Saturday, August 30, 2008

Thank you God

Mike Gugglielmucci has fallen. Trusted friend of our church and man of God has fallen. But I thank you God for the gift on his life. The way that gift ministered to me despite the man and nothing can take that away. The enemy can't snatch that away. The gift on his life from You Lord has helped us stand firm in this trial, and that is real. The song he wrote, "Healer", spoke to us through my Da's death and is the anthem of his life. Nothing is impossible, so much so that I know that I know that my Da is with Jesus. And I know that I will be a Mommy. So thank you God for the gift on Mike G's life, that despite what he was going through, you remained faithful and ministered to me through him.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Saved through the fire

Been thinking lots about my friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they faced King Nebuchadnezzar (and his hot hot hot furnace) for not bowing down and worshipping him (Daniel 3) The furnace is a picture of the trials we face in life and I find myself thinking about this story again and again...
I read someone talk about how God saves us from the fire, or in the fire or through the fire and He has been talking to me a lot about it.

God can save us from the fire before we walk through a crisis. We make our stand, our even -if stand and are facing the furnace. We feel the heat on our faces but before we are thrown in, God rescues us. This is the type of salvation/rescue I pray for again and again and I suspect you do too. We put our hope and expectations in God coming through for us before we are thrown in the furnace. We pray to fall pregnant before treatment begins. We pray that we don't need treatment at all. I prayed that my Da would be healed before his chemo began. It crushes us when God doesn't come through because we see only one type of salvation, salvation from the fire.

But God can save us in the fire. We are thrown into the furnace and the trial happens to us despite (it seems) our prayers. The very thing that we have prayed for rescue from, happens. We are in the middle of the heat and testing and God saves us. We fall pregnant though IVF or chlomophene or healing happens through surgery for cancer... We experience the suffering, we taste the pain and God rescues us. We pray so hard for this and assure God that saving us now would bring Him so much glory! And if he doesn't we are devastated. We (me) fail to see that there is one more way God saves us.

God can save us though the fire. This is the hard one but the most amazing situation. Even though we walk into the furnace, stay in the furnace and walk through the other side with (seemingly) no sign of God or any kind of rescue attempt, there is still salvation. This is passing through the fire of our final and failed IVF attempt and then falling pregnant or adopting. This is losing my Da and discovering that he accepted Jesus and was in heaven.
This final salvation involves the full and complete pain of the fire and the then whole and complete redemption. This is a full work. God crafts us in the fire (remember He is the fourth man in the fire!), does a complete work and allows us to walk out ''unsaved". Then He restores and completes us.
This third type of rescue/ salvation is so hard as it seems as if the promises are a lie and our faith is empty. We believe and hold on and trust, and them walk into the fire, face the whole extent of the fire without breakthrough or release and walk out "empty handed". But I have learnt that we walk out into redemption, into grace and into newness. God restores. I think that there is a special grace for those saved through the furnace. Why? You only have to look at the life of Jesus.
He wasn't saved from the furnace (the prayers of the garden of Gethsemene) or in the furnace (no angel came and lifted Him off the cross). He was saved through the furnace. He walked all the wall through. It seemed as if He was utterly abandoned (know the feeling?) and walked out empty handed- all the promises and revelation a lie. But redemption and restoration waited. And elevation above all things.

So for those of us who wait on the other side of the furnace, possibly facing another round in the heat, there is redemption and restoration. As God honoured, restored and lifted up Jesus, I believe that those of us who endure and endure with faith (no matter how small it may be) will be restored and lifted up. I believe that God will come through with more than we could ever hope or dream of. I believe that we will look back on the things we hoped for and they will be a shadow of the things we have.
So I need to stand firm. I believe that my God, the God of abundance and promise (refined like silver seven times over) will come through. And we will have more than we ever hoped or dreamed of....amen!

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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Even if

I haven't posted for ages! Every time I sit down to write it's like all my thoughts are swirling around my head and I can't pin them down. We are again facing huge things in our lives. Things that I can't form words around, they are so huge and at the same time so fragile. But really, what's new? We seem to face giant after giant (hence the name of the blog!) and still God is faithful. Still God is the same. Still God is unchanging.

As with countless times before we have a choice, will we trust Him? The answer is yes but this time I learn something new. Through an amazing book by Dr James Dobson "When God doesn't make sense" I learn about the difference between understanding and trust. I don't need to understand my life or even make sense of it. God never promised me complete understanding. He did however promise me peace if I trusted. In Dr James' words "Trust needs to be independent of understanding."

