I hope to inspire and encourage others through my own life experiences and my faith ...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Your Life Is Going to Change Me

"Wherever you are, whenever it's right,
You'll come outta nowhere and into my life."
     When my second child was only nine months old, I found out that I was pregnant again.  So many people that I know (and don't know for that matter) would have been thrilled at that kind of surprise, but I was devastated.  The news came completely out of left field and we were shocked to say the least.  Our family was not in a stable financial place.  We already had two very young children and it was a challenge enough with them.  Neither one of our cars were big enough for three car seats, our house was only a three bedroom ... three kids would mean a lot of changes. 

     I struggled so much with accepting the pregnancy and it took a huge emotional toll on me.  Fear ruled my emotions as I was so scared to be bringing another child into the world and felt like the timing couldn't have been worse.  Why would God throw this on us during a time when we were struggling in so many other areas?  It didn't seem fair.  Selfishly, I stayed in my self pity for a few months.  I didn't allow myself to feel any joy or excitement and instead fell into depression. 

     One day, while at an event that my Mom was hosting I ended up in a conversation with one of the other guests.  Without me even bringing up my disappointment about my pregnancy she looked at me and said, "Sometimes the best gifts are those that we least expect or that drop into our laps at the most inconvenient times.  God is going to use this child in mighty ways and she will surpass everything you could ever wish for, for her." Wow ...  I was blown away!

     At that moment, I remembered the verse that I had heard so many times before, "For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope."  Jeremiah 29:11.  I felt so ashamed for my actions.  Yes, this was an inopportune time, we weren't ready, we were scared, we had no clue how it was going to work but God created this child specifically for us, to not only bless us but to bless the world.  She was our incredible gift from Him.  All of the little details didn't matter anymore.  It would work.  God knew my heart.  He knew our family.  Before the beginning of time, He knew that we were meant to be together. 

"And I know that we can be so amazin'
And baby your love is gonna change me
And now I can see every possibility

Somehow I know that it’ll all turn out
You'll make me work so we can work to work it out
And I promise you kid I'll give so much more than I get
I just haven't met you yet."

     Almost three years later that baby is a beautiful, bouncing child who is filled with joy from head to toe.  Things haven't always been foot loose and fancy free, but we have made it.  She adds so much zest to our family and we would never be complete without her smiling face.  Though she can definitely be a feisty little thing and she challenges me like no other, she is exactly who God created her to be and I love her to pieces for that.  She never ceases to amaze me and I am convinced everyday that this little girl is going to be something utterly amazing.  God is going to work through her and do incredible things in her life. 

     So often I look at her and remember back to feeling so hopeless and scared- although now I am comforted by those memories because God has proved to remain faithful and true to His Word. Sometimes the best gifts are those that we least expect or that drop into our laps at the most inconvenient times.  Be thankful for the surprises that God throws your way.  He can bless our socks off, even in the midst of hardship and doubt. 

"And I know that we can be so amazin'
And bein' in your life is gonna change me
And now I can see every single possibility

And someday I know it'll all turn out
And I'll work to work it out
Promise you kid I’ll give more than I get"
Michael Buble

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Little Dose of Humility

Proverbs 16:18-19 "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud."

Recently I had the opportunity to suck up my pride and humble myself like never before.  If you know me, you know that I rarely bring myself to that level ... it's hard.  Pride is a sin that every one of us struggles with.  It plagues us and can ruin relationships and other things that we hold dear in our lives.  It also builds walls and keep us from God.  I learned the hard way what happens when we allow pride to rule our hearts and minds.

A few years ago a very good friend of mine, who happened to live up the street from me, moved away.  Our families were very good friends and we had strong bonds between us.  We spent a lot of time with these people.  They were the type of friends who you could call at 5:00 p.m. on a Saturday night and say, "whats for dinner?" and just show up at their door five minutes later.  Even though they only moved a few minutes away, I was devastated to lose the close connection that we had shared as close neighbors as well as friends.  I also wished that my own family were at the point in which we were ready to move into a bigger house and frankly there was some jealousy brewing in my heart.

To keep myself from feeling replaced, envious and sad I completely shut these friends out.  I made no attempts to have any sort of remnant of our previous friendship.  This went on for two years.  Did I feel better as planned?  Sometimes it didn't bother me at all as I numbed myself pretty well.  Other times I would terribly miss my friends and the closeness that we shared.  My friend on the other hand had come to me on a few separate occasions, very upset and completely in the dark as to what had happened to our friendship.  I flat out lied,  made up excuses and brushed her off.  I knew in my heart that to mend this friendship I would have to come clean and honestly it was easier to lose a great friend then to admit my pride.  Isn't that sad?  Pride can do awful things to your heart. 

During my prayer time I, clear as day heard God to tell me that I had to deal with this.  Even when I continued to brush off His words, He kept drilling it in to my head.  When God wants you to do something, you do it.  If you don't, He will find a way to get things done another way.  After months and months of praying about the situation I finally made the decision to do the right thing although I was sick to my stomach about it.  Knowing that I caused such a wonderful friend such pain because of my own selfish pride was a very hard thing to admit- especially to her!  And God wasn't about let me to write an email ... I had to tell her to her face. 

I met up with my friend, which was terribly uncomfortable.  I won't lie, there was a reason that we met for margarita's!  I just opened my mouth and let it all spill out.  I admitted my sin, owned up to everything that I had done and asked for her forgiveness.  Surprisingly, she got teary eyed and gladly accepted my apology and forgave me for everything.  She didn't point any fingers or hold anything against me.  She welcomed back her "prodigal friend" and I was very happy.  That was even more humbling!

Instead of feeling exposed, lowely and awful like I thought I would feel after completely humbling myself, I felt free.  Free to just let go all of those weighing feelings that pinned me down for some long.  Free to finally let things be the way they were supposed to, without pressure, without keeping up a fake fisade or anything else.  It will take time for my friend and I to come to the place that we were once at, but I am confidant that when God brings such great people into our lives, if we obey Him, He will guide those relationships back to where He can bless us through them again. 

This is probably the hardest thing I have ever done.  Nobody likes to admit when they have caused strife and hurt people.  Nobody likes to be seen as weak or vulnerable either.  As a person who holds herself up very strongly and depends on others for very little, this brought me to my knees and humbled me greatly.  I challenge you to look at where your pride lies ... we all have it in some place or another.  Pray on that and ask God what He wants you to do with it.  You might be surprised at how freeing it really is to let go and let God.  When you let go of your pride you also allow Him to work in your life and bestow even greater blessings on your own life. Psalms 149:4 "For the LORD takes delight in his people; he crowns the humble with salvation."