Faith

Overwhelming Peace

The past few days have been full of strides forward with a few steps back, but through all of it I smile and laugh and sing. I am able to have such a positive attitude, because I am so full of hope!

I have been looking for the right words to express how I’ve felt since Jameson’s unexpected birth, but then stuff just keeps hitting me and I haven’t had a chance to really sit down and write it out.

Normally I am a “freaker” as in I freak out and jump to worse case scenarios and get all emotional. Everything that has happened since the morning of Jameson’s birth would typically be a freaker’s worst nightmare, but surprisingly I have been ridiculously calm. It’s been strange for me, because I think about the situation and feel like I should be upset or enraged or sad, but I’m just not… don’t get me wrong, I have moments where I breakdown, but during the thick of it, I just take it all in, give it to God, and move forward.

It’s so much more than just holding it together for my family. It’s more than putting on a brave face. It’s more than not letting the medical professionals see me weak. It’s more than faking it till you make it.

I can honestly say that I am not faking any of my smiles or laughs or positivity. I can smile because I know that God is in control. I can laugh because I know that prayer is powerful. I can be positive because I know that the peace of God surpasses all understanding.

God has heard our prayers and he has been answering them. It has been so helpful to me to write out our specific requests, but to also acknowledge the praises as well. He has provided us so much support in family, friends, and even strangers. From having our grass mowed to providing food through eating with us or giving gift cards to pet sitting to encouraging words to helping us run errands. We are so grateful to the extended community who has come forward and let us know they are praying with us! Seeing God work can really boost your mood! 🙂

As a freaker, my behavior in this situation has been life-changing. I am proud of myself for choosing to trust God. I am proud of myself for choosing to send out prayer requests instead of wallowing in thoughts of “why” and “what ifs”. I am so happy that God has turned me into a person who hopes instead of freaks.

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Here are some verses that have been giving me comfort during this time:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him.” – Jeremiah 17:7

“I will praise the Lord, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:7-8

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” – James 1:2-4

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you.” Psalms 56:3

Faith

My Faith Story

testimony (n): the story of how a person became a Christian

Within Christian communities, you hear the word testimony a lot. In my experience, testimonies are typically very inspirational and often tell of a dramatic moment that changed a person’s life forever. For a long time, I didn’t like testimonies, because I felt like I didn’t have a good one. I still don’t necessarily like the term testimony, because of what I relate it to, but I would like to share my faith story – where I started to where I am now and the mess in between.

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Like so many, I was born into a Christian household. My parents were happily married and we went to church every Sunday. We attended a Church of Christ until I was nine. This type of church is quite traditional with attire, worship, and preaching, so when we switched to a nondenominational church, I was blown away by this totally different style. Even as a kid, I could recognize the differences – we got to wear jeans to church, there was a band playing the music during worship, and kids had their own little church service geared just for them. It was obvious everyone in the family liked it there, so we stayed and started attending regularly.

After a few months at this church, I was baptized. To this day, I regret it. I am told it was my decision, that I came to my parents and told them that I wanted to be baptized and could clearly express what that meant. Whether that is true or not, I am not sure. I don’t remember the day. I don’t remember the actual baptizing. I don’t remember any of it. What I do remember is being too young to actually understand how huge of a decision I was making and how it would alter my life. Throughout my life, I have constantly wondered if my baptism was legitimate.

As I grew up, I continued to be very involved in this church. When I joined the youth group, this need I had to be perfect had already set in. I believed I needed to do right all the time and never mess up. I didn’t cuss, party, drink, smoke – if a situation could be considered bad, I wasn’t involved. This behavior and mentality was created more out of fear of making a mistake than an understanding of grace. I believe living with this fear did me a huge disservice later on down my road.

