Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I am blessed

I was at a women's ministry meeting this weekend at my mother in law's house.

It was an interesting time of learning about false idols and what we put our trust and hope in.

Part of our time together included listening to a woman share her testimony (her journey to becoming a Christian and how God has changed her and made her new.)

Without sharing too much about her life story, I want to write about something that stuck out to me.

After many years of long struggles, this woman ended up in the hospital. The doctors were all fairly sure she was having a stroke, and that she may have had some major organ damage from years of trauma and abuse to her body.

They ran all sorts of tests and everything came back completely healthy and normal. She attributed it to God, and said that there really was no other way for her to come out of that hospital with absolutely nothing wrong. She also said that God provided her that miracle and that she was blessed.

While I have no doubt in my mind about God's hand of healing in her life and I have absolutely no doubt about God's love transforming her life, I did and still do struggle with the statement "I am blessed because He gave me a miracle."

Whenever I hear someone say "I am blessed because God gave me a miracle," I want to say, "But if God didn't give you the miracle that you wanted, would you still feel blessed? Would God still be good?"

You see, I begged God for a miracle of healing for Joshua. I begged God to reach down and take Joshua's broken heart from him. God answered that prayer with a big fat NO. To say that the answer of NO was not what I wanted is an understatement.

Does that make me any less blessed than this woman? Does that make me any less blessed than the parents who still have their children with them?

No.

You see, God doesn't only bless a person when good things happen. Blessings don't only come when God gives us the miracle we want. Blessings come in the deepest and darkest moments of our lives. Blessings come when we least expect them.

I struggle with the thought of being blessed. We often times say that we are blessed beyond measure. A nice home, an amazing family, food in our bellies and clothes on our backs- but what about those in Africa who have nothing? Are those people any less blessed than we are?

What if everything that we held dear was taken away from us and we had nothing? Would we still be blessed?

What does being blessed mean? Is it about living the "American Dream?" Is it health and wealth? I don't think it is.

My son died in my arms. I am still blessed.

We are about to sell our home, through a short sale- that comes with it's own consequences. I am still blessed.

Our marriage has been nothing but struggles and hardships from the time it began. I AM STILL BLESSED.

I didn't get the miracle I asked for and so desperately wanted, but I am BLESSED beyond measure.

God may not give us another child that we so desperately want. We will still be blessed.

I am blessed because Jesus died for me. I am blessed because his blood makes me clean. I am blessed because I know the love of a Father who knows the depths of my heart and loves me the same. I am blessed because God has and continues to provide for our every need- no more and no less.

If God took everything from me, my husband, my children, my house, our financial stability- I know that I would be devastated. I know I would be angry and would scream out in agony at God, my faith would be shaken to the core- just like it was with Joshua, but I also know that deep down in my heart, I would still  know that I am blessed.

Would you?

18 comments:

Molly Alisa Photography said...

This is the most beautiful thing you have ever written.

I was blessed before I looked like I was, I was blessed when I lost everything, and I have been blessed many folds over through how God healed me... there are so many blessing in being healed and watching God work. I was so humbled through my brokenness... to be so near to God, and to begin to see all He wanted to show me.


And now, many mornings, I am blessed by your words.

You are so very blessed... and will be. Love you.

Seams Inspired said...

Wow...you've knocked me down with your words this morning. Your loving and faithful heart has been captured in your writing today. Thanks so much for sharing. Yes, you are blessed...and you are a blessing to me. (((HUGS))) to you my sweet bloggy friend.

CHD Fighter said...

