Rejoicing in Noes

I find it interesting that when I ask God for a clear answer about something, I usually get discouraged when I hear “No”. Or what’s even harder to hear is, “You have to wait.” I usually try to add a little gray into the black and white answer I eagerly asked for. “So Lord, does ‘no’ mean just not at this second? Are you going to change your mind this afternoon? Because I have to tell ya, I need an answer on this soon.” Since when did receiving the answer I don’t want to hear become an irrelevant answer? Do I really mean what I’m asking for in my prayers? This little fact about myself has been eye opening to say the least!
My husband & I are currently considering buying a house. We have seen numerous houses. In each house, I always love to envision where I would put our dining room table, which room the baby’s room would be & think about the barbecue parties we would have with friends in the back yard. We put an offer on a house about 2 weeks ago. After we submitted all the paperwork we needed to, there seemed to be one hold up after the other on the broker’s side. But I still had this overwhelming peace that I’ve had many times before. I knew God was in control & that He would work out every last detail. I grabbed a rock from beside the driveway of this house & decided I would put it on our countertop at home. I told my husband that whenever we looked at that rock, we were going to claim our house & thank God for it. I don’t think he was necessarily on the same page as I was, because his response was, “Whether or not we get this house, this rock represents that God knows what’s best for us.” What was he thinking!? I had a peace & confidence that God knew what He was doing, so obviously that meant this house was my house. A few days later, he called me from work & told me that we didn’t get the house. I could have just passed out on the floor from shock. All I could think was, “But my rock…it’s right here.” After my initial shock & a few tears, my husband reminded me what that rock really represented & that we had been praying for God’s answer about the house…not a yes. He’s very smart sometimes.
So this past week I’ve been more aware as I pray & ask God for His answer or direction about anything. And I’m keenly aware of the words I’m praying when I say “Your will be done.” That’s a very full statement & I know praying those words means I am willingly submitting my plans, thoughts & objective & asking Him to direct me where HE wants me to go. 
So I’ve decided I will no longer pray for God’s will when I know I’m just trying to hear the answer I want. Instead, I will first readjust my view, refocus my heart & realize that His best for my life is not always what I want at that moment. I have many, many, many examples of that in the past. Yet, I still need reminding. Thank you, Lord for reminding me…again. So all of this to say, I am so grateful for my “noes” in life. They are just as beautiful as my “yeses”. If I truly want to be plugged into God’s will, I will be thankful for each guided step & rejoice in every answer He gives me. He is always good to His children & I declare my God as faithful! 

In The Still Of My Heart

I was doing some cleaning yesterday afternoon to prepare for a visit from my sister & baby nephew. It’s always when I know I’ll be having company that I will dust everywhere (yes, even the places you can’t see) and finally decide where to put that stack of mail that has collected in the corner.
As I was finishing up in the kitchen I looked on top of my refrigerator & stared at the hospital bands that I was required to wear the night we lost our first baby. For months they remained on my counter where I could see & touch them every day. I didn’t want to throw them away or hide them. I don’t know why, but they have remained precious, tangible objects that have reminded me of the physical & emotional pain of that night. I could touch them & hold them in my hand when I needed to. And it brought comfort & connection to me. I didn’t want to get rid of them because I didn’t want to forget anything. Now I know I will never forget. How could I? But for a while it was a very real fear for me to think that the memory of that night or our baby would fade or that people would forget about our baby’s life. Those bands symbolized that for me. So getting rid of them would mean that what happened didn’t mattered. It terrified me. After a couple of months, I deliberately moved them from my counter to the top of the refrigerator. It was a step towards further healing for me. I knew they were there. If I needed to look at them or hold them, I could. But they were further away. And for the past 5 months, that’s where they have remained.
So yesterday, as I fixated my eyes on them, I began crying. Not out of sorrow, but out of remembrance. And I knew & felt that it was time. Not to discard them, but to tuck them away somewhere special, just like that night & our baby will always be a very real, precious part of me. So I did just that. And I realized something. That piece of my heart is no longer an excruciating, open wound. My God started bandaging it the moment that loss began. He personally tended to it in the quiet nights where I laid in bed sobbing, crying out to Him, wrapped in my husband’s arms. Even though it was painful, there were multiple times that my God changed those bandages & cleaned out the wound, because that’s what it needed. And yesterday, as I tucked those hospital bands away where they will remain from now on, I knew that the wound I have felt for 7 months has now become a beautiful scar. I realize that the healing that Jesus Christ has given me does not diminish the memory of our baby or minimize the significance & importance of that life-changing night. It just means that my God is faithful to walk with me through the dark valley & will restore me always. He is close to the broken-hearted & faithful to His Children. His peace is beyond what we can fathom. His love is deeper than we’ll ever know.
Thank you, Father for my beautiful scar. Enjoy loving on our sweet baby. We look forward to the time when we will be reunited & can do it ourselves. I declare You as faithful, my God, Savior & Comfort.
And as another testament to God’s faithfulness & for those of you who may not know, I am 6 ½ months pregnant with a little girl. We are naming her Raelyn which comes from the name Rachel in the Bible. It means “God’s lamb of beauty”. And oh my goodness, yes she is.