat. Our desire at Perfect Joy Ministries is to see you turn tragedy into triumph, pain into praise, and grief into glory. We desire to see you live a victorious and joy filled life, as you take the circumstances you find yourself in and turn it into an offering of praise unto God.

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.Acts 2:21

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.John 6:37

God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Allow Him to carry your burdens, manage your circumstances, and His truth to make your life a life worth living.

Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp5907-03-14

 

Broken Bones

Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice.

Psalm 51:8

When listening to the radio the other day, I heard someone say that when you break a bone, as long as it heals properly, it will be stronger than it was before. So, I did a bit of research. Although this statement isn’t always true, it does have some truth in it. While a bone is healing, your body forms a callus in the area of the break, protecting it and making it temporarily stronger than the bone around it. If it heals properly, the new bone is just as strong (occasionally stronger) than it was before the break.

Another example of this is when you get a sliver. Your body forms a callus over the area and surrounds the sliver in fluid. If you ignore it, an infection will form, causing pain and discomfort. However, if you remove the callus, clean out the fluid and get rid of the sliver, your body will heal itself.

I thought these were pretty good illustrations of how trials work in our lives. There are several steps in the healing process – physical and emotional – and if they are followed correctly, you will gain strength and wisdom that you couldn’t have gotten any other way.

  1. The Callus

Just as the body automatically forms a callus, in response to injury, our hearts often form a protective barrier. This can be a good thing, as it offers a level of safety during the grieving process. We often need some space, and some time away from other people.

However, this callus can become a bad thing. If we allow it to become permanent, our wound will never heal properly. We will always have a limp or a wound that keeps opening up. We must allow the callus to fall away, allowing air into the wound and promoting healing.

In the same way, we must allow our hearts to be open and vulnerable, in order to heal properly. This is, sometimes, really hard. It’s easier to remain callused and withdrawn, keeping our hearts “protected” from the world. However, if we stay this way we will have “limited living,” an emotional handicap. We must allow ourselves to hurt, so that we can heal.

  1. The Infection

If a wound is ignored, it often will form an infection. This will eventually effect the entire body, causing more pain and injury.

In our heartbreak, we sometimes allow “infection” in the form of bitterness, anger, and resentment. If we do not address these issues, we will eventually destroy our lives. We can choose to live in the midst of heartache and pain forever, never accomplishing anything of value, or we can choose to continue to live. We can take our new reality and choose to make something of it. Choose to find the roses in the midst of the thorns. It is all a choice – our choice.

  1. The Problem Resolved

When the sliver is removed, or the bone is properly set, your body is free to heal. It takes time for healing to take place – it doesn’t happen instantly. It often feels worse, before it feels better. However, if administered correctly, treatment will add in and even speed the process along.

In our lives, when we allow truth and time to have their way in our hearts, we will find that healing comes. It doesn’t change the reality of what we have been through, but it changes the outcome. It allows us to be stronger, braver, and more complete. It gives us a perspective and a wisdom that we lacked previously.

The goal in the Christian life is to become like Christ and to glorify God through the process. If we allow this to take place, we will see that the scars do not make us who we are, they only show where we have been. Do not waste your “broken bones.” Allow God to make them rejoice!

Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp56p06-13-14

Life is Hard

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.1 Peter 5:10 (ESV)

Life never happens at a convenient moment. There is never a good time for a child to die, for a husband to cheat, for cancer to attack, for a job to be lost, for health to fail, for a friend to turn her back on you,…for life, in general, to occur. We have all experienced the feeling of “Really?!? Is this actually happening right now?” How do we cope? How do we survive? How do we take another step, knowing that another attack is sure to come at any moment?

  1. Be prepared for it. Don’t ask, “Why me?” The question that you should ask is, “Why not me?” What makes any of us exempt from the effects of sin? None of us deserve goodness. The fact that we are alive and breathing is more than we deserve. Perspective makes a huge difference.

Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.1 Peter 4:12-13 (ESV)

  1. Stop and pray…right now. Even if the only thing you can say is “Dear God…” The cry of our heart is not lost on Him. There have been months in my life when I just could not pray. My heart, my head, and my body hurt too much to compose a prayer. The best I could do was cry out Jesus’ name, with tears and often with my face in the carpet. Any other word that I uttered seemed to smash into the ceiling with all the force I could muster, and then, drop back down on me, just adding to the already debilitating burden I was carrying. Based on Romans 8, we know that God understands this. He knows our human hearts can only hold so much. He knows that we are limited. So, He provided us with a Comforter, Who knows all things – past, present, and future – knows our every hope and desire, and knows exactly what is best for us. What could be more amazing than that?

