It Is Easy to Be Pro-Choice

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“I am now pro-life…which I have to tell you, to be honest, is a heck of a lot more difficult than being pro-choice. It is. It’s really easy to be pro-choice where everybody is friends, you’re like a great feminist, you’re not judging anybody, you’re not crazy, I mean there’s all these things….it’s just easy to be pro-choice. I liked being pro-choice, it was just a lot more pleasant, but the thing is it wasn’t right, nor was it correct. And the truth will set you free even if it makes you horribly uncomfortable in the process.” – Linda Couri, Former Volunteer for Planned Parenthood

It is taking everything in me not to yell, rage, and hysterically sob over the hidden holocaust that is happening in our country. So much of me wants to shake people and just say it, the brutal truth: “you’re supporting the murder of babies!” But it’s so hard to say this when I know the friends of mine who march for choice, who volunteer at planned parenthood, or simply just believe in choice aren’t evil people with the intention of murdering babies. These friends of mine have good hearts and they are filled with compassion; compassion for women in crisis. But I’m starting to think that maybe I shouldn’t be holding these emotions of mine back. I thought I wasn’t saying anything because voicing my opinion might cause others to feel awkward, angered, judged, or ashamed in my presence and how can I share the love of Christ if those feelings are present?  But really, I’m just being a coward.

I have remained silent for years out of selfish reasons driven by fear. I don’t want to lose friends. I don’t want to argue. I want to avoid all forms of confrontation. I don’t want to be labeled as anti-intellectual or foolish because I believe in Jesus. I don’t want people to say I don’t care for women or have compassion for them.  I want everyone to think I’m great, lovely, smart, compassionate, and that I’m a joy to be around. But what price am I willing to pay to keep this I-get-along-with-everyone façade; apparently, the price of 3,000 abortions per day, and that’s in the US alone.

For so long I have felt that I have “done my part” because I have participated in the March for Life and 40 Days for Life a couple of times, and because I pray fervently for mothers in crisis, but really I just did the minimum. I have kept quiet when it came to discussions with people I love and care about. I don’t want to lose the respect of others when I say the name of “Jesus” as a reason for my stance. I fear people will laugh at my “foolishness” for believing that all lives are sacred and that God provides for His children because the Bible says so.

Now that I am a mother I see how little effort I had put forth. I know these efforts still help and if that’s all you can do, do it! But what I’m getting at here is my motives behind my efforts. My motives were to keep my conscience clear so I didn’t have to have difficult conversations with people I love. I wanted to justify my silence with actions that I only shared with strangers and not those closest to me. I wanted to make sure I felt like I was standing up for what was right, without the discomfort of sacrifice.

I feared what others would think of me. I feared what others would say about me. I feared friends would abandon me. I feared family members would judge me. I feared being called names for justifying my beliefs with the Bible and the Word of God. And that, my friends, is why my heart is no different from someone who has aborted their child. I used to think, “I would never do that” or “I could never do that” or “how could they do that?” Guess what? Most of the people who DO “that” act out of fear: fear of what others will think, fear of what others will say, fear of abandonment, fear of poverty, fear of death, fear of sacrifice, fear of discomfort, etc. The very same reasons I remain silent. And my silence means I’m not wholeheartedly fighting for these babies! My silence means I’m not willing to sacrifice my comfort for the life of an unborn baby, so how can I ask someone else to do the same?

So, I can’t, in good conscience, stay silent anymore. I can’t pretend that abortion doesn’t affect my life, it does. I look at my son and wonder why his birth mother didn’t abort him. Who did she talk to? Who did she confide in? How did she know his life was worth something more than her pride, her comfort, money, status, her relationships, etc? Was she raised with those beliefs or did they come later? I can no longer just listen to my friends justify their support of Planned Parenthood with, “they have good intentions.” I can’t. Babies are dying.

