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 earth...to 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 punishment...it'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 war...how 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 honest...as 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!