Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Last week I received a charm that I love.  As soon as the little box arrived in the mail, I opened it and put it on.  Handstamped with a heart and "love" on the front, the back has ashlynn haven stamped on the back.  I'll post pictures one of these days; I just haven't taken it off long enough to take a picture.

My 2 year old son loves to hold it and talk about the heart on it.  I explained that it was love and that I loved him and baby Ashlynn.  I showed him her name on the back.  Now sometimes when he talks about it he says, baby sister, baby Ashlynn without my prompting.  I LOVE THIS.  I can't explain the sweetness there is in hearing him say her name.  I tell him he will meet her one day when we get Home to heaven.  Big concept for a little boy, but one day he'll understand.  I'm glad to tell him of our real Home.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Possessing Everything

"6:1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says,
“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We put no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: by great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love; by truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; through honor and dishonor, through slander and praise. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything."  2 Corinthians 6:1-10

Today this passage really hit.  As I read while waiting for church to start, my heart literally filled with joy from this passage.  "Yet possessing everything."
Life seems to deal an unfair hand sometimes.  This passage speaks of much hardship and many harsh circumstances of Paul; afflictions, hardships, calamities,  beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger, imposters, unknown, dishonored, slandered, dying, punished, sorrowful, poor, and having nothing. But mysteriously it is all turned around in Christ.  In contrast with that almost unbearable list, Paul mentions; great endurance, purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, the Holy Spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, the Power of God, weapons of righteousness, honor, praise, truth, being known, life, spared, rejoicing, making many rich, and possessing everything.
It almost seems that the two contrasting lists go hand in hand, like there cannot be one without the other.  What I mean is that through living and enduring through all of the hardships, Christ is all the more glorified and shines that much brighter as Paul pours out his heart to the Corinthians and to us.
God's promises sustain me.  In the grand scheme of things and from a worldly perspective, I really don't have much.  However, in Him, I have everything.  My life is truly full in the abundance of gifts that God has granted me and I look forward to a life of fullness with Him for all eternity.  I have come to realize that the hardest parts of my life contribute to this fullness.  Though my list of hardships comes nowhere near Paul's, may God get the glory through each joy and each pain that comes my way.

"11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does he withhold
from those who walk uprightly." Psalm 84:11


Friday, April 23, 2010


"Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24

Today I am thankful for a good friend who made my day with "kind words."  It is awesome to have friends that walk through life's ups and downs with me. 

Monday, April 19, 2010

Victims of Comfort

Here is another good song.  It is by Keb Mo called Victims of Comfort.  I'm not much for the images in the video, but love the song.  I think it goes deeper than what the images suggest.  I think the real challenge is that we stay in our own comfort zones and don't reach others with the love of Christ and don't follow Him into places that are "uncomfortable."  See what you think.  I'd love to hear!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Way

If you ever want to be tested in something, pretend you already know about it and then explain what you think you know to others.  The day after I wrote the last post about comfort, I hit a wall.  Nothing major happened to bring on my extreme discontentment and discomfort, while at the same time it seemed so much stacked against me. Maybe some of it could be blamed on the hormones of being a woman, but nevertheless, I have not been in a good place.

Today I caught myself  carrying on a conversation subconsiously, like it was on the back burner of my mind. I found myself asking how to achieve the peace that I had just explained to others on my blog.  I questioned, "What is the way to bring me out of this funk?"  The lights came on as if Christ was speaking to me, "I am THE WAY."  "Do you KNOW me?" "Are you SEEKING me?"  Often it is easy to become a story teller about God and Jesus.  Even easier I can live outside of KNOWING Christ in a daily committed walk WITH Him.  What I know can get in the way of what I do as I think about things, separating myself from the heart of the matter.  I know the answers, I know the source, but my heart closes to experiencing relationship at times.

 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.  In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.  And you know the way to where I am going.”  Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.” John 14:1-7

Just like Thomas I get distracted and I want extra proof, as if the walk I have had with Him up to this point is not enough.  He should be the focus.  He should be the core.  He should be my goal.

I love to write and I love to share about God's work in my life.  May I not just be a storyteller, but be one who acts on the promises of God.
Here is a quote from the the Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.  Very good book.  Written as letters between demons in their battle to outwit Christians, it gives good insight into how our enemy might be thinking.

