Flourishing with my Valentine

As Valentine’s Day rolls around again, I’m overcome with joy and gratitude that God brought Micah and me together. We’ve come so far from where we started in our walk with God and I’m so thankful for our profound sense of placement at our church.

When we got married, we weren’t planted in a church body. Not only did we not like church- me especially- but we had found agreement in going it alone with Jesus. Honestly, we didn’t know any better and to add insult to injury, a lot of Christians we knew seemed to only go to church to check it off a list or for selfish gain and manipulation. Although, there were a few Christians in our lives that we knew truly heard from God, were planted in their church body, and wholeheartedly served, gave, worshipped, and prayed. It was obvious that they wanted to please God and not man. You see, even in the wilderness where things are hard to discern, you can spot those who truly seek God’s approval and not man’s. It’s so obvious that it’s disarming to those of us who have had deep hurts and distrust within the church. Those were people we knew we could trust as friends, and I’m thankful we kept them in our lives after we got married.

For me, remembering where we started and seeing how far we’ve come in our walk with God is mind-blowing. I’m sure we seemed like hopeless cases to some of our friends but I’m glad they continued to encourage and speak life into us through all of these years. We are now placed in family with those friends and are grateful for their pressing into God for our placement on our behalf. We honor them, and their willingness to wait on us to follow God’s leading. Although we’ve had a rough 4 years, I wouldn’t change the way things have turned out so far.

Around Four years ago, I was diagnosed with endometriosis in addition to already being diagnosed with interstitial cystitis (IC). I followed the nudge from God to seek out an endometriosis specialist and received healing from endometriosis. Endo was the spark I needed to return to church. God knew this the whole time.  Together, Micah and I pressed into God and while we waited on God to heal my hormonal imbalances from years of birth control use, we became planted at our church. Our church family celebrated with us with our first pregnancy and we mourned together after the miscarriage and stillbirth of our daughter. We celebrated our second pregnancy 8 months later with our son, and mourned him soon after when I miscarried early in January of last year.

If I had my way, I would have chosen instant healing from endo back in 2017. I’m certain that we would not have gone back to church if this had happened. I also know that I wouldn’t be able to help women get access to available treatments with endo specialists if I had been instantly healed. I would have chosen to have a cervix that stayed firm and had a healthy pregnancy and baby girl. I know that losing Jaqueline not only brought Micah and I closer, she actually helped establish us in our church family. We were woven into the fabric of our church and this could not have happened in the same way if she had lived. I can’t tell you why we lost Ezra early on but I know by pressing into God, Micah and I didn’t silence our praise of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. However, we do know that these losses taught us to hold loosely to what our picture of God’s promises will look like as they come to pass. Last year we miraculously received our prayer languages, and that’s a huge deal if you know us. We can’t fake that kind of thing and wouldn’t want to just to fit into our church.

You know, it’s tempting to ask God why he tests our faith. I think a more interesting question to ask God is how he is going to move the mountain, to usher in his promise, bring healing, or establish his kingdom. How is God going to give a crown of beauty for ashes? What will this look like? The question I usually go to first as I wait on God is how will you do this? How will you work this mess out for your glory? So while it’s hard to come to terms with losing our children, I rest and trust that God is good and believe that He knows better than I do.

It’s funny, I use to read psalms 92 a lot before coming back to church. I loved to read about how the Godly will flourish and dreamed of Micah and me flourishing together with God. It’s really a beautiful scripture when you read it. Psalms 92:12-15 reads as follows:

The righteous will flourish like a palm tree,
    they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon;
 planted in the house of the Lord,
    they will flourish in the courts of our God.
 They will still bear fruit in old age,
    they will stay fresh and green,
 proclaiming, “The Lord is upright;
    he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.

Psalm 92:12-15

It never dawned on me when I use to read this that it’s only when we are planted in the house of the Lord, that we can truly flourish. When we first met and got married, I really believed that flourishing with God meant that Micah and I would get everything we wanted from God. I really believed that with Jesus alone we could make it. But honestly, God has shown me that when we become established, rooted, and immovable in his house, that’s when we can truly flourish with him. It seems so basic to have a revelation that flourishing is really a byproduct of being planted. I do know however that no one can take this revelation from us and because we have chosen to remain planted when stuff hit the fan, we learned who our true people are here. God showed us that through being placed in family, we are never alone as we fight these battles. I’m also comforted by the fact that although our babies are in heaven, they were born into this church family too. They were covered from the moment of conception, and that gives me so much peace.

I love my husband so much and he really is my favorite person in this world. We balance each other out and continue to surprise each other daily. We are still waiting on God to completely heal me from interstitial cystitis, pelvic floor dysfunction, incompetent cervix, and some hormonal imbalances. We continue to declare that God is good, we will see healthy pregnancies, and that he will come through on his promises of children and complete healing. I’m beyond grateful to be walking this out with Micah as he leads our family. Together we have learned to give, serve, worship, and pray and I’m excited to see how this all unfolds as we seek God. I didn’t think flourishing with God together would look this way, and I’m relieved that God is in control of it all.

Happy Valentine’s Day Sweetheart.

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