Weeping May Endure For A Night…

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This is dedicated to all of the mothers who have lost a child.

Once upon a time…

She sat down on the toilet and heard a ”pop”. She was twenty weeks pregnant and something didn’t feel right. As she sat there for a minute all of the water that enveloped her gift from heaven… it just poured out. And when she arose and left that bathroom her stomach was half the size as it had been, and her life refused to be the same.

“He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalm 113:9)

Yes, but sometimes He doesn’t. Sometimes that living, breathing being taking up residence within our inner walls abruptly fades to black and is ripped from our bodies in ways that feel so cruel and violent. And the space that remains just sits there empty and unfilled…a womb broken and lonely and missing its fulness.

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That hole bleeds for real – physically, mentally, emotionally, and yes…spiritually. And as the blood pours forth from the body, the heart bleeds a pain so raw that she can only cry out in groans undetected by human ears.

Agony. Sorrowful cadence. Salty tears.

It is the most unnatural thing in the world to lose a child.

That next day is spent in the hospital delivering a dead baby boy. After five hours of hard labor and knowing he is already dead, he is “born” and she will not let him go. Nope, so don’t even try to take him from her.

She holds him close for the whole day. She examines every part of him so she can memorize his face, fingers, and even his tiny tongue that will never give suck to her aching breasts. He matters, you know? He lived inside her and now he lives in Heaven. He cannot come to her but she will go to him… someday.

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These precious, painful, heart-stabbing moments are captured forever on film as a professional photographer offers to take their pictures together for free…the only family photos with this tiny soul… the boy that touched her in ways that words will never be worthy to describe. So mommy and daddy and baby, (or the shell of him) pose so that they will never, ever forget. So she holds his cold and stiff body to hers and as all the other mothers on that maternity ward are rejoicing, she laments fierce. And as the torturous day continues and the casket is chosen and the name given, they say goodbye…for now.

Death is funny like that…it leaves a girl thinking it’s forever, but it’s not. And as demons hover and whisper, and surround her in a thick, black fog, she tries to remind herself that she will see him…Henry…again. Time to leave the hospital and ache and bleed at home…

The comforts of home cannot heal the deep sorrow that permeates her and she feels the night even when it’s day. And when it feels likes it’s just a little too much to handle, something happens…

God, in that gentle, still, small voice reminds her of what she still has, and He does so through the sweet words of her husband when he longingly says to her, “You still have me, Babe.”

What a ridiculously true revelation. And oh, how it resonates inside of her. She. Still. Has. Him.

Tears of sorrow lean into tears of joy…gratitude. Pure gratitude. And the heaviness lifts as she begins to cry out in praise…praise for this man, praise for God’s perfect will, praise for taking care of her tiny one in heaven, praise for her salvation…

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Gratitude is better than grief. And when we exercise it, healing follows. But when we purposefully hold onto the sorrow, we unknowingly reject God’s friendship, for He is no stranger to sorrow.

Jesus enfolds His wings of compassion over her and she breathes Him in and her wounded spirit is touched and healed, and she is filled with a strength she has never felt before. The knowledge of his holiness pervades the knowledge of the loss, and the empty places within her are filling. Though she walked through the valley of the shadow of death…HE was with her!

Only God could turn such sadness into exultation! Only He could carry the weakness and lend the strength. Only heavenly hands could mend a ripped heart so completely, and only a grief acquainted Savior could understand her pain. Jesus wept with her when she cried and He held her baby when he died and He rebuked Satan when he lied.

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). And we can be sure that as we rest in Grace, the morning light WILL come, and new life will reveal itself and need to be shared with the lost and hurting. And after enduring such incredible lessons in the valley, we will be able to shout triumphantly from the mountain top! Because His victory is ours, and although there are seasons of crosses and the nails hurt so much – the resurrection life is close behind. Amen and Amen.

So, to all the women out there who have lost a child – young or old, big or small – Jesus cares. He really, really cares. And if you will surrender that loss and place it into His nail pierced hands, He will lovingly take it and use it in ways you could never imagine. It. Is. Time.

 

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“Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

Let Love lift you, carry you, and heal you. And like her, you will live happily ever after in the strong arms of the God Who loves you.

