9.5 Weeks That Changed My Life

Ten years ago today (01.28.2009-01.28.2019), we stepped into the doctors office filled with immense sorrow and great hope for the future.

Exactly a week before that visit, my sweet husband’s mother entered into Heaven’s gate. She was only 67 years old.

I remember that day well. I was pregnant, 9 weeks and caring for our two little ones while my husband was at the hospital with his siblings. The call came, it was 8:35 pm “I was reading in Psalms about entering heaven and Mom entered” my husband spoke quietly.

We lost greatly that day and in the tomorrow’s that followed, but heaven gained richness filled in a woman called Marguerite Ann.

That was Tuesday, January 20, 2009.

A day and a half later, I noticed some spotting. As the next days continued our concerns grew. We made the phone call. Being 7 hours away, Mom’s viewing and funeral that Friday and Saturday, we stayed. In silence between ourselves and God, we did a lot of praying, watching, resting, and giving it to the Lord in the midst of loss, dealing with extended family, and grief.

As we sat in that office (01.28.2009) we still clung to life. By this time, the spotting was lessening. Hoping against odds we never expected to hear the next words…

“There is no baby.”

“Wait. What?
What did you just say?
How can that possibly be?”

That is impossible!

  • I had felt this little one for weeks.
  • I had questioned if I was further along then we thought because of all the movements I had felt.
  • This was impossible.
  • There IS a baby!

Again, those words pierced through my soul…

“There is no baby.”

  • “Maybe you already miscarriaged, or maybe you will in the next day or two.” The words were so cold. So removed. So lifeless.

We walked out of that office with a scheduled appointment in two days.

Numb.
Shocked.
Grieving.
Filled with questions.

What took place in the following days, the Lord kept us in the palm of His protective hand.

The next day included an ER trip which we were told, “I see a sack.” Hope was restored which created more questions.

Later that evening, I did not feel well. I thought maybe a shower would help. In that process, severe pain struck my body like a torpedo exploding into a battle ship. The hit was so powerful that it paralyzed me. The struggle to breathe was intensive and my body turned into a board.

We called for a sitter.

By the time we left the house for the ER, my body had calm down enough that I was able to walk out of the house. When I took that first step down off the porch my body released itself from it’s grip and I was covered in blood, and my breathing became much easier. Later we found out why this happened.

The trip to the ER we spent in prayer giving our little one to the Lord and our lives into His hands. Praying for a miracle. Praying for strength to accept His will. Praying what words could not express or speak, but Jesus Christ was our advocate and we knew it.

We saw a cold, lifeless, removed doctor turn into a compassionate, caring, patient man because of Jesus Christ. They took every concern or every care we had for our baby, for my life, and doubled, tripled checked on our behalf. For this we are incredibly thankful for.

  • Through a exploratory surgery (01.29.2009), it was discovered that I had an ectopic pregnancy. My right fallopian tube ruptured sending blood all throughout the inside of my body causing the severe paralyzing pain and inability to breathe. We take comfort that by this time, our little one was already safe in the arms of Jesus.
  • Our little one spent almost 10 earthly weeks with us. Some find it hard to believe, we don’t question God’s time.
  • We thank the Lord for every week we had with baby Woodruff #3. God has given me the blessings of feeling, not sight, with this little one. For weeks, our little one was alive, alert, and very active in my right fallopian tube; this gift was from the Lord, a treasure I cherish.

Today, and for the past ten years now, our little one walks on streets of gold because of Jesus Christ! The assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ is a priceless, gracious, and merciful gift from our Lord. The hope we have in Him, that one glories day we shall see Christ, our child, Mom, and others –heaven is sweeter!

God is the author of life.

We were told that if we didn’t conceive within the next year are chances for future children would drop to 12%.

A year and eight months later, we were with child with baby #4. This didn’t come without fears or learning to trust God with this child. Her name means, “God has answered” because her two older sisters prayed every night for “a baby in Mama’s belly” for a year and eight months…and GOD ANSWERED!!

