Tuesday, March 29, 2016

When God's Will Doesn't Make Sense

"O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! 
How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!
For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been His counselor?"
Romans 11:33,34
(KJV)

I admit that I am in the midst of a struggle...
feeling so certain that things were going to go a certain way in our lives,
then taking a huge leap of faith and launching into unfamiliar depths,
because we felt God told us to,
only to see no apparent expected results over two months later.

I feel confused, and that bothers me because I know that
God is not the author of confusion.  (I Corinthians 14:33)
He is the author and finisher of our faith.  (Hebrews 12:2)

I feel confused, because I felt so certain ahead of time that a certain result would ensue,
and that result has not yet happened since we launched.
(Not saying that it still won't happen;
just saying it has not happened yet.)

Have you ever felt this way?
Have you ever prayed with all your heart,
had at least the size of a grain of mustard seed faith ~ even more than that ~
only to see NO results from your believing?


This has happened to me different times throughout my walk with Jesus, 
but none of the times ever effected me so profoundly or hurt more deeply than what took place on June 5, 2000.
I was 11 1/2 weeks along in my pregnancy with Zach.
Dad had been struggling with many health issues for several years,
but, each time things escalated to the point of a hospital stay,
we would rally in prayer, intercede on his behalf, and God, in His abundant mercy,
would intervene and pull Dad through.
So, when Mom told me Dad had been having chest pains,
and they had taken him to the ER,
I panicked, but I also felt hopeful that Dad would be fine.
Hadn't the Lord always spared his life through all of the scares and traumas before?
And, after all, I was finally pregnant, 
after almost 12 years of Kevin and I having to deal with the pains of infertility.
Surely, there was security in that, right?
God would never, in a million years, take Dad away from us, 
knowing that Dad's first and only biological grandchild was on the way.
Would He?
That just wouldn't seem fair.
It wouldn't seem right or just.
And, we all know God is a just God.

It was a downright, Divine-intervention miracle that I was pregnant.
There is no other explanation.
After the 4th doctor I visited had taken bloodwork and completed her evaluation,
she explained that even WITH fertility drugs, my chances for getting pregnant were extremely slim.
I'll never forget the moment she looked at me and said,
"Cheryl, do you still want to try to get pregnant, or do you just want to feel better?"
I can still hear her asking me that, and I can still feel the inward tug-of-war that followed.

To be perfectly honest, after almost 12 years, I was sick of the fight.
I was absolutely exhausted from hoping for a miracle,
weary of buying pregnancy tests,
and tired of struggling to hold on to the promise God had made to me so many years before.
At that point, I wasn't even sure it had even been God Who made the promise,
and I was doubting my own ability to recognize His voice.
I was discouraged and feeling like a complete failure as a woman.
Women are meant to conceive and bear babies.
I was doing my utmost to live out I Timothy 5:14,
"I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, 
give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."
I had married my best friend and the love of my life,
and the natural next step was to bear children, right?
What had I done wrong?
Why couldn't I just be normal?
Was God punishing me for past sins?
Could things that happened earlier in life be preventing my ability to conceive?
Was God angry with me?
Was this my fault?
Most of my friends were moving on to the next expected step,
and I felt like the one left behind, with no power to change anything.
If you are now fighting your own infertility battle, or if you have ever found yourself there,
you will understand what I mean.
To tell you the truth, after nearly 12 long years of hoping and believing,
I was drained from the crushed yearning deep inside of me for a baby of our own.

After thinking about her question, I looked squarely into the eyes of the OB/GYN sitting across from me, and I softly gave her my agonized, carefully-thought-out answer.

"I just want to feel better."
I remember how guilty I felt even saying that.
Shouldn't I be stronger and keep battling for the baby we wanted so much?
To tell you the truth, I was just tired.
Defeated.
And, I was weary of too much disappointment.

I walked out of her office with her offer ringing in my ears,
"We can try fertility drugs, if that is what you want to do.
Just let me know."

Why would we even want to put ourselves through that, 
when she had just explained my issues in detail
and given proof that even WITH the drugs,
in so many words, my chances were slim to none?

"I'll talk it over with my husband, and we will decide."

We did talk about it.
Together, we made the decision that we would forego the fertility drugs.
We knew deep in our hearts that if God wanted us to have a baby,
He would make it happen.
If He didn't, we would try to find a way to accept it.
There comes a point when you just realize that surrender to His will 
is the only path to true peace.
Regardless.

