When There Isn’t a Glue that Fixes What Has Been Broken

It was late last night when I saw the news. Exciting news for some but for me, it was a reminder of how drastic life has changed. I wept and I still weep today. With one little article the flooding, a lifetime of memories flashes through my brain. With one little article came the realization, once more, that a shift has taken place.

It feels like it is all my fault but deep down in the crevices of my heart, I know the truth. Yes, some of this divide is my fault but not all of it. Some of the consequences I face were a direct result of decisions I have made in the past but isn’t that all of life? Don’t we all face good consequences and bad consequences because of good and bad decisions we have made?

I could sit here and revisit the years gone by. I could sit and wallow in sorrow and frustration over all that is included in my story. I could wish for a different story; be jealous of someone else’s story; become bitter over choices others have made that have directory altered my life. I could do these and so much more. My head tells my heart to be stubborn. Put your big girl panties on, heart! My heart tells my brain that I should have tried a little harder to change some things. Brain, you are too stubborn at times! All in all, this war between the brain and the heart only causes more turmoil.

It boils down to one thing: change. If there is ever a time when that very word, change, causes such raw emotions in me, it is in these moments. When worlds crash together and what is left behind feels like a gaping hole too big to heal. The remnants of what was ooze with pain so deep that it feels like for sure this wound is going to leave a scar so deep it won’t ever completely heal.

I could stop right there because that’s what my head says I should do. Stop feeling. Reserve the frustration and pain and turn it into bitterness. However, I cannot and should not. No, brain, you cannot win this battle. If I allow you to turn my heart towards bitterness than we will forever be stuck here. Yes, we will be stuck right here. Heart, you are going to need to let this go. This does hurt and you can feel hurt for a little bit but know that there will need to be a time when you will have to pull yourself together in order to move on.

Yes, isn’t the past in the past. It defines me today but it cannot define my tomorrow. It can point to who I was but it doesn’t describe who I will be in the days ahead. As I write, I feel the strength already seeping into my bones. I am going to be okay. Yeah, this might actually be a scar but hopefully, it points to a better tomorrow. Hopefully, this scar will only launch me into a better tomorrow.

So I will bow my head and pray:

Jesus, heal my broken heart. Calm my stormy seas. I choose You. I choose to forgive myself and those who have hurt me. I choose to embrace the season I am in even in all of its unique loneliness. I desire to be molded into the woman you keep calling me to be. You are my rock and my fortress. You are my strength when I feel weak. You comfort me in my sorrow. Help me to patiently wait for you as you bring about your plan in my life. You are good; so good that you know what is best for me even when it does not feel like it is best. I claim victory over the feeling like I’m a loser. I claim your peace over the feeling like I am a failure. It’s you I want more, not other opinions and thoughts on me. I choose you.

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Today and every day in the past

Today. It’s significant to me but to most, it probably is just another one of those Mondays. Today, for me, is a two year anniversary and the memories of today flood my brain like it was yesterday. Allow me to reminisce for a bit.

It was an early morning call. The doctor on the other side said, “Come, Crystal. It’s time.” I had an hour’s drive to make and knew I needed to keep my head on straight. I began packing a bag for my one infant son, hoping that in my clouded brain would remember everything that I might need that day. I drove fast down the highway, praying no police would stop me. All I knew was that I needed to get to the hospital now….because Malachi’s twin brother, Cayden, was making it clear that he was done fighting this world’s battle.

As I stepped into the NICU and I immediately remember that the atmosphere had changed. There was a silence. I was ushered into my son’s space and the curtains were pulled. The doors to our big NICU room were closed off and no visitors were allowed entrance. My parents joined me so that I was able to focus on Cayden. This day, was about Cayden because I didn’t know how to be a mom to both boys on that day. Malachi was there, but I was with Cayden. The doctors and the nurses made sure Cayden was comfortable and for the first time since we entered the NICU, I was able to hold Cayden securely.

You see, before this moment, Cayden was the little boy who was the “person to see” in the NICU as he had every machine possible on him working. Every training nurse stopped to visit Cayden to see these machines at work on such a tiny body. Because of all the machines, the incredible amount of work it took to move Cayden, and the large amounts of pain he would be in, I had only held Cayden twice before this.