"The great thing is to prevent his doing anything. As long as he does not convert it into action, it does not matter how much he thinks about this new repentance. Let the little brute wallow in it. Let him, if he has any bent that way, write a book about it; that is often an excellent way of sterilizing the seeds which the Enemy plants in a human soul. Let him do anything but act. No amount of piety in his imagination and affections will harm us if we can keep it out of his will. As one of the humans has said, active habits are strengthened by repetition but passive ones are weakened. The more often he feels without acting, the less he will be able ever to act, and, in the long run, the less he will be able to feel,
Your affectionate uncle

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


 Comfort- What is it?  Living in America, our lives often seem to revolve around comfort.  When it is cold outside, we turn on a heater or start a fire.  When it is hot, we pump up the a.c.  When we get home we kick off our shoes and sit on our couch, which we chose somewhat because it proved comfortable to us.  We chose jeans, shoes, and other clothes that feel comfortable.  We chose friends who we are comfortable being ourselves with and who comfort us when we are troubled.  If we suffer from physical pain, we take pain relief.  I don't think that I could exhaust this list.

But what happens when we can't ease the discomfort in our lives?  Things come for which there seem to be no remedy.  We toss and turn and question, "Why?"  We get confused, we get angry and we feel abandoned and alone.  All of which, I would argue, are healthy and a part of discovering lasting comfort.  This comfort is one which will not change with the seasons, will not age or wear out like our couch and our clothing, will not wear off in a few hours like pain medicine, and understands us better than our closest friend. This comfort does not usually answer our whys or make sense of our heaviest burdens.  Rather it gives us peace and stillness to overcome in the midst of walking through them.

Through all of the things in my life that have made the least sense to me, I have questioned God.  And each time He has answered in inaudible ways.  When I lost my grandfather while I was a teenager, I asked if He was real, if He was "up there", if He cared.  Less than a year later I discovered that the God who I thought was far off, was actually very near.  He wanted to be the Father I never had, He wanted to walk with me and have a relationship with me.  I remember being blown away that being a Christian was so much more than knowing "about God" and I was comforted that it was about "knowing God" in a personal relationship. Knowing I could never be perfect for God, I was comforted that He had a solution for my sins, His own Beloved Son, who lived the life I never could.  God gave me a peace and a joy that I could've never imagined possible as I accepted Christ as my Savior.

This relationship with my faithful Father has carried me through many things.  When I lost most of my community to Hurricane Katrina, He was there.  When my husband worked two months straight of 12 hour days, 7 days a week, during hurricane relief, God was there.  I had no one else but Him.   

With the loss of Ashlynn, God proves once more that He is present and that He knows my pain, hears my cry, hurts alongside me, and gives me a peace that surpasses understanding.  How do I know such comfort?  

Just before Jesus left to be with the Father He comforted His disciples.  He acknowledge their sorrow and knew their confused hearts.  He promised that He would come back to them after preparing a place for them in His house.  And He promised to send a "Comforter" and not leave them as orphans.  The Holy Spirit came shortly after Jesus left.  This is an awesome mystery!  God Himself in the form of the Holy Spirit teaches us and comforts us as we journey toward home.

I know comfort and peace through God's promises told to me through His Word.  I know it through the life of His Son told to me in the Bible.  I know it through the Spirit who opens my heart and who prays in my behalf when I am out of words to pray.

I am thankful for His faithfulness to me.  Even when the night seems long, He is there as I walk one step at a time trusting in Him.

I hope and pray that I could be a comfort and share this eternal Comfort because of how He has worked and continues to work in my life.  One of my fears is that I will forget when things are going great and that I will miss out on opportunities to love others with the love that He gives me.  May he keep my heart focused on Him and glorify Himself through me.

"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. For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort." 2 Corinthians 1 3-7

More verses about God's comfort

(Psalms 119:50 NIV) My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.

(Isaiah 26:3-4 NIV) You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you. {4} Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal.

(Isaiah 54:10 NIV) Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

(Isaiah 57:18-19 NIV) I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, {19} creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near," says the LORD. "And I will heal them."

(Matthew 11:28-30 NIV) "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. {29} Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. {30} For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

(John 14:26-27 NIV) But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. {27} Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

dormant beauty.

Here is me playing with words:

Dormant beauty waits to spring forth
patiently longing for the upcoming warmth of the sun.
Light promises to arrive as the rhythm of the seasons
march in sequence; each achieving it's appointed purpose.