I can’t pretend like my voice won’t make a difference. I can’t live in comfort while innocent babies die and scared women agree to kill them. I can’t stand by and let the evil one continue to lead God’s children astray with sneaky half-truths. I’m not exactly sure what God is calling me to do right now, but I’m listening and I’m done hiding from this battle. I want to fight for men and women everywhere, the womb included! I want to fight for the women whose consciences are being pricked and are told they shouldn’t feel bad about their abortions. I want to fight so these women can find healing in the forgiveness and grace of Jesus Christ. I want to fight so these women can talk about the pain they have felt from abortion without being shamed by pro-choicers(for feeling guilty about exercising their “right”) and pro-lifers(for killing a baby). I want to cry with women as they work through their unwanted pregnancies, not by running from them with death, but by facing them with life. I want to find ways to encourage women to stand up for themselves and their children when everyone else is telling them to abort.

If you have the time to watch this video it is incredible. Linda Couri is so honest in her approach and it is so refreshing.

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The Top 17 Times Bob’s Burgers Perfectly Illustrated Your Infertility Struggle:

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  1. That time someone said, “Stop worrying about it, I know you’re going to be a mom.”

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  1. Every time someone apologizes when you tell them about your infertility.

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  1. That time Aunt So-and-So told you about how angry she was that her friend’s meth head daughter just gave birth to her sixth baby and “two great people like you can’t have a baby…”tumblr_n6hyn5kbro1sl1tibo2_500

 

  1. That time someone tried to give you sex advice and were totally unprepared for the amount of reproductive knowledge you now have, so then they started asking you reproductive questions

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  1. That time you were super hopeful and everyone else was worried about how disappointed you would be if you weren’t pregnant.

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  1. That time your husband accused you of ignoring someone when they asked you , “when are you guys going to start having kids?” giphy.gif

 

7. That time someone told you “to adopt and then you will get pregnant.”

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  1. That time you see the mom-of -three is pregnant…again…

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  1. That time someone told you about their cousin’s sister’s friend getting pregnant after she did such and such.

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  1. All those times you tried anything…seriously ANYTHING… to help you get pregnant

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  1. That time you just needed to vent about how much infertility sucks but everyone keeps bringing up things you should be thankful for.

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  1. Every single time the test is negative

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  1. Every time the fertility doctor switches your medication and you freak out on someone for no reason

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  1. Every single two week wait when all you can think about is whether or not you will get your period and EVERYTHING makes you think about it.3e6c427b9589a3971fe7f9fadb242bf5.jpg

 

  1. That time you tried to soothe your broken heart with food. enhanced-buzz-7417-1401462036-11

 

16. That time your doctor put you on progesterone, but the IUI didn’t work and you got the most intense period known to womankind

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17. After every single trigger shot or progesterone injection

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Hang in there champ and do what Tina does, put your bra on one boob at a time.

Hope or Stupidity?

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We are moving.

The packing has started and so have the tears, although, they aren’t the tears I thought they would be. I’ve cried about leaving my church family, but we are only moving an hour away, so it’s not like I will never see them again. I thought I would be more upset about moving further from my friends and family, but it really isn’t that far. So, I was a little shocked when I started packing up my Office/Craft Room and the floodgates opened.

My Craft Room was not intended to be a craft room, it was intended to be a nursery. When I painted it, I painted it as a nursery. When I walked in there I said prayers for my babies. Over the five years we have lived in this house it was into that room that I would drag my bleary eyed, defeated body and lay upon the floor to cry when life didn’t go according to plan. So many tears and prayers have been baked into the walls and floors of that room. It was in the confines of that room that I imagined myself praying with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. Just as Jesus pleaded that this cup be taken from him and then accepted the will of God over his own, I prayed for the mothers of the babies I hoped to adopt. I prayed for their courage and wisdom. I prayed that they would know that God was their strength and that their children needed THEM. These prayers broke my heart every time, because I was praying God’s will instead of my own: I desperately wanted to be the mother to all these children.

God had promised to settle me in my home as a happy mother of children (Psalm 113:9). He had promised me that to me back when we lived in our apartment. I thought he was settling me in this home to welcome in our children. And five years later I am packing up the craft supplies that migrated and made a home in the room I so desperately wanted to hold our most precious creation.

