Moriah’s Birth Story Part 1

It is time to post it! The long awaited birth story of my first born.  Honestly, there is so much emotion wrapped up into that experience that it’s hard for me to sort out my thoughts and write it all out. But I guess I’ll start from the beginning and see where it takes me. That’s what blogging is about, right?

My Mom has always told me that I’ve never done things “the way everyone else does”. I tend to march to the beat of my own drum, however, when it came to childbirth I was perfectly fine with the experience being just like everyone else. I wanted to go into labor, have contractions for hours and hours, have a baby emerge from my nether regions, and then recover. Lynn and I had planned it, the doctor was on board with our plan and that was just the way it would be! Yes, that is how this is going to go. HA!

Prior to the main event I was doing my research and asked my sister to tell me her birth stories of when her boys were born. I wanted to have some examples of what I might be able to expect. The best advice I got was from my sister in law, “don’t expect anything, be flexible, and just go with it.” I remember telling my sister that I wasn’t afraid of the pain or the labor. My biggest fear in the world was a Cesarean Section. I just didn’t want that. The idea of it freaked me out and why anyone would actually want one was beyond me.

I went in for my 36 week appointment and everything looked great. Baby was positioned perfectly but she still needed to keep cooking for a while longer. A few days later I came down with a nasty fever. I have to say that being sick while pregnant is miserable. I only had a fever but man I was shocked I survived. I spent most of that week on the couch.

My 37 week appointment came. Fever had finally broken a few days earlier and I was back to just feeling huge and pregnant. My super awesome doctor came in and did his measurements, poked around my belly and decided that all was normal. He went to check the heartbeat, those of you that have been following my blog know that hearing that heartbeat is a big deal to my husband and I, at every appointment I think both my husband and I hold our breath until we hear that gentle thumping. Then a sigh of relief would escape our lips when it was there. However, this time the heartbeat wasn’t easy to find. Every other appointment the doctor rarely had to search to find it but this time it couldn’t be found. I saw my doctors face change from happy and relaxed to concern and confusion. He moved the wand all over my belly and finally after what seemed like an eternity found her heart beat up in my ribcage. She had flipped and was now breach. That wasn’t all; the fluid levels in my uterus had dramatically dropped. Time started to move really slow and yet my mind was moving really fast. The doctor left the room to see if he could get us in for an ultrasound. My husband started pacing and I tried to remain calm. I prayed, “Jesus, just so we’re clear, I’m really okay if you don’t use childbirth as one of those teaching experiences to grow my character. I would rather you wouldn’t.” But that’s not how Jesus works and I knew that I would have to find a way to trust him.

The doctor came back in and informed us that the ultrasound department was busy so he took us to a back room and did an ultrasound on what I assume is one of the “old” machines. His suspicions were confirmed, I had 2 cm of fluid. At this point in my pregnancy I should have 15 cm of fluid. After hearing that I stopped listening to what the doctor was saying. He continued to talk “doctor talk” to my husband for several minutes while I laid there in an almost passed out state. After a few minutes,  I broke my zone and asked the doctor point blank “do I need to have a C-section?” Which followed by my husband asking, “Doc, are we going to be parents today?” With a slightly disappointed look on his face he said “Yes, we need to get you in today or there could be further complications. I’m sorry these things just happen. I know it’s not what we talked about.”

At the time I didn’t ask what he meant by “further complications” the thought of it made me very uneasy. The doctor left to get us scheduled at the hospital while Lynn and I stayed in the little room, prayed, and shed a few tears. We reassured each other that she was okay and we were going to be parents today! I tried very hard to focus on the excitement of the situation, but I was terrified.

The doctor came back and we were scheduled to become parents early that evening. As we were walking out of the doctor’s office I looked at Lynn and said, “I better call my Mom.”

The Due Date- Round 2

EverythingwillbeokIt’s a strange thought to me that today I should have a 1 year old… but I don’t and that’s okay. I have had a lot of time to process through the pain, to grieve, to yell, to be incredibly angry with God, and today I’m okay.