An amazing resource

I seem to like to stay up late after everyone has gone to bed.  I think it is my "me time" to process.  Tonight I found this: Naming the Child - Hope-filled reflections on Miscarriage, Still birth, and infant death.

Let's just say that tears are streaming down my face prompted by the video 99 Balloons. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

Facing the Firsts

Butterfly Mommies
This is another question being asked on the butterfly mommies site and will be the topic of their next radio show.

"What were some of the 'firsts' that you encountered after your loss? How do you plan to, or how have you dealt with special anniversaries and holidays and the memory of your little one?"

I find this question quite ironic.  Usually when we talk about "firsts" in connection with "babies" we are talking about joyful milestones. Instead now I write about "firsts" after losing a baby.  My heart saddens at that, but I am happy to share.

My life was turned upside down when I lost Ashlynn. Therefore, everything was a first as I left a world of excitement and anticipation and entered a new world of grief and loss.  Here are a few of the firsts:

First time to return to the daily responsibility of caring for my son.  This one was pretty major and I felt it was impossible for me at the time.  I didn't want to get out of bed, much less be responsible for another person.  In addition, this was hard, because many people told me to love extra on Andrew as if the pain would be lessened by doing so.  At first, when I looked at him the pain was greater, because I had already thought of him as the big brother.  And because I had already imagined another by his side and imagined how our family would look as God grew my heart in love for another child. I also felt guilty for the me that my son was losing out on because of my grief. God graciously met me and carried me through as I moved forward one step at a time.  I entered into a new place of grieving as I embraced my son realizing that he was "the baby" once more. 
First time returning to church. Equally hard.  I really wanted to see all of my friends who had supported me by preparing meals and sending words of encouragement and prayers.  But when I got there, I could not talk to anybody.  I paced from place to place as the pain and shock of losing Ashlynn left me without words to those who knew.  When I finally talked to someone, I broke down and went sobbing to my car.
First time someone mentioned my pregnancy. When someone asked when I was due, it wasn't as much hurtful as it was uncomfortable.  After that moment, I tried to stay clear of those who may not have heard about our loss.  I figured, "If I avoid them long enough, they will either hear, or they will notice that I'm not growing."
First month mark. A very hard day in which all of the emotions that began the day I found out flooded my being.
First holiday. Easter.  Another hard day and I felt guilty about not being more joyful.

In all of this I have tried to surround myself with trustworthy friends.  It has helped me a lot to have people to see and things to look forward to in the midst of the pain.

Things still to come:
First time holding a newborn
First due date anniversary.
1 yr anniversary.
How do I plan on dealing with them?  I'm not sure, except that I will not be surprised by the pain that I am sure will come.  I will hurt and allow myself to do so.  On the due date I may do something special with my family or I may go to the beach alone.  Time will tell.  I hope to deal with the things that come with grace towards myself and hope and faith in my faithful Father as I remain honest before Him.  Most likely I will write and paint.

There is a reason

Yet another song that I LOVE and that applies to all of us who struggle and have pain.  The lyrics are awesome and something I have thought about posting about.

I've seen hard times and I've been told
There isn't any wonder that I fall
Why do we suffer, crossing off the years
There must be a reason for it all

I've trusted in You, Jesus, to save me from my sin
Heaven is the place I call my home
But I keep on getting caught up in this world I'm living in
And Your voice it sometimes fades before I know

Hurtin' brings my heart to You, crying with my need
Depending on Your love to carry me
The love that shed His blood for all the world to see
This must be the reason for it all

Hurtin' brings my heart to You, a fortress in the storm
When what I wrap my heart around is gone
I give my heart so easily to the ruler of this world
When the one who loves me most will give me all

In all the things that cause me pain You give me eyes to see
I do believe but help my unbelief
I've seen hard times and I've been told
There is a reason for it all

I don't know if I can really add anything to what she has written.  I just know that my life echos this song and that there is a reason for pain. One analogy is that of our senses in our hand.  If we did not have pain sensors to tell us when we were handling something of harm, say a hot pot or a sharp object, we would constantly be burning ourselves or cutting ourselves beyond repair.  The pain is there to warn us of greater harm.  It hurts, so we remove from the source of pain.  It hurts, so we apply balm to clean it and prevent infection.
In the same way, if we did not have pain, we would not know our need for a Savior.  The need would be there, but we would never cry out to him. Our hearts would continue into danger and become infected and fester with the things of this world.  We would be lost and perish without ever coming to the Healer, the Balm, the one who binds our wounds.  In contrast with our pain, the promises of God shine all the more brilliant.

