Sunday, September 9, 2012

Comparison is the Thief of Joy

Somehow this week, the Lord has really been impressing upon my heart this idea of submission.

I'd like to think I have come a long way from Wednesday through today, as I have struggled with my anger, rage, bitterness, sorrow, etc.

I am asking the Lord to help me stop asking Him "Why?". At least a couple handfuls of times a week, I find myself pouting to Him with that simple question. One night this week, I was cleaning a Foodbank, mopping the floor and that question just began spilling out of me. Another night, I was helping someone move, I heard a boy say just the word, "Mom"...and from there, I just became angry and asked the Lord, "Why me?" again...

For some reason I think I deserve something better than the hand I've been dealt. Why? Is it because I look around and compare myself to others, even other believers? I see them and wonder why I am not "the favorite" or wonder what I did to get what I got. I say it's unfair.

I remember about 6 weeks after losing lil G, I woke up in a rage type attitude towards the Lord. I was accusing and whining and crying and blaming and asking... asking W-H-Y? After I asked all my why's and told Jesus what He chose for me was 500% not fair, Jesus began to whisper back all the things that were in fact unfair about my life compared to others.

He listed all my blessings. Even the blessings I still can't believe are blessings. He said, Myssi, it's "unfair" you are saved, "unfair" you have a loving sweet godly man for a husband who would do anything for you, who works hard and adores you, it's "unfair" you have a Christian family who has done nothing but minister to you this summer, it's "unfair" you survived labor and got to hold and feed your baby and hear her sweet cry's. Even for just 36 hours.

The list goes on.

I have an unthankful heart because I expect my life to be exactly what I want. When even one thing is off, I get mad. I blame God. It's not that I forget Him in the good times, it's just that the good times are all I care to praise Him for.

Job: shall we accept good from God and not trouble? 
Solomon: Accept the way God does things, who can straighten what He has made crooked? Enjoy prosperity while you can, but when hard times strike, realize that both come from God.
Paul: I have learned in whatever circumstance to be content.

Jesus: Not my will, Lord, but yours be done.

This is such a strange concept for me (a human), to be thankful truly thankful for each and every thing, whether good or bad. And who is to say what is truly "good" or "bad"? We don't see what the Lord see's.

 I want to. I pray to.

So, basically I have arrived at this new place in my heart. Saying out loud, "Lord, I submit myself to your will..." as often as it takes until it is true. As often as I find myself reliving the birth and death of our baby girl, as often as I see others who "have what I want".... until my will is lined up with His and I accept it a gift....with thankfulness... and joy.

Friday, September 7, 2012

A lesson from Colossians

Today, as I have been doing stuff, I have been listening to the book of Colossians on repeat. Good grief, this book is really challenging. It's spot on with almost everything I am struggling with right now...

Col 1

...We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. 

Endurance----Patience... 2 things I am needing so badly. I realized the other day that half of the time this summer that I have been dealing with grief, I have been trying to wish my circumstances away. I long to be the person who gets to go out and buy a card and sign it, stamp it and mail it... or the one who makes a meal and brings it by... not the one who has to deal with the loss and sorrow and anger. The Lord has showed me that I can't wish it away, but I can pray for healing and endurance and patience. I can submit myself to His plan and walk in this path He has laid out for me and even bear fruit.

....May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father.  
...and you will overflow with thankfulness
...So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within is the time to get rid of anger, rage...

I told my Mom the other day, as I was struggling with some huge anger issues that have sprang up this week, that I felt like God owed me something. "Took my baby? Now give me something to make up for it". Dumb.  As I have started to deal with my bitterness this week, the Lord has replaced some of those feelings with some peace, some contentment and hope to keep going and see what the Lord has in store. I don't want to walk around with a chip on my shoulder and a sense of entitlement. 
I have been challenged to try trrrrrrrryyyyyyyy to simply enjoy what the Lord has done. Enjoy the (extra) time with my hubs that we weren't expecting, enjoy trying to find a "purpose", enjoy ministry, enjoy family....being filled with joy, always thanking the Father.

...He has enabled you to share in the inheritance ...For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness ...who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.
It's sometimes been so difficult to find things to be thankful and grateful for this summer, but just that verse above has convicted me today. Simply having salvation, knowing Jesus, being chosen to be His daughter...should be enough for me to be thankful about, giving me hope to move on, out of bitterness. Also just being reminded of how Jesus purchased my freedom gives me the nudge I need to not give up in working through this suffering of mine, since Jesus went over and above and beyond anything I could even imagine to have me with Him in Paradise.
I get so caught up... ugh.

 ...I am telling you this so no one will deceive you with well-crafted arguments.