Packing up this room felt like another stepping stone in my journey of infertility. The other infertiles out there know how daunting those stepping stones are. They are not the excitement of birthdays or growth. These benchmarks aren’t celebratory like when a child begins to coo and make noises: the first steps to talking. No, benchmarks and stepping stones of infertility always mark the loss of a dream. It doesn’t mean it won’t happen, but it means it still hasn’t happened. We’ve been through so much and in all of that still no baby. If God would have told me that I wouldn’t become a mother in this house back when we moved in, I think it would have crushed me. I really don’t know if I could have handled knowing that I had 5 more years  of infertility ahead of me.

And that scares me now. What if that happens again? What if this new house isn’t THE house either? What if I’m wrong about what God said to me?  I keep trying to explain away God’s timing and plan. Like, “Oh, he had a different house in mind for us and that’s why we have to move, and that’s why I didn’t have children yet, and this is good.”

But this doesn’t feel good. This feels like disappointment. I know He is good, but this hurts so much. Jesus dying on the cross was good, but I’m sure it didn’t feel good. And I don’t dare want to think that my struggle is anywhere near what Jesus went through, but I do know that He has given me a reflection of that pain. How did Jesus keep going when it felt so awful? How did he get up after falling? How did he look into the face of his mother and then continue on to death? How did he leave them all behind when he didn’t know exactly how God would reveal His goodness? How did he continue to pray for those that couldn’t even begin to comprehend the blessing they were receiving through his death?

Did Jesus have a dreams about his life? Did he imagine growing old? How did he submit those plans to the plans of God. This room, this room has become an emotional prison. It has become a plan of my own feeble mind. And that plan, along with 7 years of other plans, has once again been foiled. And I am left, in this empty room, feeling silly for creating yet another plan, knowing full well that the first room I will paint in my new house is the nursery. Is that stupidity or hope? Does that make me a bad Christian, trying to make my own way; or a faithful servant putting my hope in the goodness of my Master and believing in the promise He gave me?

Another Dream:Caramel Fringe and the Three Black Bears

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In the world of sleep I lay on my dream-bed, next to dream-Dean, in my dream-bedroom. I woke from my dream-slumber in the early morning of Dreamland and looked out my bedroom window. There, in my backyard, was a black bear. I kept my eyes fixed on it as I tried to wake Dean up so he could see it too. But by the time Dean woke and started to understand what I was saying the bear had disappeared into the wooded area behind my house. When I said, “Oh, never mind, he is gone back into the woods.” Dean replied in a sarcastic tone, “Uh huh…sure…I believe there was a bear there.” I started to say, “There was, I swear….” When suddenly there were three black bears in our backyard and huge brown grizzly bear!

“DEAN! Come here! Come see! There are now four bears and one is a grizzly!”

Dean groaned, stuffed the pillow over his ears and attempted to go back to sleep.

As I watched the bears from my window I began to look closely at the grizzly bear. It wasn’t a grizzly bear at all. In fact, it was a small herd of deer huddled close together. The bears and the deer were not at odds. They hung out in our backyard as if of the same tribe. The Deer slowly began to separate from each other and that’s when I noticed the baby girl. She was so long. She had caramel skin and caramel hair, thick, but cropped short into a bob. She was an infant, but she had the face of an older child, and she was so long and skinny; her cheeks bones so pronounced.

Suddenly I was holding her. She was upset, inconsolable. I tried offering my breast to soothe her, but after latching for just a moment she let go and continued to whimper. I cooed over her and loved her dearly despite her inconsolability (is that even a word?). It wasn’t her fault she was so upset. Eventually she would recognize me as her mother, but right now she just didn’t and that was okay.

My mom came in and said, “Finally it is your turn.” Without looking up at my mother, I gazed into my daughter Scout’s eyes and said, “Isn’t she beautiful?”

“She? Haven’t you seen the baby yet? It’s a boy, not a girl.”

I looked up at my mom, confused and when I looked back down at Scout; my arms were wrapped around nothing. Scout had disappeared and I wasn’t holding anything, not even a blanket. I felt crazy, I knew Scout was my daughter, but where had she gone?

