A Pebble in the Water…

I felt as if my heart had dropped to my feet, in the blink of an eye, I went from getting ready to prepare for the normal routine ahead, to crying out desperately for God’s help. The things that were on my heart and mind at 7:29 am, we’re no longer on my heart and mind at 7:30 am. My daughter sat as she ate her breakfast just like a normal day one minute, and the very next she’s gripping her chest, looking at me with such a fear in her eyes, telling me she couldn’t breathe and her chest hurt. Those are not words a mother wants to hear from her child, nor is it a look she wants to see in their eyes. I call the Dr’s office for an appointment feeling like at worst it was pneumonia, and as we sit in the small room waiting for the Dr to return to us after a chest x ray, we had no idea how much our world was about to change. The images are still clear in my mind, my precious baby girl looking up at me saying, “Mom, I’m scared, I Love You.” I can’t explain what I felt inside at that moment except for saying that at that moment, I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. Just then the Dr walks in and tells us something that neither of us had ever expected to hear,“You’re going to have to take her over to the ER, her right lung has completely collapsed.” What? What? What? I think that’s the only word my mind came up with at that moment. My daughter & I both looked at each other & we both began to feel the tears rolling down our faces. I can honestly only remember at this point, texting my husband telling him to come quickly to the ER, and getting her in the ER, and trying to hold myself together for her. It was like a whirlwind from there, nurses in and out, Dr’s coming in and telling me what needs to be done. They are going to have to put a chest tube in her, and transport her to Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte. What? What? What? How? When? Why? I don’t understand! I see her laying in that bed in the triage room of the ER, and nothing else matters to me, nothing else is important to me. I just want my baby better!! Just then I look up and see my husbands face coming through the curtain that separated us from the world, and I just wanted to run to him and cry like I have never cried before. I had to stay calm, I had to pull it together because I knew how scared my daughter was and if she sees Mom breakdown, she’s going to breakdown and she didn’t need that right now.

I stepped out while the Dr was putting in the chest tube & asked my husband to stay in with her, I just needed to break away for a moment to find a moment with my Father. I slipped off to the restroom, and I can remember shutting the door & locking it as fast as I could! I cried out to God, Help! Help! Help! Save her God please! Please don’t take her from me God! I didn’t care if anyone on the outside of that door could hear me, I just knew my Father heard me loud & clear! He knew what I was feeling & thinking even before I spoke it aloud, but I wanted to shout it as loud as I could! This is my baby God, please touch her, please heal her! I couldn’t find very many other words at the moment, but I knew He understood! I walked out and received a text from my Pastor telling me that He and one of the other Pastors was in the waiting room, and I wanted them in there with me! I needed them in there with me! I told my dad who was standing outside the triage room that I would be back. I went out that door, and saw them standing there, and I just wanted to run! I needed that support, that encouragement, that love that I knew I was going to get! As one of them walked back into the ER with me, my dad told me he was glad I wasn’t in there to hear my daughter as they put in the chest tube.

The next thing I know I’m climbing into the back of the ambulance and they are placing my daughter in there. It’s like I was in a nightmare that I couldn’t wake up from. I sat there and watched her sleep and rest after they gave her pain medicine. All I wanted to do was grab her up in my arms and love on her as hard as I could but I couldn’t. I trusted that God was doing that enough for us both. My cell phone was going off with comments on my Facebook page, texts with people asking how she was, phone calls from people who loved us. My Worship Pastor called to tell me he was on his way to the hospital. Every single call, text, comment, wall post, everything that was coming to my phone, kept me focused on the fact that people were praying for her, even when I felt completely lost in a nightmare, there were people praying on her behalf, and I knew my Father was hearing every single one of them! We get her into room, and I see her Student Pastor walk through the door and told me he got there as fast as he could, well it was just in time. I saw the smile on Carrie’s face, and I felt the smile on my face! God sent us a non stop flow of love, support, and encouragement. He was telling us through each one that He was there for us, He was telling us how much He loves us and how much His people loves us. He let us know we weren’t alone through all of this. His presence was felt strongly! In walked my Worship Pastor, and yet again, we felt smiles upon our faces. We were overwhelmed with the amount of love and support God was sending us. Our pastor and his wife came that night, fed us both physically & spiritually, and covered us in even more love. Family & friends walking through the door, cell phone going off several times a minute, nurses, doctors, and each other, and more importantly, God, He was there, every step of the way, every minute, every second! There wasn’t one single moment through all of this that I didn’t feel His complete and total presence! He’s the only reason my tears were able to stop at all that day!

