How I Go Through Trials-Keyword-Through

As long as you are alive, you will go through things in life.  Sometimes you’ll go through difficult things, sometimes, not so difficult.  How you respond in those times is a very telling testament to who you truly are inside.

I’m learning to see these times that God has allowed in my life as times of opportunity for growth and development.  God can and does use everything to help us to grow in Him so that He can trust us with the destiny and calling He has placed on our lives.  Graham Cooke says God allows us to go through tests, and He never fails us.  He just allows us to take the test again and again until we pass. 0_o Yikes!!

I am allowing myself during the trial I am in now, to grieve as needed and do what I need to do along that vein, but I don’t just stop there and wallow.  Oftentimes, when we go through difficult times, we feel alone.  Part of the reason is because we shut ourselves off from the rest of the world and God.  We tend to put all our energy and focus into ourselves- feeling bad, feeling sorry, feeling betrayed, hurt, or whatever other negative aspects we can focus on.  The truth is, even then, we are not alone. We are always surrounded.  I challenge you to look for God during trials.  He is not hiding at all.  It’s amazing.  It has become fun to look for and find Him and His handwork over and over and over, even as I cry.

When I consider my losses, especially the last 5 I have endured since August, I allow myself to get excited for 3 reasons.  1. When I get to Heaven, this won’t matter. 2. When I get to Heaven, I will never be a part from these children ever again.  3. I get to have them all!!  These were pregnancies that overlapped.  Outside of being pregnant with quintuplets, I could never have had all 5 of them here on Earth but in Heaven, I get them all!! Whoo hoo!!!

A key for me during these times has been to keep going.  I keep right on loving, serving, giving and helping others.  When someone sends me a message asking for prayer for something, I don’t turn it into something about me and what I’m going through, I just pray for them as I would for myself and keep moving.  It has become a wonderful habit.  I love how I am now allowing the attacks of the enemy to push me right into the arms of my Abba.  I am worshiping Him and abiding in Him like never before and it is so good!!  I see God all over the whole situation as He pours into me during our quiet times and He uses people to shower me with a love that I had never known possible.  I have gotten prophetic words for strangers as I am out in the midst of this trial.  I’ve gotten word that some of my recent words of prophecy are coming to pass right now!  I’ve gotten flowers, money, a free painting session with my artist friend, free dinner and such an outpouring of love and support that I would be flat out lying to say that I feel like I am alone.  I am surrounded!!  As I freely receive all this love, I can’t help but continue to give it out.  I am excited to see what’s next!

So keep moving, keep going, don’t just sit and wallow when you go through trials in life.  If you feel like you don’t have people supporting or loving you, go out of your way and do what you would want, for someone else.  I guarantee, you will see a return on it in more ways than one.  Don’t make everything all about you.  Get up and do something for someone else.  You aren’t the only one going through something.  We need each other and while so many are waiting for God to do something, He is just waiting for us to move. So, move!! Go though this trial and pass that test! You can do it!  You have the entire Hosts of Heaven rooting for you!

 

Grace to Enjoy, Grace to Endure

You don’t have any idea how much you can endure in life or what you are capable of accomplishing when you have an intimate relationship with God. Like Graham Cooke said, we have grace available to us each day- grace to enjoy what is happening and grace to endure what is happening.

I have done things this weekend with such a strength that I *know* there is no way I can take even a gram of credit for it. I simply made a decision, and my Abba totally carried me, then, my family by blood and The Blood, my tribe, people I can’t imagine living without, came alongside Him and carried me too. I am broken and fulfilled. Heart broken but so happy. I cry the heart-wrenching tears of a mother of many but I belly laugh and mean it with all my heart.

I have lost yet another baby this weekend.  It’s like I am filling Heaven with children.  This weekend was the weekend of what has become a favorite for me- the prophetic retreat.  I was charged with leading worship on Friday night with my oldest daughter and my spiritual father Russ.  I was also given the opportunity to lead a workshop.  Pastor Gary called me saying God showed him a vision of me leading a workshop on prophetic parenting.  What was hilarious was that he also said that he had no idea what that entailed, lol, so it was like, “This is what God showed me.  I have no insight for you on this. Are you in?” Without hesitation, I was so in.  🙂

I am growing to love these moments.  When God nudges me to do something I don’t know how to do or can’t do in my own strength, I simply yield to Holy Spirit, trust and move forward and amazing things happen.  After realizing I was losing my baby, I was of course told that I didn’t have to do anything I wasn’t able to do but with God to lean on, I did it!!  Philippians 4:13 means more to me now than ever before.