On this day two years ago, I held little Cayden. Except for when I needed to use the restroom, I was there holding my little Cayden, my strong fighter. Not even my parents who soon joined me in the room were allowed to hold him. The hours went by and I secretly kept praying that God would heal my baby as I held him.

Soon after coming back from the restroom at one point, the doctors became firm and resolute as they placed Cayden in my arms. It was my clue that the end was near. I sat holding Cayden as I watched his heart rate begin to drop. It was like a countdown clock had begun; one I couldn’t stop but begged it to.

One of the nurses told me later that she saw him smile as he took his last breath. I don’t remember. I’m pretty sure my eyes were sealed shut as the heart rate monitor struck 0 and the flatline showed the evidence.

Now two years from this moment, there is still a deep heartache. There is so much about this moment in my story that begs me to just let go of the full-out, gut-wrenching sobs that don’t come out the rest of the days. There is a sadness that not only spans the fact of saying goodbye to Cayden but just in recognizing how different my life is now compared to just a few years ago. I could so easily go down the path of thought of why did any of this happen.

Why did God take me to K-land? Why did everything that happened over there happen? Why did I even meet the father of these boys? Why could I not have learned these simple things about who I was in different ways? Why couldn’t I have seen who much of a pushover I really was, how much I was driven by other’s expectations of me? Why couldn’t I have learned how to say no and be okay with someone being unhappy with me?

Oh, so many “whys” to wade through!

The reality is that the call to go to K-land was so clear to me that although I ask all these “why” questions, I can also go straight back to the moment God touched my heart to go to this land of what turned out to be so difficult.

So today (and every other day, really) turns out to be a day where I come face-to-face with myself, who I am today.

I am a woman. I am single. I am a mother. I have twin boys-one in heaven and one who loves to try my patience. I weep for the days behind me but I am so very thankful that God keeps writing out my story. I am a sinner but praise God, He is redeeming me.

Today, and every day from this point, I claim who I am. I will work to not hang my head in shame. I will grieve today and tomorrow I will pick myself up off the grieving floor, face the world before me, and tackle it with gusto. Today, 2 years ago, changed my world, changed how I see my world. I hope that 2 years down the road, I say the same thing about today – that today was a monumental day that impacted my tomorrow just because I allowed myself to grieve, to feel the depth of how my world changed, to remember that I let go of the hope of a miracle happening on this earth. Here’s to today – of looking back on two years ago with the anticipation of where the next 2 years will take me.

Thank you, God, for never letting go of me when I could not see, could not feel, could not breathe. Thank you, God, for your grace that continuously amazes me and surprises me. Thank you, God, for the story you are writing through my story, for the ways you will use my story in the future. Bring on the next 2 years! 

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Go For It!

I marked my calendar with an appointment labeled “Write One Chapter of Your Book.” Yeah, I really did! Now that I’m staring at my computer screen, I wonder where I even start? I mean that literally too. Where do I even start? Should I pick out the funny stories? Should I tell of all the difficult moments? Or maybe I should stick with only the past 3 years of my life since that feels like the most monumental stuff out of it all? Sigh…

I almost put my computer away. Instead, my mind drifted to a memory not so long ago. My friend Renae and I took a long weekend and for something absolutely crazy, we flew to Orlando, FL. Now I should have paid more attention to where the beach was in relation to the motel I finally picked but that will be a story for another time (well maybe not…it isn’t that significant of a detail to write a story about!).

Anyhow, we went to the beach. After 3 hours of pure sun and no sunblock, I decided I should sit in the shade, hoping to not ruin the next day’s thoughts of sitting on the beach. Little did I realize that it was too late. I had already turned into an overcooked shrimp! But there again is another bunny trail of no significance. While sitting in the shade of a pavilion, I could enjoy my book but also the best thing to do in public places, people watch. I noticed these two boys.