So, we surrendered.
And a measure of peace did ensue.
And we went on with every day life.

And, then somewhere around two years after that doctor visit,
I found out I was pregnant.
I cannot explain it.
It can't be explained in any other way than the fact that God chose to open my barren womb
for one moment in time, and allow me to conceive.
I wish I could put into words how ecstatic and full of gratitude we were,
but I don't think there are words for that.

My pregnancy started out on rocky ground, 
due to my near-non-existent progesterone level and several other health issues,
so when Dad was admitted to the hospital after that ER visit,
my stress level went through the roof.
We prayed so hard for him and for the baby I was carrying,
and I just felt so much faith that all would be well,
and Dad would live to see his grandchild.
I could just imagine how happy we would all be when the baby arrived.
I had SO much faith.

As days went by, Dad's condition steadily grew worse,
as, one by one, his organs began to shut down,
and on a sunny, Florida Monday afternoon,
he slipped away from us.

Devastated isn't a strong enough word to describe my feelings.
Shocked beyond belief comes close.

All I could think of is why couldn't God have let him be okay one more time?
Why couldn't He have allowed him to live for just a few more months to see his grandchild, 
then taken him home to Heaven?
Seriously?
Would a few more months have been too much to ask?
This couldn't be happening.
Not like this.
It wasn't fair.

The next months were the most bittersweet of my life.
My emotions were all over the place.
Over the top excitement to know that we would finally have a baby of our own,
despair beyond words knowing Dad was gone, and our baby would grow up without him.

My biggest question was why.
Dad was only 65.
He hadn't been permitted to live out his "allotted time" of "three score years and ten".
It just felt like his life was cut so short and like it shouldn't be all over,
and he should have at least been allowed to meet Zach.

My biggest question was never answered.
I sought God so earnestly, I begged and pleaded for an answer,
for some logic, some explanation, some revelation.
I wish I could tell you that, today, as Zach is a 15 year old high-schooler and such a dear joy to our lives, I ever did receive a definitive answer.
I wish I could say that I have made sense of it all...
that there was this "magic moment" when everything became crystal clear,
and I could finally say, 
"Oh, now I see...THAT is why God took Dad, instead of healing him.
THAT is why He called him home when He did."

A magic moment never came.

What I can tell you with certainty is that even though my pregnancy was high-risk,
and there were many scares and bumps along the way,
and Kevin tells me how I cried myself to sleep every, single night 
(I don't even remember that or much more about a lot of those months following Dad's death),
God absolutely came through for us and gave us the most precious miracle son.
Miraculously, I carried Zach a full nine months...and nine days extra!
He was born perfectly healthy, completely normal, and beyond dear to us,
defying many, many odds and victorious over satan's schemes to end the pregnancy.
God did this....for us.
This wasn't a miracle I had read about so many times in the Bible.
This miracle son born to a couple with a woman who had a barren womb wasn't meant for Elkanah and Hannah, or Jacob and Rachel, or Zacharias and Elizabeth, or Abraham and Sarah.
They weren't mean to be Zachary's parents.
Zach wasn't meant to be raised by them.
This precious, modern-day, opening-of-a-barren-womb miracle was for Kevin and me...
we were to be Zach's parents.
He took my dear Dad.
He gave us a precious son.
To HIM be all glory forever and ever, amen.

Why they never had the privilege to meet, I will more than likely never know.
Has it ever made sense to me?
No.
Does it make sense to me now?
No.
But, my heart is overflowing with gratitude that I am a mother after waiting for 12 1/2 long years.

Zach often tells Kevin and me how much he wishes Dad was here.
He longs for a solid bond and a close relationship with a grandpa...
something he has never had and never will.
Dad was SO excited over knowing he would finally be a grandpa,
and he would have poured his whole life into loving this boy.
Where is the fairness in any of this?

For years, I felt like Dad's death was my fault.
I felt like I didn't pray hard enough,
that I was so caught up in being happy over finally being pregnant that I didn't focus enough on interceding for his healing.
That I should have done more to try to convince him to take further medical treatment.
On and on the "should haves" and "could have done betters" haunted me,
leaving me utterly exhausted from the weight of carrying such guilt.

I cannot say that I was ever given a definitive answer as to why God took Dad when He did,
but I can tell you this.
I finally found a sense of peace in knowing that GOD KNOWS WHAT IS BEST,
and Dad's death was, in no way, my fault.
As I heard in the lines of a Christian movie recently,
"Sometimes we just have to trust what God did and did not allow."