Immediately after the miscarriage I was confused. I had friends and close family that had gone through the experience but I was still faced with a dilemma: How should I feel? Everyone around me was trying to encourage me with words that only made me feel more in the depths of despair. “I’m sorry for your loss; this kind of thing is so common.” In all honesty, I know these words were meant for encouragement but they only left me feeling angry.

As I struggled through the thoughts only the devil could put into my mind, I was attending a weekly community group. This was not your average bible study. It was made up of mostly 20 something individuals who were broken and yearning for Christ just as much as I was. One night we were “bible storying” and my husband was teaching on John 9. If you ever needed a bible story to remind you of the questions “Why do bad things happen?” This is where you should focus your energies. In John 9 Jesus heals the blind man, and then He answers my “Why?” question:

“9 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” John 9:1-5 (NIV)”

And there it was… the answer to my question that I had been struggling with for so long. Why do bad things happen? So that the work of God can be displayed for all to see. But actually living this out was a different story.

Months went by as I continued to ask this question. I’m a very rational person and I needed that justification in order to move on with my life. It was at this point that it seemed everyone around me was pregnant, or having babies. Yet, my uterus remained unoccupied. As always, God had a plan. Once I finally learned to set my pride aside and let him take control His plan began to reveal itself to me.

There were so many times when I cried out to God and asked Him to take away the emotional agony that I felt each and every day. I needed Him and only Him through those dark days to take away every emotion I was feeling. I was angry, hurt, confused, grief stricken, and sad. “Why God? Where is the meaning in this? I know your glory will shine through this situation, but I’m just not seeing it!”

My biggest rationalization came from my husband. His youngest brother has special needs. This means that doctor visits and hospitals became a part of his life at a very young age. And every time that his brother was sent back to the emergency room I could see the hurt on his face. He would confide in me that he wished he could take these struggles away from his brother and take them on himself. It wasn’t fair that his precious little brother had to go through all of the pain and my husband was healthy and able to lead a “normal” life; something that his little brother would never get the chance to do.

That realization got me thinking, I’ve seen firsthand parents with children who are ill or suffering some sort of pain or struggle. All of those parents, if given the option, would gladly take the pain away from their child and put it on themselves. The main medical explanation for miscarriage is that something just wasn’t right. The child wasn’t forming the way a healthy child will form in the mother’s womb and so the pregnancy terminates itself.  I began to ask God if that’s the answer to my “Why?” question. “God, did you just ask me to take the pain upon myself instead of allowing my child to live in pain? If so, I’ll do it all over again.” As the those words left my lips, I finally felt like a mother. I finally understood what it meant for Jesus to take the pain for me on the cross. Through this whole experience my faith has grown by leaps and bounds and I know my journey is still not over….

Louie the Lover

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This year for Valentines Day, I’m thankful. I’m thankful for my two boys that I get to go home and snuggle with tonight. A few days ago, I didn’t think I would get to bring my little Louie home and now I get to enjoy his sweet snuggles again. Because, well, he drained our bank account with his vet bills so for Valentines day we will all just snuggle and be thankful for our love for each other.

Many have asked about the story of my little miracle Louie so here it is…

Last Sunday it had been almost a week and a half of in and out of the vets office trying to fix a urinary blockage. Yes, the smell of cat pee is still burned into my nose and everything smells like cat pee but I’m getting off track. Of course this happened 2 days before my husband and myself were to leave for a weekend getaway trip to refresh our leadership skills and learn more about Jesus. The devil attacks in mysterious ways and in all honesty I never thought my cats lack of the ability to pee would take such a tole on me.

