My Family

My Family

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Steady my Heart

"I'm not gonna worry, I know that you have got me
right inside the palm of your hand
Each and every moment
What's good and what gets broken
Happens just the way that you plan.

But You're here
You're real
I know I can trust You

Even when it hurts
Even when its hard
Even when it all just falls apart
I will run to you
Cause I know that You are
Lover of my Soul, Healer of my scars
You steady my heart
Kari Jobe "Steady My Heart"

This song brought me a lot of peace and comfort in my early days of healing. It really emphasizes the "trustworthiness' of our God. No matter what we may feel or think during a difficult situation, we know that our God is sovereign and can be trusted to be in control and working all things to our good. This was one of my greatest challenges during my recovery and to this day. My feelings are always changing. There were and are so many days where I didn't necessarily feel the peace and comfort from the Lord, but I went to the scriptures and found God's promises. The more I read about these amazing promises, it was then when the peace and comfort would come. Here are just a few that have encouraged me:

He promises that nothing can separate us from His love ( Romans 8:38-39).
He promises us that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).
He promises us that all things work together for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28).
He promises us that His grace is sufficient for us, and his power is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
He promises to comfort us in our afflictions ( 2 Corinthians 2:3-4)
He promises to be our refuge and strength, our very present help in times of trouble ( Psalm 46:1)

We must cling to these promises in the midst of trials and suffering. We can never trust the way we "feel" about God and His character. The world is always trying to interpret who God is based on circumstances and through their own finite viewpoints. We must look to His Word for truth and hide it in our hearts.

1 Peter 1: 24 says " The grass withers and the flower falls, but the Word of our Lord remains forever".

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Finding Purpose in Pain: A List of Miracles

As I have looked back on my experiences over the past few months, I see a lot of pain and heartache. I felt emotions I never could have imagined. However I also feel so incredibly blessed that I was able to find so many purposes for this pain. So many people experience great tragedies in their lives and never get to see the good that God is creating out of it. This was not true for me. Within hours, while I was still in the emergency room, I could begin to understand that God was going to use this incident for something bigger and greater.

In the beginning, I was astounded by how many miracles happened both physically and spiritually.  I was encouraged by friends to record all of these moments so that I may hold tightly to them on the days it was much harder to trust that things were going to be alright. My journal pages kept filling up as the miracles continued to come. There are still so many days where I must go to these pages for encouragement and a renewal of trust in God. Isaiah 46:9 says " Remember the things I have done in the past; for I alone am God! I am God and there is none like me." 
 I also knew that one day I would share these miracles with others so that they might see the goodness of our Lord as well. Today is that day. Here is how I found purpose in my pain.......

The Physical Miracles

  • I didn't lose consciousness during the assault at all. The doctors asked me numerous times if I was sure of this. They said with the amount of trauma to my head it was a miracle that I stayed conscious, but praise God I did. I believe I wouldn't have survived if I had.
  • I was able to think rationally and plan a way to escape.
  • Both of my hands and arms went through a window during my escape. I should have had some serious and dangerous cuts. Fortunately all I needed were a few stitches in one finger. It could have been so much worse.
  • I was actually able to run away with full capabilities from my attacker. After the attack I couldn't even walk normally for  a week. 
  • Despite all the trauma to my face, the only broken bone I suffered was my nose. The doctors were almost sure that my jaw was broken, however my God's grace it wasn't. 
  • All of my many bruises and wounds were healed in miraculous timing. The nurses told me I wouldn't look "normal" again for at least two weeks. They also had told me that the bruising and swelling would get worse in the next couple days. My bruises NEVER got worse and healed amazingly fast. I was looking normal again within the week. It was definitely supernatural. 
  • I tested negative for HIV and all other diseases. Halelujah!
  • My attacker was apprehended the same day and is in jail now. Fortunately the other girl he attacked wasn't harmed and was reunited with her family.
  • I was able to give a clear testimony to the police and identify my attacker correctly. 
The Spiritual Miracles/ Purposes
  • During my attack, God gave me such a boldness to share Jesus love with the man in spite of his abuse.
  • Also during the attack, I felt the presence of God with me like I have never felt before. A peace washed over me and even allowed me to sing praises in the midst of it all. 
  • The entire day in the emergency room I felt so much strength and peace. I was able to share the Gospel to all of the staff that were working on me. 
  • Dan and I both felt forgiveness for my attacker right away. There was never a feeling of vengeance of hatred that came over us for this man. This can only come from the Holy Spirit.
  • So many of my friends who don't follow Jesus heard the gospel message through this and some have responded with a desire to know more. 
  • The body of Christ united around us. People from all across the world came to our aid with letters, cards, gifts, flowers, and most importantly prayers. I have never felt so blessed by the outpouring of love upon us. 
  • My marriage has been strengthened as Dan and I are learning more about our love for each other and God through this. 
  • I have been receiving Biblical counseling each week and its been an amazing journey of growing in my faith and in reading the scriptures. 

These are just some of the many blessings that Dan and I have experienced. We hold to these things when doubt clouds our view so that we may trust in our Almighty sovereign King. 

Friday, 14 December 2012

Joy

Psalm 30:11-12 says "You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing. You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothes me with joy, that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.
James 1:2 says "Consider it pure Joy, my brothers and sister when you face trials of various kinds.

Pain. Suffering. Tragedy. Fear. Disappointment. Heartache. and......Joy?  Can these words go together? How can joy come out of pain? How can someone rejoice in the midst of tragedy? How can someone suffer yet sing forth praise?  Before September 8, 2012 I had heard of many stories of people living out these biblical concepts in their lives, yet my own life was full of goodness, grace and blessings.. My experiences were limited. The pain I had suffered was small in comparison to others. I trusted and loved God, but found it easy to do so because adversity had never truly come my way. I found myself in late August on my knees crying out to God asking Him if my faith was genuine. "What if I experienced great loss? Would I still praise you, Lord?? I prayed that He would show me if my faith was real.  Would you consider me worthy to suffer for your name?, I asked.

I had no idea what was to come just a couple weeks later. On September 8, 2012 I was brutally attacked and assaulted in our apartment complex. I barely escaped and survived this ordeal........... Pain. Suffering. Tragedy. Fear. Disappointment. Heartache. These words were spoken all around me, and yes I felt them as well. They were real and powerful. However, like I've never known before , the grace and peace of our great God came just as real and just as powerful.

It has been three months since this incident and through the passing time it feels as though each day I am learning and growing in my faith. God is continuously teaching me new attributes of His character and showing me how He can take something intended for evil and redeem it for good.

I now have a story to tell and I am compelled to share it with others, if only for them to turn and praise God in return. My desire is to encourage others with this story and the things that I am learning. I want to answer the questions I asked above. Yes, Joy can come out of pain. Yes, someone can rejoice in the midst of tragedy. and yes, someone can suffer yet sing forth praise. I know this to be true and I know this not to be easy.
I have been and continue to be on a journey recovering and healing from this event. It is not behind me.  Its a daily battle to choose to rejoice and not despair. Honestly, I don't always win that battle, but with God's grace I can grow in wisdom and strength. I am excited to share my journey with you.