The Joy of Glory

Discovering endless joy in the boundless glory of God…

Tag: mother’s day

SVCC Mother’s Day 2015

A short video in appreciation of all who fulfill the role of “mother” within the body of Shades Valley Community Church.

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A Poem for All Women Today…Whether Celebrating or Suffering

*I’ve never reposted a blog before, but it just seems appropriate today. Below is my blog from Mother’s Day 2013. I find my heart feels the same this year as it did the last…

My father was an orphan.  His mother passed away when he was two years old and he grew up in a children’s home in Corsicana, Texas.  I cannot imagine growing up without a mother, but truth be told, neither can he.  While he had no biological mother, he would be the first to tell you that so many women became mothers to him throughout his life.

No mother, yet many mothers.

Because of this, I am always conscious that mother’s day is about much more than just women who have birthed babies.  It is a celebration of all women who have poured into the lives of so many around them.  Dear ladies, you have comforted, loved, cared for, treasured, taught, led, cried with, rejoiced over, and mothered so many…most likely even many of whom you are unaware.

Gift-BoxI know that mother’s day can be painful for many for a myriad of reasons.  So this mother’s day, I wanted to give a gift to all the women I pastor at Shades Valley Community Church.  I wanted to honor and love them, no matter if Mother’s day is a day of joy or of pain.  Most of all, I wanted to point them to Jesus, for he is the one who empowers motherhood within all women who know him.  Mother’s day is ultimately about Jesus, because he upholds all women and strengthens them to pour into those of us who so desperately need them.

So dear lady, whether today is filled with joy or with pain, may you know the presence of Jesus.  Here is my small, feeble gift to you…a simple poem I wrote to remind you that Jesus is with you wherever you are…

Silence and Cries and Why
The silence broken by a baby’s first cry
Celebration of life, the holy, the why
Jesus is present in your joy, in your smile
New mother he loves you, he gave you this child

The silence is broken by a mother’s heart cry
Precious life has been lost, and we wonder why
Jesus is present in your pain, in your loss
Dear woman he loves you, felt your pain on the cross.

The silence is broken the house rings with cries
Crazy parenting life, we’re both asking why
Jesus is present in your angst and frustration
With us as his kids he understand irritation

The silence isn’t broken, there’s no child’s cry
Wishing you were a mom, and you’re left asking why
Jesus is present as you weep and you pray
He holds you even when there’s nothing to say

The silence is broken, with joy-filled cries
Kids once who were homeless don’t have to ask why
Jesus is present as they become your own
He too was adopted, made the world his home

The silence is broken, by your own cries
Your children rebelling, and you don’t know why
Jesus is with you while they’re far from home
He is also with them wherever they roam

The silence is broken, with laughter you cry
Watching them grow, you are blessed, and why
Jesus laughs with you amidst those moments of joy
When you’re so thankful to parent your girls and your boys

The silence is broken, with a full heart you cry
Life without your own mom, you ask how and why
Jesus is with you, you’re not alone in your fear
He will hold you up and he will catch all your tears

The silence is broken with a grandbaby’s cry
The struggle of parenting and now you know why
Jesus is present in your empty nest
Through grieving and joy he will be your rest

The silence is broken with heaven’s own cry
All joy and all pain, we all now know why
We will be present with Jesus and we shall see his face
Every woman there shall be crowned with beauty and grace

No matter how you experience silence or cries
No matter the reasons your heart wonders why
Jesus is with you, dear lady, he never leaves
Find your joy in his love, and to his glory ever cleave

Learning to Rely…

*Mother’s Day is difficult for many. Guest blogger Meg McClung shares her testimony of learning to rely on God as she struggles with the desire to be a mom…

532149_10100115200185119_1933979420_nJosh and I got married almost 7 years ago.  We were 22.  We wanted to start a family around 26.  Have 3 or 4 kids (close together) and be finished having kids in our early 30s.  It sounded like a good plan to us!!

But after trying to start our family, we ran into some setbacks.  Nothing happened.

That was 4 years ago.  After seeing a specialist and being told pretty much nothing was wrong, we were given the option of fertility treatments.  We prayed and fasted and heard from the Lord, “No”.  So we began praying and talking about adoption – something we’d wanted to do (eventually) from the beginning of our marriage.

