Heart of Esther

"And who knows but that you have come to this position for such a time as this?" –Esther 4:14

fix our eyes December 10, 2011

I’ve been contemplating death and the hereafter lately.  To be honest, it’s not something I’ve given much thought to before-not really.  Heaven sometimes seems like this far off fairytale and not real.  But its been so impressed on my heart how real and present it is.  I know as a Christian it seems silly that I’ve never mulled over the topic before, but I haven’t.  I think the reason I’ve never given it much thought is because death is so mysterious and I never wanted to dwell too much on it.

I think the Lord has been showing me that there is so much more to LIFE than this one here on earth we see and we know.   This is our temporary, our beginning.  After this, well-the Bible says its eternal.  Our minds cannot even comprehend this.  Forever.  I’ve been understanding that this life here is just as the Bible says-here today and gone tomorrow.  So brief and yet there is so much more.  My heart is full of this vision of not just death but life.  It’s understanding that this life isn’t as real as the next.

Fix your eyes not on what is seen but what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary but what is unseen is eternal.  (Acts 20) 

Then I read this book, “Heaven Is For Real” and it had me thinking even of our purpose in heaven (other than the obvious-our relationship with and worship of the Lord).

Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back  -             By: Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent

So I have been thinking lately-Andrew’s life began for a reason.  Who knows what purpose the Lord has for him in heaven?

It’s hurts so much to have lost him and all he meant to us.  So, I will choose instead to feel honored that God allowed me to have Andrew. And to even in a way that can only be understood through knowing Christ, that somehow, the pain will make me better.  The fire refines us if we allow it to.  It’s the struggle, the choice, to allow it to make me better that’s the hardest.  It’s easier to fall into my pain, anger, even bitterness.  But He wants so much more for me.  This is what it means to die to really live…


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life all around me November 29, 2011

Another dark day, I think.

Sometimes its hard to hear of all the life going on around us right now. Our lives have stopped. Don’t you know we can’t go on as always, as if nothing every happened??

It’s these days that its hard for the day to start before it has begun.  The tasks of the day ahead seem insurmountable. I feel listless and tired. I’m sad and heavy-hearted. It’s as if my strength is gone.

And, yet, I know that checking out of life and not being thankful for what He has so graciously given me is what the enemy wants. Sometimes its as if He’s asking in His quiet way “will you still serve Me when everything goes wrong?”

And so on I go-sometimes in a numb kind of way, going through the motions or choking back the tears that too easily come.  

“There is a sacredness in tears.
They are not the mark of weakness, but of power.
They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues.
They are messengers of overwhelming grief….and unspeakable love.”
Washington Irving

 

THANKSGIVING November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away. 

I’m not sure how to face the next few days…thankful…

And empty.

I will choose to focus on what I DO have instead of what I’ve lost. I will freely admit, just the basics (laundry, dishes, meals, A SHOWER) are hard to manage right now.  I have little ones pulling my attention many different ways.  I am choosing to be thankful for them.  I know there are so many of you out there who have lost a baby and do not have the comfort of another child’s arms.  So for that, I have so much to be thankful for!  Some days, knowing they need me is the only thing that wills me out of bed.  Other days, I bury myself further under the covers and wish I could be left alone to cry!  It’s hard not to feel like a terrible mother because with all these emotions, my fuse is super short.  I pray God gives them the grace to pardon me and me the grace to respond well.

I hope I do not sound ungrateful because I truly am blessed.  We have so much to be thankful for.  It’s just so hard to focus on gratefulness when my heart is full of  such ache.  So this weekend, when I know I will be thinking of nothing but the emptiness, I pray I can somehow rise above it all and truly in my heart be THANKFUL for a loving husband, my beautiful children, the brief time we had with Andrew, and my own life.  I’m thankful for medical advances that have made something that would have taken a mother’s life two generations ago, easily sustained. I will be thankful for the food we are so blessed to have and the friends and family we are able to enjoy. 

I will be thankful for the blessing of beautiful friends who have been here for us in amazing ways-lovingly watching our children, bringing meals, being there to cry on and talk to, and truly hurting with us.  We are so thankful for the friends who sent amazing flowers, books, emails, and cards that comforted our hearts.  Friends who offered to clean, take our kids for a walk, or even bring a coffee!

This morning I heard BLESSED BE YOUR NAME by Matt Redman.  His song is based on Job so I looked up these verses:  Job 1:21 “…The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” and Job 2:10 “Shall we accept good from God and not trouble?” 