If we do all we know to do to make something happen, 
and it still does not come to pass, we must just trust that it was not God's will.
I had to finally come to terms with that.

Will we ever understand it all?
I don't know and can't answer that.
There are some answers that God reserves to Himself,
and whether or not He ever makes us privy to them is ultimately up to Him.

Perhaps, one day, on Heaven's bright shore, He will explain it all to us.
But, by then, will it matter so much?
For then, we will be reunited with our loved ones who have gone on before us.
And the time we spent apart will seem like a mere moment, 
when compared with the eternity we will share together.

Sometimes, in this life, He does give us answers.
It is all up to Him, and this is what trust is all about.
Zach often reminds me of the acronym God gave him...

To
  Rely
  Upon
   Strong
  Truth

The truth of the matter is, God loves us.
He only permits what is best...for all concerned.
And, this life is far from being all there is.

Will our current quandary and dilemma ever be explained?
Will we ever know why He called us to launch?
Will this be another one of those unrevealed mysteries, in which we are left wondering why things happened the way they did?
Time will tell.
Whatever the outcome, we know in our hearts that we have absolutely been obedient
and done all God has asked us to do.
The rest is up to Him, and even if we never know the reasons why,
the only way we will find peace is to surrender the outcome to Him.

Even when we can't understand God's logic,
we have to trust His wisdom.

Not too long ago, I shared a song here, sung by the McKameys called, 
"The Shepherd's Point of View".

I am sharing it again, in hopes that if you are going through a similar struggle,
you will be able to find comfort in knowing "things are different on the mountain from the Shepherd's point of view."

I also wanted to include the lyrics for you to read.
They are powerful, and I cry every time I hear this song.

God bless you, dear friends.
Thanks ever so much for reading what God places upon my heart!

The Shepherd's Point of View
Written by Sandy Blythe

Verse 1
You are standing on the mountain, holding to the Shepherd's hand,
The valley you just came through, was hard to understand.
Then the Shepherd draws you closer, there's something He wants you to see,
And He points back to the valley, and unfolds it's mystery.

Verse 2
As the eagles soar around you, and you look back on where you've been,
One by one He answers questions that He did not answer then.
He now shows you the danger of going your own way,
All those roads you thought were better, would have led your soul astray.

Verse 3
He reminds you of that moment when you could not make it through,
Now you see one set of footprints where He reached down and carried you.
As your tears fall on His shoulder, and you thank Him for His love,
He says, "Child, I knew that one day, you'd see this valley from above."

Chorus
Things look different on the mountain from the shepherds point of view,
Standing high above the trial, that He brought you safely through.
All the valleys disappointments will never look the same to you,
For things look different on the mountain from the Shepherds point of view. 


If video doesn't load, click here.

45 comments:

  1. Oh my, your trials have been mountains to climb. I have a few thoughts for you on this. Praying as I read your journey, my first thought- God's time, not ours. What did you learn along the way in those 12 years? How much did you grow during that time? All the while making you the best possible parents for a child who was and is so wanted. We tend to appreciate things more if they are harder to come by.
    Both of my parents are gone. I know that pain and emptiness. No matter how much faith you have there is still a void here. But I think that just adds to the longing for going home.
    And maybe, just maybe...your dad has been right there all along. Maybe he is your son's guardian angel, and God knowing he wasn't for this world long- took him home to get him ready for his new assignment. Maybe he is the one who watches him sleep, who steps in and stops something bad from happening, steers him clear of danger. Maybe he kisses his brow every night and walks with him daily through this life and maybe he will be the one who leads him to the other side when his time comes to cross over. Maybe that's what God had in mind. Maybe he hasn't missed a thing.
    And this new venture of yours...in HIS time. Let Him do the work. Its what He's best at. ;0)
    Keeping you in my prayers. Just lean back and rest in His arms awhile. There is peace there.

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    1. Oh, dear friend! I sit here in tears as I write this to you! I just have no words to tell you how much your comments mean to me tonight! It was as if the precious Holy Spirit was speaking right through you. Honestly. You just brought so much comfort by your gentle kindness, and I just trust God to bless you abundantly for sharing your heart. I appreciate it so much!