I cannot cry and sing, but with God’s strength holding me up, I was able to move forward and worship Him in the midst of my pain, physically and emotionally.  In the beginning, I simply swayed to the music to ease the lower back pain that comes with what I call the mini labor of miscarriage.  As I sang to my Abba, I felt like I was caught up in a swirl of color and love.  There was so much peace there.  The pain of my mini labor vanished in that moment and it was just me and Him. Bliss.

Then, I was able to do it again the next day.  We led worship and it was amazing.  I was able to sing prophetically over everyone and although I have no idea what I said other than remembering singing the word “abide”,  it is an amazing testament to what God can do when we simply yield to Him.  He takes care of it all.  In one moment, I sang strongly and prophetically over the crowd and in the next, I sat on Mama Robin’s lap, as she held me in her arms and I released what I hadn’t yet been able to.  I cried and sobbed and was probably super loud but I did not and do not care.  For me, this is huge.  It was a breakthrough moment that was so important and necessary.

Then I went on to lead two workshops on prophetic parenting.  That too was good.  Again, something that I didn’t know how to do, was done beautifully, with God’s help.When we come to the end of ourselves, He is just getting started. Brokenness is a good place to be in with Him.  A great place.  It’s where the best yielding and trusting can take place.  It’s the place of miracles.  It’s where the supernatural abounds.

Then,  the retreat was over.  I purposefully left without saying goodbye to anyone as I knew I would breakdown and cry.  I just lingered a bit and then left.  We stopped at a store on the way home and while in line, I looked at a young mother and God began to speak to me about her.  She was overwhelmed at times and not sure she was up to the task ahead of her.  She was with her mother in law, infant son and husband.  I looked for a way to speak with her privately and then laughed and said to my Abba, “Look at me, Abba.  I’m still hesitating aren’t I?”  He said nothing.  I said, “Ok, I’m gonna do it, you know I will.  I just don’t know how to do this.  How do I do this?”  He said, “You put one foot in front of the other…”  I laughed out loud and did it.

 

The Paper Wall

Last year, at some point, my husband and I prayed about our fertility, our imaginary control over it, and gave it over to God.  We like to say we trust God wholeheartedly, but most of us have areas where we shut Him out, thinking, “I got this area, Lord.”

Taking this new ground hasn’t been easy at all. On January 16th, I started the process of losing my 4th child in 5 months.  Talk about warfare!  This last time, I broke down and got angry- with God.  Here I am, trying to trust Him and He allows this to happen? How? Why?

When I feel betrayed, I normally can’t speak to or even look at the offending party, and I erect a wall.  I have done this with God at least two times before, after my grandfather died and again after my father died. I don’t like that I do this, I even told God this two days ago, but I still did it.

This time though, I kept right on talking to God and He to me.  I even continued to minister to people prophetically through it all, strangers and family.  I did all this while telling Him how upset I was with Him, and I, as before, erected a wall, albeit a flimsy one, made of paper this time.  For a moment, I even began to question whether or not He loved me, wasn’t punishing me for something or perhaps this was some sort of “wilderness experience” He was allowing me to go through.  Thankfully, I was able to recognize these as thoughts the enemy was trying to get in and not at all the truth.  The enemy was doing His best to attack my very relationship with my Abba!  I had a decision to make.

One thing that stunned me, stopped me in my tracks was how He responded to me as I cried out to Him and told Him that I was angry with Him and felt betrayed by Him.  He simply said, “I’m sorry.”  The God of the universe, who knows all things and will work this out for my good and others who I am now more equipped to minister to, told me He was sorry.  Amazing…

I am trucking on with Him, I have no where else to go and don’t want to anyway.  And, that paper wall I erected?  I did a prophetic act… I took a sheet of paper, labeled it as the wall that I constructed against my Abba, saw Him behind it, waiting patiently, missing His full access to me…  For a moment, I wondered why He didn’t just tear it down, it’s paper, He’s God.  He reminded me that He hadn’t constructed it and He wouldn’t take it down, I had to.  So, I tore that “wall” to shreds and threw it away.  I love my Abba and trust Him completely.  Now, I see Him clearly, there is no wall.  He is smiling at me as He slowly opens His arms.  I run into them and we embrace.  I am home again.  I am safe and so very loved.

Grateful

I am grateful and hurting. Happy and a little bit angry. I feel loved and a bit isolated. And, I feel dizzy, and nauseated and sleepy, but mostly grateful.

Someone in my family had twins today. I asked what kind- boys. I said, “That’s nice. I have twins too. The dead kind.” Eventually, I shed some tears as my husband held me and snored in my ear.

Then I looked on Facebook and someone I love posted lyrics to a song that talks about surrendering all to Him, withholding nothing.