  • God hears.
  • God answers…in His time.
  • God hears the broken hearted.
  • God comforts & heals the grieving soul.
  • God never forsakes His own.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Reality in Time: Living with an Flesh Expiration Date

Reposting. Still the burning of my heart.


Time.

What is time?

We freely bind ourselves to it. We accept it’s demands over us. We embrace it. We agonize internally over the power struggle it produces, yet we have an incredible gift in choice over this matter. A choice choice in we live this one live we are given. Freely in Christ or bound.

My mind and heart are filled with the essence of time, realities of life here on Earth, Heaven, the Lord, His will, and yes, even death itself. When you are struck with the reality of loss, sorrow, grief, and hope in Christ and life with Him in glory — it changes you, forever.

In exactly ten days, my family and I will be embarking upon a new journey, the one year Heaven-anniversary of my father. On July 30, 2016, Dad was serving His Lord here on Earth one moment and the next he was face to face with Him. Time. Life. Purpose. Reality. Grief. Sorrow. Hope. God. It all makes you consider life deeper and consider Heaven a whole lot more in ways you never did before.

We have but one life to live. We must make it count! We don’t know our flesh expiration date.

Heaven knows no bonds; has no demands nor struggles; it embraces none other than One. Heaven has One focus: the Almighty God.

Is it possible to have a bit of Heaven while on Earth?

We all have appointments in this life: specific time to start work or school, the bank closes at 5, church starts at 9:30am, the store closing at 10pm. We get it!! We all understand that we cannot live this life carelessly coming and going as we please, when we please, how we please. When our doctor appointment is scheduled for 10:00am and we arrive at 11:30 am — yep, you guessed it, we no longer have an appointment. We wouldn’t think of standing there arguing with the receptionist.

“There is an enormous difference in allowing time to rule over us and taking time by its horns and prayerfully living-out that time in a God-ruled manner.”

Meaning???

Not allowing “time” to run your life {taking you on a roller coaster ride screaming and holding on for dear life} but rather you taking those demands, appointments, schedules, activities, church, work, school, {whatever it may be} and prayerfully seek God’s wisdom first then create that schedule of time with God-purpose, God-Truths, and God-blessed plans!

Choosing to live out the Word throughout your time accordingly to God-first in every area of your life, will bring glory to God! Isn’t that what He deserves! Use your God-given time to share Christ with those you come in contact with. Be purposeful. Be diligent. Redeem your God-given time!

  • Don’t stop with your day, what about your month? Your year? Stick to the Word. Stay God-minded.
  • Bless your Lord throughout your day, week, and year! Use it for Him, not yourself — without Him you wouldn’t have this day to begin with!

Being of One focus: the Almighty God!

Setting your affections on things above and not on things on the Earth, Colossians 3:2 tells us is so key. Don’t allow time to rule you, we only have one earthly life to live — make it count for Christ!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Remember G.R.I.E.F.

Grief has many faces.

Our first response, if asked, “what brings on grief?”many of us would respond with the answer ‘the death of a loved one or the loss of a friend.’ These answers most definitely cause the cycle of grief in one’s life, but did you know that grief can be caused by other situations or circumstances?

Other forms:

  • Moving — it has been said that 3 close moves equal 1 death.
  • Change — this form comes in many different scenarios.
  • Rejection — by family, friends or self (lies, deceit)
  • Sorrow — the grief so deep no words can describe.
  • Loss — loss comes in different forms as well, not just death.

We have seen, gone through and have recently done through such heartaches, and I would like to share something the Lord has been teaching me through the pain and healing.

Remember in Grief:

G God is good! – even in your darkest hour. God is good because He is unchanging, therefore, His goodness never ceases. He is working for your best good; it is the truest display and most deepest act of love there is, for it never ends. The life you may know right now may not “feel” like it nor “seem” like it, but there is never a time when God cannot be faithful to you, cannot love you, cannot comfort you, for He always has your best interest in mind. Blessed are you who keep Him first and love Him with a pure whole heart. So, in the crash course of hardness, when you reach that beyond ability of difficulty or simply just can’t, or don’t understand – make that choice to believe in the goodness of the Lord in that land of the living, for He loves you beyond measure and has never left you—NEVER!