The next few days, all the tests, all the blood work, the monitors alarms going off, every word, everything, a complete whirlwind. We didn’t get much sleep because we were constantly aware of every single move she made in that hospital bed, and with every monitor alarm that was set off for whatever reason, we were jumping up. The only time I left her bedside was to step down to the gift shop to buy her a rose and a balloon, and it was worth it because it brought such a smile to her face. Each passing day my heart rested a little more, because I felt God’s comfort. I’ve been scared in my life before, but I had never felt fear like this before. So many things in my life seemed so trivial, unimportant, no longer a priority. God was showing me a new perspective in my life. He had been dealing with me for quite a while at this point about my priorities in life and where they should be, in what order they should be in, and how He desires them to be. He got my attention loud & clear on Valentines Day! This little girl laying in this hospital bed, shes one of my top priorities, and as I sat in the chair next to her bed watching her rest, all the pettiness of life, all the trivial things that have no eternal purpose, were fleeing from my mind & my heart. God showed me I can’t allow the distractions of this world, this life, ever take my attention and my focus off of Him and the priorities in my life and the purpose I have here. I can no longer allow things to consume my mind, my heart, or my time that are going to distract me from Gods purpose for me while I’m on this earth. It’s a hard fight, but I must. I had allowed the devil too much room into my mind, and with every distraction that I allowed him to place in my life, it was taking away my focus that God wants me to have. I have to remain heavenly minded at all times. I can’t allow things on this earth to blind me of things that are eternal.

I’m not saying that God allowed this to happen for that purpose only, I can’t really say why God allowed this to take place in our lives. I do know that He didn’t make this happen, didn’t cause it to happen, but nothing touches our lives without going through His hands first, so even though it surprised us, it didn’t surprise Him. I may never know the exact reason why He allowed it, but in the last week, I have seen some things come from it that I believe He allowed to come from it. He doesn’t waste any pain that touches our lives, every trial, every obstacle, they serve a purpose in our lives, and if we stayed closed minded, and kept our hearts closed to seeing those purposes that would be a terrible mistake. I have seen too many times in my own life already that only good can come from suffering, many of mylife’s blessings have come from those trials & obstacles, those heartaches. A trial in our life is like a pebble thrown into the waters of a lake, it causes a ripple effect, we won’t only see one good thing come from it, we will see ring after ring of good things that God allows to come from that one trial pebble thrown into the waters of our life! 

We had a Valentines Day we will never forget, and I strongly believe it won’t be the negative memories that we recall, it will be the positive memories. We felt more love than we have ever felt in our entire lifetime on Valentines Day this year. God showed us this year what real love is, what He intends love to be. We were overwhelmed by the love that we felt. If it’s possible I’m not sure our hearts could have possibly handled anymore love than it felt. Our hearts were already overflowing with love, and that love came out through our tears. We just kept saying to one another, we were amazed at how many people were praying, how many people were reaching out to us. God has a miraculous way to let you know what He wants you to know. We both had been struggling quite a bit lately, and to feel that much love, it did our hearts good. The love & compassion was a gift from God. God gave us the greatest Valentines gift ever, our daughters health, smile, and love, and love from all those wonderful and amazing people he has placed in our lives! 

We can go through lives fighting the wrong fights and getting no where, or we can choose to go through life fighting the fights that God wants us to fight and get a little further with each one down the eternal path that He wants us to be on.There are so many things that are more important than the stuff here on earth, and everything that God allows to touch our lives has a purpose, and the sooner we open our eyes and hearts to that fact the better off we are. I’m not asking God why did you allow this to happen TO us, I’m asking God why did you allow this to happen FOR us? What are you allowing us to learn through all of this? Open our eyes and our hearts and show us your kingdoms purpose for this trial.Everything is for His glory, and I can sit here today and say Glory to God!! His hands were seen at work through it all, His name was lifted up through it all, His name was glorified through it all and I believe He touched a lot of hearts & lives through it all, and as I sat and listened to my daughter witness to all who were around her, that became clearer to me, everything is for HIS GLORY……….

(To Be Continued)

Walking Away from The Motions

As I was sitting today at home w/ my sick daughter, I started thinking, and as I was thinking this song came to the front of my mind, one of my favorites actually, so I went to look it up on YouTube& listen to it. You may have heard of it, “The Motions” by Matthew West. As I sat there and listened to the song once again, it took me back in time to a couple of years ago, a time in my life that I wasn’t too happy, and I wasn’t living the life that God desired me to have.

It’s so easy to go through the motions in life, it becomes comfortable and predictable.The word unsatisfying also comes to mind when I think about going through the motions. We just go through our daily lives doing what we’ve always done, responding the way we’ve always responded, thinking how we have always thought, and just doing what we think we’re suppose to. There’s no challenge, there’s no movement, there’s no growth or development, nothing new or exciting, no change. Wait, that’s it, there’s no change. Yep, that’s where I got stuck! Change, it was never one of my favorite words, and most definitely not one of my favorite things to experience. I was terrified of change, I didn’t want anything to change, I wanted everything in all areas of my life to stay just the same as they were before, I in essence just wanted to go through the motions of life. When we go through the motions, there’s little change, and if change does take place around us, which honestly it always is, we’re not as affected by it because we withdraw from whatever has changed so that it can’t affect us.

