Thursday, September 27, 2012


My whole life, I have thought I was a pretty good person.  I have lived a pretty good life and lived by the "laws" that I felt like God had given us.  I didn't drink before I was legal.  I have only kissed one man, my husband.  I was a virgin when I got married.  I didn't do drugs, I didn't smoke.  I went to church every week.  I led Bible studies and small groups.  By mine and everyone else's account, I had it together.  And I was living a good life.  I thought that other people saw Christ in me because of these "good" decisions that I had been making.

When we lost Grayson, I was caught off guard.  I honestly, at points, thought "Lord, I lived a good life and made good decisions and my life looked different from those around me and I thought I was pointing others to you.  So why did you take my son to point others to you through me?  Was that really necessary?"

So as I have processed Grayson's death, I have felt God tugging on my heart.  I have felt Him saying to me "This wasn't for everyone else.... This was for you."  And not in a mean, malicious way.  A loving, compassionate, "I did this for you, Lindsey because I love you."  And at the beginning, I had times where I wanted to yell back "This isn't love!  This isn't nice!  You took my son away from me!  And I didn't deserve this... I was following your laws!"

And over the last couple months I have realized just that.  God didn't allow Grayson to go to heaven because He wanted to use me to point others towards Him (what an arrogant thought).  Now, if He chooses to use Grayson and me that way, I will be eternally grateful.  But more than that, He has used it to mold and shape me to be more like Him.  I have realized that much of my life, I was upholding "laws", but God wasn't my primary reason for doing that.  It was for my reputation.  It made me feel like I had it all together.  This has lead to me questioning every part of every decision I have ever made... And asking the question "Where was God really in that?" and "Was I really doing what God called me to or was I just following MY rules?"  In one day, I feel like my whole life completely changed.  I am a completely different person.  In fact, there are some days when I just feel plain lost.  You can ask those who know me best.  My whole person has changed.  Maybe not in what I do every day.  Maybe not in super noticeable way, but my demeanor, my thought process, my level of grace.  THIS is what God has been doing.

God used Grayson to mold me to be even more like Him and to show me just how real He really is.  Until this point, I believed in Christ, I was a Christian and desired to serve Him, but it all felt "out there".  I had never felt that I really "needed" God until losing Grayson.  I "knew" in my head that I did, but at times, I felt like I was doing just fine on my own.  I felt like it was my job to be "good" so everyone could see Him.  I felt the need to be perfect.  I have since realized that God never required that of me.  He wants us to reveal our imperfections so that He can shine brightly through them.  Grayson and his life have revealed some major imperfections in me and my faith.  And my hope and prayer is that God has shown brightly in those crevices.  If that doesn't happen, then this whole life is all for naught.  And I refuse to let my son's life go to waste because I am too scared to let others see my imperfections... especially when I have a God who is ready to come through for me anytime, anywhere.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Change... It is a word that most people find pretty scary.  Usually when you go through a change, it means you are rather uncomfortable for a period of time.  The dictionary describes it as this:

"to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something)  
different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone"

This week, in Bloom (my moms of kids Bible study), we were talking about marriage.  We were asked to look at however many years we had been married (for us, we are approaching 7 years...unbelievable!) and then graph out each year in a line with how satisfied we were with our marriage over those years.  Mine, much like everyone else, had it's ups and downs.  Looking down at the graph I had sketched out, I started to think about why I was so satisfied with marriage some years and so not satisfied others... And it occurred to me that the years that I was MOST satisfied were the years that we, as a couple, went through the biggest changes.... whether those changes were good or bad!

  • Year 1:  Got married. I had never lived with another man before.  And then 3 weeks after that, I got really sick and was in ICU.  There was definitely change that year.  We were forced to rely on God in, not only the transition of being married, but having someone else primarily caring for me when I was sick.
  • Year 3:  We bought a house and moved everything we owned.
  • Year 5:  We had our first daughter, Collins.
  • Year 6:  We had our second child, first son, Grayson and buried him in the same week.

Some of these changes, were (in our eyes) good things.  We choose them.  We wanted that change.  In year 3, we wanted to buy a house and we welcomed that change into our lives with our whole hearts!  Year 5, we had Collins.  This, too, was an exciting change and one that we were prepared for!

However, year 1, and year 6 were, again in our eyes, not good changes.  It was not ideal to be in ICU 3 weeks after being married... and watching Damon question how to best take care of me.  And year 6, we had unexpected change with losing our first son, Grayson.

But what I want you to see is that, whether the changes were expected and exciting or unexpected and hard, I was MOST satisfied with my marriage then.  Why?  Because, it is during the times of change, times of being uncomfortable that we really allow God to work.  I was reading an article the other day by Nancy Ortberg, and she said "the difficult parts of change are most often where God lives".  When we go through hard changes, we realize that He is all we have and all we are ever guaranteed in this life.  In years 1 and 6 of our marriage, God showed up BIG!  We were forced to not only rely on Him, but determine, yet again what we really believed about Him.  And THIS will satisfy the soul.  And when then soul is satisfied, your life feels full.

She also said, "Change includes loss. And any loss that we experience moves our hearts closer to surrender."  Can I just tell you that my heart has never been so surrendered to my God than it has in the last 4 months.  I have always loved Jesus and wanted to follow His plan for my life, but there is a part of me that was still holding on... There was a part of me that couldn't let go of everything.  And after losing Grayson, my heart fell at the feet of Jesus... every stinking piece of it.  It is a BIG change.  And that change is scary and a bit uncomfortable at times, but why would I want to be "what it would be" if left alone?!  Without change, we become stagnant.  And that, my friends, is what I call a boring and unfulfilled, unsatisfied life... And I am NOT willing to settle for that!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Expecting Suffering

Do you expect suffering?  Or are you surprised by it?  I  know that often times, I find myself surprised by it... and why?  Jesus clearly lays out, on multiple occasions that, if I truly love Him and strive to serve Him, there will be suffering.  1 Peter 4:19 says "So then let those who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator as they do good.".  John 16:33 "In this world, you will have trouble."  Jesus clearly explains this us.  So why are we so surprised by it?

Paul is a great example of someone who not only expected suffering, but rejoiced in it.  He was imprisoned.  He was beaten.  But, he got it.  He understood that his life was miniscule when compared to the plan that God had.  And because he got it, God used him in a mighty mighty way.  Mary got it.  She understood that losing the respect of the men and women around her was nothing compared to the joy that she would experience being the mother of Jesus.  And she referred to herself as a servant.  She got it.  And God used her in a mighty way!

I hope I get it.  I hope that I daily realize how small my life is.  May I daily submit myself as a servant to God.  I want God to use me in a mighty mighty way.  And the only way He can do that is by me expecting suffering. And then rejoice through it, knowing that God is going to do something big and mighty, something that only He can.

I am so glad that those verses don't just end in suffering.  Jesus continues on by telling us to "entrust our souls to a faithful Creator" and to "take heart because He has overcome the world".  Praise Jesus that He takes on my suffering and that He knows every tear that has fallen from these eyes.  And that one day, there will be no more.  You see, we are not supposed to be surprised by suffering.  When sin entered the world, so did suffering.  It wasn't God's initial design, but because of sin, evil does exist and therefore suffering exists.  I can not fathom what it will be like in heaven when there will be NO MORE sadness... NONE!  I will not have to cry another tear over hurtful words, friends moving away, or losing my son.  We will be in FOREVER happiness!!!  Can you even imagine?!  What a GLORIOUS day that will be!

Until then, I think it would be in our best interest to expect suffering.  Don't be surprised by it.  Instead, let's rejoice in it.  And let God use us in a MIGHTY way!!