Live Simply

Journey of faith, fitness, family, fashion, and fun

Archive for the tag “faith”

Pets With Anxiety and Stress Issues


IMG_0040

Meet Alaska. She joined the Turner family back in March 2013. She was a cute puppy and loved to play. She loved getting into things as puppies normally do. She loved playing with the other dogs and being outside. She loved to be loved on.

She grew up. She still enjoys to play, love on her family, and be loved on by her family. She makes a great snuggle buddy, and she loves to take rides in the car. She has a deep love for her family, and she is very protective of her family too. And as a bonus, she likes to chase chickens in her spare time (that story is for another day). Ha!

She also suffers from anxiety and stress. She stresses easily with change. She likes order. She isn’t sure of people she doesn’t know. She doesn’t like loud noises or tense environments. This is something we, as her family, have had to adjust to. If you are a fellow owner of a pet with anxiety and stress issues, you understand what I am saying here. And for those of you who haven’t had the experience of owning a pet with these issues, I know it can be hard to understand. I want to help you understand what it is like for the owners of pets with these issues.

Here are just a few things that we experience on a daily basis:

1. People leaving and coming to our house is a traumatic experience for Alaska. Let me explain this a bit. She doesn’t necessarily fall over in convulsions when we leave the house or if we have a guest over and they leave. She does whine and cry, and she gives us her best “sad face,” but her anxiety and stress comes when we come back to the house or if a guest comes over to the house. We have to take special precautions to help make this transition less stressful for her. How? For starters we have to put our husky in another room. For some crazy reason it causes tension between the two. Maybe because they are both big dogs and both female. I really don’t know. Secondly, we have to talk to Alaska calmly. This is almost as if you were talking to a baby. I know it sounds crazy, but it works. Lastly, if all the dogs are contained when we come home, she has to be let out first. If you let any other dog out before letting her out, her anxiety level rises.

2. Classical music is her favorite genre of music. Yes, dogs can have favorite music genres. In the mornings I like to play it after my workout, so that it sets a calming environment.

3. If Alaska wants your attention, she doesn’t want you to share it with her fellow dog pack. Asking the whole crew to come over for some attention simply isn’t a wise choice. This stresses her out.

A few other tidbits: small spaces send her stressing, loud noises cause stress, if she feels overcrowded she will stress, unannounced visitors stress her, new people cause anxiety for her.

I know some of this sounds strange and just plain ridiculous. I get that. There are many days where I think, “Are you serious?” I love my girl though, and I know that this is something she probably gets frustrated with as well. Just like humans can have anxiety disorders and stress problems, animals can have these same issues. As their owners we just have to learn how to help them with these issues.

I have thought to put Alaska on some vet prescribed anxiety medication, but I really would prefer to treat it as naturally as possible. Then there’s the whole taking her to the vet thing. You see my dilemma?

Just a few words of advice to those of you who do not have pets with anxiety and stress issues:

1. Please be as understanding as possible when it comes to other pet owners who do have animals with these issues.

2. Please call ahead before visiting friends or family who own pets with anxiety and stress issues. Your friends and family will thank you.

3. Please do not take it lightly when a friend or family member shares that their pet has these issues. It’s a struggle for both the owner and the pet, and the struggle is real my friends. The struggle is real.

4. Pray for your friend or family member, as well as the pet. Prayer is a powerful tool. Just as I would covet your prayers for me and my family, I would also covet your prayers for my pets. Call me crazy if you want, it’s ok.

I know this isn’t my typical post, but it was on my heart to share. Animals are living creatures who struggle with things just like we struggle with things. They are part of God’s creation that He has asked us to care for on a daily basis. Let’s do our best to care for these babies in the best possible way.

Does your pet struggle with anxiety and stress issues? How do you help them cope with it?

Alaska’s Advocate,
Jac

The Year of Victory


Year of Victory

Today is January 1st, 2015. The beginning of not only a new day, but also a new year. A chance to start fresh. An opportunity to improve. A chance to invest in growth. An opportunity to be better than last year. Most importantly, an opportunity to lose yourself in Jesus Christ.

