Thursday, April 26, 2012

Working for Good

Come out Anonymous, come out and show yourself! I got a comment on this blog from anonymous and well it has pretty much made my day. I have no idea who this anonymous person is but I must tell them thank you from the very bottom of my heart. I was at work yesterday and saw this comment with a link and I couldn't watch the link because, well, YouTube is blocked at work. I was on break, don't judge. So I put the link into Yahoo and Your Love Never Fails by Jesus Culture came up. I smiled a very large and long smile because I love this song and if I am remembering correctly, it is one that Daddy used to play and sing for Ellersley and I. I was smiling and then just thinking, 'hmm yes of course God's love never fails ever but why did they want me to hear this song?'

Like I said I have heard this song many, many times. Wesley learned to play it on his guitar so when I say many I mean like 1 billion times over and over and over. Like when they used to overplay Matchbox 20 on the radio and all you wanted to do was pull your radio straight out of your car and throw it out the window. That's how many times. So after looking it up at work I pretty much forgot about it and didn't play it when I got home.

So, this morning I was out and about driving by myself and feeling the sadness trying to creep it's way in. I pushed it back and told it to shut up and that joy was MINE today. See, we are going away this weekend. We are going to Pure Life for a conference. I told you about Pure Life, remember, here. We are going to see all of the WONDERFUL people that aided Jesus in putting our life back together after it fell to pieces. We are going to have a great time with friends and family and Jesus will be there and I mean, hey, that is just awesome! The sadness is trying to creep in because it knows that Elle was supposed to be there. Last year she was there, resting in my belly at about 14 weeks or so. We showed her off then and we were over the moon excited to bring her back this year and show her off again. There may be people there that are expecting to see her. Breaking that news is never fun.

I got my Ipod out and found this song and it started playing. I was listening for what Mr or Mrs Anonymous meant for me to hear.

You stay the same through the ages,
Your love never changes.
There may be pain in the night
but Joy comes in the morning.

Obviously a great line and so true but it wasn't striking a chord with me today. So moving along...

And when the oceans rage,
I don't have to be afraid.
Because I know that You love me,
Your love never fails

Another great line but also not hitting it. Still listening...

The wind is strong and the water's deep
But I'm not alone here in these open seas
Cause Your love never fails

The chasm is far too wide
I never thought I'd reach the other side
But Your love never fails

I was starting to get why she or he wanted me to hear it and some tears were forming. I was thanking God for the encouragement of anonymous people...just incredible. Then I heard it, the line God wanted me to hear...

You make ALL things work together for my GOOD.

I couldn't see. It was bad. I was on the highway people. And it was raining on top of the tears. Sometimes I feel like this blog is so repetitive but all I can say is I write what I feel like God wants me to say. And he really wants you guys to know that he loves you because that is all I stinkin' write about! :) So once you learn your lesson maybe he will give me something else to say, until then, sorry.

He makes all things work together for my good. I cried and I said thank you. I thanked him for sending me Ellersley and all the joy that she brought. I thanked him for loving me all the time. I thanked him for people that I don't know, that love me and pray for me on a daily basis. I thanked him for life and purpose and a journey that I never could have even DREAMT up on my own. I thanked him for friends that I see but once a year that encourage me just by their smiles and their love for our Master. I thanked him for making ALL things work together for my GOOD. ALL THINGS.

I have no idea if that anonymous person wanted me to hear that line or if he/she had an entirely different line in mind but God surely knew what I needed today. He whispered to me in the middle of a rainy morning on the highway. Whispering his love to me, yet again. Remember guys, he works all things together for your good. All things.

Thank you anonymous from the deepest parts of my soul. The parts that hold the love and the hurt for a sweet faced, tiny little girl. You were used by God today and I hope that your heart is full because of that. Thank you so much for listening to Jesus's sweet whispers and thank you so much for taking the time to reach my heart. Thank you for reading...I have NO WORDS to describe the joy that it puts in my soul to know that you know our sweet Ellersley. Isn't she just the cutest? :) I hope that someday heaven will allow me the privilege of meeting you and thanking you for filling me with joy today instead of that ugly sadness...

Elle's Mommy

Saturday, April 21, 2012


What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?

This week as I was on my way to work a song came on the radio. This song is a very significant song to many people but also to our family. This song was played at our sweet baby girl's funeral. This song closed a chapter in our lives that we wish had never been opened. I remember the first time I heard this song and I cried and smiled the entire way through the whole song. It was probably around June or July and I was pregnant with Ellersley. I cried because of what God had planned for our life. I cried for all the people I knew at that time that were surrounded by circumstances that they did not understand. I cried for what God had given Wesley and I and the miracle he had made out of our marriage. I cried for the blessing we had been given in Ellersley and how hard it was to finally get her here. I cried because Jesus had been with us all the way and he had created in a us a deeper need for him through all of the pain we had been through. I cried for our previous pain and the blessings that God created because of it. My heart was so full that the tears just kept coming.