After we left Louie for the weekend, we prayed that God would keep him safe and do whatever He wanted to do with Louie. I kept telling myself “he’s just a cat. He’ll be fine.” But I worried, because while I pride myself on being a farmers daughter and animals just being animals, I denied myself one truth: Louie isn’t just a cat to me. This reality came after my husband left for a few days on a business trip and it was just me and Louie. I never realized what an important role he plays when Lynn is gone. The condo makes weird noises at night, the neighbors make weird noises, and I can’t seem to distinguish the difference between a harmless sound and someone trying to break into my house and murder me, but Louie can. This resulted in me not sleeping. Every time I took Louie out of the garage, he would try to pee on me because he didn’t feel good. Then I would have to lock him back out in the garage. This went on for days. In the morning I would take him to the vet and they would give me meds and give it another 24 hours. But he wasn’t responding to anything that they did.

Finally on Friday, we decided to leave him in the kitty hospital overnight for observation with a catheter so they could regulate the problem. On Saturday, when Lynn got home from his trip we went to visit him at the hospital and the vet didn’t have optimistic news for us. She said she wanted to keep him one more day just to see if he would clear up on his own. The next step is either surgery (that cost the same amount we had already spent, so A LOT) or we would have to put him down. I cried all day on Saturday. My emotions were out of control. “He’s just a cat Joanna, pull yourself together!” But I couldn’t, because the fact remained that he wasn’t just a cat to me. Louie filled a void in my heart long ago. A void that needed to mother something and he was there. The thought of sitting in another exam room with someone in a white coat telling me I couldn’t take my baby home again was too overwhelming for words. I just wouldn’t be able to do it. On Saturday I prayed a little prayer, “Jesus I give you my kitty. Do with him what you will and please help me find peace.”

Sunday morning rolled around and the vet left me another less than optimistic message during our marriage class. I couldn’t wait any longer and we needed to go to the vet. I was trying to keep my emotions in order while my husband stopped to talk to all 5,000 people that got to our church. I made it to the car before the tears started to drip. I knew what was about to happen and there was nothing I could do about it. Jesus had made his decision to take my little Lou-Lou home to Him. We got to the clinic and I like to think I was still keeping it together pretty well. (sigh) We walked in and the vet met us within seconds, not a good sign, they only meet you right away when it’s an emergency situation. If your pet is fine, they usually make you wait for a little while. I gulped down my tears as the vet told us that Louie wasn’t doing any better. She asked if we could afford the surgery and we said “No, the surgery isn’t an option for us.” The vet excused herself to give us a moment. I sent a text to my dad, “We’re at the hospital. Going to have to put Louie down unless a miracle happens.” Just so he would be prepared when his blubbering idiot of a daughter called him afterwards. I would need his words of wisdom.

This is Louie, all doped up and expressing his undying love for the vet tech.

This is Louie, all doped up and expressing his undying love for the vet tech. He’s saying “I love you… You’re so pretty….(long pause) I REALLY love you… “

The vet walked back in and I thought, “okay this is it, you can do this, Lord give me peace” She said, “I called your vet and they said they will do the surgery for a 1/3 of the cost and I will knock $100 off his hospital bill. Can you do that? I don’t want you to put this sweet cat down.”

And then I lost it….. a miracle happened! I cried so hard I could barely breathe. I was so happy and sleep deprived!

Truth is… Louie is a big deal. Not just to me but to many others that he’s “rescued” from emotions over the years. He’s converted cat haters into cat lovers, and I guess shared his love of people with some vets and vet techs as well. He has his own little kitty ministry. This has been a long road and it’s still not over, but hopefully now he will make a full recovery and live for at least 10 more years of snuggles.

So this is the shortened version of the story… I know… pretty long right? The devil attacks in mysterious ways but God always makes it beautiful in the end. I am so thankful that I am so blessed!!!

A Blanket Distraction…Confronted

I made this blanket in 10 days. That’s pretty significant. If you’re a crafter and you know how long it can potentially take. I made this blanket in 10 days which means every moment of free time I had was spent on this blanket. My Christmas gifts were complete and so I decided to make something for myself. Unfortunately, this was also my way of ignoring God’s prompting to stop and talk to him. I was mad at Him, and when I’m mad I will ignore you. True, crafting can be very therapeutic but usually I sit and zone out on the TV while my hands anxiously move reflecting my true state of mind: anxious, angry, envious, and jealous.