I love that. I am so grateful to have a God who cares about me so much, who loves me so deeply and understands me so completely. I can be totally honest, raw and uncut with Him and He can take it. I can ask questions even the hard ones, especially the hard ones and He doesn’t get angry with me or try to make me feel guilty for feeling the way I do. He just loves me right where I am.

I am grateful that He has done something in me where the pain of loss is greatly lessened. I don’t understand what He has done or how nor do I really care. I just know I am not experiencing what I have in the past, what I could be experiencing right now.

The pain I feel now, I know it could be worse. I noticed it first with the passing of my sister, who is also one of my dearest friends. She passed on my birthday this year. I have experienced mourning in a very different way. God has truly “changed my pain” as we sang at her funeral.

This makes me feel so loved, so cared for by God. As I lay here recuperating from a significant amount of blood loss, dizzy, tired and a bit nauseated… I am thankful.

I’m thankful to be able to say aloud, any feelings I am experiencing about anything, about everything, especially concerning the children I won’t get to raise on this side of Heaven all the while rejoicing because when I see them, we will never part again.

I can rant about how unfair it is, all while referencing atrocities like abortion. I can cry to Him when so and so has her baby or babies or my other friend shares pictures of her beautiful twins or my other friend announces the sex of her twins. He understands that I am both happy for them and sad for me as well. He gets that.

What’s more is that He is with me when I decide to be brave and not only go out, but go out intending to serve His creation. He knows I love operating in the gifts He gave me, so right as I am bleeding, knowing that I am losing the second baby, but seeking to serve, He meets me and shows up in a way that only He can.

When I can only envision myself as a puddle on the floor, He gives me an unfathomable strength to prophesy through song… A song that has never been sung before and will never be sung again in quite the same way. How amazing! How awesome is He?

To leave my home where I literally cook for everyone else and forget to make something for myself because I don’t eat meat. Where I can be seen walking around with two right slippers, feeling at times as if I am coming completely undone, hanging on by a thread, but He cradles me, whispers sweet everythings into my spirit. Then He gives me the strength to keep going and still touch the lives of His people in a mighty way. Nobody but God Almighty does this!

So, even while experiencing the hurt, dizziness, sleepiness and all that comes with this type of loss, I feel so encapsulated in love. So protected, so strong, because in my weakness, He pours upon me His strength and it’s more than enough to get me through this… And for that, I am grateful.

Running From Reality

Sometimes, I just don’t want to deal with reality.  I don’t want to face facts.  I don’t want to face the truth of a matter.  I just want to keep it down and carry on as usual.  I want to be happy and come out of myself and help others. The problem is, that happiness wears off after a while.  It doesn’t last a lifetime, it’s fleeting. I don’t want to be sad or angry.  I don’t want to dwell on what I can’t change, but, just under the surface, I am ready to explode.

I want to curse, scream, cry, vomit and stomp.  I want to destroy something, smash something into tiny indistinguishable bits.  I want to know why, I want to know how, because therein lies my pain.

What I am running from is catching up to me and it’s making me angry.  Lord, please just let me outrun it for a few more days, then I’ll deal with it…  I don’t know how long I can keep running.  I just don’t want to face this right now.

On Monday, I found that I was starting the process of miscarrying a child I didn’t yet realize I was carrying.  What I thought was the start of a normal cycle began to change when I realized something was off and then, my body began to expel the remains of my unborn child.

So many thoughts run through my head that make me angry, unspoken thoughts, some of which, aren’t even my own.  Thoughts of mainstream society, people closest to me and others who don’t know me very well at all.  I can only pray no one utters those thoughts aloud.  Lord, please seal their lips and block my gift so I don’t discern thoughts not uttered.

I don’t want to talk about it unless I bring it up, yet I *hate* the idea of people who know, pretending like it hasn’t happened and going on and on talking about their lives.  We are missing somebody!! I just want to hide away in a hole somewhere and come out when all’s well again.

The shock is beginning to wear off.  I don’t want to do this. Not now. I only hope it doesn’t go as badly as the last time.

My Beautiful Unassisted Miscarriage

I’m taking a lot of time away from Facebook these days.  Something about being on that site tends to bring tears to my eyes and I just don’t need any help in feeling sad.  I have that covered.

I feel almost hypocritical in my pain.  When I loss my baby, I felt fine. I found myself comforting others as I told them of the loss.  Little did I know, just months later, I’d feel like I was on a roller coaster, sometimes up, other times down.  The down times have a bad habit of coming on when I’m not in a position to give in and release all that’s inside.  I don’t like to share my pain with others because they often want to fix it and it can’t and won’t be fixed until I leave this Earth and am joined with my baby, never to be apart again.  I just need to be, without judgement, suggestions or pity.  Thankfully, my constant companions, my daughters, are wonderful with this.