Let me set up the scene for you. I was under the pavilion sitting on a bench. There was a wide walk-way, then a guide rail. There was perhaps a 2 foot drop to the beach except that at places, a mound of sand was built up to meet the fence line. It was like a mini dune of sorts. Oblivious to my observation of them, they carried on like young men do-running, jumping, egging each other on to do tricks.

At one point, the one boy ran up the small dune like hill of sand, grabbed the railing and proceeded to do a back flip down to the flat beach. It was really cool and I was quite impressed. The other boy, too, was really impressed. Over and over and over this boy did his back flips. Over and over and over I could see the other boy really wanted to join his partner in doing back flips. I couldn’t hear their conversation but I could tell from their mannerisms that the one doing the back flips was spurring the other to try to do them as well.

My attention honed into this boy who wanted to do these back flips. He’d run up to the fence, get into the stance and then chicken out. He just could not commit to trying it. There he’d go again. Run up, bend his knees, grasp the fence and just when I thought he was going to do it, he’d run back down the small dune. Then one time, it was like the bravery set it. With determination, he ran up the hill and at the fence, he stopped and let out his man grunt, complete with beating his chest.

I’m positive that this is exactly what Tarzan did as he beat his chest and let out his brave yell or whatever it is called. I’d say scream but that feels to feminine of a word. Bellow? Grunt? What word describes a man’s yell as he bolsters his brave spirit? Anyhow…

I watched. In fact, I’m pretty sure I held my breath, waiting, expecting, hoping, willing this boy on to try a back flip. After all that will power, he again retreated down the hill. Nooooo!!! I almost cried out at him. I almost jumped off my seat to run to the fence and spur him on. I mean, what stranger does that? ha! I laugh just thinking about that notion. It would be something I might do but in this case, I somehow refrained.

There was just something about this boy and his desire to do a back flip that collided with my spirit. While the boys carried on for a bit more, I took the time to evaluate what was happening inside me. I realized that I saw myself, in a way, in the same predicament as this boy.

The challenge was made and my spirit desperately wanted, no needed, to take the challenge by the horns and go for it. The risk, however, was what caused me to pause. There are a host of things that lay as a challenge to me; two of them are #1. to write a book and #2. to open a restaurant/coffee shop/bakery something or other. The idea, the dreams are there but the risks are too.

What if, like this boy, I can’t do a back flip? What if, I fail? What if, I sink money into a dream that isn’t the wisest of things and I’m left in the whole? What if, nobody likes my food? What if my book doesn’t sell? What if I fall flat on my face and eat a lot of sand?

What crashes in as I ask all these questions are the thoughts I had as I watched this boy. So what if you eat sand, boy. At least you tried to do a back flip! Maybe, just maybe, you’ll experience the joy of pulling off a great back flip? So why can’t I apply these thoughts to my own life?

Maybe I need to run up to the fence, get into the stance, let out a good bellow, maybe even beat my chest and go for it. It’s terrifying really.

The boy did eventually do a back flip. It wasn’t perfect but he landed on his shaky feet. I almost, almost, jumped off my seat to give him a round of applause but I really didn’t want to make myself seem like that “crazy lady”. It made me smile, like a deep smile from down within my heart. Go for it, right?

Do you need some motivation for a new adventure? Tell me about it! I’ll jump off my seat for you and applaud you! I’m rooting for you because you just never know when you might succeed.

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When Emotions Collide

Happy. Sad. Joy. Tears. My emotions feel like they are all over the map. I want to celebrate and I want to crawl under the covers just to cry. One year. It’s hard to put into words this one year.

My son Malachi turns one today at 8:32 pm. My Son Cayden would also be turning one at 8:31 pm. I celebrate one year of growth and yet my eyes can’t seem to stop leaking because I wish I was celebrating with both boys. As is my typical thing to do on birthdays, I remember the year that passed. Today especially, I remember the beginning. I have no idea if I shared so many details here so if I’m repeating myself, I apologize. I find that today in order to celebrate one life, I must also celebrate both lives even as it brings me tears.

I remember. I grieve and I will celebrate.