My mom pointed to a baby carrier in the room. I approached it and saw the cutest, chubbiest, little baby boy snuggled into it. His head had several dark curls resting just above his forehead. He had rich milk chocolate skin and dark roasted coffee hair. He gazed up at me and giggled. I removed him from the carrier and hugged him close. I pulled him away from me so I could gaze into his brown eyes and I said, “You are my Isaac.” And I sobbed. I held my son close to my heart and wept. I covered his head in kisses and tears. I was surprised he wasn’t the blonde version of Dean I had dreamt about before. I had just assumed that Isaac and Casey were the same boy because they were both so full of laughter and joy. But this son of mine was most definitely Isaac, and yet did not seem to be Casey. My joy was too much to handle and for a long time I just held him close crying. My tears matted his curly hair to his head, but this didn’t bother him in the least. Isaac cooed and smiled and reached his roly poly arms up to my face and touched my tear stained cheeks and he giggled whenever the tears wet his fingers.

I was full of joy, but there were other feelings mixed in. I was irritated that no one was taking pictures of the moment I met my son. I never wanted to forget this moment of joy, how could I preserve this moment? And then deep sorrow and fear surfaced. Where was my Scout? What happened to her? As much as I rejoiced over Isaac a part of me still longed for my darling girl. They were both so precious to me. But no one else saw Scout. Was she a figment of my imagination? Was I crazy?

I woke from the dream with a start, my mind racing: I thought Scout was my first…in my other dream she was older than my Casey boy. Were Casey and Isaac two different sons? Was Isaac still asleep upstairs in my first dream? Was Isaac my first and Scout would come later? What would I do with all the books and prayers littered with Scout’s name if she was not my first? How would I know that Scout was not Isaac and Isaac was not Casey this whole time?

And what was up with these black bears? Both dreams had black bears. Before I even knew we would be moving, I dreamt of My Little Fawn and My Brave Boy and in that dream there was a black bear in our yard as well. Dean and I have been looking for a house in an area we really like, and several months ago I noticed that the high school mascot was a Bruin: a bear. Is that connected in any way? How much of this dream is just dream? Is all of it just nonsense? Is some of it from God? What does all this mean? God knows…maybe someday I’ll know. But now, I’m praying for my three: Isaac, Scout, and Casey. Whoever you are, wherever you are, I love you. I love you, my dear children, I am forever yours.

Day Four: Save Yourself

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If you haven’t been keeping up with how God was healing me from my past abuse and my current infertility, check out Day 1, Day 2,and Day 3.

By day four of my Holy Yoga training retreat, I truly believed God was done with me for the week. I thought I had cried all I could cry and realized all the revelations He had for me at that time. So when we had our evening bible study on the topic of forgiveness, I smugly sat back and relaxed. I knew I wasn’t perfect, but God had been working on my abuse and infertility and I wanted to stay in that realm. I didn’t cause my abuse and I didn’t cause my infertility, so I didn’t have anything to apologize for. I didn’t want to go jumping around in my past just to find something to apologize for and then get distracted from what God had me focusing on.

I listened, but I didn’t relate it to myself at the moment. I appreciated the message, but I didn’t quite take it in. And then we were sent out into the night and told, “you’ll know what to do, and you’ll know when to come back.”

Ummmmmmm….ok.

I walked out into the dark night along with everyone else. The lights of the camp had been completely shut off. Even the moon was dark because it was a new moon. The only light was from the stars, and there were billions!!! Billions and Billions! I walked into the field and laid on my back in the grass. I wanted to see as much sky as I could. I wanted to take it all in.

“My God is so great and amazing! He created all of this! Did He create stars just so we could enjoy them? I may never know, but I’m enjoying them now.”

And then I remembered something I had read in Genesis 15 years ago:

The Lord’s Covenant With Abram

 After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.
    I am your shield,[a]
    your very great reward.[b]

But Abram said, “Sovereign Lord, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit[c] my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?” And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”

Then the word of the Lord came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son who is your own flesh and blood will be your heir.” He took him outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars—if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring[d] be.”

Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

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I remembered the covenant God made with Abram years before Sarai bore their son, Isaac. It reminded me of the covenant God had made with me almost 6 years ago.

f4af9f2cd938aadb84b50bbfe60e9d7fPsalm 113:9 “He settles the childless woman in her home as a happy mother of children. Praise the LORD.”

