Saturday, December 19, 2009

Now Therefore, Arise

Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Joshua 1:2

I love listening to Joyce Meyer teach the Word. She has a way of presenting truth with a refreshing directness and clarity that makes you take notice of the things you need to bring before the Lord to change in your life. Recently I have been making my way through a teaching series of hers based on the redemptive names of God.

In learning about Jehovah Nissi, "the Lord is my Banner", her teaching had led to sharing the message from the Lord that there are things in our lives we have been grieving and mourning over too long. And that in the Old Testament the Lord had even gone to the detail of determining how long mourning periods should be for us. He allowed the Israelites to grieve Moses for a month before appearing to Joshua and telling him essentially to move on.

My first reaction was to be offended. She has never lost a child - has 4 successful children in fact - and would have no idea what it is like to lose one. But her statement intrigued me and I resolved to research it out for myself, because I had always seen statements in the Bible where God comforts those who mourn.

What I have been learning is that the word for mourn in Hebrew really referred to a specific time period of mourning, where rituals and observances would be followed. You would be allowed to openly and publicly mourn for a time, and then when that period was done, would be expected to recognize that God is sovereign and seek Him for what was next in your life. In the Psalms, David expressed grief as well, but at the same time he implored his soul to seek the Lord to determine why he was so downcast.

The longer I meditated on these things, the better I felt. God doesn't expect me to mourn forever, the world does. And in being pulled back into it time and time again is exhausting, and denies the truth that God who is sovereign, is good. Trying to fight something that cannot be changed is fighting a losing battle.

Before you get offended yourselves or start writing me to tell me it's OK to grieve, let me reassure you that missing my children and feeling sadness over their loss is different than allowing a spirit of grief to take over my heart and mind. And maybe if our society actually had some mourning rituals and gave time and space and support to those who mourn, maybe they wouldn't need to hold on to the mourning for as long as they do. Regardless, my heart has been lightened by the thought that mourning could actually be set aside and that I could take the step into the next chapter of my life.

(Jordan River photo credit Ivan Makarov)

Monday, December 14, 2009


The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
John 10:10

Months ago, as I was seeking God in prayer for what was next for our family, my attention was directed toward this piece of Scripture. The word life jumped out at me and the first thing I thought about was how the Greek word for life was zoe. A glimmer of hope started to glow in my heart as I thought about the possibility of having another child, one who could bring us to life again.

We had been wrestling with an undefined restlessness, a need for change, a burning desire to break out of the comfort zone we had made of our lives and did not know what to do next. If we did not take a step forward in faith, then we were not going to do anything at all. And we could not live that way anymore.

And now, we await the arrival of our little girl. Our Zoe Grace. We do not know what her destiny is, but we do know that the decision to welcome her into our family, no matter what, has brought us life! and life abundant!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


I was finally able to admit today that I am still struggling. I'm finding the Christmas season overwhelming and I'm facing a lot of pressures at work. I'm longing for some quiet peaceful space to offer up my broken heart yet again to my Saviour.

"He has sent me to heal the brokenhearted..."

Out of curiosity I looked back to see what I wrote about this time last year. I was not surprised to see that I'm feeling the same way now that I did then. I'm learning that it may just come with the territory.

"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices..."

The Advent season is about preparing your heart for the coming Saviour. I used to think it was more about fixing what was wrong about myself so I would be presentable for His arrival. I realize now it's about recognizing what it is in my heart that needs to be fixed by Him.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Each Day

With another little one on the way, I've been looking forward to maternity leave and spending time at home being able to care for my family without having to divide my time and energy.

I think back to how hard it was for me to transition into motherhood. I was actually eager to go back to work and had a really good home daycare situation for Sabrina. By the time the twins came along, I had done a lot of growing and changing and truly enjoyed having two babies to care for. I knew I would have to go back to work, but with two infants, I anticipated an easier transition with a nanny situation. Going back to work after grieving for a few months was really hard because I loved being at home so much. I also felt like I was right back where I started.

And so I have struggled between fulfilling work, awesome coworkers, and wanting to make sure I give the best of my time and energy to my family. How will I leave this little one in daycare this time? I am not the person I was seven years ago when I faced the same situation.

As I was pondering on whether I would miss out on too much by going back to work, I heard a gentle reminder in my heart that each day with my children is precious, no matter how old they are. I enjoy Sabrina more and more as she grows up and as our relationship becomes deeper and richer. What God has reminded me is to make the best of each day because there is no phase of my children's lives that is more important than the other. At 3 months, 3 years, 33 years, and beyond, I hope and pray to have deep relationship with each one of them.