One year ago:

Last night found me having a 3 hour long stress test, monitoring the babies’ heart rates. Baby B at the time (The baby’s names became A & B because I choose not to know the gender.) What usually was a 20 minute stress test became 3 hours because B’s heart rate dropped. I was a wreck. They finally assured me that B probably just moved and the monitor then picked up my heart rate. What looked like a drastic drop in a heart rate was quickly believed to not be something to worry about. I was a wreck. I didn’t sleep well. I wanted to make it to 34 weeks  but there was this un-acknowledged thought that I wasn’t going to make it that long. In the back of my brain, I was just waiting. Isn’t that why I went to the hospital at 24 weeks? I was like the bomb just waiting to go off but hoping against all odds that I could make the 34 week mark.

I awoke on Sunday morning a year ago with a heavy heart. I called my parents and asked if they would pray, ask the church to pray over my anxious heart. Nothing was wrong but deep inside fear was making havoc over me. By midmorning, I started having pain in my left leg. This was odd to me since I never knew that labor pain could start in a leg. However, it came and went so I began to wonder. Thinking that Baby A was perhaps on a nerve, I decided to take a nap, skipping lunch to sleep. I woke up I think around the 1ish mark still having a pain in my left leg that would come and go.

What I believe was a God thing, my parents decided to make hour drive to the hospital to cheer me up. Around 2 they walked in and one look at my face told my mom that something was up. I told her about this weird pain I was having. About that time one of my nurses walked in and it was decided to put me on a monitor to know for sure if it was contractions. Within a half hour, things began to move quickly. First it was a liter of fluid pushed into my body in 15 minutes. The hope was to stop labor. Next up was a slower drip of liquid into my body over an hour to again hopefully stop labor. Next up was magnesium. Nothing was stopping my labor pains. From the moment, Mom thought I was in labor until this point, contractions were coming 2 minutes apart and steadily increasing in pain.

Finally around the 7:45ish mark, the doctor came in to inform me that we were going to meet the babies tonight. I chuckle now at my question back to the doctor. “Is this like I’m going to meet them in a few hours or like right now?” I’ll never forget his look to me. “Crystal, we aren’t going to run to the delivery room but we will be there in a half hour.” Oh.

Mom went with me to the delivery room. She was the one to tell me that my babies were boys.

So tiny. So precious. So fragile they were. Cayden was 2 lb. 12 oz. and Malachi was 3 lb. 2 oz. It was unbelievably incredible when I could inspect their tiny fingers, tiny toes, heads of jet black hair. Oh the beauty of new life.

I feel like this journey with the boys continues to be one of joy and sadness all at the same time. Every day I went to the NICU I could walk between the boys’ beds and experience joy as Malachi excelled and sadness as Cayden fought every day. It was a mix of emotions praying for miracles for one boy while seeing the other one thrive. I wanted God to move mountains, to prove to all those that saw us that He is real, that God is good, and He wants to do wonderful things in our lives. I struggled with exhaustion over all the emotions with Cayden and then felt guilty at the happiness Malachi could give. I longed to touch, hold, and caress Cayden as much as I could Malachi. I had a hard time with each surgery, each change in machine figures, each test done to check Cayden’s progress. I wasn’t sure why I was more drawn to sit and hold Malachi more than sit with my son Cayden. Oh how my heart remembers all of this.

So I cry. I cry remembering this year. I remember the joy of bringing Malachi home and crying, feeling so torn with leaving Cayden at the hospital. I remember hoping that the unthinkable would happen. I remember the early morning phone call while feeding Malachi. I remember the voice of the doctor saying I needed to come. It wouldn’t be long. And I remember holding my precious boy, Cayden, as he took his final breaths. I remember the deep sorrow, the sobs escaping my lips, the tears, and the utter grief of handing over this precious boy to the One who has been writing my story from the beginning.

I remember the feeling of empty. Of feeling like it was finished. That the battle was over. If I could paint a picture it would be of me, sitting in ashes unable to put thoughts into words, unable to even think. Desolate. Alone. Empty. I lived like this for months on end, unable to really truly know if I was going to survive everything. Malachi brought joy, oh yes, he did. There is not a day that doesn’t go by that I am not humbled to be called his mother but nothing replaces Cayden.