R Refresh yourself! – There is only one source, the Word of God that can and will refresh your soul. At first, in your time of grief, it may seem “unfulfilling” or you may find your mind not comprehending (this is normal) but be constant – keep to the Word of God for this is what your soul truly needs above all things! The Word of God is where you will find comfort, strength, healing, where you will find the ability to accomplish and endure anything that will come because God is with you—it is your life line. Make the choice to immerse your heart, your soul, your mind in the Word of God every hour if you have too. To choose Christ in your grief is a choose that you will never regret, it is a choice that is literally out of this world –but one that you must decide to choose. Trust His words for that is the only thing that is unchanging around you…He is unchangeable.

I I am not alone! –Isolation is deadly. This is key to remember, but please do not confuse the difference between isolation and solitude. We are desperately in need of daily personal time of “solitude” with God. This is a fact. This personal “solitude” time with God is a personal time to feast on His Word, to spend time on our knees personally before God, hiding God’s Word in our hearts, this is all good, this is not what we are talking about here.

Isolation is not solitude. Do not allow others to wall you off from the “rest of the world” nor allow yourself to be brought into the path of “seclusion”—this include: yourself, the family of God, destructive relationship companions, and from those who truly love you—this is not physically healthy to your body nor is it spiritually healing to your soul. Isolation kills! You are never, ever alone regardless of the why you may “feel.” Our Lord said to us, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” and that was a promise –and if you didn’t know, God never breaks His promises! God is unchangeable. He has never broken a promise, therefore, He is not going to start with you! We were not created to be isolationist.

E Equipped in Jesus Christ! –Upon the day of your salvation you were immediately indwelled by the Holy Spirit. He is alive and well within you—He is willing, eager, ready and waiting to be listened too. You are resourced, powered, equipped because of Christ in you! You are enabled, but the Father will not grow you against your will. You have to choose! Daily choose to live in the Spirit, tap into that source God has enabled you with, His strength, and hold on and don’t let go. Do not doubt. You are complete in Him!

F Future is coming! —Yes, it will come! Regardless of how you “feel” today, joy does come in the morning. Whatever holds today—how life around is perceived (remember, perception is not always right, including ours) or even the truest reality and intensity of life; remember who holds the future. God is God and we are not! God holds the future, God sees our whole life, we only see now. We have been given a life-mission. Our purpose is not without hope, not without direction, not without purpose. Our hope is founded, it is sure in Christ (when we know Him as Savior), thus firmly rooted in the unchangeable Great I AM! Submission is not our enemy, trusting the future-holder (God) is where life begins, trust is not a bad wrong when it is linked to God. When God is sitting on the throne of our life it relieves our man-made stress and worries of life—for He is in His rightful place and we in ours! Joy will come in the morning. Trust His voice.

My friend, remember G.R.I.E.F.

  • Whatever your grief may be: perhaps the loss of a loved one (family or friend) or maybe it is finding yourself like Job where life’s circumstances aren’t looking so swell around you (by the way—major life events: like moving, change in job, etc. are included in one’s grief/sorrow/loss). G.R.I.E.F. is for everyone.

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

*Copyrights for G.R.I.E.F. belong to Colleen Woodruff @ http://www.inchristiamshe.com

“The Sweetest Gift”| Comfort for Those Left Behind

I came across this song tonight and had to share. May it be a comfort to your soul.


“The Sweetest Gift” written by Craig Aven

I’m not going to lie.
Christmas really hurts this time
Cause you’re not here to celebrate with me.
Tears fill my eyes.
And memories flood my mind,
As I place your ornament upon our tree.
Although this year I have a broken heart,
It gives me hope and joy as I remember where you are.

Chorus:
You’re with the Son of God.
You’re with the Prince of Peace.
You’re with the one we’re celebrating
And that thought amazes me.
Sometimes I still break down,
Grieving that we’re apart,
But the sweetest gift is knowing where you are.
You’re with the Son of God.