A friend of mine posted on social media a few days that each year she prays for God to give her a word for the year. After she shared her word and her thoughts, she asked for other people to share their word. My word for this new year is “VICTORY.”

I feel God impressing upon me that this is the year of victory. This is year that defeat will not be an option. The only option is being victorious. With that comes responsibility on my behalf though, and yours too should you choose to pursue the year of victory.

Courageous.

Bold.

Fearless.

Adventurous.

Faithful.

Devoted.

Secure.

Relentless.

Hopeful.

Loving.

These are just a few words that come to mind as I think on what a year of victory looks like. I believe that this is year of victory not only for me, but for you as well dear friend. I believe that marriages will have the victory. I believe that relationships with children will be victorious. I believe that there will be victory in finances, in businesses, in health, in faith, and in all areas of life.

Scripture says, “No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” (Romans 8:37, NLT)

We have the victory through Christ. We have already won through Jesus. We have the ability to be courageous, bold, fearless, relentless, hopeful, loving, secure, devoted, faithful, and adventurous through Him.

I pray that this will be the year of victory for you too, my sweet friend. God has amazing things in store for this year. I can feel in my spirit. I can’t wait to see all the amazing things He has in store for you and for me.

Victorious in Christ,
Jaclyn

Confessions and Questions of a Pastor’s Wife


only king forever

Lately I have been feeling as if there is something more to what we call worship. There is something more than what we stuff inside of our Sunday morning box. There is something more than traditions that have been passed on from generation to generation. There is something more than what a certain denomination instructs us.

I am part of the United Methodist Church, and I was born and raised in a traditional United Methodist Church. It’s all I really know in regards to denominations. I was baptized as an infant, brought up in the children’s and youth ministries, and even worked as a Youth Minister in my hometown United Methodist Church before marrying and moving from that town. I am still connected with the United Methodist Church, but am now part of a contemporary UMC.

I share all of that to say, that lately I have been feeling a suffocated in this denomination. Not at all in my faith, just in the boundaries of this particular denomination. I feel as if somewhere along the way tradition, handbooks, and old mindsets have put it at sort of a standstill. It has become stiff. It leaves me searching for the life, the passion, the complete surrendered worship of Jesus.

Have we become so concerned with the way things have always been done, the business side of things, and handbooks that we have failed to be a holy and set apart people who have hearts that are bursting with worship of our Lord and Savior? Have we become a people more concerned with titles, roles, and committees that we have neglected the very reason the church exists? What happened to focusing on Jesus more than focusing on whose permission is needed to approve changes in the building? What purpose does a church bulletin serve in the actual worship of God? Does having a certain title or holding a certain position make our faith stronger? Do any of these things make me “Christian?”

My questions could go on and on, but that would probably take up a lot of space and therefore turn this blog post into a novel. My point in all of this is to say that my heart is yearning to just worship Jesus with no limits. I don’t want to be a stiff follower of Jesus. I want to be a WILD one! Yes, you read that correctly. I want my worship to be wild just like His love for me. I want to focus more on developing and growing my relationship with Jesus than on creating another committee. I want people to see Jesus shining through me.

My feelings can’t all be put into words at this moment, but I know that God is stirring my heart in this matter. He is calling me to more. He is calling all of us to more. We should want more.

I’m on an Adventure


I have had some moments lately. Moments where I want to ask Jesus to step aside and let me handle the situation. Moments where I have wanted to put on my boxing gloves and ask to be put in the ring. Moments where I wanted to say, “Hang on a minute. Let me take my earrings off,” and push up my sleeves prepared to fight.

Yes, all 5 foot 2 inches (go with me here, my drivers license informs me I am actually this tall) me can be a bit of a spit-fire. I have it in me to stand as tall as I can and try to take on whatever it is that is coming against me or my family. Speak with my brother or parents and they will tell you Jac is feisty and fierce when backed into a corner.

But I have also been reminded that it’s not my place to take things into my own hands. I am not supposed to handle the situation on my own. I don’t have to snatch my earrings out and push my sleeves up. My God has it all under control.