When our conversations turned to planning a funeral for our dead daughter, I'm pretty sure this song was the first thought in my head.

"What about that Blessings song?" I said to Wesley and the tears quickly followed for both of us.

We knew that it was perfect and God knew all along what that song would come to mean to us. It would be a soothing ointment to us and our entire family. A promise from God that our greatest disappointment in this life would reveal in us a greater thirst for things that are not of this world. I know that this may be controversial to say right now but I must tell you that I believe it with my whole heart; God meant for Ellersley to be here for only 7 months 1 week and 1 day. I have wrestled with this; my teaching for 20 years, what God's word says, what others say, what my heart says. As I was in the car listening to this song that line came through loud and clear. . .

What if my greatest disappointments or the aching of this life is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy?

Instantly the tears came and the goosebumps, God just works that way.

All I wanted is for you to have a greater thirst for me, Nicki. I was just trying to create in you a deeper need and desire for things that are not of this world. All I want for you and for your family is for you to have a greater desire for eternity with me...

Someone that Wesley and I trust and respect very much told us not far from Elle's birth that God planned this and God knew it was going to happen and God wanted it to happen. I love this man with all of my heart and soul. He was one of the many men that put my husband back together the way God wanted him put back together. I will love him forever but I must tell you that in that moment I kind of wanted to hit him, just a little bit. I wanted to scream and run and tell him no and that he was wrong and he was lying. I wanted to tell him that God would never do that.

I was wrong. I am still trying to understand every part of what he said but it is becoming more and more clear to Wesley and I that this was God's plan. This was not Satan's plan...his plan was to rip Elle from our lives, for sure, but his plan was not for this blog to be written. His plan was not for over 100 people to come to Elle's funeral and hear all about Jesus and how he holds us in the palm of his hand. His plan was not for Elle's beautiful little face to be all over our local newspaper's website. His plan was not for so many people to be inspired by our story and to tell us DAILY how God is changing them because of Elle and because of Jesus. His plan was not for a woman from Wisconsin to email me and tell me that her Pastor read our story to their congregation on a Sunday morning. His plan was not for us to be encouraged by other mama's who have lost their babies and his plan was not for us to not lose hope.

God's plan so does not look like ours. He does not see pain like we see pain. He sees the blessing when we see the pain. He sees the joy in the midst of the sorrow. He sees the healing in the midst of the hurt. He sees the miracle of love when your baby is not breathing. He sees all the souls that one tiny, little, 2lb 9oz baby girl can reach. He sees a little pain now but he knows that the joy is coming in the morning. He sees the desire for things that are not of this world and that's all he wanted to do.

My cousin sent this verse to me after our recent miscarriage and I cried as I read it. Then, Dan, my father-in-law, read it on a Sunday morning recently. God is growing a deep desire in us for a place that holds all of our hopes and all of our dreams . . . I can't wait to get there!

John 14:1-4
“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

Jesus, thank you for blessings. Blessings that come in the form of raindrops. Blessings that bring change where change is needed. Thank you for creating a deeper desire in Wesley and I and our families for you and an eternity spent with you and Elle and our newest love. Thank you for growing us and changing us and not allowing us to stay stagnant. Thank you for people who speak your truth into our lives, blessings, each and every one of them. Thank you for pain and the fact that it reminds us every day that this horrible place is not our home. We cannot wait to see the place that you have prepared for us. Thank you for our greatest disappointments and the aching of this life...keep healing them Jesus and help us to keep our eyes focused on eternity with you...

Hello to any newbies coming over from Kelly's Korner or any other place! We welcome you and pray you will be blessed by Jesus and our little Miss Elle today. Any baby loss mama's that don't know, Kelly's Korner had a great link-up on Friday...go there and join in the link-up to meet a lot of other mama's like us. Link-up, haha look at me go... :) I now know what a link-up should be proud :)

Elle's Mommy

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Caught in the Middle

Luke 24: 13-21
                That same day two of Jesus’s followers were walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. But God kept them from recognizing him. He asked them, “What are you discussing so intently as you walk along?” They stopped short, sadness written across their faces. Then one of them, Cleopas, replied, “You must be the only person in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard about all the things that have happened there the last few days.” “What things?” Jesus asked. “The things that happened to Jesus, the man from Nazareth,” they said. “He was a prophet who did powerful miracles, and he was a mighty teacher in the eyes of God and all the people. But our leading priests and other religious leaders handed him over to be condemned to death, and they crucified him. We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel. This all happened three days ago."