As a laid there in the grass gazing at the stars that represented Abram’s descendants, I thought of how faithful God was to Abram and Sarai. I thought of how faithful He had been to me. And then it struck me, God had been faithful, but I had not. God had given me a promise and I heard it but I didn’t believe Him when the promise seemed out of my control. And when I was no longer in control, I would run from my Lord’s path and try to make it happen out of my own power. Although, unlike Sarah, I did not send my servant into my husband’s tent so He could impregnate her. BUT, I did try to manipulate my situation as much as possible and prove to God that I was worthy of children. I was spending each day trying to prove that I was ready for His promise. I wanted to decide the timing, just like Sarah.

I was suddenly aware of all the people surrounding me in the field. There were sobs and sniffles. I could feel the apologies of others surrounding me. I could feel their grief and sorrow being recognized and confessed. And then I was writing. I couldn’t see but I was writing:

“My Darling Father,

I’m sorry for not seeing you. I’ve been ignoring you. I have abandoned you. Everything I thought you did to me I was doing to you. Jesus, forgive me. I am so sorry. I was caught up in my own wounds and I didn’t even recognize yours, your saving wounds. Thank you for your forgiveness and your safety. I love you.”

I couldn’t believe it, this whole time I was mad at God when I was the one doing the offending! I was so focused on my own hurts and wounds that I couldn’t even recognize His. At least doubting Thomas placed his hands in Jesus’ wounds and recognized them. I was so caught up in my own pain, searching all the corners of my own wounds, that I didn’t even realize if I touched Jesus’ wounds, mine would go away. He kept saying, “come to me, place your hand in my side” and I kept saying, “Jesus, you don’t understand, I am so hurt.” And He would say, “come to me and you will no longer be hurt” and I would say, “I’m hurt, you should come to me!”

DUDE! I just realized this…I am the criminal on the cross next to Him. Not the “good” one either. I’m the criminal that was dying next to Jesus and was still an asshole!

Luke 23:39

“One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: ‘Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’”

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I’m kind of an entitled brat…I’ll just blame it on my parents like the rest of the millennials…Just kidding mom and dad!

But the cool thing was that I had no doubt in my mind that God forgave me. He listened to me confess, but even before I was finished confessing I felt His love and forgiveness wash over me. I felt clean; squeaky clean. I lay in the grass and watched the stars and felt like a star myself. God didn’t even hesitate to forgive me. He didn’t even make me sit in my grief. I confessed and He forgave, just like that.

For The Cross

The life You gave

Your body was broken

Your love poured out

You bled and You died for me

There on that cross

You breathed Your last as you were crucified

You gave it all for me

 

Hallelujah, what a Savior

Hallelujah, what a friend

Hallelujah, King forever

We thank You for the cross

 

There in the ground

Sealed in the darkness

Lifeless laid

The frame of the Father’s son

In agony

He watched His only Son be sacrificed

He gave it all for me

 

But on that day

What seemed as the darkest hour

A violent hope

Broke through and shook the ground

And as You rose

The Light of all the world was magnified

And You rose in victory

 

Hallelujah, it is finished

Hallelujah, it is done

Hallelujah King forever

We thank you for the cross

 

And though our sins are scarlet

You have made us white as snow

 

Ok, now I had definitely experienced everything Christ had planned for me…but once again I was wrong. Keep and eye out for my next post to hear how God physically healed me!

 

Day Three: I am Healed

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(You can find Day One here and Day two here.)

I woke up convicted. But I was still scared. Trusting God with the most intimate details of my life was still very new to me. I mean, come on, I grew up thinking He abandoned me and ignored my cries for Him during my time of abuse. It had been less than two days since I found out He was actually with me during those abuse filled sleepovers. I believed Him… but my infertility…I didn’t know if I was ready to trust Him with that too. I mean, I had been trying to trust Him with that, but the real problem was that I didn’t believe He actually heard me when I cried to Him. I have cried to Him for nearly 7 years and nothing changed, He couldn’t have heard me, or if He did, He ignored me.

I didn’t really believe He ignored me, it didn’t match up with His character and nature, but He wasn’t defending Himself or denying it, and my feelings (which have often led me astray before) were so strong and stuck in abandonment mode. How could my mind know He has heard my cries and my heart still feel abandoned and ignored? I was a bundle of confusion.