As a pastor and a pastor’s wife this can be difficult to do at times. Trusting God to take care of it all can be difficult period because our flesh wants control of it all. But in ministry, letting it go and trusting that God has a plan and a purpose even during the difficult valleys can be challenging. That sounds crazy I know. I mean, I am in ministry. What could possibly go wrong or be difficult about walking in the calling God has given you? Dude, it’s intense. Ministry is not for the weak at heart. It is not all gummy bears, rainbows, and butterflies. Sure Noah received a dove, but only after 40 days and 40 nights of what I am guessing felt like a nightmare.

I get asked about my thoughts on being a pastor and being a pastor’s wife, as well as what it is like planting/starting a church. All of these are exciting and scary all at the same time. God has called Brian and I into an adventure with Him. And it’s an adventure that can be what feels like a nightmare at times and an adventure that feels like the sweetest dream. But either way it is exactly what God has called us to. I will stand by my husband as he walks in obedience with God and what God is leading him to do. I will walk in obedience to what God leads me to do. I will choose the adventure over pleasing everybody else. I will choose Jesus over having everyone like me. I will choose Jesus over skipping over the difficult times.

This is what I have to remind myself of when I have my “moments.” You see, if I allowed every little bump in the road to sway me one way or the other, how could I truly follow Jesus? How could I walk in obedience with Him if I allow my ears to be tickled by everything? I couldn’t, and I don’t want to risk not walking in obedience with Him.

I won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. I won’t be the most popular person amongst certain circles. I won’t always be thought highly of. And I am choosing to be ok with that. Why? Because I am always Jesus’ cup of tea. He always loves me and values me. And He has called me to the front lines to help spread His Kingdom. And that is what I plan to do.

Joshua-1-9

God Is Close to the Brokenhearted


Image

 

This morning as I was driving in my car I had Jesus Culture playing. I usually have some worship album playing in the morning to set the tone for the day. And Jesus Culture is one of my favorite worship bands. The song playing as I drove was “Heaven is Here,” and the words seemed to just be a bit louder this morning. They seemed to stick a bit more than any of the other times I have listened to this song.

Here are the lyrics:

We won’t stop crying out to Him
Cause He hears us everytime
Yeah He hears us everytime

We won’t stop pouring out our love to Him
Cause He loves us everytime
Yeah He loves us everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

We won’t stop going out to Him
Cause He meets us everytime
Yeah He meets us everytime

We won’t stop living only for Him
Cause He’s faithful everytime
Yeah He’s faithful everytime

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to God
Shake up eternal signs

Cause heaven is hear now
He’s all around us
Heaven is Jesus
It’s the moment we meet

Wake up, the normal life
You can do what ever You want to
Shake up eternal signs
Because we want you 

These words really were echoing in my head, “We won’t stop crying out to Him cause He hears us every time…We won’t stop pouring out our love for Him, cause He loves us every time…We won’t stop going out to Him, cause He meets us every time…We won’t stop living only for Him, cause He’s faithful every time.”

This morning my heart was breaking, as it is another month of not being pregnant (if you haven’t followed my journey up till now, check out my past posts in regards to infertility and my faith). Another month of feeling defeated and crushed. Another month of feeling as if the enemy was doing a victory dance on top of my head and laughing the whole time, as I sobbed on the inside and then began sobbing on the outside.

BUT GOD. God knew all of this even before I woke this morning. He knew how my heart would break. He knew the defeat I would feel. He knew the lies the enemy would feed me. And He knew He would be there for me no matter how crushed I was. And He chose to speak to me through a song. He chose to remind me of His faithfulness, His love, His strength, and His hope. He wrapped His arms around me as my mind began whirling in a hundred different directions. As the questions began coming like a freight train. As insecurity and doubt began creeping in. As the enemy began throwing his fiery darts at me, my God became my shield and my fortress and my comfort. As He ALWAYS is.

Once the song ended and another song began to play, I felt the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “Choose joy.” I sat in my car and began saying that to myself…”Choose joy, Jaclyn. Choose joy.” I firmly believe that one of the enemy’s biggest weapons against us is our own feelings. He was trying his best to get me to sink into a dark place this morning, and just like the faithful Father that He is, God showed up and began speaking life into me.