Got your picture in a frame
And a stocking with your name.
Oh God knows it’s been hard letting go.
And I can’t bring you back,
But I’ll see you again.
And oh, that thought is healing to my soul.
I’ll miss making angels with you in the snow.
I guess instead you will be singing with them
All around God’s throne.

Chorus

And I know the Christmas season
Was your favorite time of year.
You loved to help us decorate our tree.
But now that you’re with Jesus,
I can’t imagine how you feel
Cause He’s the one who bled and died
Upon the tree for you and me.

Chorus

Credits:
“The Sweetest Gift” written by Craig Aven
Produced by Jon Schmidt and Chuck E. Myers “sea”
Arranged by Jon Schmidt, Chuck Myers, Al van der Beek & Steven Sharp Nelson
Craig Aven: Vocals
Jon Schmidt: Piano
Steven Sharp Nelson: Cello
Piano and vocals recorded by Jake Bowen at Big Idea Studios
Cello recorded by Al van der Beek at TPG Studios
Mastered by Al van der Beek

Video Produced and Filmed by Paul Anderson & Shaye Scott
Video Edited by Shaye Scott & Paul Anderson


The link below should send you to the youtube video.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0yFXfAGl17M


“I would have despaired had I not believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for and confidently expect the Lord; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for and confidently expect the Lord” Psalm 27:13-14 (amp).

We truly do have alive Hope all because of Christ. Oh, thank you Lord for this sweetest gift…JESUS CHRIST!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}

Reality in Time: living with an flesh expiration date.

Time.

What is time?

We freely bind ourselves to it. We accept it’s demands over us. We embrace it. We agonize internally over the power struggle it produces, yet we have a choice in how we live this one live we are given. Freely in Christ or bound.

My mind and heart are filled with the essence of time, realities of life here on Earth, Heaven, the Lord, His will, and yes even death itself.  When you are struck with the reality of loss, sorrow, grief, and hope in Christ and life with Him in glory — it changes you, forever.

In exactly ten days, my family and I will be embarking upon a new journey, the one year Heaven-anniversary of my father. On July 30, 2016, Dad was serving His Lord here on Earth one moment and the next he was face to face with Him. Time. Life. Purpose. Reality. Grief. Sorrow. Hope. God. It all makes you consider life deeper and consider Heaven a whole lot more in ways you never did before.

We have but one life to live. We must make it count! We don’t know our flesh expiration date. 

Heaven knows no bonds; has no demands nor struggles; it embraces none other than One. Heaven has One focus: the Almighty God.

Is it possible to have a bit of Heaven while on Earth?

We all have appointments in this life: specific time to start work or school, the bank closes at 5, church starts at 9:30am, the store closing at 10pm. We get it!! We all understand that we cannot live this life carelessly coming and going as we please, when we please, how we please. When our doctor appointment is scheduled for 10:00am and we arrive at 11:30 am — yep, you guessed it, we no longer have an appointment. We wouldn’t think of standing there arguing with the receptionist.

“There is an enormous difference in allowing time to rule over us and taking time by its horns and prayerfully living-out that time in a God-ruled manner.”

Meaning???

Not allowing “time” to run your life {taking you on a roller coaster ride screaming and holding on for dear life} but rather you taking those demands, appointments, schedules, activities, church, work, school, {whatever it may be} and prayerfully seek God’s wisdom first then create that schedule of time with God-purpose, God-Truths, and God-blessed plans!

Choosing to live out the Word throughout your time accordingly to God-first in every area of your life, will bring glory to God! Isn’t that what He deserves! Use your God-given time to share Christ with those you come in contact with. Be purposeful. Be diligent. Redeem your God-given time!

Don’t stop with your day, what about your month? Your year? Stick to the Word. Stay God-mindsetted. Bless your Lord throughout your day, week, and year! Use it for Him, not yourself — without Him you wouldn’t have this day to begin with!

Being of One focus: the Almighty God!

Setting your affections on things above and not on things on the Earth, Colossians 3:2 tells us is so key. Don’t allow time to rule you, we only have one earthly life to live — make it count for Christ!

In Christ I am SHE {Saved. Hopeful. Empowered.}