Friday, June 24, 2011

Friendship Friday: HisStory in the Making

Picture from last year's conference. New pictures coming soon! :)

Hey friends!!

I'm so excited....Speak Up With Confidence is in town this week!

You may remember how
God used this powerful conference to significantly bless and empower me in past years.

I've had a blast over the past 2 days encouraging and sharing with women from around the country (actually 17 different states, plus Australia!)

Enjoy another "Friendship Friday" post, as I share some of my "Speak Up" friends (and their writings) with you!

For today, may I introduce to you....April Garretson

April and I met last year at Speak Up and we immediately connected. Thankfully our friendship has continued to grow and grow across the miles ~ (she's from VA, while I'm here in MI). In fact, if we had to pay for long distance, our phone bills would be through the roof!

One of the sweetest gestures (besides her gold shoes) was this past November, when April drove from her home in Virginia to Knoxville, Tennessee (where I was speaking for the weekend). April just wanted to be prayer support. Now is that a good friend or what?! :)

Enjoy her powerful, true life story!! :)

HisStory in the Making
If you don't mind, I'm going to grab some tissues (sniff*sniff) and tell you the story of how Jeremiah got his name. Many friends have heard the story before, but I have never "written" it. Join me as I give God praise for answering me like only He could...and still continues to do.

This is the chair that I sat in when I asked God to speak to me.

The house was hot. Sun came in every window and winds blew the two large maples in our yard. Yes, it was spring, but I knew no life was in me. I thought it was cruel humor to endure our second miscarriage on April Fool's Day. I vividly remember exactly what the picture looked like on the ultrasound monitor that day. Many days after that, I don't remember, but there is this one....

I was angry. I had done all this before. I had cried until I had no more tears. I accepted God's sovereignty and comfort last time. I had made the phone calls just a year and half ago. I had endured the pain before. But again! Really?!

The house was quiet except for my footsteps, I was stomping toward our dining room table. I grabbed my Bible and a concordance, and sat and cried in my tattered bath robe. Not little light tears, but the huge hot ones that burn when they run down your contorted cheeks. Why would we have to endure this again?

As I LOUDLY poured out tears and my heart, I TOLD God, "I am not getting up from this table...I WILL NOT get up from this table until you tell me how I am suppose to go on with so much sorrow!! Until YOU tell me everything I need to know about MOURNING and how to get over it, I will not move!!" And I meant it!

I was worried that I would never stop crying.

I searched, read, and wrote out every verse in the Bible that had to do with mourning. I still have the papers. God loved me enough to not focus on my tone or attitude, but on my heart. I was so hurt and needed comforting like no other time in my life. Verse after verse, I was reading but nothing was resonating with me. I wrote and read half the day. Worried that my grief was immovable, I was feeling hopeless. However, in His Wisdom, He lead me to words that I needed to hear.

For the second or third time, I read Jeremiah 31:13, "...for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow."

I wiped my eyes and asked, does it really say, MAKE THEM REJOICE
With that I had no choice. I could not carry the grief, sorrow, and mourning. It was too great to bear. But, if God said that HE would turn it into joy and HE would MAKE me rejoice, then I would get up from the table and TRUST. I did.

He did not tell me how I would rejoice, He just told me that I would. And at that time, that was enough.

For over a year through tons of blood work, lots of testing, hope in a third pregnancy, daily Heparin injections, an inuetero EKG, ultrasounds, biophysical profile ultrasounds, 6 doctor appointments EACH week for the last 6 weeks, fatal monitoring, and an inducted pregnancy, I TRUSTED God's promise from that verse EACH AND EVERY SINGLE DAY.

In the throws of labor, breathlessly I wanted to tell my story. No surprise if you know me, right?! I hollered (yes, "hollered") at the doctor to "come here, I want to tell you something!" I laugh now, but at the time I was serious! I made him come all the way up to my head and looked him in the eye and said, "We don't know if this is a boy or a girl, but I want to tell you if it is a girl, her name will be JOY and if it is a boy then his name with be JEREMIAH because after our second child died, God spoke from Jeremiah 31:13 and said...." There were tears in that room, too

My friends, get a kick out me sharing that when they laid Jeremiah on my chest for the first time, I erupted in the Doxology..."Praise God from whom all blessings flow, Praise Him all creatures here below, Praise Him above ye Heavenly Host, Praise God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen!" I didn't even leave off the "Ahhhhhhhhmen!"

He caused me to rejoice.

Today, look who sits in that chair ready for picture day.

I guess mommas never really stop crying.

God, thank you for collecting my "happy tears" in the same bottle as the sad ones.

Just this week, I was blessed and excited to have a friend share a new verse from Jeremiah 23:29 with me, "'Is not my word like fire,' declares the Lord, 'and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?'"

Again, I answer "YES!"

That verse in the chair at the dining room table was the hammer that broke through my grief and built up my trust. What is yours?

I never assume that my blog is of any new revelation. All wisdom and revelation is from the Father through the Holy Spirit. I just share stories of how I see God in my daily walk with Him offer a blog in praise. But if you are experiencing "rocks" in your life or in your heart today, I pray that the Word will break them.

Father, for all the women who have children in your arms, I pray and ask that you comfort those parents, mommies and daddies, on special days and in their tender times. Illuminate your Word in their Wilderness as you did for Jesus. For those facing adoption, Father make a way for them to be Your Hands and Feet to your precious creations, not only do you know where they are, but you know the hairs on their heads, and the arms you want to place them in. Hold them tight until you are able to unit them with their parents. Thank you for the special place we have in You, where we abide and know only love and acceptance. In name of My Rock, Redeemer, and ever Restorer Jesus, Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhmen. ~ April Garretson

About April: Writing for His glory is what excites April Garretson. She is currently enrolled in the Liberty University Home Bible Institute and a graduate of Carol Kent's Speak Up with Confidence Seminar. Wednesdays find her at church with middle and high school girls chatting about biblical characters and real life situations. Her husband and son would encourage you to read more about how she loves to go barefoot at her blog: Barefoot Offering.

What a powerful Word, April! Thanks for sharing! (And Jeremiah is just too cute!)

I'd love to hear from you, dear friends! Are you experiencing rocks in your heart or life today? Do you need God's Word to come like a sledgehammer to those rocks into pieces? Or has God done this on your journey in the past? Share with us please!

Thanks for stopping by *She Sparkles*! May your weekend be filled with much joy and fun, family times!

P.S. For more Caffeinated Randomness, head over to visit Michelle and friends. You'll be glad you did!


Julie@comehaveapeace said...

Oh, I'm so glad you shared this from sweet April, and I know she is such a blessed friend to you, Cindy. This testimony so celebrates God's faithfulness and the power of His Word. I love it! Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!!

Amelia said...

What a beautiful testimony! Thank you for sharing!

Jessica Kirkland said...

That was a beautiful story/testimony. God is good and He can take our hard questions and loud cries.

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