Am I still brokenhearted that I have no celebratory news of a little Turner this month? Yes, but I know that my God “heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3) and “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 34:18). So I can keep crying out to Him, because I know He DOES hear me every time. I can continue pouring out my love for Him, because He DOES love me every time. I can go out to Him, because He WILL meet me every time. And I can continue living only for Him, because He is FOREVER faithful. The enemy is a liar. My God is my everything, and I will praise Him despite my feelings. I will praise Him even if I have questions. I will praise Him simply because He is The Great I Am, and I know He loves me more than I can ever fully understand.

My friend, I have no idea what you may be experiencing or what lies the enemy might be telling you, but what I do know that God will never fail you. He will always be there for you, and He will always be your shield. Drive into Him even if you don’t understand. Drive into Him even if you can’t feel Him. Drive into Him even if you can’t see Him. He is there. I promise you that.

More Than Just a Name Tag


Image 

This morning as I was driving in my car and listening to my new favorite worship album (ONE “A Worship Collective” We Believe Live…isn’t that a mouthful), I found myself in conversation with God. I just begin praying to Him (don’t worry my eyes were open…yep, you can still pray with your eyes open *gasp*). My heart was burdened for the lost. My heart was heavy and breaking this morning over the ones who have yet come to know Jesus personally. 

Yesterday I preached about 1. Receive Jesus as King. 2. Feel as Jesus Feels. 3. Share Jesus. And the second one really has stuck with me. You see as Jesus neared Jerusalem we read these words in Luke 19:41: 

                                             “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it.” 

The Greek word that is translated today in our Bibles as “wept,” doesn’t just refer to a simple tear streaming down the cheek of Jesus. No, it means a gut-wrenching sob. So Jesus was was sobbing, possibly uncontrollably, over the city of Jerusalem and the people of Jerusalem. Why? Because He could see the lost. He could see the outcome of those who didn’t receive Him as King. A life without Jesus is a purposeless life that will lead only to death. Jesus saw that and it broke His heart. 

So I found myself burdened with this thought this morning. The thought of a life without Jesus. Not only for myself, but everyone. As many curve balls life can throw, I wouldn’t want to do life without Jesus. I can’t imagine it. 

I began thinking about how some people say they want Jesus and want to have a relationship with Him, but yet their life reflects an entirely different choice. They wear the “Hello my name is ‘Christian'” name tag and that is about it. They wear the name tag by going to church on Sunday, but do nothing with the message they heard from the pastor. They wear the name tag by owning a Bible, yet they never read it. They wear the name tag by professing that they are a Christian and believe in Jesus, yet they wallow in sin daily. 

This breaks my heart. Now, please hear my heart in all of this. I am in no means trying to put myself up on a pedestal as some “holier than thou” Christian. I am not that at all. I have had wallowed in my own sin mess. I have days when I am not the best expression of Christ. I say things that I shouldn’t. I get angry when I shouldn’t. I find it hard to forgive at times. But I recognize these things, and I press into God because without Him I am nothing. Without Jesus, I would be a hot mess. Without Jesus I wouldn’t stand a chance against sin…it would consume me. 

                         “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:22

            “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

I don’t want to just sport a name tag that says I am a Christian. I want my life to show that Christ lives in me, and that He is received as King in my life. And I want that for everyone. There is no greater joy than that of having a relationship with Jesus. There is nothing in this world, no amount of drugs, sex, alcohol, pornography, foul language, material possessions, and anything else this world offers, that can compare to having Jesus Christ as your Lord, Savior, and King. 

I pray that as you go throughout this day that you would allow the Holy Spirit to stir within you. Allow Him to move in your life. Let Him purge you of everything that is not of Him, so that He can fill you with everything that is of Him. I pray that you can’t imagine going through life without Jesus. My friends, He will totally change your life for the better. I promise you that.

Grace & Peace, Jac

Peace I Leave You…Do Not Let Your Hearts Be Troubled


Image

There has been some crazy weather happening lately. I mean, one day it is snowing in East Alabama and the next day it is 75 degrees. It’s enough to make you ask, “What the mess is up any way?” And on top of the crazy weather there are other saddening and heart-breaking events occurring all over. It really is hard to turn on the news and hear anything good. I know. I get it. I understand, and feel ya on that one. And with all of these crazy and sad things going on, I have noticed a lot of social media posts and blog posts turning our attention to the end of times. Let me just go ahead and let you know that this post is going to be different. It isn’t like the other posts floating around out there. But it will have some similarities…I suppose. 