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:15-28 (ESV) (excerpt from this passage)

Also, try to practice praying with people in the moment. I know it isn’t always possible, and might be really uncomfortable, especially at first, but this will mean so much to that person. I have not done this as much as I would like to say I have, but the times that I have, it has blessed me as well. I have had people do this for me as well. I remember my husband telling me that a group of ladies had an online prayer meeting on facebook, when I was in the hospital. That meant so very much to both of us.

So often, we say, “I’ll pray for you,” as we pass someone or even in a text or email, but do we remember to actually do it? I have made an effort to pray immediately for that person, as soon as I walk away. I also try to choose an object that will remind me to pray for them each time I see it, such as certain plants in my garden that I planted in honor of certain people. When I go outside, I see them and remember to say a prayer for those individuals.

 

Prayer is such an amazing gift. What a huge privilege to go into the presence of the all-powerful God of the Universe, the God of angel armies, and the Creator and Sustainer of all things! Such a humbling thought. We should never take or use that gift lightly. Prayer is the best thing that you could ever offer or give on behalf of another person. Do not underestimate the power of it.

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.Romans 12:12

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.  James 5:16

In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8 (ESV)

  1. Choose contentment. Choose joy. Life truly is what you make it. Happiness is fleeting, but joy will carry you through the difficult times. Do not dwell on the impossible. Do not waste today with the desires for tomorrow. Abandon the pity party. We all wish that people would take time to feel sorry for us. But everyone else is dealing with trials of their own. Take what God has given to you now, and use it to minister to others and for His glory.

Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Peter 1:6-7

But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:6

  1. Truth shall set you free. Speak truth to your heart…over, and over, and over again. God has never failed. He has never broken a promise. He has never made a mistake. The sovereignty of God never needs to be questioned. Do not doubt. When we are down and we are out, God is up to something.

I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.John 16:33

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?Romans 8:35

  1. Share your struggles, your pain, your heartaches, and your story with others. Obviously, we do not want to complain and commiserate with everyone that we talk to. That would definitely not make us very pleasant to be around. However, we are all hurting. Remember that everyone is going through difficulties. When you are willing to be real and share your hurts with others, in a positive and God-focused way, others are able to do the same. This allows you to not only receive some encouragement and support, but it also allows you to shift your focus from yourself to others. It allows you to see that you are not alone, that others are struggling too, and that even in the midst of your hurt and pain, you have something to offer. Don’t let your pain be wasted.

Who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.2 Corinthians 1:4

Over the past six years, I have lost four children – three which required surgeries and other follow-up procedures, had three other very challenging pregnancies, had two major surgeries – a thyroidectomy and a fusion in my cervical spine, had cancer and radiation, gone through months of withdrawals from pain killers, had debilitating and life-altering chronic pain, almost destroyed my marriage due to my lack of obedience to God, dealt with post-partum depression seven times, been betrayed and hurt by many dear friends, am facing two more surgeries in the weeks ahead, etc., etc., etc. The list could go on and on. I know that you have your own list. You have your story. You have your life that you are living right now.

We can choose anger, bitterness, and discouragement, or we can choose to allow our lives to glorify God. He never promised it would be easy. However, He did promise to never leave or forsake us.

It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.Deuteronomy 31:8

 

Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2014. Originally written for Mommies with Hope. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp46p05-17-14

 

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The Unseen

For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face.

Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
1 Corinthians 13:12 (NIV)

The world of macro is a fascinating and glorious one. Such beauty lies in that which is naturally difficult to see and is revealed only with lenses, created to take it in.

Taking some of these macro shots one day, I discovered a tool called, a “color picker”, in which you can hover this icon at any spot on the photo and suddenly the color is revealed on a screen to the side. Suddenly this macro world expanded even more, as colors I had not even known existed revealed themselves. Hues and saturations from one end of the spectrum to the other. And all of it on a color palette that even the most gifted master painter could not create.

Getting into this little side hobby caused me think of all which remains unseen within our circumstances and yet, is beauty, waiting to be revealed.

The unseen growth.
The unseen purpose.
The unseen beauty.
The unseen glory.
The unseen redemption.
The unseen blessings.