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  2. I have often felt many of the things you described here Cheryl. My Mom died of a sudden heart attack when I was only 29 and I still NEEDED her. Her advice, wisdom and laughter. Then, two days later, my Dad decided he was moving in with another woman who he had been having an affair with for over 20 years. That was a complete unknown to us. That day she decided for him that he would never have contact with his four children ever again. We lost both of our parents in 2 days! The four of us were orphans out of the blue. From what I used to like to call a "Beaver Cleaver" childhood to utter chaos in two days!

    Believe me, I cried out to God. He had always answered me before, but in this instance there was an utter silence. I still don't know the reasoning. My Dad has been gone for years now and my heart still hurts, but I keep reminding myself that I don't know the mind of God. My faith grew. I have a husband that was my rock here on earth.

    Life is hard isn't it? I honestly cannot wait until the day I meet my Saviour in Heaven and hear His words, "Welcome Home."

    Blessings,
    Betsy

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    1. Oh, Betsy! What a sad, heartbreaking story! I am SO sorry you lost your dear Mom at such a young age, and then to lose your Dad, too, in such a heartbreaking way, and to find those things out about him all at once. Bless your dear heart! It surely had to be the dear Lord Who helped you through such deep trials. Thank the dear Lord for your husband who is so good to you. YES, dear friend, life is hard. I miss Mom and Dad so much, but, like you, the dear Lord blessed me with a dear, precious husband who is my best friend and dear, precious Zach, too. He is a wonderful Lord and Savior, and I love Him with all my heart. Sending you much love, too, dear friend, and thank you so much for your dear encouragement to me. :)

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  3. Cheryl, you will know that I understand completely every single word you have poured out here. It's so very difficult sometimes being a follower of Christ. We think we see the path so clearly, we think we have heard from Him so surely. But then, snags and obstacles and delays arise - and we wonder. Did I hear Him wrong? Am I doing something wrong? I'm so glad that you have tossed aside the lie of the enemy that it's because of a lack of faith on your part that things aren't happening. No, no, no. I had a friend who fell into this thought pattern, and it messed her faith up for a long, long time. Instead of "leaning not on her own understanding," she became very angry with God for "punishing" her when she was unable to manufacture enough faith to please Him. How many people has the enemy sidetracked by this sort of thinking? Let's battle back with Truth...and Trust.

    It occurs to me that your *launch* was indeed initiated by the Holy Spirit, and you heard Him and acted in obedience. Now, the ensuing results may take some more time, or they might take a different form than you're thinking. But, what matters more than anything is continuing in your trusting reliance on God's voice, and your bedrock belief that He knows what He's doing! I once did a Bible Study by Priscilla Shirer. One thing she said really stuck with me - it's essentially this: "Our part of the equation is believing that God is ABLE to do anything. Whether He does or doesn't is His part of the equation."

    I know that God is able. And if things don't make sense to me at the time, it's just because His thoughts and ways are higher than mine.

    And you're right, I just know that even if my questions are never answered, once I get Home to Him, it won't even matter!

    Love you...

    GOD BLESS!

    (The situation with your dad and Zach, that would cause me a pause in my spirit, too. But dear one, your testimony of faith in Him, despite the seeming "unfairness" of the timing and God's will, it's a strong witness to me, and to many others).

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    1. Yes, dear friend, I surely know that you do understand. I do believe God did lead us to launch, and we are surely walking by faith, and not by sight. Oh, your dear words! They have blessed and encouraged and comforted my heart more than you will ever know! How I thank God for you and your precious friendship. It is such a dear blessing to me to have you walking alongside on this blogging journey. I love and appreciate you so much...thank you for your understanding and care and concern. God bless you!

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  4. my heart totally understands sweet friend. I love you, praying, lifting you way up to the throne room.

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    1. I know you do, dear friend. Your prayers and love and support and friendship means the world to me. Love and appreciate you so much!