They were caught in the middle. Their prophet, their mighty teacher, their powerful miracle maker was dead and gone. They believed him when he said he was the Son of God, they believed when they saw the lame man walk and the blind man see, they believed when their hearts were full of Joy in the midst of their heartache but now? Now he was gone and he was dead, if he was the Son of God why didn’t he save himself like they believed that he could. “We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel.” Their faith was dwindling in the middle, the day in between the death and the life.

IF only they could see right? IF only they knew the story that we now know. Don’t you just want to go back and say “Oh friends, DON’T LOSE HOPE, keep watching, keep waiting…your miracle is right in front of you and you don’t even know it! The Messiah did come and rescue Israel, he just did it in a completely different way than you thought he should do it!” All they could see was sorrow; sadness was blocking their view of the bigger picture. Their life and their pain and their ache was too big for them to see past it, on to the miracle that God had in store for them.

They were stuck in the middle…I know if this song were written back then it would have been inserted into the Bible at this point. J I woke up this morning with this in my head and I knew that God was telling me to write about it today. This week I have had many thoughts in my head all needing to come out in blog form. I need you to know that you are very blessed that I don’t have the internet in my house. I was very grouchy this week and there were many times if I had Internet, well it would have been ugly for you, that is all I will say. I feel this is our life right now, we are caught in the middle.
We are stuck between death and life. We can only see the sadness, the sorrow; we can only feel the ache and the tears. We are somewhere between darkness and the light, somewhere between who we were and who He’s making us, we are somewhere between reckless abandon and common sense. We are somewhere between our faith and our plans, somewhere between the safety of the boat and the crashing waves. We are somewhere between contented peace and always wanting more. Caught in the middle.
This middle ground is not fun and we are not enjoying it. We feel like those men on the walk to Emmaus. What are you doing God? What are you thinking God? Are you even up there? Do you even see what is going on? Our first baby is gone, our second baby is gone…do you care? There is so much death, can life even grow here? What is the plan? We are praying for answers and we are praying for peace and we are praying for wisdom. The middle needs wisdom and the middle needs peace and the middle needs great faith. “We had hoped he was the Messiah who had come to rescue Israel.” Where there is doubt, that’s where God can work. He is the God of miracles remember, the great prophet, the miracle maker. He took their doubt and revealed himself to them and their sorrow and their pain disappeared.
Luke 24:25-31
          Then Jesus said to them, “You foolish people! You find it so hard to believe all that the prophets wrote in the Scriptures. Wasn’t it clearly predicted that the Messiah would have to suffer all these things before entering his glory?” Then Jesus took them through the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining from all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. By this time they were nearing Emmaus and the end of their journey. Jesus acted as if he were going on, but they begged him, “Stay the night with us, since it is getting late.” So he went home with them. As they sat down to eat, he took the bread and blessed it. Then he broke it and gave it to them. Suddenly their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. And at that moment he disappeared!
In an instant the middle was gone and they were on the other side. Life, newness, joy and peace. They were filled with Joy and Jesus was ALIVE! Everything looked bad, really bad. He was dead up there on that cross, he was beaten and abused and tortured and all hope seemed lost. Very lost. Death had won, the fight was over and life had lost. The middle seemed to suck them in, all the questions and the doubts. They hoped he would be the one but maybe he just wasn’t. Maybe all of their theories were wrong. Maybe all the prophets were wrong. But God just had a very different plan and the middle turned into the other side. The new side, the side where life grows and hope is alive!
This life can be so very confusing. It is full of the middle. Stuck between sorrow and joy, death and life, doubt and faith. I pray today that if you are stuck in the middle that you will remember that joy and hope are waiting on the other side for you and soon God will reveal himself. The death happened, it had to for a reason but life is waiting for you and soon you will get to enjoy it. Keep your hearts open to believing in the prophet, the miracle maker, the Messiah this Easter that always has a plan that seems so far from the one that we have.
Thank you Jesus for dying to save my soul. Thank you Jesus that death had to come in order for there to ever be life. My soul is eternally grateful. I love you and I hate to say it, but at this point I am refusing to say thank you for the middle. I am hating it. I am impatient and mean and getting nastier. Help me Lord, give me joy and peace. Open my eyes to see that you are standing in front of me and I don’t even realize it. Allow me the privilege of learning the lessons I need to learn during this time. Teach me what you want to teach me. Lord, I feel you in this place and I know you’re by my side; loving me even on these nights when I’m caught in the middle. Thank you…I love you.

Elle's Mommy