Unbeknownst to us, every circumstance, especially the most painful, can bring either a regression or a progression. We are never standing still in our Christian walk. For those who are constantly seeking to live a surrendered life, it is the latter, not the former. However, just as we are often completely unaware of the digestion process of our food, we are often quite unaware of our own spiritual and emotional growth for a period of time. But then, we look back through a journal or a blog or just in remembrance and we see huge steps in our faith level or our self-control or our joy and peace and we stop with humble thanks, because we remember what it once was.

line

This double-arrowed line represents all time – past, present, and future. Your life here on earth is the tiny red dot, and your life in eternity is the purple line. In reality, the dot would be so small, in contrast with eternity, that you wouldn’t even see it. Our life is merely a vapor. ( <input type=”submit” value=”Update” />  What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes.” James 4:14b) It is gone before we know it. Eternity is not a place you go after you die. Eternity starts at your birth, and heaven is simply a new place to continue to live out the life that God preordained for you. Right now, we are immortal beings with finite minds. When we make the switch into heavenly realms, we will be changed. We will possess the infinite mind to comprehend how everything in this earthly part of our lives fit together.

The children that we have lost had such small dots that many would not even consider their existence. Somehow, this can make us feel additional sadness and negativity toward our circumstances. We often feel that we “deserved” to have that child in our lives for longer. However, when our parents, or another senior in our lives, live a “long and full” life, do we not feel that it was simply “their time to go?” What is the difference? Human perspective. In God’s eyes, both lives were lived in their fullness and were complete and perfect. Not one day too long or one day too short. When we finally have infinite minds, we will be able to see this clearly, and our sorrow will be wiped away in a revelation of absolute truth.

The resounding refrain of Perfect Joy: This is not all there is! So much here on this earth impacts so much “there” in eternity. It might simply be the roles our babies were created to play in eternity, without experiencing earth at all. Earth is a sort of preparatory course for the rest of our lives. It often seems so senseless – so pointless here, but once we cross over there, we will look at what we went through, and how it worked together to make us into who we were meant to be in God’s “forever plan.”

Every pain that ever tore our hearts into jagged little pieces will be held up in light of His astounding, brilliant glory. Every tear shed, which is collected in His bottles, will reflect the sovereign purpose He had ordained for our lives before time. Every grief, every heartache, will be another worship cast at His feet, as we cry, “holy, holy, holy,” and like the beauty of a sunset after a terrifying storm, those heartbreaks will shine with a beauty we cannot comprehend here on this earth.

ALL things will be restored, redeemed, and completed to the glory of God.

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 1 Peter 5:10

In order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 4:11b

Sin, heartache, pain, sorrow, death, etc. were certainly not in the Creator’s initial design for mankind. However, at the same time, God knew that we would choose sin, at which point “bad” things would enter the world – multiplying and destroying. Could God have chosen to force His creation into obedience? Of course. Would He still be fair and just? Of course. Is it also fair and just that He allows difficulties, trials, and seeming “bad” things to happen to us? Of course. Why? Because we were created by Him and He owns us. The Scriptures say that God even uses sinners to accomplish His will. He can do whatever He desires. Here is an excerpt of Romans 9. I would encourage you to read the entire chapter.

What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory. Romans 9:14-23

This is not an easy concept for us to accept at times. We feel “wronged” or “slighted,” if we do not receive exactly what we feel we need. We often believe that we somehow “deserve” things to be a certain way, or that we somehow have wisdom beyond God to know what “should” happen. We seriously need to consider our perspective. I often use Legos as an example. If we created a huge Lego world, and our little Lego people raised their funny little hands at us in anger, how would we react? Of course, we would smash them, or at the very least, disassemble them. What right do they have to tell us how things should be done? This is the same lesson that Job had to learn. Job 38-39 is God asking Job what right He had to question His Creator. Then, we see a summary at the beginning of chapter 40:

And the Lord said to Job: “Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.”

Then Job answered the Lord and said: “Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.” Job 40:1-5

In conclusion, we have said it before, and we will say it again, God’s sovereignty will bring either bondage or freedom in your life. The choice is entirely up to you.

For more on this subject:

https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/?s=mine+or+his
https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/gods-sovereignty/
https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/our-wounder-our-healer/
https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2013/06/03/his-reward/

Original material by Melissa J. Carswell, MA, BCCC, Holly M. Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2014. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp42p02-23-14

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When Hope is Gone

Romans 8:18-30
18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. 19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23 And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. 26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

I have shared Romans chapter 8 before. I love the beauty in the promises. There is so much to take in. I love the verses about hope. But what happens when hope is gone?

The past month has been filled with my hopes being crushed. I have a severe spinal disease that needs treatment. I wake up each day with hope that this might be the day that someone “fixes” me. I have hope that I just might have a chance to play on the playground with my daughter – something I was never able to do with my sons. I have hope that one day my children could run and jump into my arms without causing damage or at least excruciating pain.