I am a follower of Christ. I believe in Him, know Him as my Lord and Savior, and love Him more than I can put into words. I am forever thankful for His great love, mercy, and grace that He has extended and shown to me. I do believe He will come to restore the earth and all of creation, and I believe it could happen at any time. Where I differ in most of the other posts is that I don’t go all, “Hide yo kids! Hide yo wife! Stock the pantry and stop what you are doing because it’s the end of the world as we know it.” Yea, I haven’t jumped aboard that bandwagon. I was brought up in a Christian household where we went to church every Sunday. My Mom had a story about Jesus for everything. And I read the book of Revelation during worship service almost every Sunday (yea, I had a fascination with that book of the Bible). I have been made aware of Jesus’ return and that it could happen at any time, and I should always be prepared. But I wasn’t told to go into panic mode and focus only on the end of times. 

I can remember my Mom saying, “I think Jesus wants me to live for Him every day, and if I am only focused on His return then how can I make sure that I am being Christ to those around me.” Yes, we should always be aware and be ready, but I don’t think that it should be our sole focus. If I begin trying to interpret every event and happening and running around like Chicken Little, then I stop showing love, being love, and doing all of the other things Jesus laid out for me to do in scripture. And I am also one who steers clear of books, people, and teachings that claim to know when, where, and how about Jesus’ return. Why? Well, because I am a firm believer that if God didn’t disclose this to His Son, He isn’t going to disclose it to Billy Bob. 

Please do not think I am discrediting the return of Jesus, because I am not. I believe He is coming. I believe it will be soon. But I don’t want to play the role of interpreter and predictor. I want to just be the disciple of Jesus that He has called me to be, and to make sure that I am doing everything possible to point people to Him. 

Be blessed friends. 

Grace & Peace, Jac

Trusting in Him


Today I find myself thinking on this journey of infertility yet again. Seriously, it’s very consuming. Even when I try not to think about it, somehow my mind goes right to it. I see a post on Facebook of someone announcing their pregnant, or sharing a photo of their precious baby. I see a woman loving on her baby out in town as she runs errands. Someone asks me a question in regards to how things are going, or “do you want any more kids?” (because they don’t realize the journey I am on). Yep, it pretty much consumes my thoughts. 

Charts. Tracking. Articles. New research. Hoops. Hoops. Hoops. And more hoops. 

I feel like a flipping science project some days, and on other days I feel like a complete failure in this area, and then some days I am full of hope. Anyone walking this journey (or that has walked this journey) can completely understand the wild roller coaster of emotions. And just when you think you have a handle on our emotions, you flip out or melt down just like that. Hello crazy! 

I am not sure why some people get pregnant by just thinking about it, while other people can’t seem to get pregnant no matter what they do. It just doesn’t seem fair. Not at all. Yes, I catch myself going down this road every now and then. Just let me be real with you. It’s not pretty. I really don’t want to have the urge to scream at the young single girl who keeps popping kids out left and right. But the truth is, I do. I really do. I feel like Paul when he wrote in Romans 7, “And I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. I want to do what is right, but I can’t. I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.” (Romans 7:18-19, NLT) A bit of a battle within. And it is just that…a battle. A spiritual battle. A physical battle. A mental battle. An emotional battle. A battle in every way. 

Today I am thinking on how much I hate this journey. Seriously HATE it. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone. I am thinking on the fact that I have been pregnant before, and I have a beautiful daughter from that pregnancy (and she is such a blessing). I am wondering why I am dealing with this since I have been pregnant before. Why is it that those who aren’t trying to get pregnant are plastering their “Ooops, it just happened,” statuses and pictures for those of us who would love an “oops, it just happened” to see? Why is it so difficult for those of us who genuinely want a child, to even have our desired child? Why/ Why? Why? My mind is spinning in all directions. 