My due date was January 25, 2013.  If this baby would have followed the pattern of my other children, I’d be holding my baby in my arms by now. Obviously, it’s sad, but I like to remember and dwell on all the good, sweet moments I have because of that short, wonderful pregnancy.

When I first learned I was pregnant, I cried.  I’d never cried about being pregnant before, nor have I ever cried after giving birth, although, I prayed for and planned all of my children.  This one was different.  I took a digital pregnancy test and when I saw “Pregnant” I just sat there and cried, thanking God.

This time, I decided to tell my mother, husband and children in really sweet ways.  I sent my mom a card with a poem from the baby that I’d decorated with baby decals. I gave my husband what looked like a bracelet box but when he opened it, it too was decorated with baby decals and had the positive (pissy) pregnancy test inside.  I sent my girls emails of an inside joke that they’d understand to mean I was pregnant.  It was all really sweet and we were all beyond thrilled.  My husband and youngest daughter really touched me with how, right from the beginning, they’d put their hands on and talk to my belly every single day.  It was wonderful.

My body seemed to begin changing right away. I remember with a smile, the day my husband called me on my cell and asked me where I was.  When I told him our oldest wanted to pick out maternity clothes for me, he said he wanted to be the one to pick out my clothes.  I told him he could come the next time.

When I started and kept spotting, my husband and I talked about our options.  This was a planned family pregnancy and birth-no midwives were invited this time around.  We are dead set against sonograms and dopplers and we knew that those were the only two things any obstetrician or midwife around here would want to use at that point in the pregnancy.  We weren’t willing to subject our child to 90 decibels of blaring noise and sound waves.  If our baby was to die, it wouldn’t be because we did anything that we knew was harmful.  Because we chose to not see anyone, we were able to enjoy the pregnancy. Everything unfolded naturally and beautifully.

I thought it was sweet that the day I went into labor, was our 12th anniversary. It was just me and my husband.  The girls were all asleep.  We’d planned to go to a cabin to celebrate our anniversary but at the last minute we decided against going.  My husband had me promise to let him know if I felt any pain along with the bleeding.  I was beginning to feel back pain the night before our anniversary but I didn’t say anything.

The next morning, I awoke suddenly when I realized I was wet and bloody, and so was our bed.  My husband has a serious aversion to blood associated with vaginas, lol.  He was still asleep.  I wracked my brain, trying to figure out how I’d get everything cleaned up without him seeing anything but first, I went to get myself cleaned up.

I remember the birth worker in me being fascinated by it all.  I examined the bed and my underwear, noting that it smelled like birth in the room and that it was not just blood, but a lot of amniotic fluid literally dripping down my legs as I went to the bathroom and showered. At some point he woke up. He handled everything quite well, clearing off our bed and checking on me.  There was no sadness on either of our parts, we just did what we needed to do.

As I showered, I remember feeling the first contraction.  I thought to myself, “Am I really in labor? Was that a real contraction?” I waited after the twisting pain subsided and when it began again I knew.

I got out of the shower and my husband told me to get in the bed on his side- which I’d normally refuse because I’m weird like that but I did it. By this time, the contractions were minutes apart, nothing majorly painful, but steady and sure.  At some point when my husband had gone to the bathroom, I lay on the bed and coughed a little.  At that moment, I could feel something in my vagina so I stood up on top of a chux pad and out came a gush of fluid and an immature placenta.  Again, the birthworker in me took over and I stooped over and inspected all that had come out. There were no tears, no fear, just me doing what I felt I needed to do as more fluid and blood dripped down my legs.

At some point, I recalled my husband’s feelings about this type of blood and I scrambled trying to figure out how to get my oldest girl up to help me clean up without dripping all over the floor and bringing it all to his attention.  Before I could make any concrete plans, he was at the door staring at my bloody thighs. Then, his attention turned to the flesh, fluid and blood on the chux pad and he asked, “What the hell is that?!”  Laughing (yes I laughed in the midst of this),I tried to block his view with my bloody butt and told him to just get our oldest daughter so she could help me clean up.  His soft reply was the sweetest thing… “I’m here, I can do it.” So together, we cleaned everything up and I got back in the shower again.  Once I was settled back in bed, he went out and got us breakfast and that was our anniversary. 🙂  Although the birth ended in death, it was the most beautiful one I’ve experienced.  There was no one there to suggest, advise or take over.  No one told me I couldn’t touch and examine what came out of me.  I took my time, we both did.  So did our children, when they got up.  It was a beautiful family birth on my wedding anniversary.  After having experienced this and seeing my husband rise to the occasion in such a touching way, I know we’re ready and able to do it alone.  That was the best part about it, we were alone.  I am eager to be pregnant again.