Monday, December 24, 2012

Man will live forevermore because of Christmas day!

Christmas is almost here!  Most everyone has joined the hustle and bustle of getting things ready and finding that perfect gift!  We've been so busy doing "Christmasy" things...going to concerts, the Grotto, Zoo lights with the kids, and church gatherings!  There's joy and anticipation in all the celebrating!  

Yet there are others who don't feel much like celebrating...who are wounded and sorrowful and missing loved ones or going through some crazy storm!

I have no words for the violence we've witnessed in our country these past couple weeks!  My heart is broken for the families dealing with the loss of their children and loved ones this Christmas season!  

When someone you know is grieving, and especially having a hard Christmas, it can be very difficult to know what to to help.  The truth is, there is nothing you can say that will erase sadness and pain.   But, in my experience, it is better to say something than to not say anything at all!

After Abigail went to be with the Lord, I can remember feeling so lonely at times.  There is a lonely feeling in that the world doesn't seem to stop for your grief.  Everyone keeps going on with life as if the life that just passed into eternity didn't matter.  I can remember almost being shocked by the fact that others around me were doing so well and feeling so well, because I couldn't stop crying for longer than 5 minutes at times.  Of course, rationally, this is the truth: life does go on...people do go on...the world does continue in spite of what happens to me or anyone else.  But in those hard times, it feels like you're the only one who is experiencing this kind of sadness. I can imagine it must be even harder at Christmas when most everyone is in the "Christmas spirit".  

Those that spoke with us and sent their condolences really made us feel like this mattered...Abigail mattered.  It was encouraging to see the outpouring of love and support from family, friends, and others in the body of Christ that we'd never met.  

Gracious words are a honeycomb
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
~Proverbs 16:24

Have the courage to be an encourager!  Reach out this season to families you know that are hurting!  It will mean the world to them!  Here are some things that others did to reach out to us in our grief that made us feel loved:

* invite them to Christmas dinner
* invite them to a concert or an event with your family this season
* send texts or messages of encouraging Bible verses or prayers
* pray for them in person when you see them or over the phone...and privately as well
* provide meals for them in their home
* offer to help clean their home or help them with errands...whatever the need be
* show up with some goodies for their kiddos...some Christmas cookies
* if they have children, offer to babysit them for a couple hours so the parents can get some rest...or offer to take the children to and from school
* offer a shoulder to cry on and a listening ear
* PRAY PRAY PRAY for their hearts to be filled with the peace and hope and joy of Christ!

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted 
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
~Psalm 34:18

My hope is that we can welcome the Christ-child this season in our the midst of our suffering and wounded the darkness of our sin...through whatever circumstance!  He is our joy and our hope!  One of my favorite Christmas songs says, "Man will live forevermore because of Christmas day!"  I love and praise God for this truth!  Without the Lord, the King of Kings, born in the darkness and turmoil of this world in a lowly stable to one day give His life as a sacrifice for us, we would not have hope or eternal life!  Praising Him today for His precious gift to us this season and praying our hearts would welcome Him and He would heal our brokenness!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear.  And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
~Luke 2:9-11


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Praise You in This Storm

As I watch the news these days and see the devastating photos of the destruction left by hurricane Sandy on the East coast, I can't help but remember this powerful song that has been an encouragement to me.  May God bless all who have lost their homes, belongings, and loved ones in this storm!  May He work His good will in every situation!  May many turn to God in their time of crisis!  God is with you, even when you don't feel it!  Choose to praise Him in whatever storm, friend, and He will be your help!  Our help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth!

                          "Praise You In This Storm" by Casting Crowns

I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry to you
And you raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

But as the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain
"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Helping Children Grieve

Remembering Abigail ~  photo taken May 2012

It is a very hard thing to grieve...hard to sort out your own thoughts and feelings and let yourself cry, get angry, and pray...all in repeat mode!  But at least it's you grieving...and you know how you feel...there's no real mystery there!  

Harder still to talk to your children about death, especially the death of someone they were in close contact with that were dear to their hearts.  

My first miscarriage and Abigail's death happened before Eliana and Josiah were born, so they didn't live out those moments of grief.  The first time we told Eliana about Abigail and the first baby was when we went to Abigail's graveside on the anniversary of her death when Eliana was around 2...though I'm not sure how much she understood.  Since then, every year, there are more questions as we visit the graveside and now from Josiah as well.  

We explained to them what had happened with the babies and mostly, we  tried to give them an eternal perspective!  We always finish the conversation with the happy and awesome reality that they are in heaven with the Lord and we will one day meet them!  Of course, they are 5 and 3, so I'm not sure they really understand what death means.  Mostly, they understand that it's a separation or a goodbye-never-to-come-back-again kind of thing.  They get sad sometimes when Abigail's name comes up, especially Eliana since she's older, and they say how much they want to meet her and see her and go to heaven!   