I was talking with a very good friend last night who reminded me that although the ways I am feeling is normal, it is only the enemy who wants to keep me stuck in these very human emotions. My self and the enemy are very good at deception, talking me into things that "make sense" "feel right" etc when it comes to handling all these emotions and feelings from losing lil Greyson. I am not expected not to feel certain ways, but to handle those feelings in a godly way and maybe even quickly?

...bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

...Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one. I also pray that I have more grace in this continuing situation, too.

Sooooo, if you haven't read Colossians in it. There's way more in there. I have really been challenged, convicted and hopefully changed by meditating on these verses.

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father

Now, on a few lighter notes:

*This week I celebrated losing all but 2 pounds from Greyson! That means, I lost about 40 pounds in 12 weeks. Not bad. Thanking Jesus for helping me get that off quickly. Hoping to lose 5-7 more this month, we'll see. I've done it by drinking high protein smoothies for breakfast/lunch and eating mostly fresh foods (like 90%) plus walking/swimming.

*Adam & I are helping with a Youth Retreat coming up. :)

*We are also working on beginning a Young Couples Small Group in November. We're pretty excited about leading this.

Here's a new hat I got for $4 today....
(It looks like I have an attitude, and I might, but not really. Ha.)

And, that's a wrap....


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

She continues to live

We had the appointment with our pediatrician today. As we walked in, this cloud just fell over me. I realized the last time I was there was literally like 15 hours after labor and with my sweet baby.

At that appointment on June 12th, I remember standing the whole time because I was still so sore and all there was was hard wood chairs.
More importantly, I remember lil Greyson crying as she had to get naked and weighed, she weighed exactly 5 pounds.
Our Doctor loved her and said she was perfectly fine. I remember our doctor was holding her and Greyson was a little upset. The doc looked at me and said, "She won't do this once she is back in your arms."  I took her cute lil self back and sure enough, she calmed down.

But today was different. Today she helped us go through the whole Coroner's Report. It was confirming that we did nothing wrong and that there was nothing wrong with lil Greyson that they were able to find.
Still, normally SIDS doesn't happen until the baby is more like 1 month old, not 2 days.

She asked us if we had any questions, and I told her about a few things that had bothered me and if they had any correlation with baby G's death... they of course did not. She said, even parents blame themselves or wonder what they could've done if their 7yr old isn't doing well in school, etc.

Then our Doc put the papers down...& looked at me...& asked me how I was doing.

 Like really asked.

Not the, "How are ya" drive by...  the look directly at you, into your soul, because I actually want to know...

I got through about  2 words. I'd prefer the drive-by most days. Easier.

Nothing prepares you for having to meet with a doctor and talk about how and why your daughter died. So, I was doing pretty good the whole first 30 minutes, sipping on my homemade smoothy. If I felt "the lump", I'd just take another sip and refocus.

But then she wanted to know if I felt like it was my fault.

While the Lord gives peace without any understanding, there are always little pop-up's in my head, like...

....Remember how you layed on your belly until like 8 months pregnant?
....Remember how you didn't even gain 5 pounds until week 25?
....Remember how you threw up all over the place week 17-25? Especially that one day where you threw up every bite x12, you even threw up Sprite. (Which if you have never thrown up, I strongly hope one day you, too can experience. Weirdest fizzy feeling ever, kinda "fun") more...

But I know know know know if the Lord wanted us to have her.....we'd have her.
For some special reason He wants her and the more I get hung up on questions mentioned above, the more I am stuck in fear.

Fear to keep going.

Fear to have hope.

Fear that I could've possibly controlled the life and death and of our baby.

 Not possible.

That takes all the credit away from Jesus. He is the Maker of life and He has our days numbered. So, why should I fear? Or question?

It's just painful to hear how perfect your baby was, when she is not still alive to prove it.

I trust Jesus. I trust Him. I do. Even through the mountains of pain.

At the funeral of my sweet friend, Naomi Friday night, the Pastor talked about her life...and about how Naomi's greatest achievement was knowing Jesus. Nothing else mattered.

Wow. Because of that...death has lost it's sting! Thank you Jesus! Thank you.

The thing he also said that resounds in my mind constantly is that Naomi continues to live.

She continues to live. Naomi continues to live with Jesus.

She continues to live. GREYSON continues to live...

She lives with Jesus. My Savior, my Father, my comforter, protector, provider, healer, my faithful FRIEND. What better place for her?

 I deeply deeply deeply want to just hold her for a lil while, kiss her cute lil lips, spank her lil booty, and I live with the hope that someday I will get to.

But I also live with the satisfaction that God has adopted her until I get there. He will kiss her every time I ask Him to. He will hug her and hold her until I am there.

She continues to live.