Thursday, December 4, 2014

Gift for Christmas Mourning - New Relationships

I was unsure what to write today. I started thinking about what I normally write often about my faith journey. With thoughts on that I decided I needed to tell about the greatest gift that came from my loss, a relationship with Jesus.
I gave my testimony when I professed my faith and was baptized in Apr 2012. This is an excerpt from it…
After the loss of Cole and the journey I took with Cameron, ultimately a very healthy little boy being born I began to feel God touching my heart.  I was so grateful for Cameron, for all that had been done for us and for the faith of others, the prayers of others, the words of encouragement from spiritual friends.  Although I appreciated it all, learning to trust God and to accept Jesus into my heart did not begin at all really until a few months after the boys were born... as I planned the service to say goodbye to Cole. I read a book by a woman named Jenny Hander, likely the first person to really influence my faith journey. What really hit home for me then was her writing about needing to let one of her twins go, to accept her death and the survival of her twin sister as part of God’s plan. She was a woman of immense faith, a strong Christian and yet she struggled to say goodbye to her daughter, to stop praying for God to return her to be with her family. Her final acceptance came when she was finally able to find peace, comfort and hope in the loss of her daughter because she knew that , by following the teachings of Jesus, by being the strong Christian that she was, she would see her daughter in Heaven. This was God’s plan for her and it was ok... she would see her little girl again. And suddenly I became so very fearful that I would not see my son again, that I was not doing a good job and my place in Heaven was, by no mean, secure. 
That day I knelt down and I prayed and begged Jesus to forgive me for all my sins, most especially what my struggles to accept and grieve were doing to my family, to my children. I knew nothing about what it meant to come to Christ but I think that was the first day of the rest of my life so to speak….but it was a very slow start, slow growth. As time went on I began to turn to God more in prayer, work through my grief prayerfully and through scripture. Did I mention it was a very slow journey??? I started blogging my journey and exploring how I felt...who I was angry with, the guilt I felt, how hard it was to fully put my trust in God. I shared this blog with others and participated in a few online support groups and slowly...painfully so, my life began to feel like my own, my new normal began to feel like something I could live with. Others, mostly those who I met online or those that read my blog, either supported me or found support in me and I began to feel my strength building but still something, a focus maybe, was missing. 
A crisis in my marriage lead me to growing this faith with my husband which lead me to our church in July 2011.. The very first service we attended the pastor spoke on the first book of James. What a great, but tough, book to hear given where my life had been in the last 2.5 years. I think one of my favourite scriptures is 
James 1:2-42 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
and given the trials that we’ve had even since coming to then it seems like one of many perfect scriptures for me to live my life by. Within a few weeks of coming to this church I knew that I was ‘home’…I was where I needed to be and I was ready to make a full commitment to Jesus. I finally
truly understood that salvation was I gift I was given not that I had to earn.    I fully gave my life to Jesus in 2011 and was baptized on Easter Sunday 2012. From that point on I found an amazing sense of peace about losing Cole and an amazing sense of purpose for his life and his death. I feel very certain that I needed to experience the joys of twins and the loss of twin dreams, the loss of a child, in order to be able to be who God wants me to be. I have already seen, even prior to coming to Christ fully, that my faith, my certainty that there is a heaven and a great purpose to all things in life, has impacted others who did not know Christ and it has just continued in volumes since then. Since beginning my relationship with Jesus I have just found that I have such a clarity about some the areas of life that I really struggled with and even more so, a sense of assurance of the provisions of God. I feel that God and Cole guide me to share my faith and my support with others who have taken the same ‘twin’ journey we have. The more I began to share the more I discovered that I seemed to have a gift with words that gave comfort, hope and peace to others. I found I had a desire to see change in the world and the courage to things I never dreamed possible.

I fully gave my life to Jesus in 2011 and was baptized on Easter Sunday 2012. 

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