Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Redemption for a Family {Part 1}


Almost twenty-three years ago I stepped into the scary world of being a mother and shortly after a wife. And yes, I've shared in the correct order. At what many would consider too young of an age, I started a family.

A month before my twenty-first birthday I welcomed my first bundle of joy into the world. I remember bringing my son home and on that first night as I cradled him in my arms, I said through tears, Take him back. I'm clearly not ready to be a mom. But at the same time I was unwilling to let go of this precious child staring back at me.




Four months later I walked down the aisle and married the man I have now spent more than half of my life with.

Life for us was so much different when we first began this journey of being a family. We jumped in before we were ready. Are we ever really ready though? I shudder at the memories of how unprepared we were. The first few months were spent in a corner of my parent's home fighting between wanting our independence and also needing them so desperately.

Soon our family grew by welcoming our second bundle of joy.




Dark clouds began to hover over us. Our boys were growing up in the midst of storm after storm. Their innocent eyes witnessed events I wish could be erased from their memory. When the storms raged I would cling to my boys as though my life depended on them. They were my reason for hope. I didn't know how to rely on God for hope.

We lived in Elgin, Illinois during those early years of family life. Ironically, the kids always say there were too many tornado warnings while we lived there. Yes, there were my dear children...way too many. It was a happy day when we closed the door to Elgin.

I'd like to say the storms settled when we left Elgin, but they did not. They became so routine we had mastered surviving them with few knowing how bad the impact really was.

Hearts were being hardened.

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The walk down memory lane isn't easy for me. There are hurts that I may never share. They are hurts God is showing me how to let go of. A quick glimpse back reminds me we aren't that same family anymore. The storms have a harder way of finding their way into our home.

I've learned this...Jesus sees the broken. Jesus touches the broken. Jesus heals the broken. If you take time to read the Gospels you will see this truth over and over again. Luke 7:11-17 gives us one account of this truth when Jesus raises a Widow's son.

To say I'm surprised that he would see my broken family, take the time to touch us each individually, and then find us worthy of healing would be an understatement. I'm blown away. Why us?

Honestly, I'm no longer asking why. I'm saying, Thank you Lord.

There is this myth that God will never give you more than you can handle. Here's the thing though, God doesn't allow bad things to happen. Bad things happen because we live in a fallen world. The good news is, God will use all things for good for those who love Him (Romans 8:28).

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good." ~ Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)

Those raging storms were more than I could handle. There was a time when I was ready to check out. But God had a promise for my family—a promise that for many years I was blind to. Even in my unbelief, He kept His promise. A promise to redeem my family. The storms we survived He will use...He is already using. Our testimony is one of how a marriage and family can survive. Our story is one of how you can make the choice to stay and surrender to God's plan. He will see you. He will touch you. He will heal you.


17 comments :

  1. Isn't God amazing to redeem our failures and love us in spite of them? Loved your post and I appreciate you stopping by my blog and sharing a word of encouragement. Bless you!
    Marty@Marty's Musings

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    1. God is amazing indeed! Thank you for stopping by Marty.

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  2. Amen, Beth!! God uses all of our brokenness and uses our life's events to bring us to Him, to bless our lives, and bring us joy, in spite of hardships. You shared some great "mama" and baby pics! I also posted about being a mother on my blog. Hope you have a blessed week and wonderul Mother's Day!(http://christintheclouds.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-phases-of-mothers-life.html)
    Ann @ Christ in the Clouds

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    1. Thank you, Ann. I appreciate you stopping by. Headed over to check out your site now. Blessings.

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  3. Reminds me of my own story. Mom first, wife second. Struggles, heartache as well but God has done a tremendous work in our marriage as well. I cannot share some of my story either but the pain for you and I both has run deep but God has a plan and redeemed the pain for Him. Hugs sweetie.

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    1. I have a feeling you and I could talk for hours Angie. You encourage me through this online world...if only we were closer!!
      (((hugs)))

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  4. Beth, beautiful as always! I'm loving your story of how God is redeeming, restoring and transforming you and your family.

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  5. Beth,
    Thank you for sharing, from you heart, what an awesome redeemer our God is! Your family is a living testimony...
    Love,
    Bev

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    1. Thank you my friend! (((hugs)))

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  6. Beautiful testimony Beth. He is bringing such beauty from the ashes of your life... and He is so glorified! Thank you for sharing your heart:)

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Heidi. Blessings to you.

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  7. What a beautiful story of redemption. He is so faithful to take the messy, broken pieces of our life and make them beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thank you for stopping by, Barbie. I hope you had a wonderful Mother's Day. Blessings.

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  8. That last photo. Gets me all choked up. Such beauty.

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    1. It is one of my favorites! Love that I have a sister who is a photographer! Thanks for stopping by and the opportunity to link-up. Many blessings.

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  9. "But God had a promise for my family—a promise that for many years I was blind to. Even in my unbelief, He kept His promise. A promise to redeem my family. The storms we survived He will use...He is already using. Our testimony is one of how a marriage and family can survive. Our story is one of how you can make the choice to stay and surrender to God's plan. He will see you. He will touch you. He will heal you."

    SO, so great!

    (And I know Elgin...I lived in Chicagoland also!)

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Much love to you.