I was recently directed to look into a spine center three hours from my home. From the time they reviewed my MRIs, they were positive that they could help me. We had the surgeries scheduled, the paperwork completed, and a deposit paid. Then, Obamacare hit. My dreams of being whole and pain-free were over with one phone call. Because insurance companies are paying less for out-of-network treatment, my financial responsibility went from $2,000 to $20,000. In an instant, my hopes for healing were gone. The pain in my body somehow doubled in that moment. A spinal block and a wheelchair began to look, not only possible, but almost welcome.  https://www.facebook.com/hmbesser/posts/10152234809214994

From the time I was very young, I wanted to be a mom – that’s all – just a mom. I never had dreams of being a teacher or a doctor or an astronaut. I just wanted to have a family. Even in elementary school, I would draw pictures of the ranch that I would build for orphans. I wanted to adopt in the worst way. When the spine condition kept me from having children for the first seven years of my marriage, I thought that adoption would certainly be a viable option.

When I finally surrendered this area of my life and longing to God, I was blessed with my first son. Even though pregnancy has been a rough road for me, I was so grateful that God saw fit to bless me with three beautiful children here on earth and four more in heaven. In the meantime, my husband changed his mind about adoption. He was no longer interested. Ugh. Another dream dashed.

Now, I am facing the reality that my body cannot safely carry another child, without huge risk to my health. I have an appointment scheduled next week to have my tubes sealed. However, I am still praying and debating. How can I completely kill another hope? How can I allow the one thing I wanted for so very long to be taken from me? I just do not feel that our family is complete. I just do not have a peace about it. What to do?

As I ponder these hopes in my life, I have been forced to one conclusion in the past two days. It sounds so easy, but if you investigate your life, I will guarantee that you aren’t doing it either.

I need to put ALL of my hopes in GOD – ALL of them.

I need to stop hoping in science, in doctors, in adoption plans, in birth control (or lack thereof), and a multitude of other things to complete my dreams and desires. Even when I cannot see the road ahead or how God’s plan could possibly be accomplished, the Holy Spirit prays for me. He intercedes on my behalf with the Creator of the universe. He sees my heart and hears my cries for help, and He speaks to the One who named the stars, asking Him to meet my needs. Amazing!

I have said it before, and I’ll say it again, NOTHING WILL THWART THE PLANS OF ALL-MIGHTY GOD! There is nothing I can do or even the President of America can do to change the will of God. If He wants me to be healed, He will make a way. He doesn’t need an insurance company to cover the costs. He owns all the cattle on a thousand hills. He doesn’t need our money. If He wants me to have another child, He doesn’t need me to change my husband’s heart or keep my womb functioning, in order to accomplish this. Once again, I put my great God into a very tiny box. Oh, may I look to the One who formed me from the dust of the ground to complete what He has preordained for my life. God is already in my future. He has seen my children grow up. He has seen my grandchildren. Surely, my hope is in the fact that He will do what is best for me and what brings glory to Himself – every time.

Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2013. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp50p01-21-14

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Future Grace

Well, Thanksgiving was yesterday. It just so happens that I am feeling thankful. Actually, my heart has been very full of gratitude lately. I am the proud mother of seven children – four in heaven and three earth-side. I couldn’t be more thrilled with what God has blessed me with.

However, lately, I have seen and heard many moms complaining about their kids. Facebook is full of people who are discontent with the family they have been given. As a woman who has been asked to “return” several of my children, my feathers get a bit ruffled at these comments. I’ve noticed that this is a frequent aggravation for many of the ladies involved in PJM as well.

“I’m pregnant again?!? Ugh! I so didn’t want another kid right now!”

“I just wish this baby would stop keeping me up all night with his/her kicking. It’s so uncomfortable!”

“Yuck, stretch marks and varicose veins. This pregnancy thing stinks!”

“I’m so tired of being pregnant!”

“Why does this kid insist on whining ALL THE TIME?”

“When do I get a break?”

Most of us have seen these comments, either in black and white or by reading between the lines. Our first instinct is to scream and maybe cry. It seems so wrong that someone like that can have tons of kids so easily, and someone like us has to work so hard with little or nothing to show for it. What we wouldn’t give for a night of no sleep, due to a bouncing abdomen or even days of a sweet baby’s cry. These people should be taught a lesson in gratefulness for the amazing blessings they have been given!

Yup, this was me.

Let me share some truths that have changed my perspective, and maybe they will help you walk a short way in someone else’s shoes.

Due to my health issues, we waited seven years for our first child. I wanted a baby so bad! I begged God every night. At that time, facebook wasn’t around, so I was content to get angry at the mean moms in the grocery store. You know the ones. They scream at their sweet, big-eyed, curly haired children, swearing and belittling. How dare they? I would never do that! Children are a blessing! I would appreciate mine. I would only give hugs and kisses and snuggle with them all the time. I could never raise my voice at them.

