“My eyes are worn out from weeping; my stomach is churning, my insides are poured on the ground…” Lamentations 2:11
Today is the day. The day that marks two years since I lost my sister Debbie. The day that was supposed to be a weekend of joy with a surprised baby shower for Madelyn but instead a funeral with tears, heartache and questions. Today is the day I think of what it should’ve been and wonder why you left us so young? Today is the day our lives changed forever.
A lot of us have these days. The day of questions, uncertainty and sorrow. The day of when we lost someone we loved, the day of our unborn child’s birthday…. It hurts extra these days.
I know that God is sovereign, but I still don’t understand why we have to go through such tragedies. I remember listening to “It is Well” by Bethel Music - it was sung by two of our dear friends at Debbie’s funeral. I am not going to lie it was a hard song to hear. I couldn’t even sing it. It was not well with my soul! I was upset, hurt and angry. I didn’t understand…It was supposed to be a fun weekend! We were all supposed to be together celebrating Maddie. It wasn’t supposed to be like this! For many months it was hard for me to hear this song.
In September of 2015 a dear friend of mine left this world unexpectedly. I was asked to sing “It is Well” by Bethel Music at her funeral. It brought back a lot of the same questions and emotions from Debbie’s death. I remember listening to the song one day in my bedroom. The kids were napping and I was asking God why? How can this be well with my soul? I began to weep in my bedroom as I listened to the bridge.
Through it all. Through it all my eyes are on you. Through it all. Through it all. It is well. Through it all. Through it all my eyes are on you. And it is well with me.”
I don’t think that God necessarily says what has happened is good and I don’t think He even expects us to understand why. Honestly, I really don’t think I will ever know why. He calls us to fix our eyes on Him through all circumstances. He never said this journey of life would be easy but He told me He would never leave me, nor forsake me. He promised me that I would never be alone on this journey and that He would be with me THROUGH IT ALL. It is well with my soul because of Him and when we fix our eyes on Him, He lets us know it is well. Doesn’t mean we have to understand or we don’t have days that we weep with sorrow. To me it means we have a Savior that holds us closely and gives us hope for tomorrow. He helps me focus on the beautiful life Debbie lived. The many hearts she continues to touch with her story and her legacy she left us through her daughter, and so much more. Some days are harder then others but that is why I can now sing, “Even so, It is well.”
We love you so very much and think of you everyday. You will always have a very special place in our family’s heart. Thank you for loving me and for always making me feel like I was your “real” sister. Your hugs were tight with love and your smile was contagious. Your words were bold and true and you showed true bravery and courage. You loved Jesus with your whole heart and you invested in your daughter’s life even when it was extremely hard at times. You were a true example of someone who wasn’t going let their past take their future! I love you forever! I am so proud of the women and life you lived!
Love your Sister,
It took just one comment from a four year old that made me go overboard. It made me enter into a new obsession of looking at tall skinny girls that seemed to always look perfect on Instagram. I was already dealing with some insecurities about myself. After having my second child my face began to break out constantly. I never really had this problem, just the minor breakouts and now here I am in my late twenties and I felt like I was back in high school.
I began to pick at myself. First it was my breakouts, then it was stretch marks, my stomach and the list continued. I began playing this comparing game and wished I looked like “her” but then making excuses of why “she” looked a certain way and I didn’t. It was becoming a habit and it wasn’t healthy. It began to eat away at me. It wasn’t just how I looked anymore; I started not to like me. To be honest I didn’t even realize it was happening. I felt miserable and unsatisfied; it was because I was unhappy with myself.
It was one of those long mommy days…you know the days when you smell, have no make up on and pray that not one person comes to your door. Yep, one of those days! I had finally gotten the kids to bed and I was ready to just sit and watch TV. As I was laying in bed getting ready to put the TV on my husband looks at me and says, “You look beautiful.” I just looked at him and rolled my eyes and said, “Yeah, whatever.” Then he said, “You always look beautiful. You’re my girl.” All of sudden something clicked and I thought, “I am his girl.”