In addition, our suffering makes us question and long for a life that is so much different.  We were created for a different life. One far beyond anything we can comprehend.  There is so much more in store for us.  Christ has come and will come once more to bring us to our true Home.
"Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." 2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Psalm 84

                                      1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
                                             O LORD Almighty!
 2 My soul yearns, even faints,
       for the courts of the LORD;
       my heart and my flesh cry out
       for the living God.
 3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
       and the swallow a nest for herself,
       where she may have her young—
       a place near your altar,
       O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
 4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
       they are ever praising you.
 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
       who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
 6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
       they make it a place of springs;
       the autumn rains also cover it with pools. [b]
 7 They go from strength to strength,
       till each appears before God in Zion.
 8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
       listen to me, O God of Jacob.
 9 Look upon our shield, [c] O God;
       look with favor on your anointed one.
 10 Better is one day in your courts
       than a thousand elsewhere;
       I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
       than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
 11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
       the LORD bestows favor and honor;
       no good thing does he withhold
       from those whose walk is blameless.
 12 O LORD Almighty,
       blessed is the man who trusts in you.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Compounded Grief

I mentioned previously that I have learned that grief compounds itself.  For me that means that, in dealing with the grief of losing Ashlynn,  I also am dealing with the grief of losing my dad and my grandmother (actually both), one who I was very close too.  My grandmothers both died within a week of each other right before Andrew was born (2 years ago).  My dad died last year.  I want to focus a little on him. It is complicated with so many emotions.

There is a country song on the radio right now that brings up all kind of emotions for me.  It is called Highway 20 ride and sung from the viewpoint of the father who drives to see his son every other week.  This is how it started for me and my dad.  I would see him every other weekend and then in the summers.  As I grew, I saw him less and less.  Then when I was a teenager he tried to rely on me as his source of support as he went through his second divorce.  I hated that he wanted me to support him when he was not there for me.  He was an alcoholic and anytime we had dinner together he wreaked of alcohol and would take me to meet his friends at a local bar. I hated being flirted with by his drunk friends.  I hated it when he told me "I love you," because I didn't believe it was true.  HE DIDN'T KNOW ME, how could he say that.  Months would go by with no contact from him, and then he'd appear out of the blue.  Finally, I got tired of it and moved on with my life with out him.  He gave me no priority in his life, so why should he be one in mine?  When he died, we had not spoke in many years.  That's the short story.

At his funeral, I did not go near the casket or look at his face.  I hadn't seen him in years, I didn't want to refresh my memory by seeing him in a casket, dead.  It was strange to be around that side of the family in some ways, not knowing how they felt about me.  Relatives would come up to me one after another telling me what a nice guy he was and I actually started to believe it a little.  After all, I WANTED to believe it.  Everyone told my brothers and me that he had died in his sleep of cardiac arrest.  At the very end of the funeral, I learned that he actually drank himself to death and was found in his truck the next morning.  Hearing this infuriated me after hearing all of the good things about him.  Why did they lie and give me a false hope that he had changed? 

Anyways, back to the song,  I hear it and wonder, "Did he love me?"  "WHY? Why did you drift away? Why did you let yourself die inside?"  "Isn't a father's love for his child greater than that?"  Then I get all kinds of conflicting emotions of love.  It doesn't make sense, really.  There's so much there and I don't know how they can all exist at one time.

Here's the video:

Things unsaid

I've had little time to write and lots of time to think lately.  Add those two things together and I have a lot to say.  Now to narrow it down...

Thanks to my friends that encourage me not to keep things bottled up.  I continue to settle into this new "normal" of my life.  I think about my baby often and the impact that losing her has had on my life.  I never talk about these things though, because the subject never comes up.  It's hard to know how to be sometimes and I find it hard that she's never mentioned.  I know it's an uncomfortable subject, but I feel bad about it.

I am also afraid to move forward for fear that I will forget. That I will forget her, the ways that I have changed, and the new priorities I have been given.

With that said, tonight I have a full heart, one full of joy in my faithful Father and Friend, and full of strength that only comes from Him as I lay my burdens down at His feet.

Isaiah 40 competes with Romans 8 for my favorite chapter of the Bible.   I love the whole chapter,  it moves from the Lord's comfort, to our minuteness, to His greatness, to His power in all creation, to our weariness, to His strength... TRULY AWESOME! Here is the ending:
"28 Do you not know?
       Have you not heard?
       The LORD is the everlasting God,
       the Creator of the ends of the earth.
       He will not grow tired or weary,
       and his understanding no one can fathom.
 29 He gives strength to the weary
       and increases the power of the weak.

