Thursday, July 23, 2015

Guest Blogger; Tammy Gerber + Link Up #5


Today my guest blogger is Tammy Gerber.  She is a great friend & writer who has inspired me for many years in my walk with Jesus.  Join her today as she tells about an event that happened in her life that she will never forget.


Tammy can be contacted through her blog at www.oneraindancer.com 
You can also visit her facebook page at facebook.com/oneraindancer

Waiting For Morning…

October, 2003 - This can't be happening. Am I really riding in the front seat of this ambulance right now? Is my husband really in the back on the stretcher? Did I hear them say they couldn't find his blood pressure? Jesus, it's too much! Where are you? Please don't let him die! I can't handle anymore loss right now. I will not survive it.


My mind flashed quickly back over the previous five months, remembering all the awful details...finally getting pregnant after eight years of trying - the miscarriage at work in the bathroom on Mother's Day - finding out I was pregnant again three months later - losing both twins, one at nine and one at ten weeks - watching my baby drop into the toilet in my bathroom, laying on the bathroom floor and weeping for my children I would never know on this earth - the blank screen during my ultrasound....

That was only two weeks ago, Lord! Now this? My husband is having some bizarre anaphylactic reaction and I'm going to have to watch him die...I can't do this. I cannot do it. My brain was not registering it. My heart was already broken. Panic hit with full force; I felt like I couldn’t breathe. Jesus, HELP ME!

Have you ever had those moments? I call them "Bathroom Floor Moments." I find myself in my bathroom on the floor when devastating grief and pain overcomes me. I don't know why I go there. It feels private, I guess. I feel free to really let my emotions go in the bathroom with the door locked, where only God can hear me. Because of an Epi Pen, my husband survived. But my three babies did not. It all happened in a few short months. When we left the ER that day and my husband was asleep in bed, I laid down on my bathroom floor and sobbed. The tile felt like my heart - cold, hard, dead. The loneliness I felt was oppressive and dark. The loss felt like something I would not bear: the anxiety of the events planted fear deep in my soul.

There are times when the truth we know in our minds from Scripture and from the wisdom of others just cannot seem to penetrate the darkness and despair that surrounds our hearts. I knew Psalm 30:5 says, "Weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning." Sometimes waiting for morning is just too painful. In those awful moments, it feels like morning may never come…

I longed for God to comfort me. If this was His will, then why wasn't He comforting me through it? I did not feel His Presence. The pain and loss felt compounded because I couldn't feel God's comfort in it. I felt alone and abandoned. I didn't want to get out of bed in the mornings and I had no energy to do anything. Prayer and reading my Bible felt hollow and empty (if I did it at all), and God felt far away and uncaring. I knew God's Word was true, but I couldn't see it, couldn't feel it over the pain and hurt of so much loss, and over the death of a dream.

And the questions...so many questions about God's purposes and plans for my life ran through my mind constantly. Why the miscarriages, Lord? After so much heartache and disappointment because of infertility, why would you allow us to lose all three babies? I had thousands of questions. Questions that a good Christian who trusts in a Sovereign God should not have, right...?

We serve a God who is not surprised or taken off guard by anything that happens to us. Does anyone else find that truth to be both comforting and disturbing? God is sovereign…my human brain cannot process this fully. This is where faith must come into the picture…

God used a book I read recently to shed some light on suffering and loss for me. It's called, "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God" by John Piper and Justin Taylor. It is an amazing book: while it is definitely not light reading, it is totally worth digging in to.

The pain that Jesus experienced going to the cross helps me see how deeply He understands and relates to our suffering. In Gethsemane, His sorrow was so deep it was like death (Mathew 26:38). His sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground (Luke 22:44). Jesus cried out to the One who could save Him from death. God heard His cries, but Jesus still died. "God heard His prayers, but rather than save him from pain and death, he chose for Jesus to walk on the road of suffering so that he might receive the greater joy of resurrection." (1)  

I began studying the suffering and death of Jesus. It may sound simple, but it was profound for me to finally get it. Jesus can sympathize with us in our pain. He knows what it feels like to have a broken and crushed heart. He isn’t asking us to go through something he has never experienced. We serve a King who has suffered unimaginable things.