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  5. Dearest Cheryl,

    I know that you wrote this post in anguish of soul, and you are not really questioning God, but just crying out, how much longer Lord! It is our human emotions that take us that direction, and the difficulties that we face in life sometimes we may never understand this side of heaven, as you said. I think of the situation with losing your dad and mother so young and so quickly, and yet know that God blessed your arms with a child to hold in spite of the fact that it was time for your parents to go to be with the Lord. I do believe that heaven is far lovelier than earth, and that you would never wish your parents back to this earthly land of pain and suffering... and so it remains that we learn to trust our Lord more and more, even as our human family may be taken from us... but our hope is still in Christ. Do not despair my dear sister in Christ... it is always in great times of difficulty just like this that the Lord has a beautiful plan in mind, and you are just part of the tapestry getting woven, and perhaps only see the knots and messy threads underneath, but He sees it all in a beautiful way. I have great hope that the journey the Lord has launched you upon is a great one, and this is just part of the growing process to get you there... after all to truly get launched there has to be some great effort or endeavor to get off the ground... growing pains if you will, and the Lord is doing just that in this process you are in... and I am looking forward to what the Lord has planned! Hold on, don't lose hope, look up to our dear Lord, look into his beautiful face and trust Him in spite of the darkness that you can only see... He is with you, and your dear friends are holding you up in prayer too! Much love to you dear Cheryl... praying and believing with you that the Lord has something wonderful ahead!

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    1. Yes, sweet friend, you are so right in all you said...oh, I DO so appreciate your inspired thoughts and comments...I know God prompted you to say all you said, and I cannot thank you enough for taking the time and energy to share this with me. I LOVE what you said about the growing pains and the great effort and endeavor involved, etc. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and love and appreciate you so much! God bless you abundantly. I am praying for you, too. :)

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  6. What an amazing testimony you have Cheryl! I too know the pain of losing a parent and feeling like it was too early. My dad was killed in a car accident when he was 48- I was 23 and had just had my second baby. The joy of having my sweet boy was constantly overshadowed by feelings of hurt, frustration and fear. But God showed up in such a powerful way, that I could not deny He was with me. My relationship with Him went to a whole new level and my trust in Him began to develop in a richer way. Thank you for sharing your story. It is a beautiful one, even with all the pain. Praying God continues to bless you and your family. Neighbors with you today at Word Filled Wednesday.

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    1. Oh, bless your dear heart! I am SO sorry you lost your dad so young! So, you surely know the pain of heart that all of this brings. When I read of how the loss of your dad took your relationship with God to a whole new level, it made me think of how we will never lose our Heavenly Father. When our earthly father is gone, He still remains and becomes even more dear to our hearts. Thank you SO much for your precious comments here today and your prayers for me and my family. You have blessed me so much!

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  7. Wow. This is a bittersweet existence, huh? Talk about the gate of our soul swinging so far in opposite directions; one of great joy in the gift of a miracle son, the other in the horrendous sorrow that comes from losing your dad.

    We don't have sharp and focused answers sometimes, but we do indeed have the answers; His perfect will. Why He causes or allows all things is beyond us, but the joy in our soul, despite the human sadness, is a miracle all unto itself. The numerous reasons we can't begin to count, but one of them is so that you might encourage others in their times of struggle through your ministry... mission accomplished, sister.

    Keep running the good race. Your example draws others to the straight and narrow path, Cheryl.

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    1. I loved the way you said that about the gate of our soul swinging so far in opposite directions. That is exactly right and so true, Floyd. Your encouragement means so much to me here. I could never thank you enough. God bless you abundantly!

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  8. Cheryl, this is a wonderful testimony of trust. My FIL passed away before I ever met my hubby. He was only 52, and died in church. He had been in a prayer meeting, stood up and prayed, sat down and had a massive heart attack. I so wish I could have met him, and wish my kids could have spent time with him. Tomorrow there will be a funeral in our church for another man who had a heart attack. He was only 51 and his oldest child is a senior in high school. It's so hard to understand these things, but such a blessing to know that God has a plan and it's the best plan! Thank you for blessing me with your words tonight.

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    1. Oh, Mari! What a sad story about your father-in-law, and yet, it so sweet how God took him right there in the place he obviously wanted to be. I wish you could have met him, too, and your children, too. These are mysteries we may never understand. Your comments have blessed me and encouraged my heart. May the dear Lord bless you, in return!

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  9. What a story, Cheryl. Thank you for sharing all of this with such detail. So meaningful to me right now. I'm sorry for this time of pain--even 12 years later-- but rejoice with you that the Lord saw fit to give you a son! Especially thanks for the truth description! That's sticking with me!! #ThoughtporvokingThursday

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    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Bethany! I so appreciate your love and concern and kind words. It was such a comfort to me, and I trust the dear Lord will bless you abundantly!