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I was confronted. He wasn’t going to let me ignore Him anymore. As my husband and I were serving as overnight hosts at the severe weather shelter in the basement of our church, God found me. I never sleep well at the severe weather shelter because there are always people walking around as lay on a mat on the cement floor. But that is where He found me: half asleep, restless, and trying to find peace within myself.

I lay down on my mat around 9:30 pm. People were still up talking and making noise around me. I put my headphones on and my favorite worship songs were playing on repeat, and then my brain went to a glorious place. I was sitting alone in an all white room, still feeling angry and bitter towards God. We haven’t been on speaking terms for about a week now. I hadn’t wanted to talk to Him, but that doesn’t mean that He didn’t hear my heart’s cry: I long to feel peace and hope again. Then He was there, sitting next to me.

Looking straight ahead, I felt His shoulder touch mine. “I’m mad at you.” I told Him. “I know,” He replied. “And I don’t want to talk to you or be around you.” “That’s ok.” He gently stated back. “I just want my pain to go away but I’m too angry. I want to find hope and peace.” Without a word He pulled me onto His lap and just held me there and let me bury my face in His chest. I could faintly hear Jesus Culture worship music coming through my ear buds,

“You won’t relent until you… have it all… my heart is yours.”

God then stood up and walked out the door in the far side of the room. A few seconds later He returned with a 10 month old little boy in His arms. And I knew who the little boy was… I miscarried at 9 weeks so there was no way to know the gender of the child, but something inside of me has always thought he was a boy. As God handed him to me I could see he had his daddy’s blue eyes and bright smile. When my husband smiles his whole face lights up, every time my heart melts away, and my heart melted at the sight of the child’s smile. Just then the child threw his whole little body into me and hugged me like he’s always known me as his momma. Then God sat down and put His arms around us both, and Heather Williams’ voice came…

“…But don’t give up on me now I’m so close to you now, I’m in need of your strength today. Wipe the dirt off my face; hold me in your embrace, your love always saves the day… HALLELUJAH!”

And then I felt someone step near my mat and I opened my eyes. I could feel peace again. (And a little anger towards the person that woke me up) I had hope and knew that I could trust God with my future. He knows best. I needed reassurance that it’s all going to be okay. The kind of reassurance only God can give. I needed my Heavenly Father to bring me hope. I had lost sight of the fact that ‘He’s got this…’ I can say all the right things to those around me, I can act like I’m fine but that won’t make the pain go away. It’s only when I submit to Him and open the door to my heart that He comes in and repairs the shattered pieces.

 

Sometimes I Need a Boost

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My favorite past time… DRESS UP!

I’m a firm believer that every little girl needs a big brother. Either by blood or by friendship we need them. That may just be because I have two awesome brothers, but it doesn’t change my opinion. We all need brothers who will come along side us, support us, and give us a boost when life’s challenges become too hard to bear alone. My constant encourager is my brother Matt. When I prayed about my birthday tribute to him I asked for guidance on what story God wanted me to share and he placed Shannon the horse on my heart.

Summers on the farm proved to get longer as we got older. As preteens we weren’t old enough to drive or have employment. When we weren’t picking rock for the neighbors our days were spent making our own fun. As kids of a cattle farmer we always wanted more. You know, the grass is always greener. We wanted a horse. Thankfully about a mile up the road our next door neighbor had an old horse that didn’t get much attention, so when the neighbor kids wanted to play with his horse he was more than happy to let us give her some much needed attention. Shannon was really old and extremely mild mannered but enjoyed when we would come to brush her or ride her around the property.