 30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
       and young men stumble and fall;

 31 but those who hope in the LORD
       will renew their strength.
       They will soar on wings like eagles;
       they will run and not grow weary,
       they will walk and not be faint."

Still Life 365

I recently found this blog of poems and art through grief of baby loss.  I LOVE it and will see about submitting some of my own work when I get a chance.  Take a look!  Each day they post a new piece of art and a short bio with a link to the artist's page.
From still life 365

Companion program

This program looks promising for linking people up.  Does anyone have experience with this?

National Share Companion.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Encouragement from a friend.

One of my dearest friends wrote this to me in response to the struggle I had on Easter (see here).  

"Those longings about your clothes point to something much bigger than your clothes.  And, it feels most appropriate that you mourn and feel this aching dissatisfaction as you celebrate on Resurrection Day.  There is a work Christ has yet to do.  He has yet to come back and resurrect those we love--to give Ashlynn a new body..."

I wanted to share because this gives me great hope, not only the reminder of Christ's work, but the reminder that even the way I felt  and the things I was ashamed to even mention point to the heart of Christ for me and for Ashlynn. It also makes me feel "normal" and validates the life of Ashlynn and the pain that resides in her absence.

I like these lyrics from "Come to Jesus" by Mindy Smith:
Oh, my baby, when you're cryin'
Never hide your face from me
I've conquered hell and driven out the demons
I have come with a life to set you free

Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life don't seem worth livin'
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

More often than not, I feel bad for feeling bad.  But Jesus came and is coming again to make it all right.  May the darkest of nights drive me to His embrace as I rest in the freedom He gives and wait for His return.

Monday, April 5, 2010

More music

I love listening to music, especially when it brings so much comfort and speaks so loudly to me or gives voice to things that are hard to express.

Here is a song by Mindy Smith called, "Come to the Savior."
Worry not my daughters,
Worry not my sons
Child, when life doesn't seem worth living
Come to Jesus and let Him hold you in His arms

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Jill Phillips "I Am"

I just discovered this song and LOVE it!


 Here are some things I have struggled with today.  Sorry this is more of a venting post than those of late.

Easter morning started with me trying to find something cute and Spring like to wear.  It was rather depressing as I didn't find any cute clothes to wear that aren't maternity.  My closet and my dresser are full of maternity clothes and I have little other clothes that fit.  I feel so ashamed for caring so much about this on EASTER of all days.  A day that is supposed to be a joyful celebration of triumph over death, I am down because I cannot wear the maternity clothes that I really wish I was wearing right now.  It hurts so bad.

Andrew just turned two.  That is bitter sweet.  On the one hand I have an amazing little boy to love on the other, I really wanted children that were about two years apart in age.  I had a great day of celebration with great friends and I didn't think much about my feelings yesterday. Today they are back.  My little boy is not a baby anymore and where my womb carried new life, it is empty. Lord, I am so empty.

It is Easter and I am distracted by my longings.  How ironic is that?  The longings that Christ wants to answer, are somehow a barrier for me to come fully to him.  Lord, what is going on here?

I'm so alone. I feel so self absorbed for typing all of this out.  Lord, please bring your peace and comfort.

So here are my shameful ramblings.  My heart is broken, I am restless, and I feel guilty for not being joyful on this day that we celebrate that HE IS RISEN.


This Easter finds me a mixed bag in many ways.  I'm searching my heart for something hopeful and uplifting to write, but I am not there currently.  Today I read the resurrection as it is told in each of the Gospels.  There are many emotions that stood out to me in all of those who were present.  Some of them are confusion, grief, awe, fear, disbelief, amazement, and faith (if you can really call that an emotion).  Jesus promises to them during these days power (through the Holy Spirit), comfort, life, and Presence. He also calls them to carry on His work and bring His message to the end of the Earth.  

He took his broken, confused, grieving, believers and made them so much more with the promise of His Spirit.  My hope is that he sees past me (as I know he does) and my confusion, hurt, emptiness, brokenness and lack of faith.  That His Spirit would work in all of these areas to grow me and strengthen me in His ways.  He came to give life and in abundance.

"I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me." (NIV) 
Philippians 3:10-12
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