Wednesday, September 15, 2010

As of late...

In the last few days I've felt led to share a little of what God has been doing in my life through my blog. Not that many even still check this site as I have not been a great or even good blogger over the last year or more. Even still I felt the need to write and this is my chosen outlet.

Let me first start off by saying I am still incredibly thankful for God's grace in my life and in the life of the kids since Jason's death. When I look back at His faithfulness to me, I simply have to praise His name. I have no other choice.

Over the last couple of months I have had many good days with rough days being the minority rather than majority. There are still many days filled with great sadness over the loss of sweet Jason, but so many of my days are filled with JOY as well. God's

I would be withholding the complete truth if I left it at that. About two months ago, I began to deal with fear again. Fear of the future. Fear of how I was going to raise these precious gifts God has given me without Jason. Fear of how I could possibly meet their many needs - their spiritual, emotional and even their short and long term financial needs. I assume the fear was brought on by the start of the new school year and all the demands that come with that. I could almost feel as if I was suffocating at certain moments during the day with the weight of it all. It was as if the enemy was trying to paralyze me. Just FYI...he didn't win, but he certainly didn't give up without a fight.

If those specific fears weren't enough I then began to fear the obvious...what if something happened to me. What if the kids not only had their daddy on this earth, but what if God takes me from their life as well. I would be lying if I said this was the first time I have ever experienced this fear since Jason's death. This time it seemed to take hold of my every thought. When I was alone I would just sit and cry at the very thought of my sweet kids not having either parent on this earth. I was in total God's word we are commanded to cast out every vain imagination. I was not doing that. Nor was I taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ.

Once again, I began to experience some minor health issues. Those issues only escalated those fears that there was something was really wrong with me thus I could be dying. My very close friends find it quite comical that I can convince myself I have some horrible disease and even though I laugh with them, it is in the quietness of my heart I am totally gripped with fear...too many "what ifs" flood my mind.

I would also be hiding the complete truth if I told you I have only been like this since Jason's death. I was convinced while living in Naples that I was dying of a heart attack on a couple of occasions and if I were being really honest, I would have to admit that we confirmed my pregnancy with Jon Brent because I went to the ER with chest pain. Yes, I might should seek some professional help with all of this, but I get it honestly. My sweet granddaddy who lived well into his 80s before meeting Jesus also had to fight this same battle. :)I say all that to say, I do believe that because of Jason's death this stronghold in my life has intensified greatly.

So...where is my faith in all of this? Glad you asked! You would think after seeing God's faithfulness the last 2 1/2 years that I wouldn't begin to doubt Him now?!? Make no mistake our enemy knows our weaknesses and is seeking to destroy us IF we allow him.

One day last week while I was at work I received an email from my dad. He was simply passing along a caringbridge site of a lady about my age who is the mom to 5 beautiful little girls...she is fighting AML a relapse after a bone marrow transplant. I clicked on the link very reluctantly because I knew just from the little bit of information that he provided in his message that my heart would be broken when I began to read of her battle. I was right. I sat in my office for a few minutes after reading just a few journal entries and cried silently hoping no one would walk in to see the tears puddling on my desk. Thankfully I glanced at the time and realized it was time for me to make the mail run that I do daily at work. I was so very thankful that I could escape to my car and cry freely. I hurt so deeply for this family and as I thought of the pain they were enduring, I felt hopeless. This wasn't the only family I was hurting for as right now I am praying for so many who are having to walk down such dark roads right now. It was just at that moment this sweet mom to 5 who was battling AML pushed my emotions over the edge. I cried out to my Lord...please, come quickly and take all of this pain away from so many.

Right there in the quietness of my car the Father whispered, Be Still and Know that I am God. And as God often does in my life, He used music to minister to my hurting heart. The silence became deafening so I turned on my radio. The very song on the radio was "My Help Comes From the Lord" by The appropriate at that very moment of despair.