It is mind blowing how we can let our insecurities eat at us. It is like we view ourselves as something so insignificant. We are constantly comparing our lows to someone else's highs. I often wonder what would happen if I viewed myself the way my husband Dave views me. I know I am his girl and I know he believes in me. If only I looked in the mirror and saw what he sees.
In Psalms 139:13-14 says, "You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mothers womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.” (NLT).
I love the NLT version because of the last sentence, “Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.” Too often we never truly find out how marvelous we really are because we are too busy trying to be like someone else. I can’t even begin to imagine what would happen if I truly figured out how marvelous I was. If I looked in the mirror and saw all the delicate, complex parts that God sees. If I truly believed that He knitted me into this special being so that one day I could change a life through a blog that, most times in my eyes, seems pointless and insignificant. If only I totally forgot about my insecurities and let God take all of me for His glory. If only I didn’t let my insecurities stop me from something so much greater…
The next day I opened my bible app to read the verse of the day. It is funny how God works. It was Song of Songs 4:1, “You are beautiful, my darling, beautiful beyond words…” Yes God, I certainly am.
Written by Guest Writer, Stephanie Hulett
Some of the hardest seasons of my life have been when I have had to wait for something. Whether I was waiting for an answer, waiting for direction or waiting for something to change, it was difficult. I didn't like feeling stuck and it was frustrating to me to be put on hold. My waiting consumed my thoughts and I even lost sight of the important things. I ended up losing my focus.
Hebrews 12:2 tells us... "to FIX our eyes on Jesus, He began and finished the race of life and endured the cross."
Matthew 20:28 tells us... "He came to serve, not be served—and then to give away his life..."
While Jesus was in the waiting he was "a waiter." He lived his life serving and loving others. He didn't let the wait stop Him from living and doing what He was called to do. He continued to live His purpose by serving and caring for others. He was not consumed by the waiting season but was driven by loving others. We can be strong and courageous in the wait by fixing our eyes on Jesus and serving others.
In the waiting season there can be times of silence. We can feel abandoned or forgotten by God. Our minds become our enemy as it fills with doubt and fear. It is like being in the waiting room at a hospital when we are waiting to hear news about a loved one. The clock seems to have stopped ticking and time stands still. It seems like forever until we hear something.
God tells us to FILL the silence... fill it with music, encouraging sermons, laughter, positive people, uplifting books, and of course Gods Word. We can be strong and courageous in our waiting if we fill the silence with thoughts of faith and joy.
Philippians 4:8-9 tells us “... if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise."
Lastly, in the Bible, the word wait is interchanged with the word hope. We can change our perspective about our waiting if we see it as a season of hope. Hope in the One who calls you His beloved. Hope in the One who knows your name. Hope in the One who saved your soul. We can turn it into a season of expectation, anticipation and possibilities. We can be strong and courageous in our seasons of waiting if we turn our wait into hope.
Psalm 27:14 tells us... “Hope (wait on) in the Lord! Be strong! Let your heart take courage! Hope (wait on) in the Lord!”
Isaiah 40:31 says... “but those who hope in (wait on) the Lord will renew their strength; they will fly up on wings like eagles; they will run and not be tired; they will walk and not be weary.”
I pray that while you wait, God would continually remind you to focus on others as your thoughts and minds are filled with the expectancy of a new day. Be strong and courageous!!
I recently started running again. I am using an app to help me train for a 5k and I always find that the middle part of the run is the hardest. At the beginning I have energy and I am ready for what is ahead. As I progress with the run the more tired I become.
I am realizing that our life is a lot like going on a run. Every journey we go on has a beginning, middle and end. The middle is defined as the center of something. We aren’t closer to the one side or the other, we are at equal distances. I believe, in life the middle is always the hardest. I want to share 6 things that God has shown me through Mark 6:45-48 that has strengthened and helped me get through my “middles” in life.