One day my sister and I walked up the road to find Matt playing “cowboy” with Shannon. Well, I guess it wasn’t cowboy so much as he has decided we should ride her bareback, no doubt like the Indians did in the movie Dances with Wolves. Matt convinced me this would be a good idea and proceeded to “teach” me how to grab Shannon’s mane and jump up on her. Well, I have always lacked in the muscle department so there was no possible way that I could jump onto that horse by myself. Matt then devised a plan. I would hold onto Shannon’s mane and put my foot into his intertwined fingers. He would give me a small boost while I swung my leg over the other side. I was determined to ride her bare back and he was a supportive big brother that didn’t want to see my dreams crushed.

And so it went, I stood on Shannon’s left side and grabbed her mane with my left hand. I used my right hand to balance myself on her body. Matt squatted down and intertwined his fingers into a low stirrup for me to stand in. I set my left foot in his hands. “Ready?” He asked. “1, 2, 3…” And I went flying over the horse!

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Matt and I with our “baby” Bekah.

“You were supposed to hold on!” He yelled. “How am I supposed to hold on when you launched me over the horse?” I yelled back.

I don’t know if I actually rode the horse that day. No doubt Matt laughed and I stormed off in a fit of rage. But one thing I know for sure, whenever I need a little encouragement, I always know who to call for a “boost”.

Faith

“Faith is taking the first step even when you can’t see the whole staircase.” -MLK JR.

My absolute favorite quote (maybe of all time) is this quote by MLK JR. I do my best to live my life this way even when I’m scared to death, but the reality is, sometimes God pushes us out of our comfort zones so He can work in our hearts. Once we open the door and let Him in (first step) He can do amazing things through us to inspire others and draw them closer to Him. Another reason why I write. If I don’t take a step in the right direction to make an impact for Christ, then I will just be standing still. I have faith that He will guide me every step of the way. cowsonpasture

This is how you changed my life…

womensretreatbeach2011I’ve always felt called to write about how God has changed my life by surrounding me with a wonderful community of 20-somethings. I can’t imagine my life without them. I’ve prayed long and hard about this topic. How do I write about community and the vitally important role it’s played in my life? And then I heard God whisper, “Start at the beginning”. Today, I want to share the story that allowed me to feel welcome and able to share my joys and struggles with others. And this single handedly changed my perception of myself and in so changed my life completely…

A few years ago, I was sitting in a room full of women I now call my closest friends. However, back then they were all strangers to me, but the Lord brought them into my life for a reason. It was “girls night” and along with eating junk food and consuming way too much sugar we took an opportunity to truly get to know each other. The task was to map out your life on a timeline with the high’s on the top and the lows on the bottom. The top of my timeline was full and the bottom was pretty empty. As I looked around the room at the beautiful pictures others were drawing I noticed that my “bottom” was so empty in comparison. I began to feel very insecure, which is so silly now that I look back. Why should I be insecure instead of grateful that the top of my timeline was over flowing and the bottom was close to empty?

The time came when we had to share with the group. All of the women spoke for around 5-10 minutes then it was almost my turn. I was incredibly nervous to share my timeline. Thoughts of insecurity ran through my brain, “would they think I was a phony? Did I miss something? Do I even belong here?” Then the young woman sitting next to me began to speak about her life and what growing up was for her. She told a story that was nothing short of a shocking to me. Her life had so many twists and turns that not even a Hollywood movie could depict a life like hers. She spoke for 20-30 minutes and we were all captivated and sitting on the edge of our seats.

When she was finished, she looked over at me and with a smile and said “Your turn!” Panic washed over me and I could barely breathe as I tried to find the words to lead into my “Happy Cheerleader Life”. So I did the only thing I could do, I was honest. I explained to her and the group that I felt ashamed and selfish for telling my story after hers. I wanted to tear up my time line and just hug the woman next to me. I wanted to be the one to take away all of her pain. “I would rather not share my story.” I told her. I waited for her condemnation. I waited for her to tell me that I was right and that I had no business sitting next to her or even sitting in the same room with her. But to my surprise, she smiled and said “I would love to hear your story, because it’s yours and no one else’s.” I took a deep breath and I told my story, I felt ashamed and embarrassed the whole time. I sped through as fast as I could and it lasted all of 2 minutes because I just wanted to be done. When I finished, I shared that I felt angry with God. Why did he allow me to have such a wonderful life when there are others out there that clearly deserve it more than I do? Believe it or not her response to me on that day is the reason I write. She said, “Don’t ever be angry with God for giving you the life you’ve lived. Be thankful. I loved hearing your story because it gives me hope that my kids won’t grow up with the life that I had. I’ve never known that a life like yours could exist before this moment. Thank you for giving me hope.”

