Posts Tagged 'Children'

Rebuild

By drewJanuary 12th, 2012Blog, Featured, Leadership, Marriage/Family, Mission/Justice, The ChurchNo Comments
Modlay - Small

Hands And Feet (Haiti Tribute – Click to Play Song)

Today is the second anniversary of the tragic earthquake that devastated Haiti.  I woke up with the overwhelming thought, “what was that moment like when the whole world came crashing down?”.  I began to think about all those beautiful people who survived that event.  Does this day bring memories of loss and brokenness or hope and healing?  They say time heals all wounds, but wounds leave scars and scars remind us of pain and struggle. My prayer for that country is that their scars can also remind them of life and restoration, of God’s presence in the storm and be The Light that leads them out of the darkness.

I’m convinced that God allows tragedy and pain in our lives because of the change it can bring about in us.  In moments when I’ve been so full of confusion, broken-hearted and alone, I’m reminded that my only hope is in the Lord, not in who I am, what I’ve done or some delusional thought of what I can become. It’s not in my family or in my friends, not in what I have or want, not in anything but Jesus. One of the biggest things I’ve learned in those moments is that we don’t really understand or know what faith is until we really need it – have to have it. Growing up in church my entire life has afforded me the blessing of a foundation of faith in God, in my community, in my self.  But until we truly have no idea where the next paycheck is coming from, if the Lord will heal that disease, that broken heart, or relationship, we have to completely leave it at the feet of Jesus. No conditions, no expectations – just faith. Faith to truly believe that God is good, even when life is not. Faith to believe that He can use our story, no matter how tragic and confusing it seems to be in the moment of our pain. Faith to hope for days of peace and joy while walking through ones of darkness and depression.

Our God is a faithful friend, strong to walk with us, as together we rebuild what life has broken down. He provides all we need, and we work with the faith that at some point what looks like ground zero will be a place of unbelievable beauty – in His time.  We don’t remove our scars, we don’t hide those experiences, we paint around them, they provide context for the depth in our walk with Jesus and compassion for those around us surviving their own earthquakes.

What unexpected disaster has fallen down around you or someone you know?  Don’t act like it’s not there, that somehow no conversation is better than a word, a prayer, a supporting look or held hand.  Let’s run to those in pain, not with some lack of awareness that we can fix it or help in some way, but instead to just be present, just to stand with, just to listen.  God can and will heal and undergird our greatest life fractures, but let’s not let it just be a chapter in our story, but a building block toward something better, more beautiful, more dependent on our great God. He will rebuild and restore.

Job 22:21 (MSG)

“Give in to God, come to terms with him and everything will turn out just fine. Let him tell you what to do; take his words to heart. Come back to God Almighty and he’ll rebuild your life. Clean house of everything evil. Relax your grip on your money and abandon your gold-plated luxury. God Almighty will be your treasure, more wealth than you can imagine.”

1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Romans 8:26-28 (MSG)

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.

* This picture is one I took of my dear little friend Modlay. He’s just one of the beautiful reasons to support the amazing work of Hands And Feet Mission in Jacmel, Haiti.  This little guy was born so small he almost didn’t make it.  He struggled with medical issues for the first part of his life, but you’d never know it by that smile.

* I wrote this song “Hands And Feet” just after the earthquake in 2010.  The proceeds from the sale of this song will go to help Modlay and his brothers and sisters at Hands And Feet Mission in Jacmel, Haiti. It will be one of the tracks on my upcoming project “I Am Becoming”.