With our current miscarriage, after we found out, my biggest hurdle was how to tell the kids!  They were excited about the baby in mommy's tummy...and now, the baby was no longer there!  We came home from the hospital and we immediately got bombarded with sweet concerns from Eliana about how my appointment went and how the baby was doing!  We had to tell them then...I couldn't keep it inside.  We approached the subject very simply and with very few details and just told them both that the baby is not in my tummy any is with Jesus in heaven!  Eliana asked how the baby could be in my tummy at one moment and now in heaven, and I told her that she couldn't grow any longer in my tummy and she died and her spirit went to be with Jesus!  There were tears and hugs and a few more questions, but overall, it was a sweet moment!  

I am no expert on grief or how to deal with it or help others deal with it.  All I have are my experiences to draw from with my little guys...and they are more easily satisfied with simple answers than older kids!  I read a great article last month by Focus on the Family that I thought I'd pass on to you at the link below!  They also have some resources they recommend below for how to talk to children of all ages about death and how to help them through the grieving process. 

I would say one of the most important things is to keep the conversations allow them to communicate their feelings...allow them to see you grieve...allow them to ask about your loved ones and the memories that were created...give lots of hugs and kisses...and point them toward eternity and the beautiful reality for believers that we will one day reunite with those we love that went before us!  



How to Help Your Child Grieve (read the overview and the next two articles dealing with grief and children)

Books recommended by Focus on the Family:

Someone I Love Died

Helping Children Grieve: When Someone They Love Dies

Monday, November 5, 2012

Real Food For the Battle

I have to say the one thing that has helped and encouraged me tremendously...helped me fight the war over peace that I spoke of in Fight For Peace...was receiving texts, emails, and messages of Scripture verses from sweet people.  Like manna from heaven, these words were nurturing my soul and giving me ammo against Satan's whispers!  The Bible says, Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD.” ~ Deuteronomy 8:3

Beth Moore, whom I adore, gave a suggestion in one of her studies to write Scripture verses on index cards for every season of your life.  Whatever season you are in, find verses in the Bible that encourage you through that specific challenge and write them down and carry them with you everywhere.  This way, when you are tempted to be discouraged or bury your head under the sheets and not get out of bed, you will have this saving manna at your fingertips to read and meditate over!  I've taken her suggestion with other topics such as finances, insecurities, and death and I can attest to the fact that God's Word is powerful and it is my shield and sword in times of weakness! 

Below are some verses that encourage us through any trials.  I wrote them on cards and had them with me through the storm...they were like a lighthouse and beacon through the darkness I was feeling!  

Will you take up this suggestion with the following verses?  It is what you need for the battle...the Word of God!  

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy, for You have considered my trouble; You have known my soul in adversities, and have not shut me up into the hand of the enemy; You have set my feet in a wide place. Psalm 31:7,8

From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. Psalm 61:2

The Lord is my Rock and my Fortress and my Deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:2

In my distress I called upon the Lord. And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, and my cry came before Him, even to His ears.
Psalm 18:6

Trust in Him at all times; pour your heart before Him: God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:8

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the waters, which spread out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.  Jeremiah 17:7

You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You. Because he trusts in You.  Isaiah 26:3

God is my refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, I will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Psalm 46: 1-3

Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by our brotherhood in the world. 1 Peter 4:8

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.  Nahum 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.  2 Timothy 1:7

He is the One who goes before you. He will be with You, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.  Deuteronomy 31:8

We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are unseen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:18

For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well! My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139:13-16

...Therefore I have hope. Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portions, says my soul, “Therefore I hope in Him!” The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:21-25

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-8

My grace is sufficient for you, my strength is made perfect in weakness.  Therefore, most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9,10

We also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance, and perseverance character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:3

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” John 11:25



Thursday, November 1, 2012

You Never Let Go

Music has such a powerful effect on our emotions!  I know for me, music plays a HUGE role in my life.  It is healing to my soul, it helps me express my emotions, it lifts my mood, and it is a prayer line between me and the Lord!  Here's is a beautiful song based on Psalm 23:4 by Matt Redman!  Let these words be an encouragement to you today that God is with you and He will never let go! Until that day comes, when troubles will end, still choose to praise Him!

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
Your perfect love is casting out fear
And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life
I won't turn back, I know you are near

And I will fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?

Whom then shall I fear?