For a couple of years, I felt that I was exactly who I was supposed to be and where I was supposed to be. I had two best friends and a handful of frienquaintances. I was involved, I felt accepted, I believed I was happy. Eventually, I realized that I did not fit in, these friendships fell apart, and I began to feel lonely. During this time, we got a new youth pastor that thought everything was a joke and the way he treated me was just the icing on the cake. All of this hit me really hard and I began to alienate myself. It started when I made the choice to stop going to youth group. It was during all of this that I realized who genuinely cared about me and that I had been just going through the motions to make those around me happy.

During my junior year of high school, I decided to start attending a youth small group again. I chose one opposite of my ex-friends in order to get a fresh start. It was a good group of people, but I refused to get close to anyone or open up. I went, I learned, I participated, and I began this impossible task of becoming the perfect Christian. Having grown up in church, I knew all the Christian lingo necessary to succeed at this quest; phrases like “God spoke to me” and “I felt God leading me to do this” littered my speech. I became an incredible actress. I could see how proud my parents and small group leader were of me, so how could I tell them that I felt nothing and that I didn’t really hear God? So I bottled it up and went on pretending.

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My faith during college was a rollercoaster with a lot of difficult twists and turns. When I started college, I was determined to find a good Christian crowd to hang out with and learn from. I found a Bible study that I liked for awhile, but after a couple of semesters, it fizzled out. I eventually joined the BSM. It was inspiring and encouraging at first, but little by little I realized I had different viewpoints and did not appreciate their pushy attitudes. While distancing myself from them, I was treated extremely poorly.

During the spring of my sophomore year, I had a complete breakdown. It started with an exhausting day and ended with me sitting alone in my car in a vacant parking lot. I was sobbing and yelling at God. I understood that they say He is silent and that this silence is supposed to help you lean on Him, but sometimes I needed answers and His silence just pushed me away. I was tired of crying out and hearing nothing, feeling nothing. After this meltdown, I felt different; kind of free. I decided that if I wasn’t important to God then He wasn’t going to be important to me. I made the decision to take a step back from my faith; to stop going to church, reading my Bible, and praying. I just wanted to live life, make mistakes, and figure out what I believed.

It was during this time that I took the idea of making mistakes to heart and threw my expectations of perfection out the window. I started drinking, went to a few parties, and dropped a cuss word here and there. At first this lifestyle seemed so great. I felt so light and airy, but eventually the light and airy turned to empty. I didn’t have anything to believe in and I had no accountability system, but I was too proud to admit this to anyone. Little by little my negative thoughts and depressive feelings grew until I was one big ball of anger and hate. I didn’t know what to do and completely broke down.

With nowhere else to turn, I shared how I was feeling on social media which encouraged a friend of mine to invite me to her church small group. I decided to give it a shot. It was awkward, but I knew I needed to be there. I was in a really bad place, but I felt like these people accepted me. It was at my fourth or fifth time attending that I met my husband, Jeremiah. For awhile this church seemed like a great place. I attended for a little over a year regularly and was very involved. I liked the people, but I was pretending in my walk with God. I was still just going through the motions. I graduated with a fiance, but a stale faith.

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Jeremiah and I were married three months after I graduated and life just went on. We started attending a small local church that we liked, but I was still not praying or reading my Bible regularly. At this point, I was happily married and satisfied just going to church on Sundays. Everytime I tried to dig into my faith and make it something real, my need to be perfect set in and I got overwhelmed and ended up just giving up. In order to avoid that, I just settled into my usual routine of going through the motions.

In March of 2018, I found out I was pregnant. I was over-the-moon excited about starting a family! When I told Jeremiah, his reaction solidified that this was a good thing. We were so happy and full of joy as we learned all we could about pregnancy. During our first ultrasound at ten weeks, the technician was really quiet for awhile and then said she was having trouble seeing the baby. We were asked to come in the next week for a follow up ultrasound.

After the technician said she couldn’t find our baby I had lost it and I never fully recovered. I spent the entirety of the next week holed up in our closet sobbing, silent, or sleeping. I cried out to God asking Him to let our baby be okay. I made deals with Him telling Him I would be better, more involved, if He would save our baby. I prayed relentlessly begging Him to let the ultrasound findings just be a mistake.