I have no idea how I would have managed with two babies, but I know I would have loved to have tried.

Today I sit, reflect, cry, smile and wonder. I finally feel like I’m out from underneath that cloud which was hanging over me for the longest time. I know, for sure, that I still have much to contribute to life, to the people in my life. I know that God has a plan for me. While I never dreamed that my life would like this, I won’t change it ever. Boy, have I grown and still learning. I’m learning how to set boundaries that are healthy to me in all relationships. I’m learning how deep God’s love is for me and the depth of mercy given to me. I’m learning what it means to adapt to constant change, to love unconditionally, to sacrifice without complaint like a mother does. Oh yes, so many lessons yet to learn too.

All in all, this year has brought so much. God is so good. He really is good. I choose to embrace this roller coaster ride, the mountains and the valleys, the joy and the tears. Yeah, I’m gunna embrace this day.

It’s snowing outside. I told my cousin that I think Cayden is sending me some snow on his birthday because he knows how much I love it. She responded with “It’s the confetti falling down from his party!” Yeah, I like that a lot. Confetti. Thank you God for today. Thank you for so much. For the influence both boys continue to have in my life. Thank you for writing my life story. I am humbled. I love You!

P.s. Once again, I didn’t read over this. No proof reading done so if I have a typo or didn’t say something correctly, I apologize. I will try to do better next time!

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Today’s Musings

Cleaning out my office space so that I can be more productive, I found another treasure from long ago. A little note. Who knows where I found it and the author is not listed but the words are a great reminder to me. It says this:
Your heart and your character are forged when life does not turn out the way you planned.
So today, I am praising God for this journey I am on. I’m not about to trade it. The crazy thing about it is that for a long time I felt like a caterpillar struggling against my own cocoon. I felt like I can’t struggling with my restraints, wondering when the darkness, the silent growing would end. All I wanted was to be a butterfly but I kept feeling that I was being required to stay put and endure the metamorphosis stage in my life.
Certainly my life has not turned out to be what I thought and I know some will say that I should have thought about a whole lot of things. Some will say that I carved my life into what it is today but that one choice back then. And yes, I would tend to agree with those that want to say these things to me. I did make a choice.
BUT I am catching a glimpse of a butterfly being uncovered, a freedom that I have longed for and didn’t know how to live it. I’m sensing a new day that is absolutely breathtaking.
With that, I will choose to live without regrets. I will choose to embrace my story, knowing that every day I turn towards God, He will redeem, restore, rebirth in me His plan, His will, His desires.
How is your heart and your character being forged today?
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Joy Gone Missing

This morning I realized something. Actually I’ve noticed it before but I’m only writing about it now. It also feels like I’m finally willing to name it in my heart. It kind of feels like I’ve been skirting around it—not that I wanted to avoid it completely but more like I just didn’t want to be honest with myself. Perhaps this is all part of the grieving process.

Grief is a funny thing to walk through and when I say funny, I mean in an ironic kind of funny. How does one honestly know if they are navigating the waters of grief correctly? Who knows…

At any rate, I was reading an article this morning about a lady who is bringing joy and it hit me in regards to joy. I used to have joy. People commented on my smile, on my eyes. The people around me know me as one who laughs and enjoys laughter but as I sit here today, I realize my joy was taken captive. It’s been missing for quite a long time.

The past couple of months have been hard. I’m sure there are many others who have gone through much worse so who am I to complain about all that has taken place in my life. BUT…it has been hard. It’s like the crazy weird battle over my heart, over my mind, and certainly, over my joy.

The last piece I wrote talked about the birth of my two sons, Cayden and Malachi. Malachi has excelled beyond amazement. Cayden, however, has not. My sweet little Cayden gave me 55 days to spend with him. My heart breaks as I remember this now. My eyes well with tears as I recall holding that precious boy as he left this world to go dance on the streets of gold. I still remember quite vividly his last breath, the moment his eyes opened to look at me one last time, and then seeing the heart beat drop to 0.

