Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I'm Just Thinking....

What an incredible few days our family has had. We have experienced deep loss, and extreme happiness. We've been emotional about not being able to be in one place, and at the same time we are thrilled to have been here. I know this is as clear as mud...

Our children's musical was last Sunday evening. I worked with part of the kids, Chad was working in the media booth, Chloe had a solo and this was Emma's first musical. She worked so hard, listening to my CD daily for 3 months learning her part. We are just so proud of her. Our baby girl singing her heart out for Jesus despite the fact she was terrified.

There is power in prayer, and the Word. I have been reciting "Emma can do ALL THINGS (sing on the stage) because Jesus lives in her and gives her strength." for several weeks. She may not have been so sure of it before, but today she knows that God heard her and answered her prayer to be brave.

As much as we have rejoiced over what God did through our children on Sunday night,(and I mean all 200 of them) we have been just as heavy hearted over the loss of Chad's cousin.

So many emotions. So many passages of the Word have come to my mind. This morning Psalm 30 was my focus. As I personalized this Psalm to our family, I was overcome with this promise, God is not done with us. There is still hope.

It may seem dark right now and there may be lots of tears and unanswered questions...but as verse 8 says "rejoicing comes in the morning". The King James says JOY cometh in the morning.

And then on down in verse 11-12

"You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."

How I love Him. How I love that in the times of our deepest hurt and confusion He offers love, joy, and peace. It's something that takes my breath away.


What the enemy has meant for evil, I believe my God is going to use for good. As hard as it is to see right now, God is working. Even in this horrible, tragic time. I want to make the sly one sorry he messed with this family. I'm going to be really bold here and say this knowing that some will not get this and I'll probably get a phone call..that's okay...it's just what is on my heart. Here goes...

Perhaps, God will use this as a time of restoration. I can't help but think of a passage in Hosea 2. I have referenced it before but I believe it is timely.

I'm quoting the NLT verses 14-15

"But I will win her back again. I will lead her out into the desert and speak tenderly to her there. I will return her vineyards to her and transform the valley of trouble into a gateway of hope. She will give herself to me there as she did long ago when she was young, when I freed her from captivity in Egypt."


Being bold again...In my life, there have been times where God has used tragic, extreme circumstances to get my attention. Reminding me that before anything or anyone else, HE is what I need.

Only He can restore what has been destroyed. Only He can break the slave chains that keep me stuck in my personal Egypt.

Only Jesus.

That takes me to Joel 2:12-13

"Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love and he relents from sending calamity."

God doesn't change. God doesn't move or leave...we do. The amazing thing to me is that we are never more than glance away from Him. We just have to turn around to see Him.

This is the verse I am anticipating in this time.

Joel 2:25 "I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.."

I can hardly wait for that. The day we see our valley of trouble turn into a flourishing gateway of hope..locusts free. (with plenty of space for some praise dancing!)

8 comments:

BethAnne said...

YAY for Emma! She may just be the next Mandisa....hope you can get me tickets to her concerts for free ;-).
I am still praying for Chad's family and for the children involved. As far as being bold.....the truth IS bold and its hard, but it needs to be said and it needs to be heard. God CAN bring joy out of this sadness. I am praying that He does and I am praying that He shows up for Chad's family in an awesome, fresh and unexpected way....

Leah said...

Stephanie,

I'm so sorry about your loss. It is never easy to lose a loved one but especially it is difficult at the holidays. Please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Leah

jenmom said...

Oh Sweet friend! May your Valley of Baca (weeping) be turned into a place of springs covered with pools (berakah - blessings divinely bestowed) of refreshing rains of God's grace. May you go from strength to strength given to you by our Awesome God. Psalm 84:6-7
I love you in the Lord.
Jennifer

colorfulwoman said...

Hey...:) I have checked on you today to see what was up and I am so glad I did. I am sorry, I know this must be a very hard time for you and your family.

Can I be bold too? I will just say that the verse you wrote about "Joy cometh".....it's true! I know from experience now that it is true, He is True!
God has done more work on my life in this past year then any other time. There is a lifetime left to work on things, but I am starting to see the glimpses of the JOY promised us in scripture.

I am praying for you Stephanie!And your family.

So glad the musical went so well! What a blessing for you as a mom to see your daughters singing for Jesus!

The Small Scribbler said...

Emma? Onstage? That's huge!

Praying for you all.

Kate

Southern Charm said...

Praying for your family.

Julie said...

I just read of your family's loss and I'm sorry for you.

However this post was an encouragement to me, specifically with the scripture. Yours is the second blog today that had Psalm 30:11-12!!! God is just reminding me over and over again!! Praise Him for His word!!

Fran said...

How precious your girls are Steph. How precious you and Chad are. How amazing Jesus is in you.
I've been praying for you. I'm asking God to do mighty big things over your family right now. He can and He will. I just know it.

Big hugs,
Fran