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  10. Hi Cheryl! Your story about conceiving your son is a study in patience and persistence. And the power of the Holy Spirit. You trusted in him, deciding to not take the fertility drugs, and He came through for you.
    My husband and I had much the same story, but never did get pregnant. My children are adopted, and I thank God that He allowed us a family in spite of our medical issues. God is so good.
    I don't know why your dad never got to meet your son...I guess the Lord just knew it was time for him to go home. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways not our ways. But you know your dad is right here with Zach every day, and with you too.
    God bless your heart,
    Ceil

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    1. Bless your heart, dear Ceil! I am so sorry you were never able to have a child. Oh, my heart goes out to you! I am so grateful God sent you your precious children another way, and I know they are indeed precious. Yes, you are so right. Dad is with Zach. I have only really recently begun to really believe that. Sometimes, we are so blinded by pain that we don't see the bigger picture. God is faithful, though, and I can't praise Him enough for all He has done. Thank you SO much for sharing your thoughts and love here. You are such a dear blessing to me and so many others!

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  11. I'm so glad that God understands our honest questions. He doesn't always give us the answer, but He doesn't reject us when we ask why or how or when. In my own life, so often years after the fact, I see what He was up to, like the puzzle pieces finally make sense. Not always, but often.

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    1. Yes, praise the Lord, He truly understands when we ask "why?" He asked the same question from the cross. He is so good, regardless. Thank you, dear Elizabeth, for your precious comments and encouragement. I appreciate your visit so much!

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  12. This is a heart-breaking post, Cheryl. Thank you for having the courage to write about it. It is very brave of you.

    When life gets hard, Cheryl, and we pray and pray for something and it does not happen, we wonder why God is not listening, or did not respond. The reality is that He is listening to our prayers, but somehow, for reasons we don't understand, He does not respond as we would have wished. And of course our heart is broken when this happens. It is human nature to do so. But also ... it is human nature to persevere, to continue to trust Him, to accept His will and continue to believe that He has our well-being at heart. It may be difficult to do all these things, especially when we are really hurting; but we should try all the same. Not for our sake; but for His. In remembrance for what He did for us.

    Praying for you and yours.

    God bless.

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    1. Thank you so much, dear Victor. Your visits are such a blessing here, and your words are full of wisdom, truth, and encouragement. How I thank the Lord to have you alongside this blogging journey! I SO appreciated you encouraging us to persevere....that word keeps coming up today, so I know God is trying to get a point across. Thank you ever so much. God bless you abundantly.

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  13. Dear Cheryl, My heart hurt when I read your post. I felt better by the time I got to the end. It also brought up so much in my own life...your posts seem to have that effect on me. Sometimes, I don't comment or I start to and can't quite finish.
    God granted me my big hopes of marriage and having two daughters. I LONGED for a grandchild but it didn't seem like that was going to ever happen. I FINALLY was able to give it up to the Lord and accept it. Then my daughter lost a baby after it looked like this was going one was going to take. I cried and cried and I think I hurt more for her than myself. Then she got pregnant again, quite soon after the loss, and the hope began again. I prayed but to be honest, I was scared those 9 months and no one really got "into" the pregnancy. It seemed so scary. Well, 9 months later, little OTTO entered the world. He is a delight and a joy and a blessing from GOD. My other sweet daughter has not be granted a baby and has also lost a little one. I know it is in God's hands. I pray and I hope, but I understand it may never be. Thanks for being so open and honest. God sure uses you in mighty ways with your blog! Much love...Linda

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    1. Oh, dear Lady Linda! Bless your dear heart! And your dear daughters! Oh, may God just bless them...I am SO thankful God sent you little Otto! What a little Godsend angel he is to you all! I truly hope the Lord will send your youngest daughter a baby of her own. OH, may He allow it to be so. I can't thank you enough for your dear words of encouragement. You are a precious blessing to me.

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  14. Cheryl, what a wonderful post...it touches my heart in so many ways...my Daddy died at age 69 and my son Jason was born two years later, so he never had a grandfather...your words about your launch and the lyrics from The Shepherd's Point of View really ministered to my heart...my OneWord2015 was trusting...and for 2016 it is grace...by resting in Christ's finished work on the cross, I am trusting Him for my eternity and my next breath...praying for you and your family in the recent loss of your loved one. Many blessings to you ❤️

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    1. Dear Beth! I am so sorry you lost your dear Daddy, and I know it must have hurt so deeply knowing your son would never meet him in this life. It is so neat that the word God gave my husband and son for 2016 is trust. Last year was your year for trust, and we are learning so much about it this year. You will NEVER know how much your emails and links have blessed me today....God knew exactly what I needed, and He sent it to me through you, dear friend. Sending you much love and gratitude.