Oh no, You never let go
Through the calm and through the storm

Oh no, You never let go
In every high and every low
Oh no, You never let go
Lord, You never let go of me

And I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
A glorious light beyond all compare
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
We'll live to know You here on the earth

Yes, I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on
And there will be an end to these troubles
But until that day comes
Still I will praise You, still I will praise You

I'll be posting songs that I love to my blog every week...hope they will encourage you as they do me!  



Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Longing for heaven...

 I had a great little conversation with my 3-year old son, Josiah, today! 

Out of the blue he says, "Mami, do you still have a baby in your tummy?" 

"No, baby, I don't anymore.  Do you remember where the baby went?"  

"Yeah, he went to baby heaven," he says.  "But I wanna go to baby heaven too...because I wanna see the baby boy!"  

"Yeah baby, we will one day go to heaven and we will meet our babies there!  Do you think our baby was a little boy?"

"Yes, he was.  I wanna go now mami, I wanna go to baby heaven now to see him!"

I was very surprised he had asked me about the baby...I had just experienced a miscarriage this month and at the time a few weeks ago, Josiah didn't seem to understand or care about what happened.  He was excited when we told him we were having a baby, but when we told him the baby went to heaven, there was no real reaction.

The conversation today was so precious...and I have this conversation often with my little kindergartner, Eliana.  I love how much they yearn to go to heaven...or as Eliana puts it, "I wanna see God's home...He can see my home, I wanna see His home!"  What a sweet reminder to me from the mouths of my kiddos to have an eternal perspective here on remember that we are on a journey and this is not our eternal home! 

I love Phillipians 3:20-21 which says,  "But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself."

Praising God today for His mercy and love towards me, for providing a way for my salvation and the salvation of all who believe in Jesus, and the undeserved privilege of spending eternity with Him in His home!
 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."  
~John 3:16



Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fight for Peace

One week after Abigail had gone to heaven, Teo's leave of absence had ended and he went back to work.  I'm sitting on the couch alone now...alone with my thoughts and my emotions spilling over!  And I hear words...lies: God doesn't love you!  If He did, why would He allow all this heartache? Why would He want His child to suffer?  Why would He take away the one thing you wanted and the joy and gift of a child?  Surely you've finally made Him angry enough and this is your's your fault this happened!  I knew whose words these were...these were not the words of my Father, but of the enemy of my soul!

It goes back to the garden of Eden, doesn't it?  The same lies spoken to me...spoken long ago to the first woman on the Earth!  There, in Genesis 3:1, we find those same seeds of doubt planted in Eve's mind and heart...doubts of God's love for her.  Here is Eve, having all the provisions God had created for her...a companion, a purpose, all her physical needs met, a beautiful home to live in, and best of all, the intimate fellowship with her Creator.  This is how much God loved her and thought of her before He even created her, that He would create everything as provision for her and Adam in advance.  As the chapter goes on, we see the serpent (Satan) approach her and begin his deception.  Satan first made Eve doubt what God said regarding His command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Then he flat out lied to her telling her she wouldn't die if she ate the tree (even though God said she would).  And lastly, he made her think God was withholding something even better from her (Gen. 3:5) by saying God is commanding her not to eat because He knows that Eve will be just like God.

I just finished studying this passage and I've learned that Satan's ammo is and has always been the same...he wants to steal your peace and your faith and trust in God and His promises...especially through a storm in life when you are most vulnerable!  1 Peter 5:8-9 says, "Be alert and of sober mind.  Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.  Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings."  There is such urgency in this verse!  He is looking for someone to deceive...and usually in times of trouble and heartache when it would be more tempting to listen to these lies and let them take root in our broken hearts!  

I remember those hard days...days when I felt like I was the enemy's punching bag, being bombarded with negative thoughts of God!  I also remember how God, in His tender mercies, kept his promise to me:  "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." (1 Cor. 10:13)  He sure did provide a way to escape...a way to fight this war inside my mind and soul!  I'd get on the computer and I'd see an email from someone in our church who had just thought of me and prayed for me and sent me Scripture to encourage me.  Precious, precious Words of God!  I'd all of a sudden remember verses from the Bible that I'd memorized throughout my life...verses that were so applicable to me in that moment!  This was the Spirit at work...the great Comforter bringing healing and providing weapons for me through this fight. 