Then I also am thinking on that even though I feel like my God has forsaken me and turned a deaf ear to my heart’s cries, I know He hasn’t. Even though I have told Him that I am angry with Him and don’t understand, He holds me in His arms and tells me how much He loves me. He holds my hand every step of the way on this journey, and when I feel like I can’t take another step, He carries me. He always carries me and holds me in His hands. 

Oh how I wish I had the magic formula to make all of this better. I so wish I could snap my fingers and find that infertility is just a horrible nightmare and not even real. But I can’t. I’m not God. But He is. And I have to trust Him no matter what. I have to cling to Him even when I feel like letting go. I have to press into Him even when I feel like He isn’t there. Why? Because deep down I know that my God is faithful, loving, merciful, gracious, and full of life. He can turn my darkness into light. He can take my mess and create a masterpiece. 

I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good, and because of that I will trust in Him. He is my living hope.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pcmUYDU-2DY/>Trusting in Him, Jac

Image

Marriage is Far More Valuable than a Piece of Paper


I saw something yesterday that disturbed me, while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed. It was one of those premade quote pictures, and it stated something along the lines about how marriage is just a piece of paper and all you really need is love. Well, a relationship that has a good love going on is great. Nobody wants a relationship that is loveless. But to go as far as to say that marriage is just a piece of paper, well, I have to put the brakes on that one. It makes me kind of sick to my stomach to think that someone has created such a cheap view of marriage.

If you have ever read any of my blog posts then it shouldn’t come as a surprise to you that I am a Christian. Yes, my faith forms my belief of marriage and shapes how I view it. And yes, I am divorced, so let’s not start trying to throw that rock around (I remarried, by the way). I realize that some of you may not share in my opinion, and I won’t think any less of you for that. But for me marriage is something that should be held to a very high standard. Our society has cheapened it and made us believe that it is far less valuable than what it really is.

God designed marriage. Therefore, I believe, if God designed it then it must be important. It must be much more than just a piece of paper. And if I am to walk with Christ than I must value it more than I would a piece of paper I wrote on. And even further, if I am to walk with Christ I must value my own marriage to the point where I take my vows seriously. I must honor my husband, love him, submit to him (oh yea, I went there….but not in the “I’m his dog” kind of way), cherish him, forgive him, share in his burdens, share in his celebrations, and so on. If I get mad at him over something, I don’t need get my pants in a wad and tell him that our marriage is just a piece of paper and means nothing. I don’t need plan out a divorce plan just because he doesn’t share the same opinions as I do. I don’t need to teach our children that marriage is nothing more than a piece of paper.

Nope, I am in for better or worse. I am in for the long haul. Yep, Brian isn’t getting rid of me. Ha! I don’t want to treat our marriage cheaply. I don’t want either of us viewing our marriage as merely something written down on a piece of paper. I want us both to see how sacred our marriage is. Yes, marriage is SACRED. God holds marriage very highly, and that is how I want to see it too. Look, let me just go ahead and tell you that I am beyond crazy about my husband and love him more than I could put into words. I couldn’t imagine not being married to this man. Maybe that is why I see our marriage as more than just a piece of paper.

I want our children to grow up and have spouses who love the Lord and hold marriage as sacred as it should be held. If I want that for them, then I have to lead by example now. I know I will probably step on some toes here and cause some of you to block me or unfriend me. That’s cool. Blessings to you friend. But I need to share what I feel isn’t said enough when it comes to marriage and relationships. If you are a Christian, then you can’t have a live in boyfriend or a live in girlfriend. If you are a Christian, you can’t divorce your husband or your wife just because you don’t feel like being married any more. If you are a Christian marriage is held to be highly sacred and something you don’t treat cheaply.

I know I have done a lot of rambling and it probably feels like I have been on my soapbox FOREVER, so I won’t keep you much longer. But if you are still reading this, I want you to know that you are treasured and loved child of God. He loves you with an incredible love, and He wants the best for you. That is why He has created marriage to be so sacred. He knows that divorce, adultery, sleeping around, and “shacking up” aren’t the best, and that is why He has given us guidance in these things. Is there grace? Absolutely. God is a God of second chances, so you can always come back. He will always wrap you in His arms and offer you His grace and mercy. But in order to receive His grace and that second chance, we must first walk away from what led us in the opposite direction. Then we must humbly come to Him in repentance and ask Him to show us the way.