After waiting on God for about 6 months, we finally felt like we had the go-ahead in September of last year.  We found an adoption agency and started pursuing domestic adoption.  We were fully approved at the end of April and are now waiting to be chosen by a mom.

This is the first Mother’s Day that hasn’t been really hard for me in a long time – I finally feel like an expectant mother.  But that wasn’t always true.  When we first started trying to have a family 4 years ago, my life was full of disappointment.  Every month, and every time a friend, acquaintance, stranger got pregnant.  I held on to this verse in Proverbs (13:12) – “Hope deferred makes the heart sick; But a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.”  I thought this verse gave me an excuse to have pity parties and be heartsick about not being pregnant.

Around 2 years ago, I hit a breaking point.

When a friend got pregnant and was upset about it, my jealousy and anger reared it’s ugly head.  It shocked me how mad I was about it.  I knew bitterness would soon follow and I couldn’t go on living that way.  I talked to my family – my mom and sisters and close friends – then I turned to the Lord and asked Him to deal with me. He used that verse in Proverbs to teach me something about Hope.  I had been putting my hope in having a child.  And because that desire was unfulfilled, I was heartsick.

tree-of-life-webBut even if I had gotten what I wanted, it wouldn’t have been the tree of life.  I’m sure a lot of you are familiar with that – we hope for something for a long time and when we get it, we aren’t really happier or more joy-filled than before.  That’s because those things don’t bring us life.  Psalms 4:6, 7 says ‘There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O Lord!” You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound.’

See, my desire was directed toward the wrong thing.  Through this process, the Holy Spirit has revealed to me that my Hope is in Christ.  That my desire should be for Him.  And when my hope is in Him and my desire is for more of God – that will not disappoint.  HE is the tree of life.

Some people have told me that as soon as we have a baby through adoption, we’ll get pregnant.  And maybe that will be true.  But that’s not the reason we’re adopting and God isn’t holding out on us.  He isn’t withholding children now and if we wait long enough or well enough, we’ll eventually get what we want.  The truth is that what He has for us is so much better than what we want for ourselves.  And that is because what He has for us is Him.

I’m sure a lot of you have heard it said – or even said it yourselves – “God will never give you more than you can handle.”  I can tell you from experience that that isn’t true!  There have been so many things over the past 4 years that I could not handle.  I haven’t doubted God’s goodness and I believe that He gives us, His children, good things (Matthew 7:9-11). But there were a lot of times when I’d think I was pregnant and wasn’t, or someone else would get pregnant and not me and I’d say to myself, “God, that’s just mean.”

What I meant was, “I cannot handle this. I’m not strong enough.”  And in those times, I would turn to the Lord and ask Him for truth.  And He’d remind me not to compare myself to others because what He has for my life is different and better than I can imagine.  And He’d remind me to hope in Him.

Paul experienced persecution and hardship beyond what I can imagine, but I can relate to what he writes in 2 Corinthians 1, “For we do not want you to be ignorant, brothers of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again!”

ec323ce0f882d2c29fe9bac8b9323965He talks about relying on God again in chapter 12, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

It was in those really hard times that I learned that to be weak is to be strong because it’s in those times that I have to rely on the Lord.  As humans, we try to avoid hardship and persecution because it’s uncomfortable and we want to go into self-preservation mode.  But as believers, we should welcome hardship because it’s then that we understand His strength.  It also teaches us about Hope. In Romans 5: 3-5, Paul says: But we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

In the last few years, Josh and I have had a lot of hardships but I can honestly say that they have been the best years of our lives. I know that God is good, no matter what happens.

Even if we never have children, God is good.

Just being able to share with you what God has done in my life is a testimony to His goodness. If we have walked through this just for the opportunity to comfort you with our story of God’s faithfulness, it is enough.  In 2 Corinthians 1, Paul writes, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.” That’s a lot of comfort!

I hope that my story blesses everyone who has an especially hard time on Mother’s Day and encourages all of you to desire more of God, to hope in Him, and to daily rely on His strength, because we are always weak!

*You can keep up with the McClung’s adoption journey by following their blog.

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