Just like that. I went from single in America to learning how to live as a single in another country. Then upon return, I learned it wasn’t going to be just me. In the throes of culture shock, the blows of being pregnant threatened my undoing. Then I went from wrapping my brain around pregnancy to learning I was carrying twins and then on to wrapping my brain around complications. I moved into the shock of a high risk pregnancy to learning to live in a hospital for 6 weeks. I counted the days and weeks and prayed to reach 34 weeks of pregnancy but even that didn’t happen. At 30 weeks and 1 day, I went into labor unexpectedly and then joined the countless parents who walked the NICU journey.

After 45 days, Malachi came home and I prepared to try to figure out what it looked like to have one baby home and the other still in the NICU. 10 days later, Cayden was gone…like sand slipping through my fingers.

Is there any wonder why I feel as if my joy has been robbed? There are so many conflicting emotions that it is hard to sort out. I long for peace. I long for the strength I once had. Instead, I sit here in what feels like a heap of ashes wondering what in the world I have done. How do I heal from all of this? How do I find my joy again? And can’t we just move out of this grieving phase now?

I’m tired of grieving. I’m tired of crying over things. I’m tired of hurting, of being hurt. I’m just tired. I don’t want to think about how to justify pregnancy, two sons but now one. I don’t want to hash out why some friendships are going up in smoke no matter how much I want to hold on to them. I don’t want to understand the past just so that I can understand where I am headed in the future. I’m just tired. Have I said that enough?

Deep down, though, I feel the hope rekindling. I feel the embers of hope, of healing, of peace, of joy starting to smoke as the tiny waft of oxygen is coaxing life back into the fire I once had in my life. Yes, God is doing something in me. While I recognize my joy has gone missing, I can sense that God is bringing it back to me.

So my heart prays:

Oh, my Poppa. My Poppa.

You have formed me way before my parents knew about me.

You knew that I would reach this destination right here, right now.

You knew. And You still have a plan for me.

A plan uniquely designed for me.

Only you know how dangerous this journey has been over the past few months.

How weak I was, unable to function, unable to process completely.

Unable to love, unable to accept, unable to even utter Your name.

You have seen my questions, my tears, my frustration.

You have seen it all.

And still You love me.

You pour your grace over me.

You lavishly uphold me in your mercy.

And I feel it deep in my heart. I feel you carrying me.

I understand deeply that I am not alone. I never have been and I never will.

As my tears subside and I begin to see a little clearer each day,

I hear and feel the new beginnings of hope you are placing in my very being.

So I pray

That you keep drawing me closer to you even when I don’t understand it.

I pray you renew and restore my joy in abundance.

Make my joy overflow.

Yes, Jesus.

Renew. Restore.

Till my cup overflows.

Yes, till my cup overflows

With joy.

Yes. Till my cup overflows with joy.

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The Big Questions

Wow…it’s been a long while since I have written something. To be honest, life has been a whirlwind. It’s been hard to catch my breath with everything that has taken place over the coarse of a few months. Plus, I just wasn’t sure how to write. I wanted to write but then wasn’t sure if the real, honest-to-goodness truth of it all would be accepted or even understood. I now remember that I started writing with the intent of being real with people. I wrote what came out of my heart, the questions I faced, the hard truths I learned and so forth. It is with this in mind again, that I once again stared at my computer screen with the intent of capturing all that my heart contains.

Bare with me.

I don’t know where this will find you, but I suspect that not one person has or will be exempt from asking some really big questions. So here goes.

I am a single woman and until recently (as in 4 short months ago) I found out I was embarking on the journey to motherhood. I was raised that you save yourself completely for your husband. I still believe this to be the best option. However, while living across the ocean, a man persuaded me to give him everything. I wish I could say that I had the strength of an iron ox but alas, I did not. There was a war raging and I fell to the arrows of my deepest longing–to be loved, to be held, to feel safe, to feel treasured, to feel pursued. All of these things and more, I hoped would one day find me. I didn’t expect to find any of that while living over there. I wasn’t even looking. When everything else about my life over there was chaotic (to put it mildly), when I should have been strong–I gave in.