Once again, I groggily made my way into our morning worship, bible study, and meditation time, and was instantly enveloped in a song:

Let the King of my heart

be the mountain where I run

The Fountain I drink from

Oh He is my Song

Let the King of my heart

be the shadow where I hide

the ransom for my life

Oh He is my Song

You are good

good

ohhh

Let the King of my heart

be the wind inside my sails

The anchor in the waves

Oh He is my Song

Let the King of my heart

Be the fire inside my veins

the echo of my days

Oh He is my Song

You are good

good

ohhh

You’re never gonna let me down

You’re never gonna let me down

I felt like my mind was singing to my heart, “come on heart, let Him be king, let Him protect you, ground you, bring life to you!” And with each, “You are good, good, ooooh. You are good, you’re good, ooooh” I felt His goodness wash over me. With my right hand on my heart and my left hand in the sky I praised my Jesus. I believed in His goodness and I FELT His goodness. And then… “you’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down, you’re never gonna let, never gonna let me down.” And I sang it, and I professed it, and I believed it, and once again the front of my shirt was covered in tears and snot and this time it wasn’t even 7am.

 

And God didn’t just leave it there. In meditation we were shown a picture full of word phrases that stated what we are to God. We were instructed to look at the phrases and then meditate on the one that stood out to us.

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“I am…not abandoned (Lam 3:31)”

 

“Ok God, I get it. You ARE good, and I am NOT abandoned, so I can trust You when you tell me to have the Holy Embers pray over me. But I need Your help, I’m scared to ask. I feel silly, or like I’m trying to get all this special attention. I need You to help me.”

 

No sooner had I sat down to breakfast, then one of the Holy Embers sat next to me and said, “Ok, tell me if I’m just letting my character defects get in the way, or if this is a God thing…if this isn’t a God thing just tell me to shup up…”

 

“Ok…” I replied

 

She said, “I think I heard God speak to me this morning during meditation. I think he wants all of us to pray over you.”

 

I laughed, “that is totally a God thing!” and I told my Holy Ember sisters all about what God had been telling me. And they all decided, that at some point that day they would lay hands on me and pray for my healing.

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But there was one thing I was still confused about. God told me I was healed, so why did I need prayer for healing? It didn’t make sense to me, but what I had been learning is not to run from those questions, but to ask God face to face. So I asked Him and then I waited for an answer.

 

I didn’t wait long. Ten minutes before lunch I laid in savasana during Jonnie’s Holy Yoga Slow Flow class. Right hand on my heart and left hand in the sky, I sang along to “I am Healed” by River Valley Worship:

Lord I am desperate for your power

 I need a miracle

Lord I am desperate for your touch

I need your miracle

heaven’s floor is shaking

healing rain is falling

and I am healed

I know I am

for my God

says I am

come what may

my faith will stand

I am healed I know I am

You are speaking, faith is rising

I need a miracle

Christ my healer, the work is done

I have my miracle

I am healed, I know I am

for my God says I am

come what may, my faith will stand

I am healed

I know I am

I know I am

‘cause you say I am

sickness you have no power here,

darkness you have no power here,

chaos you have no power here,

in Jesus name

sickness you have no power here,

darkness you have no power here,

chaos you have no power here,

in Jesus name

I am healed, I know I am

for my God

He says I am

come what may, my faith will stand

I am healed, I know I am

I am healed, I know I am

for my God says I am

come what may, my faith will stand

I am healed, I know I am

 

While I sang, I felt God’s presence. Once again I was sobbing (oh my God, was I ever going to make it through one class without crying?) and I felt God’s assurance. I knew I was healed, I believed I was healed, but God wanted me to claim it. He didn’t want me to forget reality and go back to living in the lies, and that was where the 7 other Holy Embers came in!

After lunch, the Holy Embers had small group time. I sat there half listening to our leader (sorry Dianne!) and wondering when we were going to get the time to pray. Our days were so packed full of yoga, anatomy classes, and posture breakdowns, that I feared we wouldn’t have time. Just then Dianne, our leader, confessed that she had to leave small group time early to shoot a Holy Yoga TV class. Once again, God came through, and provided us with the time we needed to do His work.