When we arrived for our follow up ultrasound, we were given the news that our baby had passed away. I was heartbroken. I was depressed. I was angry. I can’t even explain how traumatizing experiencing a miscarriage is. There is so much more to it than just hearing the news that your baby was no longer thriving in your womb. I was a wreck and I felt betrayed by God.

I avoided God and all things faith-related. I stayed away from church, I stopped praying, I kept my Bible closed. I couldn’t comprehend how He could let such a tragedy happen to me. But in August, I found out I was pregnant again. What should have been the most amazing news was absolutely terrifying. I was so scared that it was going to happen again. When we found out that this baby was thriving and doing really well, I was so relieved. The fear was still there, but I was able to find some joy.

For six months, I kept God at arms-length. But staying away from my faith didn’t help me feel better and I knew I needed to make a change for this new baby. I needed to find a way to heal, so that I could be the best mother I could be for her. In November, I went back to church for the first time and it felt so strange. I didn’t sing. I couldn’t take communion. But I wasn’t in a hurry to leave. We kept coming back week after week and each week I could feel my heart softening.

By January, I was excited to attend service, I was reading my Bible every day, I was praying often, and I was attending a small group. But this time, I didn’t feel the need to be perfect. I was more than content being honest, broken, and vulnerable before God in order to find healing. And God changed my life!

It’s now April; our baby is due any day now, the small group I started attending has become a place full of honesty and friendship, I look forward to Sunday mornings, I talk to God for hours like He is a best friend and not a distant relative. Because I opened my mind and heart to God for healing, He has shown up for me in so many ways I could never have dreamed of! Although my miscarriage is still a hard thing for me to think about, I am no longer full of hate or anger and it no longer holds me back from the joys of my current pregnancy. After my husband and I started tithing, I received a promotion and a raise which provided us the funds to pay for our new baby and to buy a house.

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That is my story. I’m not proud of the pattern I have of pushing God away when things get hard or when things don’t go my way. I don’t think you need to suffer through a tragedy to have a testimony and I don’t believe there is such a thing as a good testimony. I wish it didn’t take losing a baby to bring me back to God’s open arms, but this is my story.

Faith

Discovering More Than A Blind Spot

My church just finished up a series called Blind Spots. The series was about discovering/recognizing the areas that need work in our own life that we see so easily in other people’s lives. The key verse for the series came out of Matthew and explained that before we point out and try to fix flaws in other people, that we should first focus on ourselves.

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. -Matthew 7:3-5

After listening to the first sermon, I was really excited about tackling the challenge of figuring out my blind spots, but quickly became discouraged from the steps provided to discover your areas that need work. The three steps were as follows:

  1. Admit you have blind spots.
  2. Invite the Holy Spirit to start exposing your blind spots.
  3. Ask healthy, godly people what your blind spots are.

Those don’t sound so hard… step 1: done, step 2: done; it was step 3 that I got caught up on. It wasn’t until I was sitting at small group listening to these people share about who they asked and what they learned that I realized I didn’t have anyone. I sat there in the back feeling so pathetic and lonely. Yes, I have my husband, but his opinion is a bit different than the opinion of someone that is not so connected to me.

Please don’t read that as: I have no friends. That is not what I am saying at all. I am getting hung up on the “godly people” part. I would not describe majority of my friends as godly people. I have been burned, broken, and hurt by a lot of friendships in the past. Dealing with those failed friendships has really changed who I am as a person and who I am as a friend. I have started keeping people at arm’s length and being slow to share my feelings and opinions. With that being said, I feel like the godly friends I do have don’t know the me I have become, so their opinion on my blind spot would not be accurate.

So that night at small group I shut down. I couldn’t get past all the thoughts of failed friendships and feelings of loneliness. I wanted to leave and retreat back to a place where I didn’t have to think about how my new personality traits might be holding me back when they are supposed to be keeping me safe. I was silent on the ride back home, because I was embarrassed at feeling like I had no one to ask and for how these feelings were affecting me.

