Thursday, December 17, 2009

In which God sits me down and tells me how much He loves me...

OK people. Time for some soul-baring. I generally try to not get too detailed about my general emotions because for myself, I try to maintain a fairly positive attitude to the situation in which we currently find ourselves. BUT, let me just tell you, for me these past couple days have been awful.

My friend Lisa described me fairly accurately when she said that I am the kind of person who, when difficult things happen, can accept them, trusting that God has a greater purpose. I don't know why, but my faith has always been of a fairly unquestioning nature. Some would consider this a good thing, others not so much, but I'm pretty sure it's what's been getting me through this time. I have a difficult time being angry for a prolonged period, particularly at God. I can't be consistently mad at the only thing I know brings me peace. So, not a questioner, generally not angry, faith that God knows what He's doing.

The past couple days I've been angry. Not the yelling, fit pitching kind of angry but the deep, down in your soul kind. This is unsettling for a person who doesn't get angry. I dislike being mad at God (although I've been assured countless times that it's OK) and I don't like questioning God (mostly because I've done it before and turns out, it's kind of a waste of time for me). But these past couple days, as Christmas draws closer, I've been going through both of those things.

This is also compounded by the fact that people are constantly telling me the past couple of days how God is using this situation and how our lives are a testimony. Normally, I'm 100% on board with that statement, and thankful to have reminders of that truth. But these past couple of days, all I want to do is turn my face to the sky, dig my feet in the ground and scream, "CAN'T SOMEONE ELSE BE A TESTIMONY FOR YOU?" or "COULDN'T YOU JUST DO THIS ANOTHER WAY?" And then maybe there was some fist shaking...

I'm tired. I'm tired of being an example, I'm tired of having my baby be the one who is dying, I'm tired of bearing this weight to bring God glory in a horrible situation when really, I just want to curl up in a little ball and cry ALL DAY. And I woke up yesterday knowing these feelings would pass soon, because I can't stay in that place forever, but I really just wanted a couple days to feel sorry for myself. It doesn't seem like too much to ask for that.

But God, oh God, He didn't let me. I went to Bible study for the first time since the end of the school year last year. I went really hoping to hear something encouraging and not challenging, because HONESTLY?! I have had enough with the challenging. I hope at some point you all started laughing to yourselves, knowing what's coming...

Bible study was about learning the difference between following after Christ and walking with Him. Instead of walking behind Him, at some point, we must step into a place where we are walking side by side, in the same places with Him. The lesson turned to how, inevitably, this will bring us to difficult, painful places because Jesus had to walk through many difficult, painful places. These places seem hurtful and we often wonder how He could really be part of them. Erilynne (our teacher) went on to give examples of Hagar and Elijah. Both end up in difficult situations, both run away from said situations, and both are met by God. When they meet Him, He doesn't coddle them and promise to make the situation better. He tells them to return to their difficult situations so that His perfect plan can be worked through to completion.

I hate hearing things that I KNOW I need to hear when I really don't want to hear them. So, OK. Fine. I get the point.

But then, PEOPLE, you will not believe what happened the rest of the day.

An incredibly generous, anonymous, monetary gift was brought to our home couriered by my friend Lisa. We have no idea who it is from or what prompted such incredible generosity. My knees went weak and I sat on the kitchen floor and cried. Since I'm not really working, the fear of the financial is always in the back of our minds and yesterday, God took that fear completely away. I heard Him say, "Jen, believe Me. If you walk in My will, no matter how difficult the road may be, I will give you everything you need." And that right there would have been enough for me.


The boy's basketball team at Christian Heritage (the school where I used to work) decided earlier in the year that they wanted to dedicate their season to Lydia. They had warm-up t-shirts made that say "CHS 4 Lydia" on the front. We were able yesterday to take Lydia to a basketball game, so she could see these wonderful people who love her, even though they've never met her. Every time they did their "One, two, three, fill in the blank with a random basketball term" chant thing before going back to playing, they filled in the blank with Lydia's name. Their kindness and support of our family was overwhelming to me and has left a deep impression on my heart. Not only does He supply our needs, He surrounds us with people to love and encourage us, often in very unexpected places.

Thank you, kind people who chose to follow God's prompting and support us. Your gift means so much more to us than just money and I will always be thankful for you and pray God's rich blessing on your life because on a dark day, you reminded us of God's provision.

And thank you, CHS Boy's Varsity Basketball team for reminding us of how loved we are and for doing what might seem like a small thing to you that has been an incredible blessing to us.

On other bad days, I'll look back on this day and remember God's faithfulness and I hope this will inspire you to remember days and ways that God has been faithful to you.

Lydia all ready in her CHS colors! :)

Awesome boys!


  1. I have screamed those very words! "ISN'T THERE ANOTHER WAY GOD? I DON'T WANT TO BE A TESTIMONY ANYMORE!" And my anger was like yours. I wan't screaming tantrum anger or even resentment, it was more like disappointment and frustration. I just really wanted it to be us that was the family that got to keep their babies. And it hurt that we were not. And even all the blessings, the ways God encouraged us, the good we have seen come from our loss, God's provision in unexpected and amazing ways...I would trade them all to have my girls back. But in the midst of my grief and all the things I don't understand and the mystery of God's ways I know one thing; GOD IS GOOD. Nothing can nor ever will convince me that God is not good, and that means a lot from a mommy who had to watch her babies struggle, suffer, and die while begging God to save them. Even when I didn't get my way, I knew absolutely that He was still good and honestly, I was not angry or disappointed long (long enough though). I am still sad and God and I talk all the time about how sad I am. I don't think it goes away. But we (God and I) are walking through it TOGETHER. I am not alone and God is still Good, even when life is not. I love and pray for you all the time. This is a tough journey, more than most will ever comprehend, but I promise God will get you through and Lydia will be fine. It is us, the ones left behind, that hurt. Lydia gets heaven sooner than us. Your greatest loss is her greatest gain. It hurts I know, but at least we have that certainty. And she will get to hang out with the coolest twins ever who are patiently waiting to welcome her home when God calls her. Love you guys.

  2. I second what Rachel said so perfectly. Prayers and love


  3. what a beautiful a miraculous story.

  4. Jenn ~
    I sit here with tears running down my cheeks, I hope they are ones you are spared! When you feel like you can't take any more OR EVEN when you don't WANT to take any more, it's okay! The angry and frustrating feelings are bad enough, don't put quilt with it! Let HIM carry you and let us (the body) carry you! Thanks so much for your honesty. Just keep being you. Don't put pressure on yourself to blog everyday or put a smile on everyday. You are a great wife and a super mom! How do I know? I've been reading about it here. Life is hard but God is good.
    All the time. He WILL carry you!
    much love and continued prayers, kim & dale carr




  6. Wow Jen, I just read this.

    I have to say that I have had many times of being angry at God. Especially when I am so tired and exhausted.

    I just wanted to add that though Elijah was sent back to do God's will, he wasn't really given a "kick in the butt." Seems to me, not only was God ok with his anger, but God even provided him with food and let him get a good sleep in before He spoke to him.

    It has always seemed to me like a Godly form of TLC, ravens bringing food and a good sleep. God knew that Elijah, as a human being, had just had too much.

    And it seems to me like God was providing you with some of that TLC too, in the form of anonymous gifts and basketball players. God has done the same for me too, many times when I was really at the end of my rope.

    That's why I love psalm 103. For He knows our frame. He remembers that we are dust. And He has compassion on us, just like a father does for his children. So just the same way that you both feel about Lydia, that is how He feels about you, when you are suffering.