I was reminded of the real spiritual war that I was in...daily!  I was feeling it now...the heaviness of this tiresome it was to keep my mind on Him in that moment.  Isaiah 26:3 says, "You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You."   In those dark moments, I was fighting...fighting for this peace.  I was searching and seeking and thirsting and yearning for Scripture...God-breathed Scripture!  I would verbalize out loud to Satan...that these were lies...that my Father does love me...that I was His daughter whom He gave His own Son up for!  I would read Scripture out loud and there is great power in that!  I remembered how Jesus himself overcame Satan when He was tempted on the mountain.  In Matthew 4, we see Satan trying to tempt Jesus three times and each time Jesus replied with "It is written..."  He quoted God's Word and it says in verse 11 that the devil left Him.  God's Word is SO powerful!  In Ephesians, we are instructed to put on the whole armor of God to stand against the schemes of the devil...armor of God including God's Word, faith, and prayer.  I was so aware of this war in those dark hours...and I was in it!  That peace that God had put in my heart was not going to be stolen through Satan's schemes!  I am a witness that if you take up the armor of God, if you read His Word (even when you don't feel like it), if you pray at all times (Eph. 6:18), God will do the rest!  He will fight on our behalf and the devil will flee!  

Dear friend, be alert and aware of the battle for your peace...your sanity...your faith...your joy...your soul!  Be prepared and fight this battle!  This oh so sweet peace is oh so worth it!

Ephesians 6:10-18
Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.   In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints"

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

How to Handle Losses

One of my favorite women is Ann Voskamp!  If you haven't heard of her, you have to visit her blog!  She has an amazing gift with words and such a transparent and tender heart towards the Lord!  The way she writes is so touching and thought-provoking and just stunning!  She wrote a beautiful blog post this week on how to handle losses!  These words really convicted me and reminded me to be thankful...always!  She writes:
"Anything I have, I don’t deserve. Everything I have isn’t a given — it’s given. Nothing is a given — everything’s a gift.  Who am I to complain in losses when what I lost wasn’t mine to begin with? You defeat your dark when thanksgiving is your default.  Let everything that has breath praise the Lord — because praise is breath to a child of God. Praise is the only way to really breathe." 
 I'd encourage you to read the rest of her post at the link below!



Peace & Abigail

Phil 4:7 “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

There are so many verses in the Bible about peace, yet I didn't always understand or experience it.  I grew up in Romania and had a great childhood…we were poor, but we didn’t know it and nothing terrible ever really happened to our family…no death or real trials (at least from my perspective as a child). In the last few years, God has shown me just how real He is and how awesome this peace of His is!

My husband, Teo, and I wanted kids almost from the beginning. I never thought that anything would go wrong in this department. In the Romanian culture, you’re taught that you get married and have children early on. I took that for granted.  About 4 years into our marriage, I had my first miscarriage around 9 weeks in. It was devastating and really shook my world…made me realize that my plans were not His plans. A few months later, we were overjoyed to be expecting again!  I had a very normal, uneventful pregnancy and anticipating the birth of our baby girl due August of 2006.  In April of 2006, my worst fears came true when I went into preterm labor at 26 weeks along.  I can recall every horrible moment of that night...the panic and emotions, the fear, the understaffed birthing unit that night, pleading with the nurses for help, and the reality that it was too early for her little body to survive outside the womb.  Our little Abigail Marie went to be with Jesus that night!

No words can describe the flood of emotions that followed…anger, confusion, sadness, feeling sorry for myself.  But as I sat in the hospital bed with our daughter next to us, lifeless, a room full of friends and family looking at us, feeling sorry for us, peace came over me even then, though I was in a bit of shock. The days that followed were even harder…planning a funeral service for her was heartbreaking! Every step and detail of the service just broke my heart…shopping for a little outfit for burial, ordering a casket spray, just being at the funeral service…it was like a nightmare I couldn't wake up from.  I felt like this wasn’t real…it wasn’t us walking through this. I never ever imagined that I would bury my little girl and it was the hardest thing I have ever had to do!

What was completely amazing and what I will never forget is how the Lord worked at healing my heart. I had never experienced such peace…EVER. It was completely supernatural and it caught Teo and I by surprise. Even a couple weeks after Abigail’s death, we felt somewhat good emotionally and spiritually. We marveled at how quickly our grieving had subsided and that peace we had really did transcend all understanding. I know it sounds crazy, but we almost felt guilty for not grieving longer. We knew this was not normal...not in our flesh.  But the Holy Spirit was the great comforter…He just brought to my mind all these verses I’d read over the years that would encourage me throughout my days. Jer. 29:11 says, “ For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Romans 8:28 promises “All things work together for the good of those who love Him.”  He also worked through many people, some who we didn't even know, who constantly prayed for us and sent us encouraging messages and for the first time in my life, I saw what the body of Christ looked like and how it is intended to work.  God put such a protective covering around us and surrounded us with such love from everyone around us!