Job had lost everything and he chose to still praise and not curse God.  But I also realize that even in Job it was the enemy who killed, stole, and destroyed-not God.  Even though the Lord allowed it.  Why He allowed it is the part that is so very difficult… 

These are the times in our walk when we are tried and shaken to our very core and all we are left with is a simple choice.  It’s a choice because it’s not what we feel, it’s what we know.

Though there is pain in the offering, I will choose to say…

blessed be the Name of the Lord.

 

ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER…

Today, I am despondent.

Some days I feel almost alright, some days horrible, and everything in between.  Even at night, I often wake in anxiousness and sadness…

There are days like today when I am so heavyhearted its difficult to function in everyday tasks.  But I must.  There are chores to be done and other children to love.

I’m trudging on.  I want to close the blinds crawl in bed and exit from life for a while.  Even from my own family.  Grief is strange.  Some moments I want to smother the children with love and cuddles which I cannot give Andrew.  Other times, I want to be far away from them because their demands are too much for my soul and my body (I am still so incredibly exhausted and weak) right now.  There are moments now when the tears have dried.  At least, for some of the day.  And when the tears dry up, I feel emptied out.  There’s nothing left to feel at all.  

I guess my feelings are so raw and so tumultuous; the wound so fresh, that the only reprieve is silence from them. Just a breath of not feeling anything.  And then I feel checked out.  Most of the time I cannot make sense of my own heart.  There are so many different feelings and sometimes all at once.  I feel that I’ve hit rock bottom but I have yet to reach upward for The Hand that I know is there waiting for me to grasp.  

Is it because I know I need this process?  Have I pushed Him away and built another wall because of the pain He has allowed me to feel?  I am angry at myself because I think of the million ways its MY fault that God allowed this.  The million ways I have failed.  I know in my head the Truth and that all have fallen short and yet my heart does not feel it.

So I know I must go on.  I must keep going.  I must keep pouring out that which I do not have within me to give.

It seems while He is there to comfort me; there is still silence to my questions.  It brings me some reconciliation to think of Andrew’s peaceful face and perfect little form-fingers, toes, mouth and all-with Jesus.  I know He can somehow give him the love from my heart and tell him it’s from his mommy.  Somehow, knowing that Andrew is being taken care of-that Jesus is holding him instead of me-is okay.  Even though I don’t know why and my heart screams to have him here with me, I have no choice but to take peace in that image in my head.  

I realize there is nothing else to do but make myself get up again today and put one foot in front of the other…

 

IMPLODING November 22, 2011

I am strong enough now to put on a face around others.  And I’m even brave enough to venture leaving the house now.  Sometimes I wonder if they think I am okay now.  It feels as if the inside of me is a big black hole.  As if all of me is continually being sucked into this dark place.  My very heart is imploding.  There is heaviness.  Sadness.  Guilt.  Sorrow.  Despair.  Aching and longing.  Emptiness.  I feel so sad inside that when I’m left alone for a moment and without a task I feel as if I could fade away.

Sometimes it brings perspective to hear of the pain others go through.  That other parents have carried far larger burdens than ours and somehow survived.  Today I heard of a friend whose three-year old has cancer.  They are enduring surgeries and chemotherapy.  I shutter to imagine what they must be going through.  Or the other stories we’ve heard of parents who have lost their children.  How do they find the strength to endure?

But it doesn’t lessen our pain. And that’s alright, too.  But, somehow, they made it through.  They found a way to get out of bed.  They found strength to forgive. So there is hope that I will too.

 

LAMENTATIONS November 10, 2011

“My soul is deprived of peace. I have forgotten what happiness is; I tell myself my future is lost, all that I hoped for from the Lord…BUT I will call this to mind, as my reason to have hope: the favors of the Lord are not exhausted, His mercies are not spent; they are renewed each morning, so great is His faithfulness. My portion is the Lord, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him.”

(Lamentations 3:17-18, 21-24)

 

DESERT SONG November 3, 2011

DESERT SONG by Hillsong United

This song has seen me through so many season in my life.  It has become a theme song for my life.  

LYRICS

Verse 1:
This is my prayer in the desert
And all that’s within me feels dry
This is my prayer in my hunger and need
My God is the God who provides

Verse 2:
And this is my prayer in the fire
In weakness or trial or pain
There is a faith proved
Of more worth than gold
So refine me Lord through the flames

Chorus:
And I will bring praise
I will bring praise
No weapon formed against me shall remain
I will rejoice
I will declare
God is my victory and He is here

Verse 3:
And this is my prayer in the battle
When triumph is still on it’s way
I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
So firm on His promise I’ll stand

Bridge:
All of my life
In every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Verse 4:
This is my prayer in the harvest
When favor and providence flow
I know I’m filled to be emptied again
The seed I’ve recieved I will sow

 

 
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