My pregnancy with my first son was a joy. I had no major issues and everything went perfectly. He was born healthy and full of life. I had exactly what I had wanted for seven years. Now I could be the perfect mom to the perfect child. Ha! I had post-partum depression for nine months. I wanted to drop my newborn into his crib and never see him again. He never slept, and he wanted my constant attention. I cried and cried and cried some more. I blamed my husband for my anger and nearly lost my marriage. It was hell. So much for pointing a finger at the lady in the store.

After I finally got the depression treated, had some long discussions with God, and got back some normalcy, we started trying for another child. We lost two babies, right in a row. Really? Why was this so hard? Again my perspective bounced back. I blamed all of my past attitudes on the post-partum depression and again began judging my fellow mommies for their lack of 100% adoration of their little ones. I even lost friendships due to my quick evaluation of other women’s motives. I couldn’t believe that a mom would allow her boys to act like animals, or that she would throw up her hands in surrender and walk away from them.

I was blessed, two and a half years after my first son, with my first rainbow baby – another boy. I knew that nothing could be as bad as my first son who never slept. I was ready to be the perfect mother this time! However, failure this time was spelled c-o-l-i-c. Again, I was ready to wish it all away. It didn’t seem to matter how long I had waited for this perfect family. As my sons grew, they became animals – crazy animals. It was amazing. No matter how much I corrected and disciplined, I couldn’t stop them from being kids and I definitely couldn’t stop them from being boys. Guess what? I even wanted an occasional break from them! I also found my hands going up in the air more than once. Needless to say, I had to do some serious apologizing. This mom thing was really tough!

After my second son outgrew his colic, we began trying again. We lost two more babies, right in a row. Didn’t God know how much I wanted another child? Finally, number seven brought us our little girl.  However, this time, I had learned something. I wasn’t going to repeat my past failures. Instead of expecting myself to be perfect, I decided to give myself some grace. I decided to give my kids grace. Most of all, I decided to give others grace.

Because of my past struggles to have children, I may have a bit more patience, understanding, or long-suffering towards my children at times than your average mom, and I may not view every infraction as worthy of my anger and disapproval. I may hug them more. I may cherish the special moments with a bit more wisdom. What others may see as an inconvenience or a hassle, I may view it as adventure. I may even be just a bit more teary-eyed, as I see the handprints on the window getting larger and larger, knowing that one day, they will disappear completely. It will also break my heart every single time to see a mother screaming at her fear-stricken toddler, or hearing of parents abusing their kids. My experience has definitely changed my perspective. That is for sure.

However, In terms of difficulty, it really didn’t matter how long I had waited, how hard I had tried, or how many heartbreaks I had experienced on this road to find my family. Being a mom is really hard. My loss does not make everything that I face as a parent a total breeze. It doesn’t change the fact that my back is suffering, because my daughter likes to be held in a carrier on my chest, every single time she eats – and she wants to be moving the whole time. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m exhausted, because my first-born son still doesn’t sleep well and still demands constant attention. It doesn’t change the fact that I’m frustrated, because two years old isn’t my favorite age. It doesn’t change the fact that I get embarrassed and feel like a terrible mom, when my boys fight and scream through the grocery store. It doesn’t change the fact that I have bad days, I get mad at my kids, and I even yell at them more than I care to admit. It doesn’t change the fact that I have been that mean mom that other women glare at. I have had to apologize and beg for my children’s forgiveness more than once.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you have children, don’t feel guilty for having a hard day or for failing at being a perfect mom. It’s so easy to justify guilt, when we wanted a child for so very long and think we should be nothing but happy and grateful every single moment, no matter what. You know, like especially when that elderly woman makes a beeline for your shopping cart, just to tell you how “you must savor every single moment, because they grow up so fast,” and at the same time, your one child is dumping macaroni noodles down the aisle and another is sampling the chocolate syrup. Hmmmm, not exactly a great moment to savor, I don’t care how much you appreciate your children.

If you don’t have children yet, I’m just asking that you give other moms some grace, and that you give yourself some future grace. You might just regret the standard that you are setting for yourself.

Original material by Holly M. Besser, ©2013. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bp47p11-29-13

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To Sum it Up…

I went through our blogs and studies and tried to find statements or thoughts that summed up different truths that we have shared. I thought this might give you something to review now and then. God often speaks to us at different times about different things. Each time I see these reminders, I see them in a new light.