No matter how hard I try I can't understand my life and get it to fit within boxes I can make sense of. And in a weird way, that's quite nice! It frees me to just trust.

It challenges me to live with the "even if" attitude. Ages ago Pastor Kennith Chin (from Malaysia- incredible man of God and friend of our church) talked about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they faced King Nebuchadnezzar for not bowing down and worshipping him (Daniel 3) They stood before the most powerful man on earth and said

16 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve is able to save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. 18 But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”

I have to have the even if attitude. I think (!) I do but it's amazing how with each new giant you have to face it again and make the choice once more.
I was driving home late one night this week (ok, late for me meaning at 9.30pm!) and I made my faith declaration in the car. Even if, God. I will trust you and I will love you. My expectation has to be in the Hope, not the hope that my expectation will be met. Now that my declaration is made, I have to live it....

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Sunday, August 10, 2008


I am a wanna-be and freely admit it. My friends inspire me and I see parts of their personalities that I love and I want those parts too.

I see such an aspect in my friend Desi. She stayed with me last weekend and was so so sick. She looked green at times as she battled a stomach bug. And... not one word of complaint came out of her mouth. I would ask her how she was feeling and she would whisper "Not so good, Sammy". She wanted to be at every meeting and event and was focused on the women from her church.

At the same conference my amazing pastor was overdue. She was due to give birth on the Friday and on the Saturday stood on her feet for about 8 hours over the day/ night. And not one word of complaint. I asked her if she was sore and tired as I knew she was. "Yes" she replied and that was it.

Now I don't consider myself a moaner and work hard at not being negative. But clearly I have a long way to go!

So here's my promise. NO complaining about late night and tired eyes when I have a bub. If God ever blesses me with a pregnancy, NO complaining about nausea and pain. I shudder to think that I would, but knowing my fallen nature, I probably would. So I am taking a leaf out of my friends books and aiming not to complain!

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Wednesday, August 6, 2008

More than me

Infertility can be isolating and lonely. It's a painful journey at times. As a couple we have learned to hold on tight to weather the storms and pull together. But it also affects those around us. They carry our pain too and also ask questions of God. My darling Mom confided that she really questions God about this and I realised that it truly affects others. Close family and friends are also walking through infertility and this is their journey as much as ours. I think that's important to remember and even though we are the ones without a baby, our parents are without their grandchildren and our siblings without their niece/ nephew.

This affects your ability to relate to people, especially pregnant girls and couples with new borns. Something in me closes down, no matter how hard I try to relate and "be normal" and it's just so hard and painful to hear about the baby and pregnancy. My longing must be like a neon sign post on my face and I just want to cry with yearning.

This journey requires immense patience from those who love us. Sometimes they can't take it and walk away from the relationship- in a way, who can blame them? But there are others who hold tight and hang in there. Who hold on during the times we can't connect and decide in their hearts to love us anyway.

There aren't words to describe these people. But, being me, of course I will try! They are pure gold, priceless and unconditional in love. Infertility hurts them too as they weather the times when we are hurting. To me they reflect Christ's love.

We are so blessed to have people like this around us. And in the bloggersphere I want to tell Meg that she is one. We love you always Megs and you are priceless to us. Thank you for always loving us, you are incredible.
*****update 10.08.08
Simony you are one too. Thank you for always loving us and carrying our burden. Thank you for always trying to relate. Love you xx

Sunday, August 3, 2008

How can I not sing?

Its been an amazing weekend filled with God encounters at our woman's conference. I got to host one of my dearest friends who is the pastor of a thriving church. What a privilege to spend time with her- our love tanks of quality time are full!

My wonderful man went back to the bach (beach house) with his Mum for the first time since his Dad's death. The bach is filled with Glenn, it personifies the man and everywhere, I mean absolutely everywhere you look, you see him. So a very very hard weekend for my man.
But as we stood in church tonight one of the new songs really hit home. The songs that are coming out of our house are simply amazing (you have got to get a CD if you don't have one) The lyrics say:

How can I not sing?
Freedom came to earth to rescue me
How can I not sing?
Glory came to earth to set me free
The questions of life are ever present. Why infertility? Why death and grief? And sometimes there are no answers. But even in the face of all this with no answers, how can I not sing? How can I not worship my Saviour?
When we look up and see Him, the beauty and majesty of Him, how can I not sing? My heart cannot hold back. Yes it hurts and when I see the grief on my beautiful man's face my heart breaks. Yet he lifted his hands and with tears pouring down his face tonight he sang. Sang for His Redeemer, the Freedom that came and rescued him. He overcame and worshiped his Saviour.

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