I was going through the motions in all areas of my life, every aspect of it, from my day to day activities, all the way to my relationships, every relationship, and sadly that included my relationship with God. For anyone who knew me, they knew that I was in love with God, I was devoted, I was eager to serve Him, and then life changed me and I got lost. I had experienced so much in my life, so many let downs, disappointments, failures, fears that had been realized, and rather I’d like to admit it or not, it all drizzled down to my faith. My faith had become so much less than what it had been, it wasn’t as strong as it once was. I still believed in God, I still loved Him, and I still “attended” church. The evidence was very apparent in my life that my faith had become less than what it once was. I was no longer the girl who was in love with God, the girl who had faith that could move mountains, the girl who was ready to stand and face every battle because I knew who was standing beside me. I became so down about so many things in my life, and I didn’t realize at the time it was because I was simply going through the motions anymore.

I never realized how dangerous of a path I was walking down. When a Christian becomes okay and content with going through the motions, it’s so easy for them to conform to the world, and fall into the worlds criticism of Christians. You begin to take on the same attitude that the world has about so many things, and you don’t even realize it. I had developed a pretty bad attitude about a lot of things. I had taken on that attitude of I just don’t care, whatever, and I became very critical of everything. I no longer had any desire to go to church, to be involved in anything at church, yeah, I went, and I listened, and for a brief moment I would think of how it applied to me, but I would soon zone out and walk away not taking anything with me. I was just “going” to church, and I was just there so that I could say I was there. I didn’t think anything was wrong with me, or my way of thinking, my attitude, or how I was responding to life all around me. My soul had fallen asleep, almost in a deep hibernation, but God woke it up!

In Spring 2008, God started waking my soul out of this deep hibernation I had been in for quite a while. He opened my eyes to things about myself that I had been in denial about, that I hadn’t realized was taking place, and though it hurt, and it was hard to face, I’m glad he did it. I would have never been placed back on the right path in my life had He not woke me up. That was only the beginning of my journey on my way back to the girl I once was. My life changed drastically over the next several months, trials & valleys beyond my imagination, but it was those trials & valleys that made me stop going through the motions in my life. As my soul started slowly waking up and coming back to life, the life that God intended me to live, I found myself peeling off all the layers that the world had put on me, and discovering the girl underneath that once was, that was happy, satisfied, and fulfilled.

I find myself today closer than I ever have been to being who I used to be years ago. I’m not the same person, and I don’t believe I’m suppose to be. God never wants us to be the “same” person we ever was, I believe He wants us to grow more and more everyday and in order to do that we change, we develop into more, we grow into something more beautiful, just like a butterfly from the cocoon. We’re not meant to stay baby Christians forever, we’re made to grow into more, become wiser, more devoted, and closer to God. I have had a hunger inside of me for quite some time now, and I am enjoying it. I just want to be closer to God, have a deeper relationship with Him, be consumed with Him. I want to learn more, I want to take in all that I can so that I can learn more. I no longer want to be the girl who walks into church on Sunday mornings & just sit and listen and walk away unchanged. I want to be the girl who not only walks through the doors, but who worships, who isn’t just going to church but being the church, who takes part in the ministry opportunities that God has placed in front of me, and who walks away with more wisdom, more knowledge, and more insight on how to change my life and live for God. This is what makes me happy, this is what makes me feel satisfied and fulfilled. I’m no longer trying to fill my soul with things that won’t satisfy. I have found what satisfies and fills my soul, and it’s the one who created it.

When you’re no longer going through the motions, you’ve faced whatever it is in life that brought you to the point of going through the motions, you realize you can no longer say one thing and do another. You realize that if you want a more satisfying life you have to allow God to awaken your soul from the deep sleep it’s been in, and let him revive you. God sees the real me, and He saw the real me all along, and He loved me enough to show me what I was becoming so that He could bring me back to the real me. He chiseled away everything the world had tacked on my back and shoulders, and brought me back to the me that He created. I’m still a work in progress, not perfect, and it’s not about being perfect, it’s just about being real with myself, with others, and with God most importantly.

He has worked some incredible miracles in my life, and it’s because of that change that I wouldn’t allow when He was trying to do it that has brought me to where I am today. Change that I am forever grateful for! I just want to offer Him my whole life, everything that I am, everything that I do, everything that I can be, and allow Him to be my everything, all that I need, all that I pursue. I desire so much more than a lukewarm life, I want to be on that hot side for God, I want to be on fire for Him, consumed with passion for Him. It’s not a phase I’m going through, it’s my choice, my desire, my decision that I have made. It’s not me trying to be better than anyone else, it’s just me trying to be better than what I was. It’s not me trying to be on top of a pedestal in anyones elses eyes or life, (and honestly don’t wish for anyone to put me on one), it’s just me trying to be a step higher in my relationship with God. I don’t see myself as anything more than a girl that’s in love with her Father, striving to be more like Him, and respecting His wishes & desires for my life, the life He has given me, and honor Him with it. I’m no longer satisfied with a life that is just “okay”, or a relationship that’s there just when I wanted it to be, I need more than that, I deserve more than that, and the only one who can give me that is my Father!

“I don’t want to spend my whole life asking, What if I had given everything, instead of going through the motions?” – Matthew West