Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I have a friend who sent me an email with some very profound thoughts that I wanted to share.
This post is part my words, part her words.

She pointed me to 2 Corinthians 12:7-10:

"To keep me from becoming conceited
because of these surpassingly great revelations, 
there was given me a thorn in my flesh, 
a messenger of Satan, to torment me.
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 
But he said 
"My grace is sufficient for you, 
for my power is make perfect in weakness.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness 
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why, for Christ's sake, 
I delight in weakness, in insults, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong."

I have read these verses over and over and over about 100 times in my life time. Never, until my friend's email, have they stuck out to me like this.

Paul, who wrote this passage is talking about a thorn in his side- whether it's a physical thorn or just a hardship in his life, no one knows.

But what we do know is that Paul is allowing God to work through his weakness and pain. He is allowing God to bring glory to Himself in ways that would have never happened if it weren't for the thorn.

I have been at my weakest and most vulnerable since Joshua's death. Between the pain of losing him, the attacks on our family, and trying to figure out life without my son to raise, I have been walking blindly, bumping into things, making messes, and hurting myself even more. Some days I don't have enough strength to even get off the couch to shower, cook, or change diapers. There are some days that my children see me cry, literally, all day long. I have begged God, time and time again, to take this from me, take it from Joshua, take it from our family.

But God has been working. Even when I question my faith, God is working. Proving Himself to be true. He has touched lives. Lives of my friend who emailed me. Lives of my old high school friends. Lives of complete strangers. He has been showing His glory through it all.

In my friend's beautiful words:

 "When you lost Joshua, I don't think you realize that many of your friends/readers of your blog feel like we lost him, too.  That sounds selfish, because we don't know you, and we never got the privilege to truly know Joshua. But my mother's heart aches for you, as only a mother's heart can.  And your struggle, Jill, YOUR STRUGGLE IS NOT IN VAIN.  Jesus said, MY power works best in your weakness.  And I believe that it does not just apply to your life, that that power extends to all who know you."

God has been working. He has brought people closer to Him through the life and death of Joshua. He has brought glory to Himself when I simply don't have the energy and desire to even acknowledge His existence. He has used my words, Joshua's life, and the lives of others to spread Truth, Eternal Life, and Love to people across the globe. 

I am so so weak. Some days, I have no desire to even continue on. But God is holding me, making Himself strong in my weakness. I may not be like Paul in the fact that I rejoice in my weakness, but I am willing to let God reveal himself to me and others. 

I pray that God has made Himself evident in your life in some small way. I pray that you know His offer of Salvation though His Son, Jesus Christ. I pray that you know that I am not perfect, that I am weak, but through Him anything is possible- that goes for you too. I pray that you know that God loves you more than anything and wants you to come to Him. He is ready and willing to accept you just as you are.''

"My grace is sufficient for you,  for my power is make perfect in weakness."


Heather said...

Your friends words "my mother's heart aches for you" is so very true. I have never met you, I do not know you and I have never met or personally known anyone who has a child or lost a child to CHD; yet, "my mother's heart aches for you" and although you, in your words, are "weak, angry, hurting, etc."; God is working through you in a way that has touched so many lives. For that I am truly thankful. The last two years has been a tremendous struggle for me and your blog draws me in to hear his word and help me in my struggles. You may feel weak, but you are stronger than you realize. Thank you, thank you, thank you for allowing God to work through you and show me the ways. Hugs for a quick and happy Wednesday!!!

Beth W. said...

FYI, I have been refreshed in the Spirit by praying for you. Another scripture says "Iron sharpens iron." In other words, when believers invest in each other's lives, we sharpen each other in the faith. Reading your blog and praying for you does this for me. You are a blessing.

McEngland like the McCountry said...

Thank you for such a beautiful, uplifting post. I've been praying lately for some understanding as to why children have to suffer and die and why they have to be taken away from wonderful parents who are left devastated with such a horrific loss. It's been weighing very heavily on my heart. I still am not any closer to understanding it at all. Is it to bring the broken hearted parents and loved ones closer to God? Is it to develop a level of understanding into the mind of God? It's a heartbreaking puzzle. I wish I knew. Please know that people you've never ever met are praying so hard for peace and comfort for you and your family. Sending you so much love.

The Real Life of a Red Head said...

Katy- I'm not sure what the reason is. I don't think we will ever know (at least on this side of heaven.) However, I do know that, I personally, have had to learn what it means to completely give up control and to surrender at the feet of Jesus. I have learned that there is absolutely NOTHING in my control- no matter how badly I want to think that I have at least the tiniest amount of control.

I have also learned what it means to just simply have faith. No ifs, ands, or buts. Plain and simple faith. I would have never known what that means or looks like if it weren't for Joshua's life.

Honestly, I would rather not know those things, but I'm glad that God is still working despite our pain.

Kari said...

Your friend was so right. That's how I think all of us readers feel. I check your blog daily, and my faith in my savior has grown, stretching my spiritual envelope.

Love you, friend-that-I've-never-met.

Kari, Joel's mommy.

Peach said...

That email you posted speaks so true with my own feelings for your situation, your son, and your family. "My mothers heart aches for you" is ridiculously true.

I rejoiced to hear that you at least have found some purpose in what has happened, tragic though it was. Your son, sweet little Josh, and you have touched and changed many people and our lives won't be the same. You're to thank for that.

Prayers and Hugs

Jessica said...

Thanks for that beautiful reminder, Jill. we cant do anything on our own. God is what helps and keeps us going some days. Blessings to you!

*Mrs. Hix* said...

Praying and thinking about your family.

Jamie said...

This post about us feeling your pain is absolutely true. Obviously, we will never feel it to the extent that you do, but I was completely heartbroken when I read the posting about Joshua. I couldn't believe it. I was shocked to the core. Even if him dying was a possibility with his heart condition, I never believed that would happen. I always thought he was going to be "fine" eventually. And to be honest, I couldn't make myself believe it was true. Still, every time I think of you and Shane, which is daily, my heart aches for you. Thank you for sharing this scripture and your thoughts on it. And know that I am still praying for you daily.

Designs by Dana
© 2011 Designs by Dana
© No content of this blog may be used or re-printed without written permission