I opened up a few days later to Jeremiah. He is seriously my rock. I know that after I have some time to simmer, I can go to him with anything and he will listen and understand. This time was no different. He more than understood and admitted to having very similar feelings. Sometimes I joke that I am the female version of him, because we often share the same or very similar thoughts, feelings, and emotions about a situation.

We ultimately decided that just because we don’t have an abundance of godly people to ask that we shouldn’t just not participate, so we would use what we did have: each other. Obviously it wasn’t ideal to just ask your spouse, but until we cultivate good, close relationships with godly people, this was better than nothing. We also agreed that it was good that we recognized this lack of relationship in our lives, so we can begin working on it, and we believe that is why we are at this church and in this small group.

Instead of just telling the other what we thought their blind spot was, we kind of discussed it openly. We are both very intuitive and thoughtful people, so we had a pretty good idea as to what our blind spots were. For me, the blind spot I am going to be working on is being judgemental. Being judgemental is something I have struggled with ever since I was a kid and to most people who know me well, know this is something I struggle with. I often make a judgey comment and then follow it up with “but I’m not judging.” I feel like I have come a long way with my battle of being judgemental, but that it has been reignited lately because of some insecurities I have been feeling. I have found myself passing judgements on people because of my insecurities before they even have a chance. I also judge myself very harshly which I found has really put a strain on my self-confidence and growth.

Now that I have chosen an area to work on, the steps provided for change are:

  1. Confess and repent.
  2. Choose to grow.
  3. Look to Jesus.

It’s not going to be an easy road or even a natural road, but I think this road to change will be well worth the challenge!

Faith

Choosing Obedience Over Comfort

Christians love to claim that they are growing in their faith and exclaim that God is working in their lives. Having grown up in church surrounded by modern Christian culture, I used to fall in the trap of saying all the things I thought I was supposed to say, but not really acknowledging or sharing the details of how my faith was growing or what God was doing in my life. And because of that I had a faith that was stale and all for show. I was a Christian, because I had always been a Christian.

This year has been all about humbling myself and seeing my walk with God for what it is, so that I can genuinely grow in my faith and experience life change. Becoming a prayerful and trusting woman (and family) has not been the easiest of transitions, but in this short time God has really shown up in the coolest of ways! One of the ways I am keeping myself accountable is by sharing openly about how God is working in and through me.

A couple weeks ago, I shared how God completely healed my broken heart in a month and I am excited to say that He didn’t stop there. For awhile now, Jeremiah and I have felt very convicted to start giving, but we just didn’t know what that was supposed to look like. So we began to pray.

At first it felt really awkward to be praying about giving. The answer seemed obvious – just start giving. But we really wanted guidance on how much to give, where to give said amount, and to make sure we were giving for the right reasons. So our prayers morphed from letting God know we want to start giving into specific requests for direction on how much, where, and why. I’m still pretty new to keeping my eyes, ears, and mind open to how God might send His answer to my prayer, so I got so excited when I started to make connections between what we were asking for and what was happening in my life.

After a week or so of praying specifically, I was reading my daily chapter from the Bible, God let me know that He heard my requests for direction. That day, I was reading 2 Corinthians 8 which just so happens to be about “The Collection for the Lord’s People” – coincidence… I think not.

For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own… And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us. -2 Corinthians 8:3,5

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. -2 Corinthians 8:12

At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. -2 Corinthians 8:14

These verses told me that God was glad to hear that we had felt the need to give on our own and then He told us that because of our willingness, what we give will be accepted and be plenty. How encouraging!! After reading that, I was so giddy and immediately called Jeremiah to tell him how the verses had connected to what we had been asking for and that we had to keep praying. I then immediately sent up a prayer of thanks and then continued to ask for more direction.

The next day, I read 2 Corinthians 9 – which has a big focus on generosity. As I read, I got more and more excited.

