Coming forth from our pain will emerge a deeper trust in God. . . a beauty we can not even imagine. Even though we can't see Him or at times even understand what we're going through, we can always look around us and see His beautiful handiwork. His creation speaks and gives confirmation that He sees us, knows our hearts, and is aware of our pain.
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes,
No matter where we are or how we feel, He is there. We are never out of the tender reach of His hand. It brings comfort to me knowing I'm never out of His reach and always on His mind and in His heart. As His child, I can never be removed from His strength, support, and the comfort of His presence. Thank You, Father, for Your tender mercies. They are new every morning.
Every moment is a unique place we’ve never been. The familiar becomes the unfamiliar. Trusting our unchanging God when we’re traveling uncharted territory is vital to finding hope. Sorrow, suffering, brokenness, are all an inevitable part of our journey. We could not know love without loss and sorrow, joy without suffering, and peace (wholeness) without brokenness.
When you're trying to find your way through the messy road of hurt, cling to what you know is true—-we have an unchanging God. That doesn’t mean the road of hurt to healing and hope is going to be easy; it will more than likely be a messy journey full of detours. And your journey is not going to be like someone else’s—-it’s a personal journey with a personal, loving God traveling the road with you. I wish there were five easy steps to no longer feel your pain, but there’s no such thing. What you do have are cross-shaped blazes marking the way to finding hope, reminding you of the truths found in God’s Word. Christ is your hope of glory, your hope for healing and peace. Based upon the truths found in God’s GPS system (His Word), I can promise you, you will get through this. He is with you because He doesn't leave you to walk this journey alone.
Grief tempts us to walk alone because it’s raw and messy and we don’t want to be seen as weak. Fight against that temptation to walk the trail alone. Walk knowing He is with you and ask Him to bring godly friends to walk beside you on this path to healing. They will be “Jesus with skin on’ as you journey through the messy paths of life.
“For in hope we have been saved, but hope that is seen is not hope; f
or why does one also hope for what he sees?
But if we hope for what we do not see, with perseverance, we wait eagerly for it.”
Mother's Day is extremely difficult for many of us. The pain in our hearts seems to be magnified on days that the world tells us we're to be happy and celebratory.
For the rest of this devotional click here to read on Marsha's Musings. It's an updated version of last year's post. I'm also over at the team devotional blog, Laced With Grace with the same devotional.
Babies aren’t supposed to die. They’re supposed to be born, grow up, and die when they’re old and gray adults. But we live in a fallen world and sometimes the fallout lands on us.
Lucie would be 5 years old today had she lived. It's hard to believe that much time has passed, and yet in some ways, it feels like yesterday.
Her then 16-year-old Mom was one of my clients. We knew early on Lucie would die shortly after being born, so we had time to prepare. . . if you can ever prepare for holding life and death in your hands within minutes of each other. Together we clung to God’s rope of hope and experienced the presence of God in the midst of great sorrow and suffering. It was a presence that empowered the young Mom, “T”, to survive the scars and planted seeds of hope that eventually blossomed. Today she is a thriving young woman in her junior year of college with dreams of going into the medical field.
"T" called me this morning, as she has every February 9th. We spent a few minutes catching up with each other, but mostly, we shared tears yet again. Five years ago our tears intermingled on the most heartbreaking day of her life; the day baby Lucie breathed her first and last breaths. The following day she walked away from the hospital with empty arms and a broken heart. Today, her aching arms are still empty, but her broken heart is mending, knowing God is using this in her life; and knowing one day she will see Lucie again in heaven--strong, healed, and whole.
Tears are a strange sort of gift God uses as a conduit to fill the broken hearted with His other gifts.
The rest of this post is from my journal dated February 9, 2011. May it bring someone with empty arms a gentle hug filled with comfort and hope.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4
"In some ways life has flown by this week, and yet in other ways, life stood still. It’s been a week of savoring both the sacredness and the sorrows of life. I’ve seen grace abound, yet I’ve also pleaded for more in the dark hours of grief, fumbling to make sense of how life and death come from the same Hand at nearly the same moment.
I’ve witnessed first hand an umbilical cord cut, ushering in new life; only to watch that life silently pass. Like a butterfly’s dance in the wind, so has life been this week; a thing of beauty and grace, fluttering about and then suddenly it is no more.
The grace of God has trained us for this moment. Forced to feel the burn of pain in order to benefit from the fruit of His grace both now and later. We knew life and death would come partnered together.
But it’s hard.