  • We are not our own. We have been bought and our lives belong to God. He has the right to determine how we should live them.
  • We do not deserve good things. We deserve death and punishment. Anything we receive besides that is simply a blessing and a gift.
  • Fear and faith can dwell together. There are two types of fear: the type that keeps us safe, and the type that controls us. We must always be leaning on the perfect love of God that casts out the negative fears, and make sure that we do not allow the positive fears to control us.
  • Nothing belongs to us. If we look at our lives with the idea that everything is a gift from God, we will have a much easier time letting go, when He asks us to.  We need to hold onto His gifts with open hands, not clenched fists. Remember to ask yourself, “Is this mine or His?”
  • Our identity must be found and rooted in Christ alone. If you will first establish who you are in Christ, the roles that you are called to perform and desire to live out, will not be as likely to consume you. They will not be the foundation of your identity but rather, the fulfillment of God’s glorious purposes for your life.
  • While you are waiting, do the next right thing. You don’t need to know how you will get to the finish line. You just need to take one right step after another.
  • The only person you can change is yourself. If you want a different spouse, try being a different spouse. It will transform your marriage.
  • Don’t ask God to make your spouse think, feel, or do something a certain way. Ask God to make your spouse be who God wants him to be. Your idea of “the perfect husband” might change in a month or two, and you’ll be asking all over again. Trust God to know what you really need.
  • Be sure that your anger is righteous. “The difference between righteous and unrighteous indignation is illustrated by asking, ‘Whose honor is being preserved?’  If I am angry because God has been dishonored and that vexes me, I am probably experiencing righteous anger.  If my anger is in the garden variety, ‘I can’t believe you are doing this to me…,’ it is probably unrighteous anger.” – Tedd Tripp in Shepherding a Child’s Heart

 

  • We must base our hope in the unseen. Hope in circumstances is based on a one-dimensional, limited human perspective. There is more beyond what we can see. The ripples of this life affect the forever of glory.
  • “If there were an easier, better, or more painless way for God to accomplish His will in your life, He would certainly do it!”
  • When people aren’t, God is.
  • Your past circumstances and influences are the reason that you react the way that you do, but never an excuse. You must learn to rise above these and become the person that God expects you to be in spite of them.
  • Our initial reactions to problems are usually wrong. We must learn to respond instead of simply react. This comes from feeding our hearts and minds with the truth of God’s Word.
  • As long as we retain our hold on our burdens, God cannot take them. We often go to God, dragging our troubles with us, but instead of leaving them at His feet, we drag them away with us. Even if we do manage to release our death-grip on them and walk away, we often run back to grab them, before we allow them out of our sight. We get upset that God isn’t fixing things or making our fears and frustrations go away, but at the same time, we cannot even see God, due to the bulk we insist on holding. We need to practice “hands-free” living.
  • Don’t wait until you are in the midst of trials to begin preparing for them. On the same token, don’t wait until you receive your desires to begin preparing for them either. Work towards becoming the person that you need to be right now.
  • Remember, we are not home yet. Our final destination is heaven. We aren’t supposed to feel comfortable or feel like we belong. We aren’t usually going to feel like we are where we need to be or want to be. We are only on a journey to our home. Stay on course.
  • “Don’t tell God how big your storm is.  Tell your storm how big your God is.”
  • We almost always act based upon our beliefs. What does the way that I live my life say about my belief in God?
  • God has promised that we will have tribulations, so don’t say “why me?” but rather, say “why not me?”  Perspective is everything.
  • God is a perfect Father.  Very few of us had ideal family situations, growing up.  We must not allow the imperfections of our earthly parents to cast a shadow of doubt upon our Heavenly Father.  We must allow God to re-parent us, and believe that He is exactly Who He says that He is.
  • If the current desire of your heart is based on bitterness, jealousy, and selfishness, you can be sure that it is not of God.  James actually says that it is “demonic.”  Our own way is dangerous.  God’s wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, and sincere.  If the thing you desire to do meets each of these qualifications, you can be sure that God is in it.
  • “Emotions are a see-saw of unpredictable feelings, teetering on the fulcrum of circumstance, which often result in rash and chaotic reactions.” – HMBesser
  • Whenever there seems to be “no reason” for what we are going through, we can rest assured that the main reason for anything we face is to bring glory to God.
  • As we live a life of repetitive discontent, we will find that several dangerous emotions will creep into our heart, and eventually begin to control our actions.

1.  Anger says, “You owe me.”

2.  Guilt says, “I owe you.”

3.  Greed says, “I owe me.”

4.  Jealousy says, “God owes me.”

These are all manifestations of a lack of contentment and thankfulness.

