Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Let me just preface the thoughts that I am going to share here tonight with one statement.
I have seen firsthand these past several months evidence to support my belief.

We had a guest preacher at church Sunday night and my thoughts have been whirling since. This preacher gave his testimony, which was a true testament to God's awesome provisions in his life. In summary, he shared about being called to preach and the sacrifices he made all the while having faith that God would provide for him. He shared many examples of times when he and his family were in need and those needs were met unexplained by any other supernatural force than God Himself. It was impressive to say the least. While it was impressive there were some things he expounded upon concerning his beliefs that I just have a hard time with.
What I am really having a hard time with is the notion that if we name it, claim it, and tag it, we can take it home. What happens when what we name, claim, and tag is not part of God's perfect plan for our lives?
Maybe someone can give me more insight on this. I think that perhaps He answers our prayers in different ways.
Where am I coming from on this?
Well, November 30, 2009 I began praying and seeking God's face like I never have before. I believed. I had faith. I knew that God possessed(es) the power to reach in and heal Eli's kidneys. There was never a doubt in my mind about that. I prayed, I begged, I named it and claimed it. I even tagged it, but I didn't get to take it home. It was not His will. Until my child drew his last breath, I had faith that God could and would let me keep my child. All along there were signs leading me to the forgone conclusion that I would not have my prayers answered like I wanted them to be. I KNOW that prayers were and are answered. I know that God has gently carried my family through this storm and will continue to. But, it is still not what I prayed for.
Well according to the preacher Sunday night, I just was not either faithful enough, righteous enough, or both. He basically said that all of his prayers were answered because he had an unwavering faith in God and he was living for God. He was following whole-heartedly in God's will for his life. That is why God has made provisions for his family and continues to. I left church upset, thinking that maybe, I am not caring for Eli today because somehow I am out of the will of God. It has really bothered me.
Jamie and I have said all along that if God was not going to leave Eli with us, or even if He was, we wanted this situation to bring glory to God. We have been adamant about that. I fully believe that God has and will use my little guy to further His kingdom. I believe that there is something special waiting around the other bend, and that is why God called him home after his brief life here. I believe that God is allowing us to go through this tribulation for reasons unbeknown to us.
I do not believe that I did not have enough faith or was not persistent enough in seeking His face, so He left my prayers for earthly healing unanswered. I am a sinner saved by the merciful grace of God. I am not perfect, but I do not believe that is a prerequisite for answered prayers either. If that were so even those prayers of that preacher would be left unanswered, because we all sin. It just seamed to me that this man was saying that because he lives right and is a faithful child of God, his prayers get answered. That just does not sit well with me at all. Maybe I misconstrued his message. It has caused a whirligig in my already restless mind.
So, what can I do in this instance but turn to the only infallible authority I have on this issue. In my search for answers and peace about this, this is where God led me.
Ephesians 3:13-19
13Wherefore I desire that ye faint not at my tribulations for you, which is your glory,
14For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
15Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
16That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
17That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
18May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
19And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
So there you have it...
And to answer that question that has been on your mind the entire time you have been reading this post...
A whirligig is an object that spins or whirls, or has whirling parts. This answer is brought to you by the very fallible authority Wikipedia.
Much love,


  1. I am still very new to faith, church, and God.

    But my pastor prayed for this baby, and he prayed that it was God's will for me to hold this healthy baby one day. And while he prayed, he said that he knew it was only our will that we were asking God to grant, and if God had a different plan, no amount of prayer and asking would change that, and then he prayed for understanding and comfort if that was to be the case.

  2. Jennifer,
    You are on the right path in your thinking. The gospel of the Bible is most assuredly NOT a name it and claim it gospel. In fact, Jesus assured His disciples in John 16:33 "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." LeAnn and I were blessed to attend a special event (6 hour Bible teaching service) in Bham where the preacher was discussing the prosperity gospel in light of God's Word and said that one of the main problems with that was that Jesus would not have fit the picture of a blessed man. (If we are supposed to be living our best life now, we are to be pitied above all men. The best is yet to come!) Jesus definitely had troubles in this world and if that were a sign of being out of God's will, then it wouldn't have fit. Obviously that (Jesus, God the Son, out of the will of God the Father) would be blasphemous. Jesus, God's Son, was totally in God's will and doing what He came here to do - save us! In the garden He prayed that, although He didn't really WANT to go through what was coming, ultimately His prayer was not that His will be done but the Father's. As His followers, how can we pray anything less? It would be presumptuous to think that we know better than God. How much more faith it takes to trust God when the world is spinning out of control and we so desperately want what isn't His will for us at that time. How precious to know that He cries with us and loves us so much and His plan is for our ultimate good and will bring Him glory. Just wanted to reassure you that you're on strong ground Biblically. Keep turning to God's Word (the Truth) and keep taking the next step. He is directing you and using you in amazing ways that you won't know until you reach heaven. You can, however, rest assured that He is using you and Jamie and glorifying Himself through it. (Meanwhile, He's hugging precious Eli and you will too one day.)
    I love you so much!