 

It felt weird at first. We were outside and the grounds were peppered with other small groups. I sat in a chair while the other ladies circled around me. I then asked what God wanted me to ask, “can you guys lay hands on my belly?” without hesitation, my dear sisters placed their hands on my belly and began to pray. It was amazing to hear their prayers, to feel their belief in the goodness of God, and to claim alongside them the healing that we all already knew had happened. Some of them thanked God for the child I would bear, some of them prayed for my strength in times of doubt, some of them oozed with pure joy at the promise that I would be a mom, but we all claimed the healing, claimed my fertility, claimed the promise, in Jesus’ name. It was amazing. That was why God wanted me to be prayed over. Not because their prayers healed me, no, God had already accomplished that, but so that in my times of doubt (which I have often) I would have seven sisters to remind me of the truth. Isn’t seven a holy number?

Already, I have had to rely on them to remind me (two days ago actually…), and they did. With flying colors they reminded me.

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Sickness, you have no power here.

Darkness, you have no power here.

Chaos, you have no power here.

In Jesus’ name.

I am healed, I know I am, ‘cause my God says I am.

 

Oh, btw, there is still more! I know right?

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Day Two: Put Off Your Old Self

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*Random Fact* It was not a coincidence that Holy Yoga was selling this tank top the same season I came to retreat. 

I have been meaning to write before now, but I have been attacked spiritually and I could not seem to get the words out. I couldn’t even make sense of what had happened after the first day, and when I first came home from training everything was so clear.

“I’m losing it! Oh no! I’m forgetting everything God showed me! I’m falling back into my old ways!”

And then a little glimpse of something came back to me.

Put on the new self.

I riffled through my retreat journal to find the bible verse about putting on the new self. Wouldn’t you know? Day two: Ephesians 4: 20-24 (but I like to include 25)

Ephesians 4:20-25

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires;23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body.

I have started to believe the lies again. I have been telling myself lies again. “If I don’t feel God with me, then he isn’t with me.” LIE! Ok, here it goes…


Day Two (Read about day one here)

Day two felt more like week two. I remember walking into breakfast and thinking “why are they serving oatmeal for lunch?” I had only been up for 4 hours and I felt like we had accomplished so much.

God already spoke to me and it was only 9am. I had already sobbed and leaked snot everywhere and it was only 9am. Oh boy, this week was going to be a long, hard, journey. But I’m jumping around. I want to tell you about what God said to me in the early morning hours of Day two.

In Ephesians 4:22 Paul says, “put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires.” I knew I must ask the Lord some questions:

God, what is my disease? What are my deceitful desires?

What should my new self look like and act like? How am I going to keep this up?

But I wasn’t quite ready to ask God those questions. I had them, but I kept them to myself. Because to ask those questions meant I wanted the answers, and to be honest, I didn’t want the answers. What if those answers meant I had to give up something I relied on, like sugar, or my obsession with fitness and dieting, what if God asked me to let go of my desire to be a mom? No, I wasn’t ready…I couldn’t ask those questions.

But God is persistent. He wanted me, all of me, and he was not going to let me off the hook.

We started our daily meditation. I’m going to encourage you to do this meditation right now. Seriously, it only has to take 15 minutes and then you can read what God showed me.

I would tell you to close your eyes, but then you wouldn’t be able to read my directions, so take a deep breath in…1…2…3 Breathe out…1…2…3 Breathe into your belly…1…2…3…4… And sigh out through your mouth….1…2…3…4. Keep breathing long and deep and read the following story (out loud if you can) and then just sit for 5 minutes reviewing the story in your mind. Then read the first set of questions and ask it of yourself and sit for another 5 minutes pondering. Then read the second set of questions and ponder for another 5 minutes and then end in prayer.

“Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom there lived a prophet. This prophet had a wonderful treasure. Word of this treasure came to the king. When the king heard of the treasure he thought he ought to see about it.

