June 11, 2009

Thoughts from a healing heart.

Getting used to a new normal seems to be a pretty constant state of being for us - and really there's not much of an end in sight! It does keep us on our toes though, and keeps us looking for how God is going to choose to use us next.
The girls have been gone for almost two weeks now. It's getting a little easier, but I still miss them from somewhere so deep in my heart. God has taught us so much through this, and continues to do so. One thing He has reminded me of so many times, and really one of the things that has pulled us through this trial, is the knowledge that this is all so temporary. Pain, no matter how deep it may be, is always such a brief moment in our existence - nothing at all when we think of the eternity He has for us. And it is always worth it to use our brief time here on earth for whatever it is he asks us to do. So we just have to keep our gaze on Him, only glancing at the world, and know everything we experience here is only temporary.
He has also taken this trial and used it to show that He is the only thing we need to have joy. He has proven that He is our refuge, and WILL provide in our times of need. My heart has been comforted by verses in the bible like John 16:33, Psalm 55:22, and Nahum 1:7 where God reminds us that there is nothing on this earth that we can face that he does not already know, and that he longs to be our comforter. He has been just that, carrying us when we are weak.

2 Corinthians 1:5 says, "For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows." How incredible to know that when we suffer for the kingdom that we are sharing in Christ's suffering. This also means that anything that we experience is only an overflow of what Christ has already taken for us - he already knows and understands our suffering.
What really struck me about all of these verses though, is the pre-requisite to recieving what is promised in them. Christ promises to comfort us in our suffering, to be our refuge, and to walk with us through our trials. However, these verses all assume that we are sacrificing for the kingdom. We cannot experience the overflowing comfort that 2 Corinthians 1:5 refers to, if we are not already experiencing the suffering of Christ for the kingdom.
So as difficult as this has all been, it is what is expected of His children - to suffer with him to advance the kingdom. And as Christ carries us through this experience, there is nothing else for us to do but to beg Him for another opportunity to serve Him - another opportunity to join with him in suffering. And it is all worth it. It is all so temporary.

None of these are new ideas - but they are comforting in trial. I pray we all suffer for the kingdom!

A couple of prayer requests - we have two boys staying with us right now (just for a few days). If you could pray that their short time with us is meaningful. And for patience (5 and 7 year old boys, I believe, have more energy than any other population on earth :) ).

June 3, 2009

My Precious Girls.

Cassandra and Mena,
You, my two beauties, moved on Saturday, and I miss you so, so much. There haven't been many things harder in my life than saying goodbye to you. I know that all of this transition has likely been much harder for you than for us even - I can't imagine. As you would say Cassandra, my heart hurts. God has given us so much peace about this move, but that doesn't change that you're not here.
You left us many signs of your love here at our home - Brian's work shoe was mysteriously in the extra bedroom filled with little toys, Cassandra, your notes of love are all over the house, bittersweet every time I find them.
I don't know that I'll ever really stop missing you - but I will continue to find comfort in knowing that we miss each other because we loved each other so well. As my friend Kristen reminded me, God brings things to an end for a purpose. Neither of us left without being changed by Him for the better, and hopefully for the glory of His kingdom. You, my precious girls, are in His hands - and I can assure you that there is no greater place to be.
So while I cry writing this, I REJOICE in knowing that God used your time here to ensure that I will be reunited with you again in Him, in his beautiful time. I pray for you that God continues to open your little eyes to His love, and that you grow more in Him everyday that you are away. I pray that you not forget your time here, but that He allows your hearts to heal, and that what you remember from our nine months together is His love that filled our home while you were here.

I will ALWAYS love you more than you know.

Love you, love you, love you,



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