And then WHAM! Jesus slapped some sense into me and showed me that He needs me to share my story… and so I will write it. Jesus spoke to me through her simple words and gave me the confidence I needed to further His kingdom. Mind Blown. Life Changed.

To this day, the young woman is one of my closest friends. She knows me inside and out. She allows me to lean on her when I need too. Truth is, I have many women in my life that will carry me through as I carry my burdens to the ultimate healer. I’m the one on the stretcher as others carry me to meet Jesus for healing. And if I can, I will carry your stretcher too.

The Old Brown Recliner- Happy Birthday Dad!

Christmas 1985. The last year that I got to put the angel on the tree because then Bek was born. :)

Christmas 1985. The last year that I got to put the angel on the tree because then Bek was born. 🙂

When I’m feeling sad, I find myself snuggled up to my “Daddy” in the old brown recliner. This is where I feel safe. I know my mother is cringing right now because I don’t think there was ever a piece of furniture she hated more than the old brown recliner. When I was young, I remember sitting on my dad’s lap in the old brown recliner. I was safe there and there was nothing that could touch me. No brothers would pull my hair or try to wrestle me to the ground. In the old brown recliner in my dad’s lap, I was safe from any chaos in my life. This is where I go when I don’t feel safe in my adult life. I go right back to sitting on my “Daddy’s” lap in the old brown recliner. I say “Daddy” in quotes because I don’t want my readers to think that I go and snuggle up on Gordy’s lap in a recliner at 30 years of age. No, I sit on God’s lap in the old brown recliner. It is my safe place to fall when chaos shows it’s ugly face.

There are so many things that I am eternally grateful for in my life: one of them is my Dad. I don’t think I’ve ever given him the true props that he deserves so I’ll do my best here. I’ve always considered myself to have a really good grasp on who God truly is: His Grace, His Hope, His Love, etc. He has always been someone I can count on and who will never abandon me. I know I can trust Him. Through my interactions I’ve learned that not every young woman has the same outlook on God as I do, and I know why.

5 months old and surrounded by my favorite things: my dad and a kitty.

5 months old and surrounded by my favorite things: my dad and a kitty.

When I was growing up, I was never told that I was ugly or worthless by my dad. At least once a day I was hugged and told that I was beautiful and could do anything I set my mind too. Even when my math homework wasn’t sinking into my brain, my dad met me with patience rather than anger. When I couldn’t remember my memory verse late Saturday night that I needed to remember for Sunday morning church, my dad sat in the old brown recliner into the night and helped me break it down to learn it. Of course, I had to do the dishes for a week because I SHOULD have memorized my verse months ago, but the punishment fit the crime and I learned self discipline. The only time my dad ever yelled at me (to my knowledge) was the day I spooked the cows and they went running the opposite direction from where he was trying to put them and then through the fence. Again, the punishment fit the crime and I had to run the furthest to get them rounded back up and help fix the fence. That day, I learned to respect others. My point being, I didn’t grow up with a push over dad that let me walk all over him. When I did something naughty or disobeyed, the punishment fit the crime. I wasn’t torn down and told that I was worthless or stupid. At the end of the day, I could always feel safe in my dad’s arms. And for this, I am eternally grateful. I was blessed to have such an amazing dad. He’s not perfect because he’s not God, he’s a man. A man who’s not afraid to admit when he’s wrong and whom I respect more and more each day because of his imperfections. I learned from him to be self disciplined and have a high sense of self worth, I also have an amazing vision of who my Savior really is. I know God is always there for me. I can lean on Him and He will never abandon me. He loves me in spite of my flaws and inability to keep cows in a pen or calculate simple math problems in my head. He loves me for me. I have strengths and I have weaknesses, but nothing will ever change that I am loved beyond my comprehension. Should I ever need a safe place to fall I can always find comfort in knowing that the old brown recliner lives on in my imagination. (Since I’m pretty sure mom burned the actual one.)