So they are no longer two, but  one. Therefore, what God has joined together, let man not separate. ~Matthew 19:6, NIV

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. ~Ephesians 5:31, NIV

Grace & Peace, Jaclyn

Faith in the Raw


Image
T
his quote sums it up almost perfectly for me. No matter how many times I have told myself, “I will just give up. This is too hard,” I can’t throw in the towel. My desire to have a baby with my husband isn’t a desire like walking into Kohl’s and seeing that beautiful Vera Wang handbag that I would love to have. It’s a desire that goes much deeper, and one that can’t fully be expressed in words. So, here I am. Another month. Another cycle. Part of me wants to throw in the towel and just say, “Screw it!” The other part of me says, “You can’t give up. You want this child. Have faith.” 

Faith. You would think that as a Pastor’s Wife and Christian I wouldn’t struggle with faith, right? Wrong. I struggle with having faith just like anyone else struggles with it. There are times when I have incredible faith, and then there are times when it is difficult to even have the faith the size of a mustard seed. Today is one of those days. It’s been over 3 years and nothing has changed. I have no answers as to why my body isn’t conceiving our desired child. No magic tricks to share that got us success. No babies to even speak of. Just the same charted cycle month after month after month. The same “negative” pregnancy tests. The same ovulation predictor kits letting me know that there is nothing wrong in that department. Just the same. 

This morning I read from Hebrews 11, and verse 11 struck me. 

“Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word.” Hebrews 11:11, Amplified Bible

 

It is sort of obvious as to why this verse would stick out to me, right? I know. And then again this verse also had me telling God, “Please Lord, please don’t let me have to wait till I am as old as Sarah before I receive my child of promise.” Seriously, this is a concern of mine. I have shared it on numerous occasions with my husband. I want that “physical power” that Sarah received. I want her faith. But wait, didn’t she laugh first? Didn’t she think it to be a joke? Yes, she did. So, then where was her faith? Maybe it was in the fact that in the back of her mind she continued to cling to her desire, and when God shared that she and Abraham would have their child of promise she clung even tighter to that desire and hope. She may have been laughing on the outside, but maybe in the depths of her soul she was shouting, “Yes, Lord! Yes! I believe it! I receive it!” Maybe. Just maybe. 

I can share from my own experience that even though my husband and I have three children between us, the desire to have a child together is strong. Our desire to have this precious child doesn’t mean that we don’t love the three children we have now. Our child of promise is wanted. It is already loved. It is prayed for. My soul yearns for this precious child. My heart longs for Ada and/or Liam (maybe the Lord will choose to bless us with just one, or maybe He will bless us with both). 

So even though part of me is screaming, “Screw this! I am done! I have had enough of this emotional roller coaster. I am sick of the same crap every month. I am tired of seeing pregnancy announcements, birth announcements, gender reveals, and the likes plastered all over my social networks, all while I am over hearing dying inside. I have had enough of it!,” I can’t ignore the other part of me. The other part that whispers, “Don’t give up Jaclyn. It’s not a lost cause. Your pain will turn into joy soon.” And it might sound weird and crazy to some of you, but even though there are times when I am so mad at God and want to scream at Him over this pain, He is where I find the greatest comfort. I can do nothing apart from Him. I am afraid of the dark pit I might find myself in if I let go of Him for even one second. So I cling tighter to Him. I rest in Him. I bury my sobbing heart in Him. And I allow Him to hold me while I break into a million pieces. And He lets me. There is no other place that makes sense for me to be than in His arms. It is the only place that makes sense. 

I will continue to press on in faith even on the days where my faith isn’t even the size of a mustard seed. Why? Because I know my God is greater than any pain I might have. He is bigger than any doubt. He is more powerful than any disappointment and discouragement I might face. He is my God who loves and adores me no matter what. He is making a way even if I can’t see it. And He is forever faithful. The enemy will not have the victory because I am the precious daughter of the Most High God, and in Him is where I find my strength, hope, and faith. 

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: