8/17/21 Where I Found God

Have you ever heard the song “Where I found God” by Larry Fleet? It’s a song about the different places where this gentleman finds/speaks to God. Highly recommend if you like Country music! 

I didn’t grow up religious. We were the type of family that attended church for holidays and only prayed at Thanksgiving meals IF my Uncle Jimmy or Uncle

Mark was there to lead the prayer. 

JR and I started attending church shortly after we moved in together but then stopped going when we found our beliefs differing from the church we were regularly attending. 

Going back to church had really been weighing on my mind. One day, I randomly got a request to photograph a baby’s baptism. I sat through the service and for the first time felt so moved by the preaching, the music, and the church as a whole. (Where I found god) I went home and told JR that I planned to return the following weekend. So, the next weekend, we went together! Come to find out, it was the church that I was baptized in, the preachers were friends with my sister in law and the lead pastor had close connections with JR’s grandfather who he loved dearly! We felt SO at home! 

Our Pastor at Springfield First talks a lot about “talking to God”. I pray regularly but sometimes I find it hard to understand what it means to “talk to god”. These past couple years, I have found God and talked to God more than I have in my entire life. 

When I got pregnant with my daughter, we were at a 20 week ultrasound when we found out she had a cyst on her brain. A cyst that was a marker for a disorder that was incompatible with life. Testing concluded that she was perfectly normal with a touch of sass… but then I had severe preeclampsia 12 weeks later that landed me with a 3 Lb baby 8 weeks early. 

That pregnancy scared JR and I to death. We always thought we wanted more than one kiddo but we did NOT want to go through that scare again. We talked to my OBGYN about having another baby and she said “if you want to test fate”. YIKES. 

One day, JR and I were sitting in the church pew when Pastor Roger asked everyone in the congregation to turn around and ask the people behind them what was one thing they wanted you to pray over them and vice versa. This sweet older couple was behind JR and I that day. They had been married for an insane amount of years and the old man asked us to pray that his wife could walk again someday. When he asked us what he could pray over us, JR said to pray for us to make the right decision if we should have another baby. 

A few months went by and JR and I decided to get a second opinion on this baby making ordeal. In preparation for this appointment, I had to go to the hospital to collect all of my medical records/notes from the delivery of my daughter. It was a beautiful sunny day when I walked into the hospital and who do I see sitting in that lobby!? The sweet old couple that prayed with us in the church for that right decision to have another baby! Coincidence? Maybe. But, I knew that was god’s way of giving me the sign I needed to push forward for that baby. 

Beau boy couldn’t be outshined by his sister’s dramatic appearance into the world. 7 weeks early with Beau, my water broke. 3 days later, the preeclampsia returned and I had to deliver only to hemorrhage on the operating table. The same doctor that told me I would only be testing fate by having another kid, who basically saved my life the first time around..saved it yet again! This time she was very adamant.. no more children. 

Thinking back on this situation as a whole has really made me realize how this is really all god’s plan. 

6 months before I got pregnant with Beau, a month before I got that second opinion, was when I went to the doctor for a lump in my breast and a leaking nipple. In hindsight, I should have pressed the doctor more testing. But if I had… there wouldn’t be a Beau. 
While I was getting ready for the first doctors appointment after my diagnosis, I prayed harder than I ever had. That morning of the doctors appointment, I woke up with a voice in my head that kept telling me to just open and read my bible. So, I did. I dusted that puppy off and sat in my favorite front porch rocking chair and just opened the Bible. I didn’t search for a chapter… the voice in my head told me very clearly to just open the Bible. 
The first page I turned to had a summary about multiple Bible verses. This summary talked about how you can have the best laid out plans but always be rest assured that when things are not going according to your plan… it’s never outside of god’s plan. This summary talked about Mary and Joseph.. they were real people with real hopes and dreams for their family but they believed in god and followed where he led… even though it was outside of their plan. 
The summary ended with a short prayer.. it said “I pray our faith, too, would hold fast under pressure, resting on God’s plans and not our own. Amen”
Hmm.. boy that was fitting. I plan everything. I get paid to plan for goodness sake! But right there it was telling me to keep the faith under pressure. Cancer wasn’t my plan… but it was god’s plan and I needed to keep my faith when I probably wanted to lose it the most. 
I continued to randomly flip through pages and came across another summary titled The Throne of Grace. It was nestled in the book of Hebrews. In big bold letters it said “Jesus knows the battle you’re fighting”. Hebrews 4:15 and 5:2 tell us this. Jesus knows because he fought the fight too. He did it before you and for you.    
I drew a big circle around a piece of this writing that really stood out to me and noted that I needed to remember reading this on 7/28 before my first cancer appointment. 
This is what I circled: 
“Daughter of the most high priest, your tears, fears, and weakness are welcome at the throne of grace. This is not enemy territory where you have to be tough or keep up your guard. This the place where your deepest struggles are known— where you are deeply known.” Page 2087 in my Bible. 
I suppose this is what it means to talk and listen to god… The voice in my head that told me to open that Bible… The handful of pages that delivered the clearest message that I needed to hear that day. Out of thousands of pages… my fingers happen to flip to the two pages that had the strongest message that I needed to read that day. I have never felt my anxiety clear as much as it did at that moment. It has set the foundation for my entire outlook of this whole cancer process. 
I truly feel at peace knowing that this is god’s plan… and I suppose for once, I’m going to try to stop planning every minuscule aspect of my life and trust the plan that has been set out for me. ♥️

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