Home.

Life is heavy.

Sometimes it’s slow and subtle, like a steady leak in your boat that you can’t seem to catch up with. Eventually, the water is higher than you realized and it’s all you can do to tread. How did this hole even get here? Why didn’t I patch it sooner?

Other times, it’s an unsuspecting wave that rises up from the calm and consumes anything in it’s path. As you are tossed and turned by the water you wonder if you could ever make it out alive. How could this happen? Will this pain ever end? 

And then there are times when you’re standing on the shore witnessing a sinking boat or the crashing wave and you feel helpless and broken without a life raft. How could I help? What if that was me?

Our circumstances are rarely fair and unfortunately, we aren’t privy to the full picture. Pain is real and present in the midst of joy. Suffering challenges our hope. Loss confuses our faith. Darkness stirs a longing for the light…

“If our religion is something objective, then we must never avert our eyes from those elements in it which seem puzzling or repellent; for it will be precisely the puzzling or the repellent which conceals what we do not yet know and need to know.C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory

Lately I have felt a constant heaviness, a weight of sorts for the pain around me. And if you’re like me, you want (or sometimes need) to fix it. To understand it. But today, as I sat outside and soaked in the signs of spring, I couldn’t help but rest in the surrounding beauty that follows the death of winter.

The warm sun on my back replacing the chill that once cut through my jacket. The vibrant green bursting from the once brown and lifeless branches. The scent of my sweet Jasmine vine inviting the tiniest hummingbird…and all at once I was reminded of Home.

I don’t know about you, but oftentimes in these places of confusion and doubt I am met with a deep desire for something greater. Something unchanging. Something eternal. When I can’t understand the why or the how, I can stand on the when and the who. That when we are present with Christ all of our sorrow will be washed away. All of our fears eclipsed by His glory. The grip of pain eternally broken, once and for all.

“At present we are on the outside of the world, the wrong side of the door. We discern the freshness and purity of morning, but they do not make us fresh and pure. We cannot mingle with the splendours we see. But all the leaves of the New Testament are rustling with the rumour that it will not always be so. Some day, God willing, we shall get in.” C.S. Lewis, Weight of Glory

Maybe you’re like me and you’ve found yourself in one of those scenarios I mentioned before…Maybe you’re waist deep in the boat, maybe you’re struggling for air, or maybe you’re praying that God, in all His sovereignty, would provide rescue & safety for someone else. No matter the circumstance, be reminded that this hope we have in Him is the anchor for our souls. That He is no stranger to our suffering. And that the promise of His eternal presence is worth it.

“Lay down my burdens, I lay down my past
I run to Jesus, no turning back
Thank God Almighty, I’ll be free at last
In Heaven…I’m going home!”

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The Dirty M Word…

Miscarriage…even though I am 39 weeks pregnant with a son (thank You Jesus!) that word is still hard to say. The word that I long dreaded became a part of my story. And it’s a part that I feel like I should tell, in hopes that my story helps someone else. 

In December of 2013, Brian and I decided that we were ready to have a baby. I remember one night we were sitting at the dinner table chatting about all the exciting “what ifs” and instead, I became very emotional and scared. I shared with him a recent dream I had where I was in a bathroom stall and had a miscarriage. But, unfortunately, that wasn’t the first of it’s kind.

Since I was a teenager, I have had multiple dreams surrounding the same thing. Not being able to have a baby or losing a baby. I would get very emotional when I would hear stories of women who had been through this. I never quite understood why, but I just had this connection with that feeling that I couldn’t explain. As you can imagine, this wasn’t something I talked about very often. In fact, I can only think of a couple of people I ever talked about it to, because it made me very ashamed & uncomfortable…and I obviously didn’t want to speak this horrible thing into existence.

One night a couple years ago, I was at a youth service and a visiting worship leader (who I met for the first time that day) came up to me to pray for me and immediately began speaking about my womb and my fears and that God was with me and that He was in control, etc…What the?! I remember instantly weeping as she began to speak life into an area that I kept hidden for so long! In that moment, I was fully convinced in my faith, & I knew that God stopped everything just for me. Oh how He loves us!

So back to the dinner table with Brian…In the middle of my emotional breakdown, he stopped me in that moment and prayed and I remember feeling completely at peace, the same way that I felt the night that I was being prayed for by her. In the middle of his prayer, the thought crossed my mind, “Wouldn’t it be crazy if tomorrow I found out I was pregnant? After being so scared, God calms my fears & gives me the very thing I am praying for? Wouldn’t that be just like Him?” 

The next morning, December 28, 2013, I read the life-changing results. Pregnant. Immediately, all I wanted to do was to tell everyone I knew. But, the fear crept in again…“What if something happens? You will let everyone down…” But, I was confident & decided that I didn’t want to be afraid anymore, and I didn’t want to carry this precious little life around in secret!