Jill I'm going to share my story with you ... I was born with a heart defect ... in fact I was born with three ... to say I was blessed with a miracle is an understatement ... but I never saw it that way ... It took me years of struggle, hardship, bad decisions to see I was blessed to be alive ... in fact I wished for it to be over so many times I'm blessed God didn't just take me for the sake of my own well-being ... well these past two years have been the biggest test of my life ... I met the man of my dreams ... he's still the man of my dreams though his past is not something I like to think about ... a few months before meeting me he walked into a room and found his best friend had killed himself ... then at my grandpa's funeral I found out he "dated" someone I totally wouldn't have approved of before meeting me and wouldn't have made the choice to date him myself had I known when I met him but by the time I found out I was so in love with him I couldn't imagine leaving ... then I lost my job ... then I lost the ability to work ... then I lost my apartment that I had for 3 years ... then I moved into to his mother's home (she wasn't supposed to be home for 3 years) and his mother came home 2 weeks later ... it strained our already delicate relationship ... then in the mist of all that I found out I would become an un-wed mother (big NO NO in my family) ... then I found out I would be giving birth to a child just like me with CHD ... then out of left field God decided he needed her back ... then I screamed, shouted, and pouted ... I had already gone through 2 relationships in my life physically violent and I was worried this "perfect relationship" would fail in front of my face ... it didn't ... then we moved ... into a horrible neighborhood with a horrible landlord ... then I stepped on the scale and had gained 40 pounds ... then my clothes stopped fitting ... then I couldn't afford to buy new ones ... THEN THEN THEN ... then I stopped ... and realized maybe I was too full of myself before ... maybe I didn't see how much my parents cared before losing my child ... then I learned to really pray ... really come to terms with the fact that before I was lucky ... I was blessed ... but the most important part of this lesson ... was learning that I had been blessed and would stay blessed regardless of what physical things I had, what materials I had, what circumstances my heart had ... sometimes it takes having the wind knocked out of you ... to realize you were just not in the right place in life ... I'm working with God on getting my body into shape ... getting my mind into shape ... but most of all getting my spirit into shape ... I was worshiping the things of this world and now that I don't have them ... I had no choice but to learn to worship Jesus Christ with my whole heart ... in fact I'm about to go to church with Deirdre this weekend for the first time in 3 years ... because God has blessed with me someone who knows how I feel ... and is in my life to help bring me back to Christ ... and while I have lost a lot in the 2 years ... I have gained so much more faith than I could express ... God is blessing me by taking away the things I thought I was blessed to have ...

The McCammons said...

Wow, my husband and I were just having this conversation after church on Sun. We have not lost a child, but have had 2 people (mothers) pass away since we've been married, I've been in and out of the hospital (many complications with both my pregnancys) Ive been sick with cancer, then thryoid problems, now I have posible heart problems and it doesn't seem to stop, ever. But, I know I am blessed. For the same reason you do, and my husband agrees. He may not give us what we pray for but what HE knows is right, even if we don't agree. I know loss hurts, alot, but you are so full of strength, inspiration and faith. Thank you for sharing yoru story and taking us through your journey with you!

michelle hs said...

thank you for this...what encouraging words to read this morning!

Bryanne said...

I needed to read this today... thank you for sharing your heart...

Tiffany said...

How powerful and thought provoking. Last year my husband lost his business, therefore, we lost our house. Today my son is sick with strep throat. I could go on and on, but I AM STILL BLESSED. Why? Like you said, because I have a heavenly father that knows all about it and I'm not alone. Hebrews 12:1 states it more clearly than I can....I'm surrounded by many things but Im laying them aside and running the race set before me. I am not alone, the race has already been won by others before me and I know that I too will be victorious! This was actually my devotion for Tuesday...how awesome that it would come back so use so quickly. God bless!

Peach said...

Amen.

Bobbi Janay said...

Girl, I understand this post. I have been blessed with no's before and they were not what I wanted at the time. Now though I realize what I needed.

Mike Skiff said...

Beautiful post Jill! And to answer your post's question - yes, I would & do still feel blessed ;)

Krystal said...

Yes, we are blessed in every circumstance. Sometimes it's very hard to "feel", but I "know" I am blessed. I praise God for His blessings! Thank you for sharing.

On a different note, just before I clicked over to your blog, I asked God to let me be an encouragement to someone today. As I read your post, I started praying for you (again) and want you to know that I am asking God to hold you and love on you, to whisper words of encouragement and strength in your ears, and to fill your heart with His peace and joy. He loves you!

Julie said...

All I can say is to read the book of Job. Scripture never said that blessings only come in the form of miracles. Everything you said is so right...

Julie

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Krystal- I sent you an email using the address that is on your blog. I hope that is a current email address...please let me know if you got it....God answered your prayer for me literally in the moment that you prayed it.

Anonymous said...

You said, "I begged God to reach down and take Joshua's broken heart from him. God answered that prayer with a big fat NO."

In heaven, there are no broken hearts, no cancer, no diabetes, no multiple sclerosis, no muscular dystrophy, or any other illness. Maybe God's answer to you was YES, because Joshua is no longer suffering with a broken heart. You are, but he isn't.

Anonymous said...

Wow, what a wonderful post. So true. God always gives us what we need, although it isn't always what we want.

Heather said...

AMAZING ~ Blessed with your words!!!

Jessica said...

Thanks for this! needed it today. its amazing how you can be going through hardships and heartache and yet, you can still bless others. and your right. you are blessed!

Lisa said...

I am blessed today because of your faith. We serve a great God and even in our worst moments we are blessed. God loves us and wants His best for us even in those darkest hours when it seems impossible to do anything other than doubt Him. Thank you for your commitment to proclaiming God's faithfulness.

 
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