Now that we know what we have—Jesus, this great High Priest with ready access to God—let’s not let it slip through our fingers. We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. – Hebrews 4:15-16 (The Message).

I need to take the mercy, let the grace wash over me. Accept His help and His healing.

Jesus is a King who knows what it feels like to get a “no” from God. He begged for a different way, but God’s answer was no. And so Jesus stepped into the plan, knowing the pain that was coming, trusting His Father. He suffered more than any person in history. Sometimes, God’s answer to us is a very painful “no.” Sometimes, there is an even greater plan that needs carried out, even if we don’t fully understand it. Sometimes, Jesus is asking us to hang on and simply trust Him through the pain (easily said, SO hard to do). We must remember it is not about us. It’s never been about us. It’s always been about Him.

He is there with us every moment, even if we don’t feel Him because of the intensity of the pain. And I don’t know about you, but when I’m hurt, I withdraw and put a wall up around my heart, telling myself I can’t survive getting hurt again. I’m so thankful for God’s endless grace and mercy toward us in times of grief. He never gives up on us, even when we push Him away in anger and hurt. His unexplainable love for us can give us hope and comfort.

Jesus is our hope in a world that often feels hopeless and overwhelming.

God is Holy and loving and powerful. He is merciful and compassionate. He is only good. It’s so hard for us to believe that God is good all of the time when our hearts are broken.

Sometimes I cling to God simply because there is no one else to hold on to. And I believe that is okay. God wants us to know there isn't anyone else like Him to hold on to when we’re in pain. God isn't uncomfortable with our questions, doubts, or even our anger. He is a big God. He can handle it. He still loves us after we ask our questions and share our doubts with Him.

And just a practical tip here: give it time. It takes a lot of time. Keep taking your hurt and questions to God. Ask Him to show you what you need to know to heal, and trust Him with the rest. Look at your wounds instead of burying them. Cry about them. Bring them into the light and let God be God. He wants you to be whole. Be patient with yourself. God gives unending grace. Remember to extend grace to yourself too. Healing is not a fast process. Please don't run from it like I did. This is something I learned the hard way from experience. Trust Him. If you choose to trust, this is where God teaches and restores and heals. This is where miracles happen. He "binds up" the brokenhearted (Isaiah 61:1). He is the Great Physician and He specializes in heart-healing.

I also believe a huge part of the healing process is that God uses your story to help and comfort others. We can love and comfort others by not pretending it isn't that bad or giving a "quick fix" answer. We love others by crying with them, by sitting with them in the silence (our silence is okay!), and by holding their hand. We can bring comfort most when we are changed by what we went through, by what someone else is going through, and when we let ourselves feel and see the depth of other’s pain.

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ. - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
God uses our experiences to help others who are experiencing similar pain. As Beth Moore says, "Only God can turn our misery into ministry." It is redemption to take our pain and our healed wounds and use them to help someone else find healing through Jesus.

This song by Meredith Andrews called, "Not For A Moment," gives me such encouragement and hope. I hope it will for you too.



Jesus, You are our hope when there is no other hope. You not only want us to find victory and healing when we are hurting, but You want us to know You are with us in and during our pain. You are a Savior who has suffered as we suffer. I love Meredith's song that says, "You were singing in the dark, whispering your promise, even when I could not hear. I was held in Your arms, carried for a thousand miles to show, not for a moment did you forsake me." You are our Savior and we love You, Lord. We praise You for the miracle of healing our wounded hearts. And when we are ready, when our morning finally comes, give us the courage to walk with other’s who are still waiting. Amen.



*** I found many helpful and healing Scriptures as I researched this difficult topic. I encourage you to look them up, write them down around your house, and say them out loud. Satan runs away from God's spoken Word.
God's Word heals and it changes hearts.
Here are some of my favorites:
Lamentations 3:22-25
Psalm 46:1-2, 10-11
Isaiah 53:4-5
Hebrews 13:5
Isaiah 43:1-2
Psalm 126:3,5-6
Psalm 27:13-14
Psalm 34:18

Source:
(1) - John Piper and Justin Taylor (2006). “Suffering and the Sovereignty of God”: Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL, pg. 185.

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