Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Jesus Stopped

Two weeks ago, I left the prenatal specialist’s office, broken. The technician and the doctor performing the echo cardiogram on our unborn baby girl both found a hole in the lower region of her heart. The doctor was very clear that the hole would not fix itself and we would need to see a cardiac specialist to go over details and make arrangements. Emmy Faith would have heart surgery only weeks after her birth.

I shared that when I came home that night, God gave me two Bible verses straight from His divine word. The first was Matthew 15:28

“And Jesus answered, ‘Woman, your faith is great!’ And her daughter was healed that very hour.”

Before we left yesterday morning for the meeting with the heart specialist, I read an article about miracles. The author talked about the blind man calling out to Jesus as He passed. Even the blind man could see what so many couldn’t - that the ultimate Healer was passing him by. When Jesus heard the man’s cry, He stopped. I love that. He stopped. He could have stopped to heal countless on His way throughout the town, but He stopped to open the eyes of the beggar when He heard the faith in his pleas above the noise of the crowds.

These last two weeks have been a beautiful struggle for Matt and I as we have learned to walk from knowing God can work a miracle to believing that He will. It’s been such a journey to find the joy in the trial as we feel His love and compassion for us. My precious husband has learned to pray in a way he had refused to until now, as he tried for years to keep up a wall for defense. I’ve watched as that wall has crumbled a little more each morning after his prayer walk. And I found that I had to put my faith on the line for the first time, knowing what I heard and believing, even through the doubt that I could be wrong. When I surrendered to His voice, I grew in confidence and boldness.

Matt and I both walked into that office yesterday certain that not only could Jesus show us a miracle, but that He would.

For two hours, the cardiac specialist searched for the defect the others had seen. He checked the atrium, ventricles, arches, vessels, arteries, size, rhythm, and rate. All he saw was a perfectly created heart. There will be no heart surgery. No special OB to deliver her, no planning for an additional hospital stay, no separation while she recovers, no worries about how to dress her wound, no prayers in the waiting room as they work on her tiny body.

Just our miracle.

God still perform miracles today because He hasn’t changed since the beginning of creation. We have so many examples to lean on in the Bible. So many instances of miracles happen all around us even now, even though the world tries desperately to say they are chance, coincidence, or some cosmic fluke. But I know full well that our God is the God that heals - He healed Emmy Faith's heart on November 4th, just a little after 8:00 pm.

He can work any miracle. He can work your miracle. He can bring home wayward children, open wombs, provide jobs, bring home loved ones, mend relationships, comfort those in sorrow, cure addictions, bind Satan, and shatter depression. Cry out to Him, even if your eyes fail to see Him.


And He’ll stop.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Healing Broken Hearts

When we’re neck deep in our worst case scenario, the water lapping at our chins makes it difficult to keep from flailing our arms in panic.

Those waves washed over us yesterday afternoon, and I felt like I was drowning.

The technician did the echo cardiogram on the baby and then left for the doctor to review the results. We waited for nearly an hour, and in that time, I talked with my Jesus. I begged Him for good news, I begged Him to show us that our child is healthy, and I heard Him speak over my heart in the shout of His inaudible whisper…

Don’t listen to him. Don’t listen to what he has to say.

I knew He was telling me not to believe what the doctor was about to tell us. And that meant we were about to receive bad news.

After the torturous wait, the doctor came in and pointed out several Down Syndrome markers to prove that the test I had initially taken was accurate. And he told us that our baby has a hole in her heart, one that won’t correct itself. He continued as a matter of fact that our daughter will have to have heart surgery very shortly after birth.

And the water smacked my face while I tried to catch my breath.

We left the office with the names of a pediatric cardiologist/surgeon and a OB specialist who will have to deliver. My rock-solid husband pointed out the miracles we did see - like a pinky bone that wasn’t there six weeks ago, and a thinning nuchal membrane - both of which we prayed for and received. But I continued to flail.

When we finally arrived home last night, I didn’t research heart surgery on newborns, or Down Syndrome markers. I typed in the definition of “faith”. Strangely enough, I didn’t get it the way I thought I would. Instead, God led me to a screen where He spoke just as loudly to me as He had in the exam room of the doctor’s office. This is the first verse I read…

“Then Jesus answered, ‘Woman, you have great faith! Your request is granted.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour.” Matthew 15:28

I quit flailing. The next verse I read…

“So that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” I Corinthians 2:5

And I found peace. I also found my definition of faith…

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of things we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

This morning God woke me with the lyrics of a song in my head, like He usually does. But this song was upbeat and it confused me. Then I tossed the words over and over in my mind.

“I love the way you hold me. You have my heart.”

It was only when I quit panicking that God was able to snatch me from the depths and hold me safely in the crook of His arm.

Oh, God, as You hold me tightly I can hug Your neck and tell you with certainty that You have my whole heart.

And, praise You, Jesus! I can sink into You and find rest, knowing that You jealously and fiercely, have Emmy Faith’s heart, too.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Facing Your Fear

God speaks to me so much more than I'm usually willing to listen, but this past week, He's really gotten in my face. And I love Him for it.

Tomorrow we go, once again, to the prenatal specialist. Baby girl will have an echo cardiogram on her heart, and after all the bad, horrible, and worse news we've received, I simply don't want to go. As of last week, I was ready to cancel my appointment because living in denial has gotten so much easier than living in reality.

But then the same Bible verse started continually showing up - in Youth with Rhyan, multiple days in my Bible study, on my Bible app, leafing through the scriptures - when I would least expect it, it would be before my eyes. 

"For God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Tim 1:7

"Spirit of fear". Fear is a spirit. And if it's not from God, then it's from Satan.

1 John 4:18 says that perfect love, God's love, drives out all fear.

God has the power to bind the spirit of fear and throw it to the ends of the earth. Praise God! He's stronger than our fears.

So, I kept my appointment, trusting that tomorrow, fear will be conquered in the midst of the machines, the specialists, and the results, by my God, my Protector.

If you're facing your own fear today, know that you didn't read this on accident. God's your Protector, too. And He just got in your face.