When sorrows come and hope seems gone
You're the rock I rest upon
When waters rise and I can't breathe
You're the love that rescues me

Out of the darkness I lift up my eyes
Unto the hills I feel my faith rise

Maker of heaven giver of life
You are my strength my song in the night
My refuge my shelter now and forevermore
My help comes from the Lord

All of the sudden the tears of great anguish turned back to tears of hopefulness and trust. Isn't our God so good like that!?!

This past Friday night I attended a women's conference where Priscilla Shirer was the speaker. I was more than excited to hear what God was going to teach me through this conference. I was not disappointed. With each session I was convinced that her words, which were from God, were meant for just for me. I knew there were 1,500 plus in attendance, but I just knew He had moved mountains just for me to hear from Him. :)

I wish I could write everything He taught me over the 2 day conference, but you're probably already asleep now so I'll be brief. In a nutshell, let me just use the word of God to sum it up...
Isaiah 43:18-19
"Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert."

Through His word it was if He was shouting to me...Stephanie, I am doing a new thing in your life! Don't miss it by staying held captive by the anguish and pain you have experienced in the past. Don't miss it by fearing the new thing I want to do in your life! I don't believe this verse is saying to forget the pain as God has used that pain greatly, but rather for me not to dwell there.

I can't wait to see all that God has in store for me as well as in the life of my kids. I am sure the enemy will try again to gain a foothold in my life. My prayer is that I would not allow him to hold me there rather to keep looking to the One who has been an ever present help in all of my times of need...He has been so incredibly faithful to meet my every need and then some. May I continually rest in His goodness and love for me.


Chris and Rebecca Lee said...

stephanie, thank you so much for sharing your struggles that are so real to humans, yet you always are brought back to God and his love and faithfulness. thank you for sharing and drawing to HIM for your life's dependence. i hardly know you, just that small stint when i lived there during college because of chris, but i'm so encouraged by you. at random times, i pray for you and your family. press on sister! God is doing a new thing in your life and his mercies are new every day! with love, rebecca lee

Kristen said...

God calls it a new thing. I call it the 5 course meal. Don't waste your time snacking on stuff that won't fulfill.

Love you Bess. Want to hear much more about the women's conference.


Becky said...

Beautiful illustration of God's hand in your life. So glad you were blessed with the words to describe this leg of the trip. Well said.

Cathy said...

Stephanie, I have read your blog off and on for some time. I found it via someone else's blog. I'm glad that you write your feelings out, and I love that you are so honest about them because for others who have gone through something similar it helps to know that some of the thoughts, emotions, and fears that are experienced are quite normal. Your words are such an encouragement to others that yes, the fear can be overwhelming but we as believers are not alone and we can keep our eyes upon Jesus. I pray that God will replace any anxiety with His peace in the times when you start to feel anxious.

DeeDee said...

Well, I haven't got on your blog for awhile..hey I haven't got on MY blog for awhile...and I missed them both! Funny how God gets or grabs our attention.
Right now I am dealing w/my mothers early onset dementia/altheimers diagnosis...and a sister who has ot been in a relationship w/me for some time now. But thru it all God has been speaking to me since spring...STRONGHOLDS! of the negative persuassion. I am going thru beth Moore's Living Free! She saidthat these stronghods PRETEND to be bigger than the God we serve...and like a lighting bolt...I was struck. I woke up, saw many more scriptures in daily devotions and such that I realized how I was to handle the stresses of life right now. ( I also can be a bit of a hypo-person when it comes to all the WHAT IFS!) God is dealing w/me now and I am managing my cooping skills alot better now. you would think that after 56 yrs I would of figured this out...but nooo, not the 'FIXER" I AM! So gald He doesn't give up on us! Your words encouraged me so keep writting as God leads. I know personally this blog thing really is my does of reality medicine I need so much. Just to have a place to write dow your feelings no matter if anyone reads the thoughts or not. But trust me Stephanie, they do! Love and hugs to all in the "burg...we mss you all so much. Debi O.