At once, Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and start back across to Bethsaida. But he stayed until he had sent the crowds away. Then he told them goodbye and went up on the side of the mountain to pray. Later in the evening he was still there by himself, and the boat was somewhere in the middle of the lake. He could see that the disciples were struggling hard, because they were rowing against the wind. Not long before morning, Jesus came toward them. He was walking on the water and was about to pass the boat.” Mark 6:45-48 (CEV)
1. Jesus often calls us on the journey with little detail.
It says that “Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and start back across to Bethsaida.” Jesus told the disciples enough information for them to get into the boat and go. He didn’t give them all the details because they probably would not have gone if they knew a storm was coming. I believe God only gives us certain details because we can’t handle all the details. I know that if I knew about all the uncertainty and hardships of the middle areas I may have planned my journey a little differently or may have not gone at all.
2. We need to train before we get to our middle
I just started running about a week ago (haven’t ran in 5 years!). So If I told you I was going to run a marathon tomorrow you would probably think I was crazy! It takes marathon runners months of training to be able to run a marathon. Even with all the training they say that most runners suffer from leg cramping, dizziness and much more. Just like a trained marathon runner the disciples were trained in something: fishing. They had years of experience and they knew what to do during a storm. But the Bible says they were still struggling.
So many times we reach the middle of our journey and we have no training to rely on. My inability to run a marathon tomorrow is like a person trying to make it through the middle without any training. We never read our bible, never spend time with God and we expect to get through the middle with little to no difficulty. The middle is a hard place, but learning to lean on your experience and training while you go through the middle will ensure you reach the destination God has for you!
3. Our faith is tested in the middle.
In the middle we are most vulnerable. It is the time when the devil comes to steal and destroy the destination God has for us. This is the time we have to put into practice what Gods word says. I encourage you to surround yourself with people that will help you get through your middle situation because the devil will do anything to get you to go back to your previous shore.
It says the disciples were rowing against the wind… I am going to take a guess here and say the wind was pulling them in the opposite direction of were Jesus said He would meet them. They kept their eyes on the destination ahead. It was tough but they focused on were Jesus called them to go. So when your faith is being tested remember where God called you and focus on your destination.
4. Jesus may be silent but He is still Present.
It said that Jesus went up to the side of the mountain to pray. I believe that he was preparing for the destination ahead of them. When God is silent I believe it is because he is preparing our destination. In His silence I believe we learn the most about ourselves. In those times, I have seen my strengths, my fears and also my weaknesses come through. Its provided me an opportunity to work on being more like Him.
5. One more stride and you are closer to the destination.
I use an app when I run and it tells me when I am halfway done with the workout. So I know that with just one more stride I am closer to the end. Many times when we are in the middle we simply give up. We are so caught up in the hardship of the middle that we forget we are only one more stride away from being closer to the destination God has for us!
6. He’s got it under control. So stop Worrying!
When the disciples saw Jesus walking on the water, they thought he was a ghost, and they started screaming. All of them saw him and were terrified. But at the same time he said, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.” He then got into the boat with them, and the wind died down. The disciples were completely confused. Their minds were closed, and they could not understand the true meaning of the loaves of bread.” Mark 6:49-52 (CEV)
If you continue reading Mark 6 you will find that when they reached their destination people were waiting for Jesus. Their next destination was full of miracles and a huge part of Jesus’ ministry. The middle prepared the disciples for this destination. They realized that He was truly the Son of God. So remember Mark 6, “Don’t worry! I am Jesus. Don’t be afraid.” God gives us middles to prepare us for the destination.
Hello my name is Tiffany. I am a mom to two beautiful children, Landon & Madelyn and a wife to my Prince Charming, David. A few of my favorite things are Disney, the beach, sharpies & post its.
Moms Are World Changers