Happy Birthday to the best Dad in the whole WORLD!!! I am VERY fortunate to be your daughter!

P.S. I could have told Dad’s favorite story for his birthday but I already posted that here.

My wedding day...

My wedding day…

An absolutely amazing and humbling take on how to respect your man. This is so important especially for me in my marriage. If I don’t respect my husband, chaos ensues all around me. I love him too much not to respect him every single day. I wish I was perfect and had the perfect idea of what this looks like but I’m not… BUT I will keep fighting for him!!!

Turning 30 with Grace and Confidence

joannasbirth2I’m turning 30 this year. Sometimes I think I should be moaning and groaning but in all honesty, I’m pretty stoked to leave my 20’s behind.

I look back at my 20’s and realize how eternally grateful I am to my Awesome God that I have the privilege to grow, mature, and my life has gone on. I made so many mistakes that I now see as “growing opportunities”. I’m sure there will be more of these “growing opportunities” coming up, but I’m still thankful that I get to leave my 20’s behind.

I spend most of my time with the “20 somethings” small group from church. Every Monday we get together for food, fun, and then we break off into guys and girls groups for prayer time. It is here that we can truly be transparent with one another. It is during this time that I am reminded of the struggles I went through in my early 20’s. Everyone in this group knows all my dark places and they still show me love and respect.

I struggled with trying to find my way in this world I stumbled, I tripped, and fell flat on my face! However, I now learned through these “growth opportunities” that I have nothing to fear.  The fear of rejection has crippled me for many years and now that I’m turning 30 it’s my goal to leave that part of me in my 20’s. The insecurities and the hurts of my 20’s will always be a part of me, but now I have the wisdom to know that God will never reject me. I have nothing to fear because He is always with me.

I feel the general theme of my 20’s was not only fear of rejection but also impatience. I find myself continually mediating over Psalm 40. It seems a general theme to the “20 something” individual that life isn’t moving fast enough. I want a car, a job, a husband, a house, babies…etc. But when I reflect on this awesome Psalm, I see God’s amazing power in my life. He’s working and I trust that His timing will be perfect. So today, I leave you with the beautiful words of Psalm 40.

Psalm 40[a]

For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

I waited patiently for the Lord;
he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit,
out of the mud and mire;
he set my feet on a rock
and gave me a firm place to stand.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear the Lord
and put their trust in him.

Blessed is the one
who trusts in the Lord,
who does not look to the proud,
to those who turn aside to false gods.[b]
Many, Lord my God,
are the wonders you have done,
the things you planned for us.
None can compare with you;
were I to speak and tell of your deeds,
they would be too many to declare.

Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—
but my ears you have opened[c]
burnt offerings and sin offerings[d] you did not require.
Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—
it is written about me in the scroll.[e]
I desire to do your will, my God;
your law is within my heart.”

I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly;
I do not seal my lips, Lord,
as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help.
I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness
from the great assembly.

11 Do not withhold your mercy from me, Lord;
may your love and faithfulness always protect me.
12 For troubles without number surround me;
my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my heart fails within me.
13 Be pleased to save me, Lord;
come quickly, Lord, to help me.

14 May all who want to take my life
be put to shame and confusion;
may all who desire my ruin
be turned back in disgrace.
15 May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!”
be appalled at their own shame.
16 But may all who seek you
rejoice and be glad in you;
may those who long for your saving help always say,
“The Lord is great!”

17 But as for me, I am poor and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
you are my God, do not delay. (NIV)