Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Praying Parent Intro

Well, I'll start by saying to those who know me, know that my children are the center of my life. Having put that out there, I have come to realize in the past I've prayed for them generically and never been specific. It wasn't until recently that I realized that wasn't how God wanted me to pray for them. I didn't realize the importance of praying for ALL aspects of their lives; past, present and future circumstances. Having started our daily devotion, God has opened my eyes and given me insight. He is teaching me so much by devoting my time to Him with this group. Never before have I been so excited to read and study a book. I believe this was the tool I needed to help me learn to fully surrender my children to Him in prayer. I'm learning to do that now by depending on God. For Him to help me raise my children and for me to realize my need for His help. I know this book is just a tool, but I can't seem to keep my nose out of it! I want to read and learn more each day...its been AMAZING!!
First, I'd like to start by saying I was raised in church. I practically/literally was there anytime the doors were open. I've always been surrounded with God-fearing, filled with the Holy Spirit, washed in the Blood, born-again Christians. And I was saved at young age. I can tell you every detail about the day I asked Jesus into my heart. I then did the traditional "baptist" thing and followed my salvation with getting baptized. At that tender age I felt lead to do so. I've always been drawn to church, fellowship and worship, however, I haven't always listened to God. I've always believed God has a perfect-Will for my life. Unfortunately, I got to a point in my life that I couldn't even admit that! I need to fast-forward a bit, so I can tell you how I came to that awful point.

I will begin with getting married and after four short months I found out I was pregnant. Jaden, is my precious and only daughter. She was the key turning point in my life. God used her very existence to bring me closer to Him. As a rebellious teen who didn't listen to ANY authority, I hadn't been abiding in God. In fact, I was doing the opposite. I was becoming more and more distant from Him, but God used my sweet Jaden girl to bring me back to Him. I'd always said whenever I had children, I'd make sure they were raised in church. All this so they'd be able to spend eternity with me. Having said all that, I did get back in church and tried to fully abide in God.
Well, that worked for awhile and then I started skipping a service here and there...and then you know the rest. I quit going all together. It was that easy. I truly had every excuse in the book. Luckily, my mom continued to take Jaden faithfully to church with her. I wasn't a role model for her, I didn't pray with her and when I prayed it was only the basics, it was never in depth or detailed.
By the Grace of God, Jaden always enjoyed church and recently she gave her life to Jesus. She then was baptized not long afterwards.Now, she's full of questions and I feel really blessed she looks to me for answers. Although this can be overwhelming, she has an absolute brilliant mind.LOL! I'm just thankful she trusts me enough to ask me. More importantly, she trust me with her life! We all know how the pre-teen attitude can be at times.LOL!

God has truly been moving in every area of my life. I look forward to each revelation He has in store for me. This is what leads me to the Day of my Deliverance that happened a couple months ago.

January 15,2010, was a day I'll never forget...
At church one Sunday, I signed up for a women's retreat. This was completely on a whim, and as the day drew nearer I didn't want to go. Countless times I tried to talk myself out of going, but God had a different plan for me. Satan tried to keep me from going because he knew this was going to be life-changing for me.
Well, so I get in the door and whats looking back at me??? A table full of all sorts of baggage with emotional "baggage" names attached to them...hmmm.....yeah, I was meant to be there. It certainly wasn't by chance! I can tell you since that day my life has been transforming. God is working on me! I'm going to skip one last time...its necessary, and you'll know why in a minute.

Okay, so my life started a downward spiral in September, 2005. My dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I believed he'd be the one to beat it and I wouldn't except anything else. After all, my dad was a "Manly Man". During his illness we became close, which is something I'd always longed for. Well, Christmas '05 came and my dad got really ill. He'd taken a turn for the worse and after a brave battle he passed on 1/18/06.
Not long after his funeral I started having pregnancy symptoms and my husband insisted on taking a test, so reluctantly I did. Sure enough it was positive, I was pregnant. Then on our scheduled ultrasound in February, we found out our baby didn't have a heartbeat. We were completely crushed. All this new-found happiness was sucked right out of us.
Now, looking back I know God used this miscarriage to give me the desire for more children. We focused all our efforts on making me healthy and trying to conceive again. As crazy as it sounds the very following month, I was pregnant again. With much worry and fear we poured ourselves into this pregnancy. We found a happiness in doing so and then the unthinkable happened...this pregnancy continued. My mom and I felt that God had given us this baby to help ease the pain of losing my dad.
Then the last week of my pregnancy and my favorite day of year came. It was Christmas Eve night/Christmas Day morning and I awoke in panic...something was very wrong! My baby wasn't moving and I became frantic, hysterical! You see deep in my heart of hearts I knew he wasn't okay. This was later confirmed on Christmas Day morning. I then had to make the most difficult decision of my life and I turned to God for the answer. We must decide to have our precious baby boy today or tomorrow and only through God was I able to wait. My Jaden girl would forever be hurt at Christmas if I chose to have Preston then. I just couldn't let her heart ache the way mine would and does. During the first weeks I cried out to God and I knew this was part of a greater plan, something my earthly mind couldn't grasp. And then, my emotions started controlling my life and before I knew it doubt began creeping in. Satan of course, began feeding on it and using it. I withdrew further and further away from God during this time.
I still longed for a baby and I began to pour my heart out to Him, I begged God for another child; just one more! After a few months I took a test and sure enough I was pregnant. Well, I had that feeling from the start this was not meant to be and at my first appointment that proved true. The twins I was carrying weren't going to be! It was twice the anguish and all those previous emotions flooded me again. And still I wanted another baby??!!... I kept saying Why,Why,Why??? Even though I'd quit abiding in God I still believed in prayer. And so, I began begging God to allow me to have just one more!
The next month I became pregnant and this time I finally had what I'd wanted for so long! My sweet,Copeland, but, even after all that, I still didn't do what God had wanted me to do all along. He told me time and time again to get rid of that emotional baggage and the doubt that had consumed my life. Even after all the loss I'd went through I still turned to God to help me.I used to pray that somehow,someway I could hold it all in, so I wouldn't ruin my children's lives. I also remember praying that the Lord would see me through today and let tomorrow take care of itself. I prayed that for years! Literally!!
And by the way my third son, Conley was an unexpected miraculous addition to our family! Oh, how He loves me!
You see today, I can say I'm truly thankful for every day I spend with my children because I know there may not be a tomorrow. I now realize how important every moment is. I truly cherish my children. They are little gifts from God. What an amazing feeling to know that I love them unconditionally.

Okay, back my life-changing day I spoke briefly about earlier... Well, the day began with fellowship, worship and games, after that we all formed a circle. These "prayer warriors" started making their way around the circle; I was thinking whatever their going to tell me is pointless, after all I was hopeless and I felt God didn't love me anymore. I'd been through so much pain and it'd spawned fury of rage and anger, along with every other emotion you could imagine. Then it was my turn and guess what?!...God spoke directly to my spirit! The words that were pouring from their lips were God's and I knew instantly God was delivering me! He was telling me what I'd wanted to hear for three years! God said I was His child and He loved me! He said get rid of your doubt because you are Mine!! He placed a divine peace in my heart and spoke to me in such a profound way! Because of this day I feel closer to Him now more than ever!

Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:33