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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Choosing to SEE!

Most of you know that I LOVE reading books.  So today I went to Cedar Springs to look around.  For some reason I ended up picking up a book by Mary Beth Chapman called Choosing to SEE.  I had seen this book before and knew the story behind it...which is exactly why I hadn't picked it up before.  I knew it would be emotional.  I remember hearing about it in 2008 and crying then.  But for some reason, without even thinking about it, I picked it up and started thumbing through it and reading it right there as I stood in the isle. 

My heart sank as I came to the pages that shared about their son, Will, accidentally hitting his 5 year old sister, Maria, with his car.  She was running to him as he was driving and he didn't see her.  The details of the screaming and crying and Will carrying Maria's limp bloody body was more than I could bear.  The recollection of Mary Beth hearing the screaming and running out the door, rounding the corner to see the horror.  Tears were strolling down my face as I imagined it was happening to me.  Oh, the hurt of seeing your child's limp body and your other child crying over her.  I could imagine the chaos of trying to bring your child back to life.

Usually I would have slapped the book shut and put it back on the shelf before I would let myself go there in my head of visualizing the pain.  But for some reason I kept reading.  I came to the part where they were told the sad sad news by the nurses and doctors at the hospital that Maria had in fact died.  And this is what I read next....

Somewhere in the room I heard Steven's voice explaining to those in the room that this was an eternal moment, and how everything in this life really comes down to this moment for each of us. 

"As crazy as this seems right now," he said, "the only thing I can say to honor the life of my little girl and our terrible loss at this moment is to ask you, please don't miss this...we will all stand here on day and face eternity.  If you don't know the One who can give you eternal life, His name is need to meet Him and you really need to meet my little girl in heaven...she's amazing." 

Oh man, the tears that where rolling down my face at this point.  I was trying to hide them because I was standing in the middle of an isle at the bookstore of all places.  Everyone who passed me was looking at what I was reading that had me snotting so bad. 

The story itself is enough to draw the tears but it is also what my heart needed to hear at that given moment.  The Lord had just given me this scripture this morning in my quiet time...
"If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction." ~ Ps. 119:92

When trials and afflictions come it is all boils down to what you know to be the TRUTH.  I was so inspired by this families great faith and their authenticity.  They didn't diminish the fact that their hearts were in fact BROKEN.  But they also believe God to be sovereign. 

I can't even begin to imagine the deep hurt that goes with losing a child.  But I know that we have a great God who has come to bind up the brokenhearted.  And the more we put our lives under the authority of His Word, the more we are able to view things through His lens. 

Steven Curtis Chapman got this.  Even though he was experiencing great pain, he was able to see the BIGGER STORY!  Everything in life really does all come down to this moment for all of us.  It is about our relationship with HIM.  It is about living for HIM.  Even though we don't understand it all, He does and He is the story teller and will use it all for HIS glory if we will let him.

"Christianity doesn't deny the reality of suffering and evil...Our not based on the idea that we are going to be free of pain and suffering.  Rather, it is based on the conviction that we will triumph over suffering." ~Brennan Manning

Triumphing over suffering starts with being grounded in the Word!  Getting to know our Savior so well that when trials come, although still heartbroken, we can is about YOU Jesus!

Oh how I pray that in all things I would be able to reflect a heart like Christ.  Not denying the suffering but believing TRIUMPH!!!

Steven Curtis Chapman with Maria


Sunday, February 12, 2012


"Kerry, I don't think you know this...but there are a lot of people who love you," one friend said to me.  And then a few days later...another friend, "I hope you know that you are loved by a lot of people."

My statement back to them was, "yeah, I know."  But the more I think about it, I truly think that the Lord was using them to speak to my heart because HE knows that Kerry doesn't feel loved.

How could one go through what I am going through and possibly feel loved?

Satan has his way of digging up bones and throwing them in my face saying, "See, you are not lovable. All this is happening to you because you made bad choices in your past. Remember when you were 15 years old and you ran away for a week and almost gave your parents a heart attack...remember how many times your dad had to bail you out of trouble in High School...remember the bad bad decisions that proceeded even after you came to know the One you call your saviour? You are not worthy of such good things!"

 And sometimes my heart wants to chime in and say, "Aw, I knew it....nothing good would ever happen to this tarnished woman. Why did I ever think it would?"

I mean, I have walked with the Lord for almost 24 years now and I STILL buy into the LIES sometimes! This particular circumstance has caused insecurities to pop past to haunt me!  And I just want to run and hide!

I was reading about someone else who wanted to run away.  Hagar! 

Brief summary of the story:
Sarai thinks God has prevented her from having a baby so she gives her servant, Hagar, to Adam to bear a child for her.  When Hagar realizes that she has conceived ,she despises Sarai.  Sarai becomes upset with this and treats Hagar harshly so Hagar runs away. 

The Lord finds Hagar by a well and speaks truth to her and reminds her of the bigger Story!

And this is my favorite...
"So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, 'You are a God of seeing,' for she said, 'Truly here I have see him who looks after me.'" ~Genesis 16:13

Such encouragement for this wounded heart!  "You are a God of seeing."  I can not hide from God because I was created by Him and for Him.  My life is laid before him.  He knows it ALL and He still pursues me!  He comes looking for me to bring me back into the Story!

And...Gently ever so gently reminding me of TRUTH to combat the LIES!  He says to my weary soul, "Look Kerry, I have created you for greatness.  This is just another stepping stone to get you there. Trust me!  I have something planned for you that you would not believe even if I told you right now."   

And then scripture comes...

"Like an open book, you watch me grow from conception to birth, all the stages of my life were spread out before you, the days of my life all prepared before I'd even lived one day."  ~Psalm 139:16  The Message

"I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep."  ~John 10:14

"Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you..." ~Isaiah 43:4

" grant to those who mourn in Zion-to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified." ~Isaiah 61:3

I AM loved!
I am known completely!
I am precious in His eyes, and honored!
This too will be redeemed!

So today the Lord has used sweet sweet friends (the body of Christ) to remind me that I am loved by many with the Love of Jesus Christ!  True Love!  People who see me the way Christ does and who champion me to be who God has created me to be!

Thanks sweet friends!  I pray that I would be able to encourage you with the same encouragement I have been given!