The end.

Early Morning…

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Once upon a time, in a land far, far away…

It’s 4 A.M.

Early morning…where the dew of His lips meets the drought of her heart.

The room is black, hushed, and He wakes her up.  As her eyes focus in the dark, she realizes it is time to call out…pray…beseech…cry…repent…give thanks…and grab hold of His neck as a child does her father when bear hugs abound.

This is a time of day that can be holy or hellish, but to her it is holy – sacred even – because there is no smashed play dough in the rug to clean up, no casseroles to cook, no boogers to wipe, and the family sleeps.

So she snuggles with Heaven and wears God like a warm coat on a January day.

And this time of worship is anathema to hell’s host as they watch but cannot touch – and while God hears her with a compassion unfathomed by finite hearts, her humble, quiet, sleepy prayers begin to wax bold and bear wings.

This room is a burning bush and this bed is holy ground, so she takes off the shoes of her pride and bends the knee of her heart, and the saints in heaven are among the cloud of witnesses to this panacea for spiritual poverty.

“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” {Psalm 30:5}. Yes!  And sometimes that joy is found at 4:00 A.M.!  Why?  Because it’s quiet and fat faced little boys are dreaming of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, and husbands are dreaming of miter saws and building plans, and dogs have stopped barking…

These prayers – they are the ones that are prayed from deep in the gut…with groanings and transparency that a therapist could only wish to extract from their victim patient.

Moreover, these prayers are overheard by angels who watch and listen with bated breath as they wonder…“Will she move the hand of God?”dsc01334
But she remembers that the windows of heaven are closed to the unrepentant…to the one who regards sin in her heart…to the one who does not hate it. To the one who is void of godly sorrow that works repentance. And to the one who denies that they have sinned in the first place. To do so is to call God a liar….”for all have sinned”.

“If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me: But verily God hath heard me; He hath attended to the voice of my prayer.” {Psalm 66:18-19}

So as prayer continues, sorrow for sin revealed by a gentle Savior convicts and cuts deep, and as she forsakes the yuck and the muck, and as she laments thorough, she is once again ushered into His presence to petition heaven and bask in her exalted position in Christ.

We – the saved – are only seated high because of Blood. As we are positionally seated in the heavenlies with our King, all hell is at our feet.  Satan hates us for it, but we should fall prostrate at the feet of Jesus Christ because of it.

What a privilege!  Where would we be without the cross?

But shouldn’t this cause us to be willing to yield to it and the painful work that it does in our lives? Yet, how often we run from the nails…desperate to escape the pain.dsc01273
This has been true for her, and she knows it. And in the solitude of that moment her thoughts fall to the cross:

♥Cross O’ Christ to thee I wander – from such wretched flesh I flee…
To a death mind ne’er can ponder – Blood stained pardon cleanses me.
Sweet embrace – complete surrender, self must die that Christ may live –
In my spirit bold yet tender…Christ the victory doth give.

Bitter-sweet communion with thee, Cross O’ Christ I feel such pain –
When I’m weary, Lord, remind me…through such death new life I’ll gain.
Cross O’ Christ, thy nails they’ve sought me – burdened soul to thee I give…
Perfect mercy’s love abounding, now to Christ my soul shall live.

Hail O’ soul the King that bought thee – boldly triumph o’er the grave.
Kiss the cross my Lord doth bade me…sin-seared soul my Christ doth save.
Resurrection hope hath found me, Love’s pure grace most surely warmed –
This cold heart which once had bound me, now set free to serve my Lord.♥

The cross and its work in a believer, the resurrection life that follows, the authority in Christ, the Blood of Jesus…how wealthy and blessed and complete we are…in Him.

And now she finishes her prayers.

She amens.
She smiles.
She yawns.

The night is ending and as glimmers of sunlight begin to flicker through the bedroom curtains, her eyes are a little heavy – but her heart is full of praise… and her God has heard.img_0002
Jesus loves her, and because of that…

She lives happily ever after, safe in the arms of the God who hears and answers…

The end.