After telling our closest friends and family, everyone was beyond excited! But in the back of my mind, I couldn’t shake the doubt. No matter how many times I tried to find that peace again and tried to tell myself that I just had to trust God, it felt like an all consuming prison that I was alone in. It got so heavy, that the following Monday I began to text everyone to pray for me because it was physically overwhelming…unlike any feeling I had ever had before. As I sat at my desk, tears flowing down my cheeks, there was a worship song on my heart that I played on repeat (Reason to Sing by All Sons & Daughters)…funny enough, I remember thinking, “Nothing has happened yet…why am I so scared? Why can’t I get this song out of my head? How could anyone say they don’t have a reason to sing? There is always a reason to worship God, right?” Here are some of the lyrics to that song…

“When the pieces seem too shattered to gather off the floor
And all that seems to matter is that I can’t feel you anymore…

I need reason to sing
I need to know that You’re still holding the whole world in Your hands
I need a reason to sing

When I’m overcome by fear and I hate everything I know
If the waiting lasts forever, I’m afraid I might let go

Will there be a victory? Will You sing it over me now?
Your peace is the melody, will You sing it over me now?

And I will sing, sing, sing to my God, my King
When all else fades away
And I will love, love, love with this heart You’ve made
For You’ve been good, always.”

Little did I know that the Holy Spirit was gently preparing me for what was to come the very next day. That He was indeed singing over me that His peace would be my song. That in the darkest moment of my life, He was not going to let go. And that in all things, He is still good.

When it doesn’t make sense to me.

When I can’t explain it.

And ultimately, even if He doesn’t do what I want Him to do, He is still good.

The next day, New Year’s Eve, my fear became a reality. The fear that had crept in since I was a teenager, was now staring me in the face, mocking “I told you so.” (To make matters worse, my exact dream that had me so afraid just a few days earlier literally came true as it had in my dream…)

How could this happen? Why me? But, I literally prayed against this very moment…so now what? How do I justify that in my head? Everyone told me not to be afraid, that it was just the enemy trying to scare me…but yet…it actually happened exactly the way I was afraid it would. What do I do with that? 

Heartbroken. Confused. Ashamed. Guilty. Un-womanly. A flood of emotions that I couldn’t begin to comprehend. And all at once, I knew that God was with me. That He was holding my hand. That He hadn’t left me. And most of all, even though it made no natural sense, I was convinced of God’s hand in the whole thing. From the dreams, to the prayers, to the song, it was all a part of a story that He is still writing to this day. Part of a story that has a greater purpose than anything I could have written for myself. The scripture about peace that passes our understanding became more real to me in that moment than ever before. To look at my mom and Brian and say the words, “It’s like I just knew. As if God Himself was here with me in my office holding me as I cried yesterday, preparing my heart for this moment. I can’t explain it, but looking back, my heart knew.”

My prayer that day, and every day, is that my life is for His glory. That if my life is of any other purpose, then it’s all a waste. “To live is Christ…”

I am happy to tell you that there is so much more to this story that has happened since that I can’t wait to share…obviously the biggest of which is that I am 39 weeks pregnant with a son!! But, until next time, I want to leave you with a quote that I read in the days following my miscarriage, because it most accurately expressed how I was feeling, when I couldn’t put it into words…I never realized how awkward it is for people to talk about, and how uncomfortable it makes people. Which is one of the reasons I feel like it’s so important for me to share my story. To hopefully shed light on the reality of miscarriage and the need for us to encourage and embrace other women who have gone through this pain.

“Miscarriage is a weird word, one that is probably meant to be private…it deals with all kinds of things that make people feel uncomfortable. There are those who can’t understand why it’s even a big deal, since the baby wasn’t born yet, and the loss often occurs in the early stages of pregnancy. I would just like to take a moment to say it IS a big deal. It is a loss to those mothers and fathers who laughed and cried and hugged over the positive pregnancy test, who had begun to imagine how their lives would change, who had even, maybe, started to dream about names.

The physical pain and torment of a miscarriage is real, and in a way, mirrors and at the same time, mocks the emotional side of the loss. If you wake up ready to face the day and deal with the loss, your body reminds you that you aren’t quite done, that it will be a few more days or even weeks, before you won’t have to think about it every few minutes that go by.”

And for anyone who has fought this battle…

You are not unworthy. You are not alone. You are not less of a woman. It is not your fault. It is not shameful. Your story isn’t over. You are not doomed to never have children. And most importantly God is with you.

What the blog?!

Well…here goes…I’ve decided to create a blog. Not for any reason other than it takes less time for me to type than to write by hand. And I can backspace…

I have lots of things floating around in my head to write about, and I just figured now is as good a time as ever with little man due any day now! (Oct. 7th is is actual due date…)

So, here goes nothing…