  3. Hi Jennifer.
    Me again. :)
    I got up from the computer and my mind kept racing thinking about your post.
    You know, God has different purposes in different situations. In this preacher's situations, God was obviously showing His attributes as provider. In your and Eli's situation, He has a different purpose. Yes, God is the ultimate healer, but there's also so much more to Him. He chose to use (and is using) this situation to teach you and many, many of us so many facets of His personality.
    As I was thinking about it, I thought about the tornado. When the tornado hit our town, God used it to show us so many aspects of His personality - protector, provider. There were lots of hands on ways we experienced Him in new ways. Does that mean that those who have tornados hit their area and people die are more sinful or lacking faith? NO!!!! It means that God is God and He gets to choose how He will reveal Himself in difficult situations. (By the way, those difficult situations are a result of sin and living in a fallen world.)
    I may be rambling - you've got my mind in a "whirligig" :) and I wanted to share with you some of what's going on in my mind as I think about your post.
    Love you!

  4. I definitely don't belive that you weren't faithful enough or righteous enough. I believe in the power of prayer also, but I don't think that we are granted everything we pray for if it isn't in God's plan. I still struggle with "why?". But, I know that even if I knew it wouldn't make me feel any better, because Ella wouldn't be here.
    Your words inspire me so much everytime I read them. I know that God is still using you and Eli. sending hugs and prayers!

  5. I don't have the answers...I don't know if any human really does (especially your pastor). It seems as if his words are a set up for failure, for how can your faith be measured, compared, quantified? Easy for him to say it can and give evidence for that by examples of his life.

    Here is my humble belief. I believe that we live in a fallen world...a world of sin. We do not live in the Garden of Eden and the imperfection of our world, sometimes results in 'bad things happening'. Evil is a force that some choose their free will and exercise and I also believe that Satan is very much real.

    I don't believe that God plans for us to loose our children. I believe that He loves us and wants us to have His Kingdom. Does He allow us to struggle in this world ~ what if he does, because of our sinful nature? But does He point his finger and say "that families child will die?" I don't see Him that way...I just can't. I could be wrong though.

    I believe that he cries out with our sobs as we hold our children for the last time and that HE is able to use (does use) horrible situations for His greater glory.

    God wants us to choose Him in the good AND bad times. He gave us free will to do so. And it is our choice to see Him in the world and life around us. Perhaps that is what your pastor was speaking about. Perhaps he is choosing to see God and claim His work in his life.

    I am no expert. In fact, I don't have a biblical basis for my belief. Yes ~ I am a Christian. But I also believe that as a mother of a dead child, that I cannot have a true relationship with God if I believe he essentially took my Amelia.

  6. i am so sorry about your baby Eli. I can't even imagine how much pain you have/are going through. you seem like an amazing person. thank you for commenting and giving me advice on the spaghetti strap shirt post. God bless you. :)

  7. I randomly clicked over from the Pioneer Woman site and wasn't prepared to cry today. Your slideshow is beautiful. I will pray for you and your family.

  8. I've had the very, very same thoughts and written and discussed and thought some more (and still do!)...Like Stephanie, I have a hard, hard time with a good and loving relationship if I believe God took Matthew, yet I also have a hard, hard time forgoing the providence I'm given if I believe this was His plan and that I can't comprehend it but can trust that He loves me and all things will work for my good. Such a hard line to waver and I just pray every day for the strength to maintain faith without being anywhere near any answers!

    As for that pastor, I know I shouldn't judge, BUT I don't go for that malarkey one bit. YES, the Bible says God wants to bless us over and over...yes, there are rewards in this life and in Heaven that only Christians will know. But the New Testament is pretty much entirely written with the intent to let us know that it is HARD to be a Christian and that to follow Christ is to DIE to oneself (and one's wants and desires!)...I'd love to know what he thinks of people like Steven Curtis Chapman or the gazillion different missionaries all over this earth who not only have faith like I'd LOVE to have but people of that faith praying so fervently. What was THEIR problem? What were THEY not doing right?

    Yeah...doubtful that would be answered. How could it be?

    There have been more people praying for my children to come into this world over the last 11 years than I can even imagine. The night he fought for his life, I had more belief and faith than I had ever had in anything that he'd live--and he didn't.

    So, I am not a fan of the name it and claim it. No, I don't want to suffer, but blessed are those who mourn, for they WILL BE COMFORTED.

    THAT I'll claim!

  9. Thank you for visiting my blog through "Walking With You." Your Eli sounds precious also. God uses our lives for His purposes. I believe that the visible work he does in our lives brings Him far more glory than granting our wishes.

  10. I definitely feel that you had enough faith in God and God has a bigger purpose for our babies. Since losing Lilly my belief in prayer has changed. I do not like to think of prayers being answered for some and not for others. I believe God knows the path our lives will take when He creates us and praying is leaning on him. I do believe there is power in prayer, but maybe not the power to grant our wishes and hearts' desires but more the power to be closer to God. Sorry, since losing Lilly it definitely has brought a lot of things to my attention that I have not thought before.

    I do think that you have so much faith, I can feel that with just having known you for a short while.