Bethany's BlogWords of Encouragement

He is Calling Your Name

 

I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron. I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know, that I the Lord, Who call you by your name, Am the God of Israel.

Isaiah 45:2-3

On those days when you cannot see what is in front of you, when everything around you is grey, and dismal,  the path is so crooked and each step is treacherous, think on this: He is before you! He will stretch out the path so it is staight, and light up the darkness so you can see the hidden treasure. He will call you by your name, so you will not be lost. 

There have been many times in my life that I have not been able to see ahead, and I have not known what to do. I have been afraid to make the step. His call to me to move ahead with a choice, in faith, is believing that He will make the crooked straight because I have obeyed. He will break down the gates of bronze that keep getting in my way, because I have listened to His voice, and not the voice of "should" or fear or "what if" He will cut through the bars of iron in whatever the resistance is and then I will see all the hidden riches, because I obeyed.

Is He calling your name today? Are you afraid to take the step towards Him because the path is crooked or too dark? Is there something He is beackoning you to reach out and do, but it seems like too much? He is there for you, and He will go before you. He has hidden riches waiting for you. 

He is calling your name!

Crazy Joy, Madness, and Sadness Part 2 (Sorrow into Joy)

 

 

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For I will restore you and heal you of your wounds, says  the Lord, because they called you an outcast saying: "this is Zion; No one seeks her." 

Jeremiah 30:17

When we were told that we were indeed pregnant, after believing we were not for over a month, my sorrow was instantly gone! Even though I had lost a baby, my childs twin, I was able to see that incredible miracle that God had blessed us with, and I felt so joyful. I knew in my heart that this child I carried would indeed be very special! My pregnancy with him was one miracle after another, I spent most of my time on bedrest, and much of it in the hospital. He was eager to come out and see the world. On the day he was born, he was breech and my water broke early in the morning. Consequently, I had an emergency C-section. Our son was 4 weeks early, and healty. 

After our still birth at 25 weeks, we waited the counseled time before trying for another child. My sorrow was deep, and I wanted to try again. I couldn't imagine that it would happen again, as the doctor assured me that nothing was wrong. Our son that was born at 25 weeks had no defects, there were no explanations as to why he did not survive. I was encouraged to try again and when it was time I felt strong and eager to be pregnant and give our youngest son a sibling. 

The next pregnancy was also a boy. At 20 weeks I was at the doctor in the waiting room, and I had a feeling of dread come over me. I knew that this baby too was not alive. When I made it back to the exam room I told my doctor that I thought the baby was no longer living. She was startled. She began to listen for the heartbeat, but she was not able to find one, so she quickly took me to get an ultrasound.

There was no heartbeat.

I remember feeling like I could not breathe. 

I called my husband, and he came to be with me. Again, arrangements were made for me to go to the hospital. This time for a d&c. 

I went through this three more times. And, then it was enough. It was madness. I had used up all my sadness, and moved to madness. God was NOT giving me what I wanted, and I was mad! I was hurt, confused, in pain, afraid, and it felt completely crazy! I wondered what HIS problem was! 

Yet, His promise was: For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

And, then my husband offered adoption, and I accepted.

 

 

From Sorrow to Joy

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The Lord says, "At that time young women will dance and be glad. Young men and old men will rejoice. I will turn their grief into gladness. I will give them comfort and joy in place of their sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

 

Over 10 Years ago my husband and I were in the midst of loss. We wanted another baby, but every time we tried, our baby either died in the womb, or I miscarried. We went through this five times. This is my story.

We have five beautiful children. Four sons, and one daughter. My husband and I married at a very young age, and I had our first son two years after we were married. Two more sons followed in the next four years. My second pregnancy was chaotic and traumatic. Right from the get go I was having problems and as early as three months my body was contracting and bleeding. We went to our doctor, and a miscarriage was confirmed. It was devastating to me. But, as the weeks continued, I felt pregnant. My husband kept telling me that I acted pregnant (which was irritating) but I finally called the doctor and insisted on seeing them again. They only agreed because they wanted to calm my hormonal over-reaction to how my body was feeling. We went to the doctor, and by the end of that visit they were shaking their heads in disbelief. I was indeed, pregnant. It was determined that the baby lost, was a twin.

We raised three sons. When our youngest was 13, I wanted another child. We were blessed with another son. And, then I wanted just one more. We easily got pregnant, and I was very excited. But, then one night I had a dream that our baby was no longer alive in my womb. I was almost 25 weeks along. I called my doctor to ask for an ultrasound. I went in that day and there was not a heartbeat. We had a son.

I cannot begin to explain the depth of pain that pierced my heart that day. The loss. The sorrow. The agony. My baby was dead, and there was nothing, absolutely nothing that I could EVER  do about it. I would not ever have the opportunity to hold him alive! This was more than I could understand, more than my heart could hold, more than I ever thought would happen. It was too much!

Arrangements were made to go to the hospital and give birth. Give birth to our dead baby. I would not bring him home. Friends knew, but nobody really knew what to say. It was awkward. My husband tried to understand, but it was very different for him. This was his child too, but he was not holding this child inside his body. He did not live with him every single day, not like me. My thoughts never left this baby, not ever. But now, I was going to the hospital. I would be given a drug that would force my body to deliver him, and he would no longer be inside of me. He would be gone. And, I would need to move on.

I went through regular labor. My doctor was there. My husband was there. He was born. We held him. He was so small. So perfect and amazing. I wasn't sure what went wrong, and I asked God if I would every know? My husband laid in the bed beside me and just held me for a long, long time. I was thankful for the drugs, because I didn't want to think too much. Not right then, my heart was stabbing in pain, I just wanted to float away in my hospital bed beside my husband.

Then we came home and it felt like I would not be able to face reality. I spent hours playing with our youngest son, and taking him for walks...and avoiding people. It was the worst thing in the world for me to be with people. I sat at coffee shops and cried. And I prayed for answers. I wondered if there was anyone at all that understood this kind of pain. It didn't feel like it to me. Friends said I should be in church, but no one asked me how my heart was. So, I just stayed away. 

And, this was the beginning of a very long journey of loss, and a very good journey of joy!

How's your Stretch?

 

 

You're my place of quiet retreat; I wait for your Word to renew me. Psalms 119:114

 

It was last December that I challenged so many of you to stretch in some new and exciting way for 2016. One of my stretches was exercise. I have been walking  3-5 miles almost every day. I tried various exercise routines, and finally settled on an app for my phone. It's called Sworkit, and I have found that to be very useful. And, now with summer just around the corner, I plan to ride my bike. I'm excited to ride with family and friends. I've learned that eventhough I am a very introverted person, I do not really care to exercise by myself. In fact, I find a lot of it to be rather boring. 

What have you done with your stretch for 2016? And, how has it helped you feel renewed?

It has helped me by accomplishing my goals, and by reaching out to others to walk, bike, and be together.  It has given me opportunities to challenge myself to think bigger, to change my way of thinking in terms of transportation, and to believe truth about the body God has given me.  It's not about age, or genetics. It's about the way I think. God has put His Word within me to renew my mind, His power. He is my quiet retreat, and when I believe I can do it, boring or not, then I will do it. I'm 53, God's power works at every age! It's not a stretch for Him.

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