Sunday, April 6, 2014

A Timely Reminder

It had been a rough day. My pain levels were high. My fatigue levels peaked when the boys' energy levels peaked. The "terrible two's" have arrived. It was only noon. Incessant crying filled the house in response to a mother's discipline. In the midst of it all, I prayed. "God, help me. It's not even half-way through the day, and I'm exhausted and worn - emotionally, mentally, physically. Give me the patience, wisdom, strength. Don't let me forget that you are with me, Lord."

Parents can relate - especially stay-at-home moms, and especially those moms with chronic illness. Please don't misinterpret. I treasure my life as a mother. I treasure my children (see below for our story on how we came to have our miracle family - twins!). But there are moments and days that test us to the best of our capabilities. I believe God designed it that way. How else would we learn to rely on Him for what we need to get through the day?

As the day faded, so did my positive spiritual focus. God knew that I was in need of a reminder of His constant presence - no matter how trivial my problems may be, He is always with me. As I sat with the boys playing in floor of the kitchen, Brayden (one of my 2 1/2 yr.-old twins) pointed upward. Smiling, he excitedly and repeatedly said "Big Daddy!" - as if he could see God's presence. (We describe God to the boys as their "Big Daddy", and their earthly Dad is their "Little Daddy". They know who God is and that He loves them more than Mommy and Daddy ever could.)

I was so very humbled by those sweet, innocent words that worshiped our Creator. My 2 1/2 yr.-old child was that very reminder that God is always present with us, especially in the rough moments (no matter how trivial). It's amazing how God can use the most unexpected things in life to redirect us to Him. I'm still learning - every step along the way, and I have the greatest Teacher.

Isaiah 57:15 (ESV)

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite."

Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”

Psalm 139:7-10 (ESV)
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.

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Background on how our family came to be: My husband and I struggled to have a family from the beginning of our journey as a couple. With my complicated medical issues, the likelihood of us carrying a child to term without moderate to severe complications on the baby were slim. We began to wonder if we would ever have the wonderful opportunity to parent. When God granted the desires of our heart, we were overwhelmed with joy. We felt like we saw the blessing of children from a totally different perspective, considering it was not wise (by medical suggestion) to conceive. But by God's standards, wisdom includes trust in His capabilities to handle what man cannot. We now have healthy 2-1/2 yr-old twin boys who are the joy of our lives. Praise God for answered prayer!

For a full story & testimony of twin pregnancy and delivery/NICU experience, click here.

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Mental Illness and the Church