It’s hard to listen to a mother’s sweet voice singing tender lullabies to her child and minutes later hear the guttural tones of a mother’s heart being ripped from her chest.
I sat helpless by her side holding them both in my arms. Were the bitter tears I tasted my own or hers? I could not tell for they were mingled together.
“God, shower your grace upon us! Help us see You through this pelting storm!” My heart cried silently – I think. Maybe I whispered it aloud. Maybe that’s why I tasted the salty, bitter tears.
I may have been the teacher, the mentor, the life coach through all of this, but He has taught me life lessons as well. Lessons I need to write down as reminders of these gifts He’s given me this week, gifts cloaked in sadness and pain as well as some with great joy."
Processing Life's Gifts
Heart Wrenching Rubble....
We've watched as shockwaves of devastation continue to shake the world.... Nepal and Baltimore are the epicenter of conversation. Pictures of both are heart and gut wrenching evoking tears, fears, anger, frustration. And then there's images of hope - babies pulled from the rubble, a little brother sheltering his baby sister, a lone black child giving out water bottles to riot weary police.
But what if you're the one whose life is laying in ruins leaving you with a heart that's skipping beats and racing out of rhythm? He wants to restart your heart, too. Stay with me... hopefully He will breathe Hope into you.
If God is good, why do people have to suffer ?
Are you hurting? Feeling hopelessly lost in the rubble of life?
He is Faithful.
He is Good.
He is Just.
He is the Giver of Hope.
He loves you.
Don't see signs of life? Feeling hopeless?
Wait for it.
Long for it.
There is Hope for the hopeless.
Our Deliverer is coming.
Hear His words of Hope for you today.
when you cry out in the lonely moments of your despair for the life of a loved one,
for physical healing, healing of relationships that have gone awry like sprung coils;
cries in the midst of a storm; Dear one, do not lose heart, do not lose hope.
I Am Hope.
I give you more than future glory, I am your present glory.
I do hear you;
I do answer you.
My ears are not closed to your requests and your fervent prayers,
but you must have hope. Trust Me!
I know your heart, I hear you,
but My will cannot be flopped like a fish on the sand.
I cannot change because you fast, or plead,
or because you insist you know more than I.
Allow My written Word, which throbs with the Power of Hope,
to enter your mind and body like fresh blood in your veins,
new life in your thoughts.
Your hope of glory is in My Son,
the One who intercedes for you daily.
He ransomed and redeemed you,
and provided the hope of eternal life that I promised ages ago (and I cannot lie)?
And how will your soul relax in the trials of life
if you do not perceive in the far reaches of your mind
that I give you more than miracles?
When you have My mind, My wisdom, My knowledge, My understanding,
you will not panic at the threat of death.
Instead, you will march through it
as if it were only a valley, because I am with you.
Do not be afraid, My child.
Caress the sister of love, which is your gift of hope,
and bravely come through the darkness.
I tried to out run my Dad's thundering wrath, but my 9 year old legs just weren't fast enough. The chase continued down the street, the belt pelting my back, my arms, my legs. I had been to the playground and lost track of time. He came in a rage and chased me down the long concrete sidewalk.
Cars drove by, people watched from their front porches,they heard my cries for help, but no one intervened. I was being publicly beaten, publicly humiliated, publicly rejected, publicly abused physically and verbally and not one person cared to stop the violence against me. Not even when the belt wrapped around my ankle causing me to fall. They heard my cry, but no one cared. Even as he grabbed me by the arm to pull me back up to my feet, ripping the sleeve of my blouse, no one came to save me from the ravages of an out of control man.
I felt ashamed, defiled, naked, vulnerable, abandoned. I felt like a failure and a sinful person because no one cared enough to come to my rescue, to save me. I must have deserved his wrath.
A Life Scarred by Fridays
It's Friday....but Sunday's a Comin'!
Video by Igniter Media. Available through WorshipHouse Media dot com.
The seasons of life can feel much the same way. Grief, illness, depression, can encase us in a winter-like grip that convinces us that newness of life is for everyone else, but not for us.
Take heart. Even the longest of Winters is momentary in light of eternity. Spring is coming.
"For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison." 2 Corinthians 4:17
(Written in 1804)
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.
Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.
The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed -- and gazed -- but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
By William Wordsworth (1770-1850).
Becoming the woman of grace God's designed me to be. it's all simply grace.
Bride Of Christ
Goodness Of God
Hearing God's Voice
Help For The Hurting
Love Of God
More Than A Baby
Name Of God
Sanctity Of Life
The Broken Way
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