A Facebook Post

So, I am prepping to post this to facebook. It might blow up in my face, but I think I need to do it.

***Warning: Long post that contains Triggers/Mentst***

I am taking my lunch break at work to write this, so forgive any grammatical errors 🙂

 I have a 40 minute commute to and from work. I really don’t think about much on the way to work, but my drive home is used to reflect on the day. These past few days I have used it to think about Holy Week and what it means to me. As I was driving home, I passed the intersection to our church and thought to myself, “Our church is down that road,” then it hit me. I called ECC our church. You might be thinking, “OK, what’s the big deal here?” For my small family, it is a HUGE deal. We found a home.  A place to worship we enjoy going to and love. I have NEVERreferred to a church as our church before. I have been to many churches before, but never my church. If you know me, have been friends with me for any length of time, you know this is significant. I have not always been one to follow faith, to believe. I’ve not always been a good person. There are things I am ashamed of in my past. I didn’t feel worthy of the grace of God. I’m not really sure I am yet, but He has given me so many blessings anyway.

I wanted to put this on Facebook, because it IS a public forum. It is Holy Week and I hope maybe it can help someone else find themselves, to help feel they deserve God’s love too. Now, I know I am opening myself up to a lot of criticism here. I do on a daily basis with other posts I put too. Many will view me differently, and if you do, you weren’t my friend to begin with. Others will read this with an open mind, even if they don’t agree, it won’t change our friendship. I am going to quote someone here that might or might not appreciate it, but they have had a major impact on my life. I hope I can do for someone else, what he has done for me. “No one cares if you turn on a flashlight in the light, it doesn’t do anything. But even one flashlight in the dark makes a tremendous difference.” – Pastor Ara Koliantz Pastor Ara came to use when we didn’t know we needed him. For that, I am forever thankful.

I mentioned before that I didn’t always follow faith. This is true. Without getting into all the messy details, I just wasn’t sure if I believed or not. So, what changed? I did. My life did. My plans did. I did something that I never thought I would ever do. I buried two children.  Ironically, during those times, it seems a lot of people stray further from God. I found him for the first time. He always was with me, but I finally looked to Him.

My open book background:

My husband, James, and I met in December of 2003. Then friends, we had no idea what a wonderful and horrendously sad adventure that friendship would turn out to be. We knew faster than most we were simply meant to be. After 6 months, James proposed. Needless to say, my parents were not too happy with a 19 year old engaged to a man she met 6 months earlier.

We decided on a long engagement. I would graduate with my master’s degree before we would wed. That would be nearly 6 years! But tragedy struck my senior year of college. My father suddenly fell ill and in a week passed away. I was left heart broken, with medical issues and no insurance.

 At this point, James had already graduated and started his career. We both decided on a quick marriage. We loved each other, and planned on marrying anyway…so why not?

I planned a family and close friend wedding in under a month on a tight budget (I believe my whole wedding, reception dinner and all was under $2,000. James always tells me one day he will make it up to me and we will renew our vows on the beach in Michigan). We were married September 1, 2007. Immediately we both decided not to take precautions against children. We both wanted a family, so why not let fate decide for us.

Saving you our whole infertility and IVF journey (which you can read here if you wish: https://mommyoftwinangels.wordpress.com/2012/12/24/the-beginning-to-the-end/)

I will skip ahead to December 2012, when our world crumbled. Before and during I prayed, but my heart just wasn’t in it. Not in the way it should be. It felt more like habit, then when my water broke it was more out of desperation. When our daughters died, I fell into a deep depression. I didn’t eat, I didn’t leave the couch. James has since showed me pictures of myself during those days and I don’t recognize myself in them. I can remember a turning point, when the questions began to flood over me and through my mind. What did I do? What did I do to deserve this? I looked down on the coffee table, and there staring at me was a little purple bible that was given to us as a gift. I picked it up and opened it.