He also began a work in me that I did not anticipate. As I struggled to make sense of all this and just asking “Why?” over and over, I felt the Lord ask me “Do you love me?” And I answered “Yes, Lord, I love You”. And again He asked “How much do you love me? Is your love for me conditional? What if my plans for you are not like yours and you will not have children?” I thought and thought about this and just couldn’t give Him an answer. I had always known that His ways are higher than our ways, but I never came face to face with that. I remembered instantly what I had said when I was younger to one of my friends who asked me what was the worst thing that could ever happen to me, that would shake my faith? And I told her it was not being able to have children.

Through weeks that followed, it seemed like every passage I’d read in the Word addressed this issue of surrendering completely to the Lord. Even the bible studies that I did at the time came to this issue. I was doing a study on Abraham and how the Lord was working in his heart…he came to the point where he trusted the Lord so much that he would sacrifice his son. And then I thought, God knows exactly how I feel…He lost a Son…gave him up willingly for me and my sin...He knows all my pain, my sorrow, and He cares about that. But He also wants to know that I love Him more than anything…with all my heart, my soul, my mind.  I read a book called “Our Jealous God”, in which the author said something interesting.  He said that the Holy Spirit watches the eyes of our hearts like a woman watches the eyes of her husband to see what affections are competing with her. And I knew that this dream of having children was competing with my love for the Lord. Shortly after, in one of our church services, we started singing one of my favorite worship songs, “Blessed Be Your name”. I knew we were coming to the bridge which says “You give and take away, my heart will choose to say, Lord blessed be your name” and I felt as if the Lord was waiting for an answer.  It was the moment where I had to decide: do I believe His Word and trust Him that all things work together for my good or do I believe the lies whispered in my ear that God doesn't love me and this is why He withheld this baby girl from me?  And in that moment, I completely surrendered to the Lord and gave Him my answer by singing the words of this song to Him. I knew without any doubt that I had to choose to bless His name and praise Him through this. Otherwise, I couldn’t move forward and experience His joy.

The Lord has completely changed my life. I have more joy than I’ve ever had, I know the Lord more deeply, Scripture has just come alive in my life, and my perspective is different…it’s more eternal. I’m so excited for what God is going to do in our lives and through us and to one day see the Lord and my babies who are with Him!  The Lord answered our prayer for another baby and we got pregnant again.  Eliana Naomi was born May 21st, 2007. We named her Eliana because it means “God has answered me”.  She’s been pure joy and continues to bless our hearts every day!  In 2009, the Lord blessed us again with our baby boy, Josiah Emanuel!  Josiah means "Fire of the Lord" and Emanuel means "God with us!"  These names are precious reminders to us of the trials we've endured and how our God was with us every heart-wrenching moment!   Lord,  help us to never take them for granted!  We continue to desire to expand our family and choose to trust Him with this area of our lives.  Just this month, we mourned over the passing of another precious baby and experienced a miscarriage at 11 weeks along!  But we know this baby, along with all others, are not lost...they are fully alive with the Lord!

We all have a choice in how we respond to our trials. There is always the temptation to allow our hearts to harden towards God and to let bitterness take up root.  This only leads to depression, sadness, and hopelessness!  There is joy and peace in turning to the Lord for comfort in our grief and there is life...abundant life after death!  If you are going through some storms, just know that the Lord knows your pain and He cares about your pain. Blessings will come out of your situation that you cannot foresee. Just choose to trust Him, to praise Him, to love Him, in every circumstance. Ask Him to fill you with His Holy Spirit and His power to have strength to get through this trusting in Him.  Lamentations 3:21-23 says “Therefore I have hope. Through the Lords mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”



P.S. If you don't know the love of Jesus and the hope He gives and would like to know more about Him, please talk to a Christian friend or visit a local church or message me!  God loves you so much and He desires a relationship with you!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Why blog?

Welcome!  My name is Anamaria Micu! I am first and foremost a daughter of the King, saved by His amazing grace! I am also blessed to be a wife and mom to two precious children!  I started this blog reluctantly to be I do not consider myself a writer nor do I know anything about blogging... but really just wanting to share my story and hoping it can encourage others and bring hope. God has been laying on my heart a desire to encourage others, especially women, who have experienced the loss of a child! However, I hope this blog encourages every broken heart and anyone going through a storm in their life!

If you’ve stumbled across this blog due to the death of a child, my heart breaks for you!  Knowing that heartache full well, I pray for God to wipe your tears, wrap you in His tender, loving arms, and give you His peace that surpasses understanding!  ” I pray that out of His glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:16-21)

I hope you will find hope and encouragement here and a safe place to lay your prayer requests and share your story!  Our stories may be different, but pain is pain!  May God be glorified through all our storms and through everything posted here! Through His strength, we CAN sing through the storms!