  • What is the most important thing that will be written on your tombstone? The dash between the dates. Everyone’s dash will tell a story.  How did you live your life, and who did you live it for?  How will you be remembered and what legacy did you leave behind?
  • It’s not the ghosts from the past that you need to fear, rather it is the monster that you let out and feed, when no one is watching.
  • I don’t think that God is going to wipe away our memories of earth, along with the tears.  I don’t think it is the circumstances that brought us pain and sorrow, but rather, the perspective that we have in our earthly bodies.  I believe that when we have a heavenly “make over,” our perspectives will be changed as well.
  • Don’t deceive yourself.  Anything can be an idol.  If it takes the place of God’s control over your life, it is an idol. Kill them and replace them!
  • Try to take what others say and do as a reflection upon where they are in their life, not a true reflection upon me, and pray for them. It’s not always easy. They are not in the same place that I am, and maybe God hasn’t dealt with that issue in their life yet, just as I may struggle in an area that God has already perfected in their life. Give grace.
  • When desire is uncontrolled it is never satisfied, requires instant gratification, and can cause us to make bad deals. Desire, when controlled, can drive us to action, keeps hope alive, and is sanctioned by God and fulfilled by His hand.
  • God certainly has the power and ability to change your situation.  But what if He doesn’t? You have two options at this point:

1.  Get angry and allow your heart to harden in bitterness, as you rebel against God’s will for your life.  Continue in discontent, as you stare longingly at what you desire.

2.  Choose joy, peace, and contentment, knowing that God does all things for our good and for His glory…every time.

Try praying, “Dear God, fix this or change my heart.”

  • Do you love God more?
  • It’s never about us. It’s always about Him!
  • We can only love and comfort others to the extent that we have experienced it ourselves.
  • The key is obedience not information. As humans, we usually want to know “why, when, where, how, etc.” However, God doesn’t owe that to us. Often, we wouldn’t understand it anyhow. Practice “going without knowing.”
  • “Our comfort zone is a great place to miss the will of God.” – Dr. David Jeremiah
  • If we never had opposition or trials, most of us would never veer off-course or take any risks.  Sometimes, God has to stir up the cobwebs in our lives to make us “itchy” enough to start cleaning. Change always comes as a result from being uncomfortable in our current condition.
  • Our unbelief is not a reflection or indicator of God’s ability or power.
  • Your “I CAN’T” moment can be a breaking point or a blessing point.
  • Another person can only handle your troubles for a short period. Even the closest of friends and the strongest of families can only share your burden for a limited amount of time. It’s not that they don’t care. It’s not that they don’t want to help. It’s just a matter of fact. Everyone has their own burdens to bear, and no one can possibly walk away from their own life permanently – no matter how much empathy they may have –take on our pain, and see it through from beginning to end. What people can never do, God does in absolute inclusiveness.
  • People just fade in and out of our lives. God puts people into our lives, many times, just for a certain season of it. Instead of grieving the loss of a friend, try to be thankful for the fact they were there, when you needed them most.

 

Original material by Holly M. Besser. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2013. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp09-10-13

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Painfully “Un-Pregnant”

It’s gotten a lot easier.

I still cry.

But it’s easier.

When we were first diagnosed with infertility, a year after our first, very early miscarriage, a young, unmarried woman told me she was pregnant. I’ll be honest. That seemed really unfair. It was even more painful when she did nothing but complain about her pregnancy every, step, of, the, way and then, once the baby was born, proclaimed loud and long that she “just didn’t bond with the baby and she was only raising ‘it’ because it was the right thing to do.”

The tears that came from my eyes in those months and years were plentiful and painfully angry.

Eight years of have passed. I have my two earth-side miracles. Miracle, after quitting fertility treatments, and Mason, after a ruptured ectopic took my right tube.  And I have my four heaven-side miracles, the last two finding life in heaven just last year.

Two in one year. It’s a lot for one heart to take.

It’s even more to have two Dr’s tell you that you need to count your blessings that they “were just miscarriages not ectopics.” Especially when the last one had two accompanying ovarian cysts,  seen at the ultrasound for the miscarriage, and a look at my history and increasing pelvic pain pointed to worsening endometriosis. With that, the counsel to prevent, because the risk of tubal is growing with every pregnancy. “And you know the complications that will bring. More so than a spontaneous miscarriage.”

Yes, I know.

But I’m not ready to quit.

My husband is however.

And I have submitted to that. At first with tears, then arguments, then pleadings, and finally, quiet acceptance.