I spent the next 6 hours reading it. James came home from work to find the coffee table covered in sticky notes with bible verses, notes, page reminders, you name it. I spent the next day on Amazon, buying book after book. Something had awaked inside of me. Every question I had, I could find and answer right there in that little purple bible. What had I been missing all my life? I had always believed in God, but why hadn’t I let him in my heart? There was a hole there that was suddenly being filled with light. To quote Susan Guilfoyle in Still Standing Magazine, “My heart, that just hours before, was so heavy, hurt and burdened with sadness, was suddenly filled with love and joy.  I wanted to leap up, throw my arms around God and say “Thank you so much for reshaping my heart and giving me new sight”  I want to scream to the world “Isn’t God amazing!?”I know I still have a long way to go in my spiritual journey, but I now know I am not alone. He walks every step of it with me, sometimes He carries me on my darkest days, but He never leaves my side.

 So, what exactly is this long post about my life saying exactly? Losing Willow and Hazel did shake my faith, but not in the way I see many women’s (in my support groups) faith get shaken. I had some sense shaken into me. I turned to God instead of turning my back on Him, and He embraced me.

 “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” Job 2:10

I see this, and I live it. I have spoken to so many women (and men) who have lost their children (or are struggling with infertility) and were strong in faith before so. Then, after their world began to crumble they lost faith, or began to waiver.  I am the opposite. I had little faith, I believed in God, but didn’t really show it. I didn’t pray, I didn’t live in a Godly way. Then, after my only children died, I began to know God. He sat with me when I cried, and cried with me. I could literally feel his presence at times when I felt most alone.

It was then, that I read the story of Job, and I saw this passage. So many people follow God and his teachings, then when something bad happens (lose their job, lose a loved one etc), they turn on Him. I saw this happen with my own father, and thought it only natural.

We can’t praise God for all the good He does, then condemn Him if things don’t turn out the way we want them to. I know that this is not the life I had planned for myself. I never even thought of the possibility that my children could die, but they did. So, I found the best way I can deal with it is to be honest with God in troubling times.

Why not? He already knows anyway, right?  Be honest with God. Do not ‘church’ up your prayers. If you need to yell at God, do so. If you just want to cry in your prayer, do it. In Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo, the narrator and father of the young boy is a Pastor. During his son’s surgery and about to die, the pastor yells at God. Asking Him if this is how He repays His servants, His messengers of His word. He is furious. After his son starts to tell him of his visit, he reveals that he saw his father walk off to a little room and yell at God and pray while yelling. The little boy said, “God answered your prayer.” His son lived. On page pg 84 he describes that he yelled at God while praying with anger toward Him and His work and this is the conclusion he came to:

 {“Can you believe that I could pray like that, and God would still answer it ‘yes’?” What had I learned? I was reminded yet again that I could be real with God, I told my fellow pastors. I learned that I didn’t have to offer some kind of churchy, holy-sounding prayer in order to be heard in heaven. “You might as well tell God what you think,” I said. “He already knows it anyway.”}

So why not be real with your feelings? And I have. I have yelled at Him, cried with Him, and I am sure in my darkest hours He has sat with me.

 Am I perfect? Absolutely not. Am I baptized? No. I hope to be one day though. Do I still have a long way ahead of me? I do. So, this is where I leave you. I have opened up myself to you, left myself vulnerable, I pray you can open yourself to God in the same way.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.’ 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NIV

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2 thoughts on “A Facebook Post

  1. I am so glad you turned to God and he is helping you. He has helped me so much too. I had a church I had been going to for 5 years occasionally, but only recently did it really start to feel like my church. It’s a nice feeling. I also recently posted something about God on my FB account and it got a positive response. I think it’s good for us to honor God in public ways like that when we can, but it is scary too.

    • If felt so good to make that post too! Like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I usually get 26 or so likes on my posts, with this one… 8. Only 3 or 4 people commented. It made me sad. It feels like more and more people are turning their backs on God.

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