Now? The things that haunt my brain are thoughts I wish I could erase. Maybe I was just an American girl who was someone to be conquered. Maybe he really didn’t love me at all. Maybe I gave up this priceless treasure to someone who had no idea the value he took from me. Maybe, maybe, maybe…

But these thoughts are not why I write today. Nope. They don’t even come close. Instead, I write out of the past two week’s journey. You see, January 31st, 2016 I gave birth to two beautiful little boys who have since rocked my world in so many ways it isn’t even funny. My two precious little men. One of these little men is doing really well for being a preemie baby. The other seems to have a long road ahead of him.

Long before he was born, I knew this little man could potentially have lung problems but I prayed for a miracle. That miracle didn’t happen. Now, as I stand by his little bed in the NICU I find my heart pleading with God for another miracle. This is the place that I write from today.

Luke 18:1-5 says, ” And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, ‘In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.””

My one son needs a miracle. Because of this, I have felt challenged in my faith to pray specifically for a miracle for my son, one of complete healing for his tiny 2 lb almost 3 lb body. What it feels like is this: the harder I pray, the worse things get. How is this possible? I’ve noticed moments of deep faith in myself, where I believe God is just waiting to shine His glory. BUT, I have also noticed that I have more moments, deeper moments where my faith crashes into reality. So I struggle. AND I ask some big, hard questions.

God, haven’t I suffered enough through all of this? Have I not paid the price for my weakness already? Do you not see my son? Do you not see his tiny body? Why did you give me a name for him that means “great fighter” if he will die? How can he fight if he has some handicaps? Why do you not hear my cries? Why do you withhold your healing? Am I not praying hard enough, long enough, strong enough? Do I lack even a mustard seed of faith? Where are you in all of this?

I am met with silence. Well maybe not complete silence as I know that God is carrying me through all of this. I just want to say that it isn’t enough to know this right now. I NEED SOMETHING MORE! Better said? I WANT something more than this knowledge.

I have cried so many tears that I should probably invest in the tissue market.

The simplest truth is that I just want life to be easy…not all the time but just maybe right now for a short time. Give me a break. Give me some time to rest. To recoup. To rejuvenate. To find balance. I haven’t had these luxurious things for over a year now. I don’t ask for much, do I?

I really don’t know where all this finds you. I don’t know the path you are walking, the struggles you are facing, the big questions you are asking. Yesterday, I reached a small breaking point. It was a moment where I was about to hang up the towel to dry and succumb to a faith that didn’t ask such hard things. I was ready to just accept that this is my lot in life. It was there that my spirit was quiet enough to hear God speak into my heart not with answers, mind you.

Job 38 starting at verse 2: Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements–surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy? Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limist for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed?’ Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?

On and on it goes. Keep reading for yourself. It continues until chapter 40 and after a small response from Job, continues yet again until Job again responds in chapter 42. It is after this, that I come to the spot of bowing my head to God above. As Job says:

“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.”

So hear my prayer O God:

I do not claim to understand your ways. Neither will I claim to grasp your will but I desire to be found as one who finds her place solely in You. Teach me how to come before you boldly but humbly. Teach me to pray as a persistent woman who refuses to give up until her heart’s cry is answered. Yet, teach me to do this with the humility of knowing that You are good and Your will is perfect. These two things do not make sense to me but Your thoughts are and will always be higher than mine. As I grapple with my big questions and many others, I can only pray that You take them and make them into ways to propel me into a deeper faith in You. You are my God. I hold out to You my son who needs healing. I stand before you boldly but humbly asking for your touch on his life. On top of that, I ask a special anointing on both of my sons’ lives to become the men of faith you have created them to be. May I be poured out, spent fully on display of your grace, your mercy, your unbelievable love. I fix my eyes on You, awaiting with expectancy, believing in your Sovereignty, and delighting in Your presence. 

Where do you find yourself today? What questions are you asking? How can we both encourage each other, spur each other on in our journeys?

P.s…sorry. I’m not even going to proofread this. If there are typos, if there are things not said correctly, the wrong English word usage and so on, forgive me please. I needed this out. I need to spill all these thoughts before I pushed the notion aside to press the publish button.

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