“So he made his journey to the faraway place where the prophet lived. When the king arrived, the prophet, who knew he was coming, was waiting for him. The king said, ‘I am your king’. And the prophet replied, ‘Yes, sire, I know’. The king said, ‘I understand you have a hidden treasure here.’ And the prophet said, ‘Yes, I do.’ So the king declared that he would like to see the treasure. The prophet agreed and led him around the side of the hill. There stood the prophet with his hand on the doorknob to a door leading into a room built into the hillside.

“The prophet turned to the king and said, ‘Sire, before I open the door I have a question for you: how far in would you like to go?’

“The king looked at him and replied, ‘Just far enough to say I’ve been there.’”

-Author Unknown

  1. Imagine yourself into the story. Who are you, the king or the prophet? Why?
  2. Imagine the room carved into the hillside. What does it look like? Smell like? Feel like? What type of atmosphere does it have? What is in the room? What is hidden there? How far into the room will you be going?

I was the king, but I said, “I want to see it all! I want to go in all the way and experience it all!” but when I sat and thought about it, I had literally just had this experience with God during bible study. I literally just told him, “I don’t want to ask those questions.” When I saw the situation from an outsider’s perspective I could easily say, “Oh king, don’t be such a fool! Why would you travel from far away and not want to experience the entirety of the treasure!?”

“Ok God, you got me… I’m ready; I want to experience all of you…”

“What is my disease?”

“You, my dearest, are the biggest liar you know. It’s killing you. Stop telling my precious daughter these falsehoods.”

“Who? Who have I been lying to? I hate lying to people, it makes me feel sick inside, so I think I would remember lying to someone.”

“You, you are my precious daughter, and you lie to yourself hourly, almost moment by moment.”

“Oh…I thought those words, “deceitful desires” were a little bit harsh, but I guess its reality. So what are my deceitful desires?”

“I would like to hear you answer that question yourself: what are your deceitful desires?”

“Well, I desire to be perfect, to be healed, to be skinny, to be healthy, to be fertile and full of life, to be loved, desired, wanted, coveted, and idolized. Some of those I see are deceitful, but not all of them. To be healthy, fertile, full of life, and loved isn’t deceitful.”

“Those are not bad desires, but the deceit is that you believe you aren’t those things already. I have made you Radiant, not “I will make you Radiant” but “I HAVE MADE you Radiant.” It is done. “Be fruitful and multiply” not “become fruitful and then multiply” you already are fruitful! Just be! You are already multiplying, just be! Be. Abide in me and be. Stop trying to perfect the past, stop trying to find perfection in the future, just be present with me. Be.”

“Oh…huh…..well….touché God, well done.”

“Thank you, my dear.”

“So, how do I do that?”

“Spend time with me, in my word, in silence, in stillness, and obey me.”

“I think I can do that.”

And then God gave me a vision. I was lying on my back and my small group sisters (the other 7 women in my cabin) all had their hands on my belly and they were praying.

“Seriously God? I barely know these women. I can’t ask them to pray over my womb! They are going to think I’m so weird! No, I can’t do it. I know I said I would obey, but that is just too bizarre. I know nothing about them, and they barely know anything about me. How will I ask them that? When do we even have time for that? No, God, it can’t happen, not right now anyway, it’s only Monday…maybe by Friday…”

He didn’t argue, He didn’t agree.

I wrestled with that thought for the rest of the day. But I just couldn’t get the courage to ask for prayer. Plus, God said he already healed me. He said I just have to be. So why would I even need prayer if I am already healed?

That night my small group (we call ourselves the Holy Embers and I’m going to refer to my group as that from now on) gathered in our cabin and each gave a short 5 minute testimony. During that time, one of the beautiful Embers, told us about the miracle of her two children. She was told she would never get pregnant, and then she gave birth…twice. I embarrassingly lost it. I ugly cried right there in the circle. I couldn’t stop. And God told me to ask for prayer when the testimonies were done, and I didn’t. I ignored him and made excuses.

“You know them now, they know you now, ask.”

“God, we are all so tired, it’s 9:30pm and we all just want to go to bed. There is no time. No one is going to want to lay hands on me and pray. No.”

And we all went to sleep (well some of us, some of us couldn’t sleep…but we pretended to sleep anyway).