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. -2 Corinthians 9:7-8

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. -2 Corinthians 9:11

God had reiterated the importance of giving because you want to and are excited to. He also told us that giving opens up a space in our lives for him to bless abundantly and make sure we have all we need. So much encouragement in reading that! God also answered our question of what our ‘why’ should be for giving – our generosity will show thanksgiving to God. I again immediately called Jeremiah to tell him what God had shared with me.

We had been regularly attending our church for a few months and were slowly becoming more and more involved there. This year, they announced Missional Move: Hope for the City. Basically, they want to create harbors (church campuses) and hope carriers (followers of Jesus). Harbors are where followers of Jesus can unload and refill, so they can carry the hope of Jesus out to all areas of life. I have experienced many times churches asking their congregations for money to reach some kind of goal and most of the time it seems selfish and not God-centered. I really liked this idea and loved how much prayer and thought had gone into it. They are wanting to open four new campuses in the metroplex, so that lost people cannot escape the hope of Jesus in our area.

I had felt a slight tugging that this was the ‘where’ we were supposed to give, but I wanted to be sure it wasn’t just me getting caught up in the idea and the emotion. For the next couple weeks, I asked God to make it obvious if we were supposed to give to our church’s missional move.

During those weeks, I had started crunching the numbers in our bank account to figure out how much we could realistically give. After doing that, I became very discouraged. With our baby on the way, we had so many extra expenses that have to be paid in the next couple months and I just wasn’t sure we could swing it. I felt so ashamed that I had gone from being so excited to give to so scared to take the leap. I admitted to God how I was feeling and that maybe we should wait until after the baby is born to start, so that everything could be paid and we wouldn’t be stressed out in such a vulnerable time. But now my shame was stressing me out. I began to pray that God would take these negative, fearful thoughts away.

A few days before our church’s “commitment weekend” for the missional move, Jeremiah and I decided that obeying our conviction to give and having trust that God would provide was more important than having enough to pay all our bills and expenses, so that we could feel safe and comfortable. We prayed and told God of our decision. Literally the NEXT day, I received a call from my boss informing me that I had been promoted. With my promotion came a raise and a bonus that would cover one of our baby expenses in full.

I can’t even describe how amazing this whole situation was. I was ready to give into my fear and ignore this call to give, but instead made the hard choice to choose obedience and trust and God blessed that by doing exactly what he said he would in 2 Corinthians 9:8: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”

Faith, Pregnancy Loss

A Miracle On My Street

Over the last couple of months, I have opened up about experiencing a miscarriage, struggling to overcome all of the emotions that accompany such a loss, and taking the needed steps to move forward.

For months I didn’t want to make any changes. I just wanted to live in my sadness and my anger, because it was easier to hide in the dark than fight to see the light. But at the very end of the year when I was at the halfway point of my current pregnancy, I felt this intense need to break free of the pile of bricks pinning me down. I realized that even though I was mourning the baby I had lost, I had another healthy baby living inside of me. At first I was discouraged, because I just kept thinking I was too far gone, but when I opened up my heart to God, He assured me no one was too far gone for Him.

After I opened my heart back up to God, I started to choose Him instead of my sadness, anger, confusion, and guilt. I chose to go to church every Sunday morning whether I felt like it or not. I chose to join a small group even though it is scary to meet new people. I chose to expose my deep, ugly parts to these strangers. I chose to ask for help and prayer. I chose to begin reading a chapter of my Bible every day. I chose to pray for healing, understanding, forgiveness, purpose, peace, and clarity. I chose to take little steps every day toward trust and toward light… and God showed up for me!

While doing some self-reflection, I realized what a complete 180 my heart has made in the past month. In thirty-one days, God took an angry, bitter, brokenhearted woman and turned her into a woman with a humble and hopeful heart. It wasn’t easy to be open to what God had to show and teach me regarding my loss, but I would like to share the clarity and understanding I began to see when I started to really pay attention.

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He blessed my attendance.

