God Speaks To Us

My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.

                                                                                                                            John 10:27

Have you ever wished God would speak to you directly, like we read about in the Old Testament of the Bible?  When I pray, sometimes I wish I would hear a deep, booming voice that clearly answers my prayer or gives me words of wisdom and comfort.  We may not hear a concrete voice, but I’m convinced that God still speaks to us in a variety of ways.  I was witness to this over the past two weeks, as I grieved the loss of two very special Uncles.

My Uncle Claude had been admitted to the hospital and despite bouncing back many times, it seemed that he was getting weaker.  I was not ready to say good-bye and I felt so sad one evening.  It was then it came, a text out of nowhere, with a number that was not in my contact list,  saying, “Hey, how are you?”  I almost didn’t answer, but decided to ask who it was.  It turned out to be an old childhood friend that I hadn’t talked to in a while.  She was always around my family growing up and she knew my Uncle and even cleaned his house, so she was in the loop with what was going on with him, probably more so than me.  That night we texted back and forth and she shared some things with me about my Uncle and some conversations that they recently had that truly brought me so much comfort.  I knew that it was no coincidence that she texted me that night, she was sent to me by God to bring words of comfort and peace.

The next day, my Uncle Claude passed away.  I learned the news while I was at work and I did my best to hold it together.  Once my students had left for the day, I sat at my desk and was gathering my things to go home.  I wanted to make it to my car before I started crying.  Then my desk phone rang.  My phone hardly ever rings, unless it is an emergency and I had a silent debate in my head whether or not to answer it.  I decided to answer it but knew it was a mistake when my voice cracked and the tears I had been holding back all afternoon poured out.  Again, God sent his special message of comfort to me though this phone call.  It was my teaching partner I had worked with for five years, who was now at another school calling to say hi and see how I was doing.  She was just the person I needed at that moment to give me words of comfort and cheer.

I lost my Uncle Herb a few days later.  When we got the news, it was the same day we were going to the funeral home for my Uncle Claude.  We were all together as a family, grieving this loss and I could feel God there so close in the hugs from loved ones, the words spoken and the shared memories.  Being with my family helped sooth my heart.  Again, God provided comfort when I needed it most.  At my Uncle Herb’s funeral, the Pastor read many passages from the Bible that I felt spoke to me and offered comfort admist my grief.  The words were like a balm to my hurting heart.

I will miss both Uncles so much.  They were such kind, happy,  hard working men.  Both were farmers, treasured family and loved God.  I know they are at peace, home with the Lord and re-united with those who have gone before.  I find comfort in the promises of God during this time of grieving and am thankful for the way He sent a message of love and comfort to me during this difficult time through some very special people and His Word.

A few days before this loss, Little One and I saw this phenomenon, I later learned is called a Sun Dog, on our way to work and school.  It was like a rainbow coming right out of the frigid morning sky next to the rising sun.  It was brilliant and beautiful and looking back, I realize it was just another way God was letting me know He loves me and He is in control.  What an awesome God we have to give us such beauty to enjoy!  I also like to think that just maybe this was Heaven preparing a big party and celebration to welcome my Uncles home.

IMG_3655Blessings,

Jen

 

Comfort-Giving and Receiving

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Praise be to the 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 receive from God.    2 Corinthians 1:3-4

June 1st was the one year anniversary of the launch of our blog.  We wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have been supporting us and reading our posts!  We hope that somewhere along the way this year, you have found some inspiration from our blog!

June 1st is also the anniversary of a very painful event in my life.  I was debating whether to share this post and talked it over with Jules.  She thought I should share, in the hopes that it may touch someone else who has been through this same experience.  Thirteen years ago on June 1st, I lost our second precious child to a miscarriage.  It was one of the hardest and darkest days of my life.  In one day, the hopes and dreams we carried in our hearts for this little one were gone.  I was overwhelmed with sadness and grief and it took me many months to move on from this loss.

In the midst of this sadness, I found comfort in God’s presence and in those He sent to comfort me.  As friends and family heard of our loss, I was surprised at the number of people that opened up and shared their own stories of  similar loss.  It was a comfort to know that I wasn’t alone and that I would survive this  grief and get through it.  As the Bible verse above states, God gives us comfort during hard times, so that we can then comfort others.  I found great comfort in those He sent to console me.  My sister-in-law, who had also recently suffered a miscarriage, gave me a special angel charm with the birthstone of the month our baby was to be born.  Someone also gave me an idea to keep a memory box.  That box contains congratulation cards and e-mails we received, and other mementos from the pregnancy as well as letters I wrote to the baby.  I look through this box in honor and memory of our child every year.  Everyone handles this type of loss differently, but this really helped me process my grief.  As the years passed, it did get easier to accept the loss.  This child will always be in my heart, but I was able to move forward.

Over the years, I have found that I have been on the other end of offering comfort to loved ones who have lost dear, precious babies.  Sometimes it is hard to understand why bad things happen, but I do believe we can take those experiences and find the positive in them and use those difficult times to help others.  Thirteen years later, I know that God had a plan for our lives and how our family was to expand.  After that loss, I was never able to have any more babies, but we found the perfect child for our family through adoption (which is a story I will share another day).

As you travel through life, I encourage you to look for opportunities to offer comfort to those around you who may be experiencing a similar difficult situation you have lived through.  You never know, you may be just the person God intended to be there to offer comfort and solace to the broken-hearted.

~Blessings,

Jen

90 Years Young! What an Inspiration!!

DSC_0457 Uncle Claude inspirationThis is our Uncle Claude. Tomorrow all of my aunts, uncles, cousins, cousins kids and lots of friends will gather together to help him celebrate his 90th birthday!! Anyone that knows my Uncle Claude loves him. His quiet strength and gentle ways is endearing to all who know him. He is a farmer through and through, and I’m not sure he plans on retiring anytime soon! Uncle Claude has been through a lot. He had to bury his daughter Linda after a tragic accident. A year later my dear dear Aunt Margaret was killed in a car accident. I must admit we were all pretty scared we were going to lose Uncle Claude too. I remember just praying to God to please save him….his family, all of our family had been through too much all ready. Uncle Claude was a fighter!! Four years later and he is still going. If you visit Dairy Queen on a Sunday night you might see him there with his friends! It is such a joy to be able to celebrate with him. I am so grateful that my aunts and uncles are still a part of mine and my families life. I am glad that my kids and my grandkids know their great aunts, uncles, 1st cousins, 2nd cousins, 3rd cousins and so on. We are a close family. Tomorrow will be filled with really good food, LOTS of laughing and lots of stories. It will be a great family day. Now to me… THAT is an inspiration!!! \

Happy Weekend!!

Julie