This is where the pain grows. Not only has my body seemingly said “No,” my husband has as well. I’ve been shut down all the way around and frankly, I have no control. Because even if I deceived my husband and secretly pursued pregnancy, with the way it’s been going, I’m not even going to get to keep that baby anyways.

Does that sound bitter?

I re-read it and it seems so. But it’s not, I assure you.

Pain, yes. Bitterness, no.

Because there is peace in surrender. I can promise you that. But there is also pain in the peace. I can also assure you of that. Sometimes we think that if we’re surrendered, the pain miraculously goes away. That’s not truth.  Jesus’ agony at Gesthmene shows us that. There is a peace and a grace to bear us through the pain instead.

So now what?

One of my best friends is pregnant.

One of the young women I mentor is pregnant.

I’m attending the birth of the young woman, and I plan on being at the hospital the minute my friend lets me, for her daughter’s appearance.

Will it hurt?

Yes.

Does it hurt now, to see their pregnant bellies?

Yes.

This is reality.

It Hurts.

But this is also reality. I love them. And I know what each one has been through. My young woman? The father of her daughter drowned and after missing for two weeks, that’s how he was found. Floating in the bay. It was horrific. But then joy found her and a godly man committed to forever with her and her daughter by saying “I Do,” and now, joy has found her.

And my friend? I’ve walked with her through three of her losses. And they’ve been horrible and delayed in their agony, and I have wept for her, as she has waited for the joy of a healthy pregnancy and have it escape her. But joy has found her, and the day I hover outside her birthing room and hear that newborn squall, I will be crying as hard as she is within the room, gazing at her for the first time. And as I hold that baby, I will cry with joy that she got her miracle and I will cry with pain, remembering my own arms should be holding a newborn, of my own, right now.

Rejoice with those who rejoice. That is easy when you love them. And I love both of these women fiercely.  And even as I rejoice, I hurt.

Because that’s reality.

What about when the pregnant one is not someone you love fiercely? How do you do it then?

Pondering this, I come back to the cross and Jesus and His sovereignty in our lives, when we accept His gift of salvation and allow Him to be Lord of our lives.  I really think that’s the only way. Because my emotions certainly can’t muster up the strength to just get over it on my own.

This lordship thing…It’s beyond difficult. It’s surrendering to the acknowledgement that He knows better, and His ways are not ours. It’s saying, I don’t understand, and this is tearing me in a million pieces, but I cast myself upon you, trusting You to bring beauty from this as only you can do. It’s  not only accepting we have no control, it’s finding peace that we don’t, because somehow we believe if we were controlling it, it’d turn out more painful than it already is.

We also do this when we find that our pain can be our greatest gift, for it’s where we find Him.  Offer the pain as your worship. Here we find an astounding intimacy with God because the offering of our broken hearts reaches into the depth of His and He gives of Himself in return.

Surrendering to Him doesn’t mean praying and then forcing ourselves to let it go. It’s not a deluded denial that we’re “fine.” Surrendering is taking the pain in all its raw, screaming, tears and pouring out to Him that we are not fine and He is our only hope – our hope as our Comforter, our Healer, and the Sustainer of our hearts.

We also find peace in the pain when we focus on Him not on what we wish we had. Isaiah tells us that we will be kept in perfect peace if we stay focused on Him.  The more I focus on, “I would have had a newborn right now. . . I want to be pregnant. . . my husband won’t let me. . . my arms are empty. . . my crib is sitting empty. . . this wasn’t how it was supposed to be. . .” the more it tears me up inside. But when I turn my gaze on Him, offering up each and every one of these wishes and longings – and yes, the many, many tears – and asking Him to keep them in His love, instead of me dwelling on them to the point that all other joys in my life disappear, I find that peace. Peace that truly passes understanding.

That young woman I mentor? Who’s birth I get to be witness too? Her baby is being named in honor of me. She calls me Lissa. The baby will be named Alyssa Joy. Alyssa after me, joy after the joy that has come after she—and I with her– have walked through grief unimaginable.

Grief turned to joy. Her grief turned to joy now, mine to be turned to joy in eternity and yes, even a glimpse of that miracle of joy in the pain, earth-side as well. Because, as Holly puts it – and all because of Jesus – joy does come with the mourning.

To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.  

Isaiah 61:3 (KJV)

(To read a blog from the perspective of pregnancy after loss, please read Holly’s account of her 6th pregnancy in https://perfectjoyministries.wordpress.com/2012/09/14/guilty-as-charged/. She shares of the guilt that she felt being pregnant, knowing so many others wish to be.)

Original material by Melissa J Carswell, MA, BCCC. Perfect Joy Ministries ©2013. May not be used or re-printed without permission. bsbp41p08-21-13

 

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