Consider it a sheer gift, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”
James 1:2-4 MSG
I have been praying for some time now to start a blog, but my fears and insecurities have held me back. This may be my one and only blog, but who knows how God will use this or if He even wants me to continue. As of now, at this very moment, I feel led to just write. My past motivates my heart to speak out and share. I feel in my heart that God is saying, “Mika, reach out to people with this beautiful story. My hands are all over this.... do not tuck it down deep, share it with others.” My pastor's recent message has been on boldness and how we should use our experiences and gifts as Christians to help others. So, here is my “boldness” by reaching out, talking about my faith and how I found God in hopes that it blesses someone else.
I have never felt that I am the evangelical type of Christian. I feel that this is just not my gift and I am perfectly okay with this discovery. However, I do believe God has gifted me with the ability to persevere through challenging circumstances by walking with Him through it all. Even through the anger, confusion and sadness. I feel that my story can help people potentially get a different perspective on God. There is a misunderstanding that He is all about the rules, but instead He provides His Grace to whoever will open their heart up to Him.
I know that some of you out there do not believe in God or if you do, have a hard time understanding Him. We have something in common because I have not understood Him for a very long time. It is just in the last few years that my heart has started to see Him in a different light. I do not think He wants us to understand Him completely; He just desires our heart and wants us to believe in what we cannot see, feel or understand. My prayer is that God works through my story to give others some hope and/or some clarity on His Grace. There is a huge possibility that some of you may read this and think I have lost my mind. That is okay too. I just know if you do, we are just in different places. I can certainly embrace and accept our differences.
I am reflecting on sweet Evie Grey today. She went to be with Christ on February 11, 2009. She was delivered at 9:15pm on February 12, 2009. She weighed 6lbs 8oz. and was 19 ½ “ long. She was absolutely beautiful. Her hair was dark brown, just like her Daddy’s hair. She had a pouty mouth just like her Mommy. She would be turning two years old. Her big brother, Luke William, also went to be with Christ in 2007. I guess this is my little way of celebrating my children because there is no birthday party to plan. As I reflect on these experiences, I am reminded of God’s Grace. He has got us through so much pain, anger and sadness. There is healing, peace, happiness and acceptance in our hearts today. We miss them so very much, but know they are in the best place ever!
I have had a long road of discovery through suffering. I was not quite certain I wanted to put my trust in this God that can take my desires and dreams away in a matter of seconds. But, I decided to put my faith in Him anyway. I am so happy that I did. It has not been easy. I have gone through many peaks and valleys to get to where I am today, but it is not over. My story is still being written and my faith is still growing every single day.
God has helped me see things so differently through the loss of Evie and Luke. My relationships have flourished because of this faith and things are not as chaotic as they once were before. I deal with my bouts of anxiety and depression differently. I can forgive more easily. I know that alcohol, at one point, was a source of numbing for me, but God has helped me get away from this self-medicating tendency.
Other things have happened in my life, but it is because of these two experiences that helped me look up and ask for His help, His unending Grace. It was just the right time for me to realize I needed Him. It was in God’s perfect timing!
I am also reflecting on the decision God has made for me to take this experience and use it for His glory. When I went back to my former job right after losing Evie I just couldn’t do it anymore. I felt that my heart was being led in a different direction. My husband and I prayed for God to guide us onto His path. Shortly thereafter, I felt moved to go back to school. My goal is to become a family counselor and to help those that are battling with grief and crisis within the family. I hope to spiritually encourage others who have experienced similar pain and suffering that results from the loss of a loved one.
As I write this, Evie’s little brother/sister is kicking around in my belly, reminding me of how joyful this time is and how thankful I am for the blessings (spiritual and earthly) in my life. This new little one is not all of our happiness, just a part of it! Christ is our ultimate happiness and we hold this truth close to our hearts daily. We are getting the nursery ready and will share pictures soon. We are so excited about this new little one’s arrival!:) I believe that this is another way that God can move someone’s faith: through children. They are the closest thing to heaven on earth so I cannot wait to experience this new journey as a mother. With lots of prayer and time to heal from the former losses, this was also another leap of faith that we decided to take by getting pregnant again. God is guiding us and we just keep moving along as He leads us on this uncertain path of trust with peace. We know that regardless of what happens, He will get us through it. Oprah has recently said, “a part of forgiveness is giving up the hope that the past could have been any different by letting go of it and moving forward with the Grace that God has given you.” I have certainly learned to forgive and accept what life has thrown at me.
The losses are sad, but there is light shining through the darkness in this story. My husband uses the analogy of a flashlight shining in the dark. For some of us, we can see God’s light so much easier when we are faced with pain and suffering.