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  15. Your post made my heart cry. Although it has been 15 years since your daddy died, the pain is still so clear. I understand that pain. In December of 2012, my first love and my last love were in severe medical crises...a thousand miles apart. I was here in Texas as my husband battled diabetic complications that led to an amputation. Back home in South Carolina, my daddy battled lung cancer and heart issues. On December 9, 2012, as my husband and I walked the halls of the medical facility here in TX, his phone rang. It was a friend of my sister on the other end, in SC. She called to say that they had just found my daddy dead. He had a heart attack while home alone. My heart was ripped in two...half here and half back home. How could Heavenly Father have done this to me, having both men that I loved most in this world facing death at the same time? He spared my husband, Praise the Lord! but He took my daddy when I could do nothing about it. I couldn't even go back home to the funeral. I still cry thinking of my daddy dying alone and not getting to say good-bye.

    In 1993, I begged Heavenly Father for another baby (we had a son and a daughter at the time already). I was sure that I was pregnant though the tests said that I was not. I had been there before and knew that I was. My grandma had been battling Alzheimer's and my aunt had her put into a nursing home on her 76th birthday. Sixteen days later, I got the call that my grandma had died. I was devastated. Three months later, I delivered my stillborn daughter, the one they said I was not pregnant with, at our home. My grandma and my baby, gone from me within three months time. The only way that I got through that is being sure that Heavenly Father took my grandma home to be there for Dorian when she got there. It is the only way that I survived that summer.

    One thought that helps me sometimes is maybe Heavenly Father took your daddy home with Him to save him from something worse that could have happened had he stayed here on this earth.

    Also, I want to share another perspective with you about your daddy and son having not met. I feel like they have. Our souls are eternal beings. I believe that we are all with Heavenly Father before we get sent down here to our earthly parents. If this is true, then we were all in Heaven together, so your son and your daddy were together in Heaven. I agree with the other comments that your daddy is there with your son as he goes through his days. Our daddies will never fully be gone. They might not be here where we can see them, and hug them, but they live on through us, through our children. Look at your son. Your daddy lives in him, just as my daddy and my late father-in-law live through my sons and daughters.

    I'm sorry if my comment is jumbled or confusing. This is a very emotional topic for me. I am so happy that Heavenly Father gave you a baby to love of your very own. {{{Hugs}}}

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    1. Oh, dear friend! NO, it was not in any way jumbled or confusing. It was heart-wrenching to read of the many, many hurts, heartaches, and the anguish of soul you have had to endure through the years. Bless your dear, trusting heart. THANK YOU for sharing these stories with us here...we need to hear this, and your story needs to be told. SO many can relate to what you have endured, and seeing your determination to follow Jesus regardless is so powerful. Please know that you have my deepest sympathies for it all. And your words concerning Dad and Zach! Oh, Suzanne! Thank you ever so much for all you said. I do believe you are exactly right. Right after Dad died, I remember Kevin and I kneeling side by side by our sofa and Kevin praying and asking God to somehow allow Dad's spirit to connect with Zach's. It was one of the sweetest, most heart-wrenched requests I can ever remember hearing. I truly believe God has honored and granted that request. Sending you much love and gratitude for your sweet, precious, comforting visit here today.

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    2. I am so glad that it wasn't confusing. I often have trouble expressing myself due to memory impairment. I lose my thought while in the middle of it. It gets very frustrating.

      You are very welcome and thank you, too, for your sympathies and love. My sympathies go out to you, too. We all have hard moments that we have to go through and I believe the important word there is "through". Some people expect us to get "over" these hard, tragic, hurtful times like our loved ones were nothing. It is like they think our loved ones were as meaningless as an expired loaf of bread that we can just toss and forget. I don't think that we are meant to get over the hard times, but through them. And we can't do that without leaning on Him and His strength.

      Much love back to you, my sister in Christ. It is such a blessing to have friends that understand my heart. {{{Hugs}}}

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  16. Thank you for sharing your faith in our God - even though you (or any of us) don't always understand his ways.

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    1. Thank you so much for your visit here, Abbi. I so appreciate your encouragement and sweet comments! God bless you!