I have been burned by church after church, so going to church is never something very high on my to-do list regardless of how convicted I feel about attending. After many lengthy discussions, Jeremiah and I made the decision to go to a church service every Sunday. Although it was emotional and difficult the first couple of visits, I felt my heart being softened every time we showed up. The second Sunday in January, we were sitting in service and it was all about moving into this new year and what that looked like for you. God made it very clear that he was calling me to not let my loss from last year dominate my focus this year.

Just because you don’t understand, doesn’t mean you can’t move forward. -John Stickl

While thinking about what would hold me back from experiencing what God has in store this year, I knew without a doubt it would be my loss and the fear, distrust, anger, and insecurities that came with it. Now that I recognized what I needed to work on, God was calling me to lift it up in prayer and ask Him for help in my healing.

He blessed my obedience.

I had known for awhile that Jeremiah and I were being called to join a small group. It had been on my mind for months before we finally showed up for the first time. I didn’t necessarily have a bad attitude about going, but I still felt insecure about the idea. I was worried that I wouldn’t fit in, be able to open up, or get anything out of it, but God laughed at my notion. That first night, we were the first couple to arrive and had a good fifteen minutes of conversation with the host couple before anyone else showed up. After that initial conversation, I knew that I couldn’t worry about not fitting in anymore, because I knew that I already did. As the evening got started, it was plain to see that this was a group centered around vulnerability and honesty, so I couldn’t worry about not being able to open up, because I knew it would be my choice not to. And at the very end, they began a couples’ prayer accountability group, where we would all share what we are praying for as a couple, pray for each other throughout the week, and give updates on how things are going. When it got to me, I knew that I couldn’t worry about not getting anything out if it, because God told me I was brave enough to share.

He blessed my courage.

After sharing during group – which was one of the hardest things I have ever chosen to do – a sweet, new friend came up to me, gave me a hug, and offered some advice that helped her through her own loss.

The baby you lost has only ever known perfect love. The baby you lost has only ever known the perfect love of its Heavenly father.

I had never thought about it that way. It felt to me that my baby didn’t get to feel love, but that’s because I was only thinking of the love that we would have provided. But as much as we would have loved on that little baby, it would have been nothing compared to the love it is experiencing in Heaven.

He blessed my perseverance.

Starting in January, I began to follow along with our church’s reading plan of reading one chapter a day. Fifteen days in, I came across this passage from the story of when Jesus healed a man who was blind from birth.

As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. -John 9:1-3

This passage spoke to me in two different ways. The first being that what happens in life (being blind or losing a child) isn’t because we have sinned. After we lost our baby, I blamed myself and then I blamed God. I assumed this awful thing had happened, because of something I had done and then I blamed God for taking it out on our baby. But once I read this passage (and I have read it over and over), I realized that it had nothing to do with me at all, but that God wanted to use this situation for His will.

And I believe that will was to bring our family back to Him. Although we were going to church before our loss, we weren’t actively seeking God. We weren’t reading our Bibles, praying regularly, discussing the sermons, or building strong relationships. We were stale; going through the motions of being “good people,” not Godly people. I think God knew this was the wake up call I needed to see that we were not on the path He intended for us.

He blessed my prayers for clarity.

One of my biggest setbacks was lack of understanding. I didn’t understand how a father could take away a child, so I began to pray every day for clarity. I wanted to be able to see and understand my situation from God’s perspective. I learned that:

We were all created by God.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. -Psalm 139:13-14

Your hands made me and formed me… -Psalm 119:73

We all ultimately belong to God.

Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. -1 Peter 5:2-3

Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. -Psalm 100:3

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. -Romans 14:8

So our baby that we lost was created by God and belonged to God first. God entrusts us – as parents – with his children to love them, raise them, and care for them, but they are His, just as we are His.

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I fully believe that God worked a miracle in my heart during the month of January. I am amazed when I look back at the lies I was telling myself and the despair I was drowning in at the end of last year to the hope for the future that I have now. God humbled me to recognize where I was going wrong and gave me the push and the courage to start making changes. This is one of my life mountains that I was only able to climb by looking to God. I hope this gives you some kind of encouragement that if you choose to choose God, He will show up for you!