Good grief, how many more of these "Jesus freak, Bible thumpin" posts are you going to write, Sarah?
I don't know. Until I'm done. Whenever that is. Or whenever I can finally make my point that having faith and believing isn't always easy for everyone. It's not just something I believe because my parents brought me up that way. I have questioned a lot. I have even had moments where I wasn't sure I believed at all...that it all just seemed too fairy-tale. I have had moments where I've said "You know, I really want to believe, because it all seems really, really nice." Let me just go ahead and tell you that if you want God, He will meet you there. You don't need to clean up your house to invite God in. It took me up until 6 months ago to really start to find joy in Christ... to have assurance of my salvation... to believe that grace really is enough. So you are wanting me to just jump to the catch and tell you what happened a few months ago? You're going to have to stick along on this ride a little longer. Because you see, it is only now that I can look back and see that Jesus was there the whole time. But I was too busy living a life of mediocrity. I desperately wanted to have a strong relationship with Christ...but in order to do become that...I had to become weak.
I have been a little blown away by e-mails from people saying they too have struggled. I'm talking about people who I would have thought "had it all together and never doubted." I am so humbled. I would be humbled if you would continue to share with me. It is so encouraging to my soul. I wish more people were honest about their relationship with God.
During my ten weeks on complete bed rest with the twins, you would have thought that I would have read at least a few dozen novels, knit a sweater, and caught up on all the latest videos. I did very little of that...and that baby blanket I was knitting still only has 6 rows done. I spent so much time literally in a trance just praying.
You can go back and read a few of my posts from the summer of 2010, so I won't relive all the details. I went back and read some to refresh my memory and it gave me heart palpitations. One thing that touched me was going back and reading all the comments that you all left for me during that time. It was beautiful and touching and I am still so very, very thankful for each and every one.
People always want to know "how did you go through that? I can't imagine!" Or they'll say "there is no way I could have..." Let me tell you something. You are right. YOU cannot do it. It is only something that the Holy Spirit can lead you through. I did nothing during those ten weeks. His spirit led me the entire way. And you want to hear something beautiful? The same spirit that lives in me is the same spirit in you. I am no different than you. This was ten times worse than going through infertility. I'm not talking about bed rest...I'm talking about watching my children fight to live.
I learned a lot about grace that summer and proceeding autumn. So many people came together to help us during our time of need...yet, not expecting anything back in return. And honestly, there wasn't anything I could do. I was confined to a hospital bed. I have never felt love like that. Friends who would come help me shave my legs, rub my back, wash my hair, paint my nails...the list goes on and on...they were disciples of Jesus. They served and expected nothing in return. It was a true lesson in love and grace. It is BEAUTIFUL to see a body of believers come together and support a person in need. I have never been on the receiving end of such a gift. This is what I saw: People of all cultures, all races, all different socio-economic status come together as a body of Christ. At the foot of the cross, we are indeed all the same. You could almost say, I had a glimpse of heaven. I saw my brothers and sisters in Christ come together to help their sister in need. Many were technically strangers to me who came to my help. (Let me tell you...you will indeed experience complete brokenness when you allow someone else to shave your legs!)
I spent almost 11 weeks surrounded by and in the grip of grace. I watched my two, teeny tiny little babes enter the world...one who was not breathing. I saw the hands and fingers that pressed on her tiny chest bringing her back to life. And although there were about 11-12 people in the room, it was truly just me and God. It was almost as if the Holy Spirit took over me those few minutes because I remember feeling very full of love and peace, even though my flesh was trembling with fear.
The room was bustling, but all I heard was "You are not alone. You are not alone. You are not alone."
In moments of terror, we generally reach out to God whether we believe in Him or not. Some will say "Oh my God! Help me!!" My plea in that moment was "Jesus, I have done my best. What more do you want from me????"
An hour or so later, I saw these two tiny babes covered in wires in a dark incubator. I remember the nurse practitioner telling me "the first week is the honeymoon period. Just be prepared that things won't necessarily stay this way."
I knew that night that I had a choice. I could live in fear or I could live in grace. Surrendering your will to God's is not a magical one time thing. It was something something I would struggle with for many months to come as I would become more and more aware of the fears I held onto.
"But God! If I say I accept YOUR will for me, I am afraid you will let my babies die. I am afraid your will test me in a way I don't like. What if I don't want the same thing as you???"
This was the fear that would cripple me for a long time. This is the fear that had indeed held me captive for 30 years. Because I still didn't understand just how much He loved me. (And, oh looking back and reading my old words in print, I sit and weep...because I was BLIND and now I see...I see just how much He loved and adored me...he cherished me even though I pushed Him away)
(To be continued)