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  17. I am going through one of those moments when I don't understand. I know that I've told you a lot about daddy, but Wednesday he was released from one place just to be admitted into another. He lost 20 lbs and was extremely dehydrated. His creatinine level was 4.6 which means kidney failure, and you know he only has that one kidney. Other than his physical health, his mind seemed crystal clear. I was praising God for touching his mind. After a couple of days in the hospital, his kidneys were better and he was a new man ready to come home. Today he came home and and within a few hours, we realized things were not as we had believed and hoped. My 100% faith seemed crushed and I don't know why things are like they are. After praying, fasting, and receiving a word, I was believing 100% that he was delivered and healed. Our whole family is in shock. Tonight I feel numb. Mama is with me and we don't know what tomorrow will bring. I will email you more details when I get the energy and time. I am still believing. Like I said, I am numb. We are also so mentally and physically tired. I can't even pray, but Jesus knows my anguish and groanings. I can hardly believe how today went after having so much faith! Earlier, I was remembering so many scriptures like.... The Lord will hear their cry and answering them....They will cry unto the Lord and He will say, "Here I am." I believe God's word is truth, but I have questioned why things have happened this way when I've believed with all my heart that God had deliverED (past tense) daddy. Perhaps it's still in the making. I will continue to pray. I feel like I have to scrape my faith back up off the floor and hold on to it once again. It is hard to understand how I could go from such a level of faith and believing to utter disappointment. I didn't think it possible. How could the devil still have a hold after such prayer, fasting, rebuking the enemy, and worshiping God? What went wrong? I certainly don't understand, but I just won't give up. I will keep claiming that word God gave me.
    Thanks for this post. I love you!

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    1. I love you, too, dear friend. I have been so concerned for you and your dear Daddy. I am praying for you and believing God to allow all things to work out. It is SO hard to understand when we believe and have so much faith that things will go a certain way, and then opposite or something else happens. Know that I care so much and will continue to pray for you. Keep encouraged!

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  18. Cheryl, I didn't mean to sound selfish in my last post. You are always in my thoughts and prayers, but I was commenting only about my family's problems. I apologize, but I am just so overwhelmed right now. I just want you to know that I loved your post, and you are always an inspiration to me.

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    1. You do not EVER need to apologize, dear friend. I completely understand, and you certainly did not sound selfish. I know what overwhelmed feels like...boy, do I know, and you need not ever be anything but completely real with me. Love and appreciate you and praying for you...keep the faith and never let go of God's unchanging hand.

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  19. Such a sweet post. Yes, we KNOW that when God is ready for us to come home, HE takes us.
    We just don't always understand WHY NOW.....

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    1. So true, BJ. Thank you so much for your sweet comment and visit. God bless you, my friend. :)

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  20. I will always admire your vulnerability. It is a key ingredient in the way you help so many people who are going through pain of any kind. To see your faith, the struggle, the emotions and then the strong resolve is eye opening and a wonderful example to us in the Body of Christ. It saddens me that your dad died so young and wasn't able to hold Zachery. They will know each other intimately in heaven, but for now you have the loving arms of Jesus around you for sure and you testify to that faith in action beautifully. I'm so bless to know you.

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    1. Dear Mary! How I appreciate your dear, kind words! Oh, they blessed me so much tonight, and I needed this encouragement. Yes, praise Jesus, those everlasting arms are ever underneath all of us. Sending you much love and many blessings, sweet friend. :)

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  21. Have you ever prayed with all your heart,
    had at least the size of a grain of mustard seed faith ~ even more than that ~
    only to see NO results from your believing?

    This one grab my heart this morning. How blessed we who read your post since you lay truth out so well with so much honesty. I pray of prayer of faith for you...it's easy to trust Him when we results from our prayers. But There is God's timing to consider which you have, it's God's grace to consider and it's God's grace to even answer no. Praying

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    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Betty, for your dear visit and kind words! They mean the world to me. I always appreciate your input and thoughts and am so thankful when you are able to come by. May God bless you abundantly, my friend. Sending you much love and many blessings!

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  22. Very real, we all have experienced it when God's will is not our best desire... but we still trust because we know His motive is always love and He has our best interest at heart.
    We keep asking Him for grace to trust and submit...
    Many thanks for sharing Cheryl, have a super blessed week!
    Love

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    1. Thank you, dear Ugochi! How I appreciate your visits and words of wisdom...both here and at your blog, too. Sending you much love from the USA!

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