Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Through the Rear View Mirror

Twenty years ago today, at about this same time of the morning, I was in a surgery recovery room. Mourning. Weeping. Hurting.

My twin babies had gone to be with Jesus. The babies I had seen only through the lens of a sonogram. The babies I had nurtured in my womb for four months and in my heart for years.

My physical pain was significant, but my emotional pain was overwhelming. Bereft. Bereaved. Bewildered.

The pain gave way to anger, confusion. I tend to process information internally – as opposed to my husband, Writer, who talks all the time processes information externally. The thoughts in my head were jumbled, messy, condemning.

Why? Why me? What was wrong with my body? Thirteen-year-old girls were able to do this, why couldn't I? Thirteen-year-old girls were disposing of their babies in abortion clinics and dumpsters. I had been a "good girl." Why had God not seen that? Why had He not honored that? Why had He not protected my babies?

No one knew what to say. My mother drove 250 miles through the night to be with me before I went into surgery. Our pastor loved on us and prayed with us. Friends brought food (hey, it's the South. Food is ALWAYS appropriate!!!).

The grief was unbearable. It settled on me. Hovered over me. Never fully lifted. Until.

Until I allowed Jesus to bring healing. Until I allowed Him to speak the truth to my heart. Until I allowed His redemptive work – even in or especially in – the midst of terrible circumstances.

Slowly, and after additional miscarriages, I began to understand that my heart's desire was to be a mother. That my children didn't need to look like me or Writer. Didn't need to have his blue eyes or my brown hair.

No longer was I limited to what we could produce (yes, it's a double entendre). I had the vastness of God's love and His good plan for me – His plan not to harm me, but to give me a hope and a future.

So, this morning I wept for the loss of my precious babies. Then my mourning turned to dancing as I rejoiced over Ballerina and Sketcher. One who hears music like I do and one who walks (and talks) like Writer.

This sustained me:

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.
(Psalm 27:13, NKJV)

This is to encourage you today:

Wait and hope for and expect the Lord;
be brave and of good courage
and let your heart be stout and enduring.
Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord.
(Psalm 27:14, Amplified)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Seven Minutes of Pure Joy

This weekend, Ballerina performed as a gypsy at the ballet. Seven minutes of pure joy!

Lots of work. Challenging combinations. Hardest performance to date. Loved every second of it.

She takes classes six days a week, rehearses multiple times a week for many, many weeks. All to perform for seven minutes on the stage.

What are you pursuing with equal passion?

P.S. Writer has (at least for now) agreed to let me post photos of Ballerina and Sketcher. I'll try not to overwhelm the system with pics!!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Need The Savior

My pastor just emailed this to our congregation. I pray that it speaks to your heart like it did to mine. Oh, how I need the Savior.

One of the problems we have as Christians is that we often forget that we have a Savior. Since birth, we have been trying to save ourselves. The child who tells a fib is trying to not get caught. She is convinced that her lie will save her. The adolescent who cheats on a test is trying to save himself from failing. The adult who worries and schemes about how to solve whatever problem is on that day's agenda is trying to save himself or herself.

After Adam and Eve partook of the forbidden fruit, they hid, thinking that they could save themselves from the one person who could actually save them. They made aprons of fig leaves and chose darkness rather than light, thinking that by hiding, they would not be seen. Ever since, we, as fallen men and women, have unsuccessfully tried to make broken situations work. We have tried to save ourselves from unforseen consequences.

Many Christians spend the majority of their time trying to save themselves. We might not do it intentionally, but it happens. Why do we worry? Worry is our attempt to work out a plan to save ourselves.

When we become our own saviors, it never works. When we try to save ourselves, we turn to the darkness to hide us. Darkness, however, always betray us. Darkness will never save us, yet we believe its lie and agree with it by our actions. Look at Judas. Look at Ananias and Sapphira.

One of the most powerful prayers we can ever pray is, "Lord, I cannot save myself. Please come into the problem and solve it for me." That is the prayer of surrender – "I cannot save myself. I need a Savior." It is powerful because we are turning to the Light rather than to the darkness for aid.

Ask the Lord to show you areas in your life today where you are trying to save yourself. When He shows you, rejoice! Declare, "Lord, I cannot save myself!" Then wait for Him to act on your behalf. He is both Savior and Friend.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Best Lemon Cake — EVER

Sketcher and I recently tried a couple of new cupcake recipes, in anticipation of his birthday and a church event. The Barefoot Contessa Lemon Cupcake recipe, found here, was nothing short of fabulous. More than week later I still can remember the perfection of the taste and texture. I probably won't bake them again during Lent, but they're on the menu for Easter Sunday.

We tried a chocolate recipe, too. The cupcakes were good. Moist. Tender. Even topped them with fresh raspberries. But they just could not compare to the lemon ones.

P.S. The photo is the answer to this question!