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A Children’s Story

By drewJanuary 4th, 2011Blog, Featured, Marriage/FamilyNo Comments
Cline-30

I’ve always loved children.  Being the youngest of 4 in my family I never had the experience of a baby sister or brother to play with, or torment, and being that my personality was one of a more nurturing side, I loved holding and playing with babies anytime I could be around them.  I couldn’t wait to be a father.  I’m a very relational person and my greatest dream in life was to have a family of my own.   When my wife Lori and I got married in 1994 we thought like most young couples that we would take a couple of years of wedded bliss and then start the process of having babies and our family.  I remember us making our plans for a boy or girl and cute names and perfect images of nurseries and strollers and all things children, as if we had some control over those things. Having a family wasn’t my only dream. I also dreamed of being a Contemporary Christian music artist.  I dreamed like most kids of huge crowds and loud music and making records.  I worked with passion to become that artist and to follow my dream, and in a lot of ways saw it come true.  I traveled on the road full-time shortly after getting married performing nearly 1000 concerts in 3 years and Lori followed her own dream of being a radio DJ and working with artists.  Before we knew it we had been married over 8 years and still had no children.  Our busy schedules and career chasing kept us from worrying too much about it, and we were young. We thought we would have plenty of time.

As time rolled on, we knew there was a problem and went to a few specialists, Lori had a surgical procedure to help with her Endometriosis and I remember the doctor saying “You’ll be fertile Myrtle now!”  A few years later we still had not conceived and we hadn’t moved any further in finding out what the problem truly was.  Lori was given a clean bill of health and so was I, still no children. We continued to follow our careers and dreams but found that we were becoming bitter and unbelievably sensitive about children.  Most of our friends already had one or two and made comments about how they ‘couldn’t even sit too close to each other without getting pregnant’.  Those kinds of comments or even story lines in movies or TV shows that dealt with abortion or babies in any way were unbelievably difficult for us.  We began to notice that our dreams and careers felt shallow and that we so longed for children.  As we wrestled with what steps to take in fertility, we realized that Lori was struggling even with the idea of being a mommy.  Her parents had divorced after 17 years of marriage and for some reason Lori felt that children had something to do with that.  We had a pretty big argument about where we were, how old we were getting and whether or not we were going to try anymore.  Lori had begun to worry about what kind of mom she would be and if having children would some how affect our marriage in a negative way.  After all she hadn’t seen it work well.

We were stuck.  I wanted to move on discovering what was keeping us from getting pregnant and she was paralyzed with fear of what might happen if we did. We went to see a dear friend and counselor that helped us and encouraged Lori.  After a few sessions we were seeing truth and growing hopeful of what having a baby would be like.  We made an appointment with a fertility clinic and began the very difficult process of assisted fertility.  I’ll never forget in the middle of that process after we had 2 different failed attempts at artificial insemination, feeling so embarrassed and like a lab rat, that I said to Lori, “This should be done at home where we can love on each other in the privacy of our own home and marriage not in some cold clinical test tube, does God not think we’ll make good parents”, to which my precious wife responded, “It takes more love to walk through this process, more sacrifice, more commitment”.  I just began to cry and remember why we were walking this road.  We finally moved forward with IVF and though Lori is deathly afraid of needles, we made it through.  We conceived!!  On January 25, 2007, we gave birth to our beautiful little girl Daisy Joy.  Daisy has been such an incredible gift from the Lord and there’s not a day that goes by that we don’t thank Him for her.  During the IVF process we had 3 embryos that continued to grow and be viable for implant. Two were implanted when we conceived with Daisy, losing one, and one was frozen.

We decided to go and get our little “snowflake” about a year ago and started the process of praying and talking with the fertility clinic about what steps should be taken.  We had a busy summer in 2009 and though we had hoped to try the implant in June, we didn’t actually make time in our schedule until September. We found ourselves waiting for Lori’s cycle to begin so we could communicate with the clinic and start the process.  We realized that she was 9 days late and she mentioned to me that she was a little confused as to why.  We got a test that night and the next day discovered we were pregnant on our own. (I was convinced this was a nearly immaculate conception…God was involved no doubt!)  On May 25, 2010 we gave birth to our second little girl Jovie May!  We will try to retrieve our little “snowflake” next year sometime.  God is so good, and has been present with us through it all. There were so many times that it felt like we were in a desert, and that surely He wasn’t listening, but “He’s never left us or forsaken us”.  His timing is perfect and He is always good.  He allows us to walk through some difficult seasons in life but we are never alone.  The question is, do we trust Him?  This is His story He’s writing, not ours.

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