Dear Church…

 

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Once upon a time…

A Book lay open on the bedside table before her.  In it contained all of life’s answers with words so alive it caused her Jesus shaped hole to swell up with severe love – a love that would cast out fear.  But the more that she read it, the more she lamented over the state of the church.  Because in that book people were delivered, healed, brought to peace, and the church leaned heavy on Holy Hands.

And she wondered why many of these things are no longer so –

And so she wrote a letter to the Church…

Dear Church,

I want to know.  Can you tell me?  Can you be honest enough, humble enough, and brave enough to tell me?

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Dear Church…

Why do demons taunt your flock?  And why do your lambs languish?  Why do you limit the One who is limitless and teach a salvation only half and not full?  Why do you teach eternal security without teaching deliverance and authority over the evil one… healing, and peace???

Jesus died for all of this, yet you are silent.  

Why are you so cold and devoid of the miraculous?  Why do you have the faith to build more buildings but not to heal the man with cancer?  (Sorry, casseroles and cards are nice, but they are not enough).  Why are there never miracles and why do you act as if the Holy Spirit is “spooky”?

Heaven weeps.

Dear Church…

Why do you focus on discipleship without deliverance?  Why are wounds deep and why do devils creep?  Why can’t you bind up, cast out, cry out, fast, fall down on your polished knees…

Eventually your disciples leave with shiny teeth and pretty suits and they know how to walk like you and talk like you.  But six months later they die in a filthy room with a needle stabbed in their arm.

Jesus never sent anyone to Seminary or Bible College to get polished, poised, and perfected for ministry.  No, sir.  He saved them, delivered them, and sent them out to be His hands and feet.

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Jesus said, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (Mark 16:17-18).  Jesus also said, “Verily, verily, I say into you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father.” (John 14:12).  When was the last time you saw the lame walk?  

Heaven weeps.

Dear Church…

Why do you love your four-finger-rule and dresses to the toes more than you love your daughters in Christ?  Why do you shame them for being what Christ created them to be and stifle the very life out of them?

Why do you cloak oppression with submission and cover it up when it goes too far?  And why are so many women in the church sick with depression, anxiety, and panic attacks and are not being trained how to overcome the enemy.  Instead, many exist in a Xanax haze, simply warming the pews and pushing out more babies. dsc02109

Heaven weeps.

Dear Church…

Why do you equate your rituals and man made rules with godliness?  And why do you push them on the innocent babes of Christ, draining them of fervor and fire to serve passionately?  Why do you guilt them to serve until they are physically sick and spiritually empty?  When will your eyes NOT be dim, your heart NOT be cold, and your mission NOT be self-serving?  dsc02162

Heaven weeps.

Dear Church…

When will you stop hiding sin?  Why do you place pedophiles in children’s ministries, adulterers as deacons, and thieves as evangelists?  God sees that you’ve kept that hidden but please know this, “For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.” (Luke 8:17).

Heaven weeps.

Dear Church…
always choking,
barely breathing,
ignoring knocking,
numb to tugging,
or maybe not –
perhaps just scared enough
to dread the pain…
of facing your demons.

Dear Church…
surrender beckons
put off old you –
your strength’s not strong,
your joy’s not happy,
your will is captive,
your sin is present,
your wounds are open…
where’s your Salve?

Dear Church…
on the inside small and frail,
like a child who
needs a lifeboat –
needs life,
lies to others,
denies the truth…
only getting by.

Dear Church…
weep for truth,
scream for light,
pray for revelation,
beg for deliverance –
reach for courage,
cry at last –
your tears are gorgeous…
when you wear humility.

Dear Church…
I hurt for you –
I ache and groan
and sob for you –
I beg the Lord above for you –
I hope for you and
pray for you,
that someday you’ll be sitting…
and in your right mind.

Sincerely, 

The girl who used to be afraid.  The one who would’ve never questioned whether a “man of God” could be wrong, or whether the doctrines they follow are skewed.  The one who would have blindly submitted because that is what a godly woman does…never questioning, only trusting man – not God.

The one who now loves Jesus MORE than the acceptance or approval of man.  The one who will pray, and by God’s grace let Him use her, pointing others to Him along the way.  The one who is a hot mess without heavenly help.  And the one who will hold His hand as she crosses the street of life…

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Living happily ever after in His arms as every Jesus girl should do…

The end.