Heart of Esther

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

Crying Out April 25, 2012

I know my posts have been a bit few and far between these days…

It has been difficult for me to put so much into a few words.  And there has been much that is so deep and so personal and raw, that I cannot share it, but for a couple of souls.

I was so grateful to hear from a reader-you know who you are!  🙂 You encouraged me so much and reading your post was like a glance into my own soul.

Yes, life has been a battleground lately.   I’m at that place of true forgiveness…and yet, the evil one still brings those feelings up now and again.  There are days I feel like I’m back at square one.  There are days that I feel like more than a conqueror.   Days when I am resting in His perfect peace and nothing will ripple the calm of my soul…  

Lately, there have been many days of brokenness.  Simply crying out to Him.  There have been health issues, surgeries, and obstacles that keep getting in the way of my body healing from both losses.  It feels like the storm hasn’t ended.  I have felt like the disciples on the boat, in the middle of this terrific storm…wondering why Jesus is sleeping???   My anguish echoes David in Psalms “Attend to my cry; give ear to my prayer which is not from deceitful lips.” 

And then I realize He wants me in that place.  To understand, for His Glory, that I am desperate and helpless without Him.  There are so many walls, so many layers.  He is renewing me.  It is a time of amazing growth.  Just as I have come up for air and feel like I’ve learned and been renewed (new wine cannot be poured into old wine skins), He seems to find it perfect to teach me more-and back under I go.  A time for peeling away the old-like an onion whose outer layers need pulled away.  I have been growing and learning and deepening my relationship with Him.  

It’s been a heart-wrenching time and yet, this time has held such sweetness in it as well… 

I know why I am at this place.  I am to be in a place where I know it is only God who delivers.  I know the Lord hears my cry “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me.” (Psalm 50:15)

Throughout the Word, I see time after time that there was a period when individuals or nations cried out in desperation.  Psalms is full of David’s pleas-asking the Lord if He will not turn His back on him, if He will hear his cry.  

And I feel peace because I see that time and again, the Lord did respond.  He did deliver.  He did heal.  He answered.  He restored.   

“In my distress, I called upon the Lord, and cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.”  (Psalm 18:6)
“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their cry.” Psalm 34:15
“I cried to the Lord with my voice and He heard me from His holy hill…O Lord my God, I cried out to You and You healed me.” Psalms 3:4, 30:2
So here I will remain-crying out to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask or think.

“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry.”

Psalm 40:1

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Faith January 17, 2012

Every day, questions run through my mind…

Will this baby survive?  Is everything all right?  What if I have to endure losing a baby again??  Can I handle it?

I am quieting the fears and worries of my heart.  I am enjoying each day with this gift I’ve been given.  I am thankful for the hope this baby restored in us after losing Andrew, even though I still shed tears for him every day.  

And I will choose joy.  It’s there, peeking through the clouds.  Will I be too timid to allow it to warm my heart completely?  

I have not been given a spirit of fear; but of power, love, and a sound mind.

“Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again.”

(Psalm 71:20-21)

 

Picking up the pieces December 15, 2011

I feel sometimes like a vortex.  A big black hole inside of me is sucking all of me into oblivion.

But, I see so clearly two roads before me…  

The first is heavy with the ugliness of grief-animosity, anger, anxiety and depression. This road makes us bitter and hard and unable to really be filled with faith, have peace, or love deeply.

The other still has the burden of sadness but is heading down a path of healing and hope.  This one is harder.  It makes us vulnerable.  But it softens us, helps us appreciate life and the blessings we have, and makes us better friends, parents, people.  It gives us perspective into another’s struggles.  It gives us compassion, mercy. 

Grace.

I know in my heart that I can choose to surrender to the entrapment of grief  or rise above and accept His peace.  Jesus talks of a becoming like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven.  A little child doesn’t always understand but fully trusts his parents.  I guess I need to fully rest in His grace.  I know I can trust my pulverized heart in His hands.  I never imagined going through the unthinkable of losing a child and having my very heart ripped from my chest and being able to somehow still breathe, still carry on.  Though I’m not quite sure what carrying on looks like yet.  In Him, lies my only hope.  I know I can only do this with Him.  I don’t know what I’d do if I didn’t have Him to bring hope to my despair and healing to this deep and intense pain.

There is such vulnerability in grief.  There is such liability in vulnerability.  And yet there is power in vulnerability.  

In knowing that I am not too hard-hearted to let love wash over me.  That in this weakness, strength will be there.  Not my strength.  But my dependence on Him and His strength.  I want to make it through this to the other side.  I want to finish the race set before me.  I don’t want life and pain to conquer me.  I want to beat this.  

I want to be a survivor.

So here I am, picking up the pieces…

 

A few words about him December 6, 2011

He’s the strong, silent type.

He doesn’t wear his heart on his sleeve, but I always know where he stands.

He’s calm and reassuring, even when the storm shakes him to his core.

He takes care of me-not just physically, but my heart, too.

He allows me to talk when I feel like talking, but he holds me in the silence when there are no words.

He makes decisions and takes care of things I cannot handle.

He lovingly has met all my needs to the best of his ability.

He is my buffer, and my guard.

He keeps me grounded in our faith.

He has brought me anything he thought might ease my pain and not judged me for it.

He has never demanded I move on or told me how or when to heal but has allowed me to work through my own heart.

His strength has carried me through and allowed me to be vulnerable.  

Even though he is in pain, he has not let it overtake him so that he can be there for me.

He has allowed me to grieve the way I do and I’ve allowed him to grieve how he does.  And its strengthened our bond.  Because no one knows the depth and dynamics of our loss but us.

I’m thankful for his strong arms and enveloping hugs that make me feel secure.  

For his quiet way of sacrificial living and loving and supporting and giving.

I could not have made it this far without him-my husband, my soul-mate, my friend.

 

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

 

ONE FOOT IN FRONT OF THE OTHER… November 23, 2011

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…

 

RAW November 19, 2011

I am continually touched by my children’s hearts through this grieving process.  They are raw and real as they speak of their little brother.  They grieve as much as we do.  They wanted another brother or sister so much!  They were SO excited for him to come!  They cry often.  They pray for another baby.

It’s very difficult to put into words the depth of the pain that is in my heart.  My heart is completely broken.  The circles, the ebbs and flows, the intensity, the numbness…

Some days I’m SO angry at God.  WHY did He allow this??  The anguished cry of my heart repeats…what did I do wrong?  The beautiful part of having such a loving Savior is that I can have my moments of anger and he covers it.  I can question Him, and He allows me to.  Some things coming out of the grief of my soul may offend others, but He is not offended.  He is still there, waiting for me.

Other days, I am at rest (purposefully, not naturally) in knowing simply this:  He is GOD.  He created me.  He created Andrew.  Who am I to tell Him what to do or question Him?  Even if His reason does not seem right to me-who am I?  In His Almighty wisdom and power He can do what He likes.  

 

Before the mountains were brought forth, or you had formed the earth and the world,  from everlasting to everlasting you are God. (Psalms 90:2)

 

So that’s where I am today.  

Trusting and resting in His understanding because, honestly, I have none…

 

 
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