I can smile because of HIM


1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

My heart is so over joyed! Three times in the last week I have had the opportunity to share my testimony with people. Each time the response was much the same… “Oh my goodness I’m so sorry but thats an incredible testimony”…. “Oh my goodness you are so incredibly strong”…. And my favorite, “WOW I would never have guessed you ever went through something like that because you are always so happy and you always have a smile on your face!” My response is always the same, “I can smile because of HIM”.

You see God is the source of my strength and my comfort. Its been such an incredible lesson in God’s love, compassion (and comfort), and His peace that surpasses all understanding. On my own I would be drowning in a dark pit of despair. On my own I would be stuck, shrouded in depression and hopelessness. But because of Him I can smile, I can rejoice and give thanks, and I can share with anyone who will listen all the wondrous works He has done in me.

Its also been a great lesson in sharing. God doesn’t give us these beautiful stories, written on our hearts for us to cling to or hide. He gives us our stories for us to share and proclaim all His great works. You just never know who you will minister to when you share your story. Just the other night when sharing with my neighbor about our loss she was able to share about hers. This woman was given a chance to share, an opportunity to recognize she too carried a life that left this earth too soon. This beautiful woman who probably hadn’t had a chance to really share this precious life with anyone spoke of her child and all the things she had hoped for.

I urge you to share your stories. Be bold and encouraged. You story just may help someone else heal!

*If you are reading this blog for the first time or you are stopping by from IComLeavWe you can find my testimony back in June titled I Share With You My Testimony!

An extra dose of comfort


The last few days I have needed an extra dose of comfort that only God can provide. Its been such a battle between joy for my sister, excitement for these precious little boys God has gifted to us to love, and sorrow for my own loss. Especially after she texted the other night when she was discharged from the hospital after her C-section. My precious nephews were born on Wednesday of last week and have been in the NICU ever since. Praise God that they are doing so well after being born at 32 weeks. Its just brought back so many emotions that I didn’t expect to deal with.

Anyways the other night she texts me and of course she feels guilty as it is for texting me of all people but she needed comfort. She says, “I’m being discharged from the hospital and I didn’t realize how hard it would be to leave them there all alone. Will you please pray for me?” I’m sure she struggled immensely with reaching out to me of all people but we are a family who prays for each other and she reached out to her big sister. My earthly self was screaming “How dare you complain to me about this. At least you babies are touched and fed and snuggled so tightly in warm blankets. I had to leave my babies cold and alone knowing they were waiting to be picked up by a funeral home. How dare you come crying to me looking for comfort.” I am ashamed that I even have earthly thoughts like this. Thankfully I pushed my earthly thoughts away and was able to offer her comfort.

The next day I came across 2 Corinthians 1:3-5,

“Praise be to 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 have received from God” (emphasis mine).

God has not showered me with compassion through my darkest times for me to store it up. He hasn’t poured out compassion and peace that surpasses all understanding for me to bottle it up and ignore those around me who are hurting. God has poured out an abundance of compassion and comfort so that after receiving it and healing (even though it doesn’t seem like it sometimes) I can then pour out that compassion on someone who is hurting. It doesn’t matter that my loss was permanent. That when I left the hospital that night with empty arms I wouldn’t be going back to get them when they got better. In that moment when my sister texted me she was hurting and her pain was real, and God has called, prepared, and equipped me to offer her comfort.

Would you like to hear something beautiful!? One several occasions over the last few days friends from various parts of the country have sent me messages saying that God has placed me on their hearts and they are praying for me. These friends had no idea what was going on they just knew they needed to pray. God saw me hurting and He called people to pray. He again poured out His compassion and reminded me that my pain and suffering never goes unnoticed to Him.

My Heavenly Father also never misses an opportunity to speak to me. Just the other night (the day that I was hurting a little bit more than the other days) I opened my nightly devotional and 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 spoke to my heart.

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.”

Even as the day was drawing to a close My precious Heavenly Father saved up a beautiful promise to share with me. In that moment I realized I’m going to press on through the hurt, I will finish this race God has called me to run, and someday I will receive my eternal reward and my precious Vance and Veronica will be waiting there at the finish line to welcome mommy home! Jesus tells me in this world you will have trouble but take comfort my dear child I have overcome this world!

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