I’ve heard it said, absence makes the heart grow fonder. If ever there has been a time where this couldn’t ring more true- it’s now. I’ve heard it said, you only realise what you’ve got till its gone. These sayings are ringing ever so true in my life at the moment as I attend this conference, leaving my daughter behind with her Dad. While I haven’t lost Ava, it’s not until I’ve spent time apart from her, when she’s not here in my arms, that I really appreciate the precious gift we’ve been blessed with. My heart and love for Ava has grown deeper, wider and stronger just by not being with her. I appreciate her and love her even more now than I thought I did before. Isn’t it crazy how a mother’s love is so powerful! That unique, indescribable bond between a mother and their child! So precious and something to be nurtured and protected.
As I stand amongst the many women singing in chorus praise at this conference, echoing their love for our heavenly father and surrendering all their personal needs at His feet, giving Him all the praise right in the midst of their circumstances- I find myself thanking Him more than I ever have before.
You see, this conference is one of significance to me. As I stand among these women today, I remember where I was last year. It was at this conference last June, that I was drowning in my tears, falling at His feet and crying out to God- why?! Why did I have to lose my precious baby?! Oh my heart ached, it shattered into a thousand pieces- I had no idea how it would be put back together. So as I stood in the same arena, my heart overflowed with a rush of emotion- but this time of thanks and praise. So often we ask and ask of God- but I wonder how much we remember to thank Him? I know my asks have far outweighed my thanks up until this conference I’m sorry to say.
I’ve also heard it said, its only when you look back you can see what God has done. Well, as I stood among the thousands of women today, this couldn’t have been more true for me. I found myself crying tears of joy at just how thankful I am for Ava Joy. Our sweet miracle of a daughter that God has blessed us with. A daughter who this time last year I never would’ve imagined would be given to us. This time last year I couldn’t see past my pain, my hurt, my anger, my questions of why?! Now, all I can say is thank you! Thank you God!
I remember crying out to God on the first night of this conference, ‘Lord, if you never did anything else for me again, it wouldn’t matter, because of the blessing we’ve received- thank you for our daughter!’ and you know, I stand by that declaration. After losing Hope, our sweet baby who was growing in my womb, I can now stand in awe and wonder at Gods amazing grace. That He should bless us with another child, that He should answer our prayers for a healthy, happy baby. I am overflowing with praise and thanksgiving for our daughter and I stand on the truth and as testament to the miracle working God we proclaim to know!
He can work miracles! Those words can so easily run off our tongue. We so easily speak that promise over someone’s life and be well meaning and believe it. But in all honesty for me, it’s only now looking back and standing where I am today, that I can shout from the rooftops and declare with a sincere and believing heart- that God is a miracle working God! He is!
He heard my cries, He wept when I wept and rocked me like a baby in His arms. He gave me peace in the storm and a strength I never knew I had within me. He answered my prayers and delivered us a beautiful blessing in abundance, totally beyond and exceeding our expectations!
Just as I walked into the conference this evening, I was told by a friend who I hadn’t seen in a while that a couple in their family needed prayer. I listened as she told me this couple had also lost a baby around the same time as I lost Hope and that they are still waiting for a baby. Oh how my heart broke for that couple. You see guys, when we go through life and experience heartaches and trials, our hearts then break for those going through the same as what we’ve experienced- you weep with those who weep, your heart breaks for those whose hearts are breaking. And so tonight as I sung in praise and worship, I found myself crying out to God and praying this couple would experience the miracle of a baby. You see my focus had shifted. I no longer wanted to ask for me anymore, God has already done more than enough for me- I need nothing more, but I now knew a couple that did have a need, who did need to experience the love of this miracle working God we talk about. I am standing and believing for this couple. Perhaps you know someone who’s gone through a similar situation to you? Perhaps you’re on the other side or still waiting for a miracle- stand with them in prayer- believing that we know a miracle working God. I don’t know when, how or what the miracle will look like for them or for you- but just believe, and be thankful in the middle of it all!
I am just so thankful that God has blessed me beyond my expectations, that He has given me a heart of understanding and deep, sincere compassion for those who are going through similar situations Carl and I have experienced. I am so thankful for a healthy baby, our Ava Joy. I am still in awe and wonder at the blessing He has lavished on us.
I wonder if you will just take the time to stop and praise God for what He has done in your life? I wonder if you will give thanks and praise for what He’s done and what you’re believing He’s going to do. I understand that if you’re going through something right now this will be the last thing you feel like doing- I felt the same, I totally get it! Some days I could be thankful and other days I couldn’t. Sweet brothers and sisters, I believe God understands that. He loves you, He is patient, He is kind. He will bring you to a place of strength and help you to focus on what you have and can be thankful for in the waiting, until the time (His time) comes to pour out his blessings on you.
Thank you my heavenly father for Ava Joy. Thank you also for our sweet baby Hope who you blessed us with. What a precious gift and honour it was to carry her for the time you allowed. Thank you for the work you’ve done in me and the healing you’ve poured out. Thank you that now, because of Hopes life, who is now with you in heaven, I can love on Ava Joy even more than I ever thought was possible. I can soak up each moment with her and appreciate each second because I know what it is to lose someone you love.
Lord God, you are good, you are faithful, you are true and I give you my thanks and praise!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances
I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart; I will glorify your name forever.