Just Another Desperate Woman

August 9, 2012 at 4:51 pm (More than Mediocre) (, , , , , )

A quick update on our surrogate journey:  We returned to Houston IVF Monday, August 6th, for a follow-up ultrasound to check and see if my sub chorionic bleed had reabsorbed any.  After a week of full bed rest, we were expecting it to at least be significantly smaller if not gone altogether.  However, the doctor did not have good news for us.  We were told that the bleed has actually INCREASED in size, going from 21 mm x 6 mm to 50 mm x 18 mm.  Nonetheless, the baby is doing AMAZING with a steady, incredibly strong heartbeat!  While the doctor quoted pretty alarming miscarriage rates and expressed that it does worry her that the bleed is growing, she also shared that she is “cautiously optimistic” that everything can still turn out okay.  She was especially impressed with how well the baby seemed to be doing.

Again, Not.  The.  Plan.  Because our own pregnancies and deliveries were such amazing carefree experiences, we wanted to be able to give a couple-Erin and Jesse-a wonderfully perfect experience, too.  Wrap it up in pretty paper and throw a bow on top.  A perfect journey.  A perfect baby.  A perfect gift.  And so far, I don’t think we’ve given them anything but a whole lot of extra stress and heartache!  Yet they remain upbeat.  They are so kind to me and express concern for me and how I am feeling.  They are pressing on with us, facing one day at a time.

As we were waiting on an elevator out, still stunned and trying to process the news, Jesse spoke something that began to resonate within me.  He simply commented something to the effect of, “I don’t know why this is happening.  I never thought we’d be here (referring to Houston IVF) in the first place…”  The conversation went on but his words kept running through my head.  And I began to ask the Lord, “Why?  Why is this happening?  What are you doing?  What is your plan?  Why is this such a struggle and not a perfectly wrapped up present for Erin and Jesse like I had planned?  What are you teaching me through this?  What will you teach them through this?  What purpose does this bleed hold in all of our lives?  What purpose have you brought our two families together for?”  I continued to ponder all these things late into the evening when the Bible story of the woman with the issue of blood came to mind.  So, I got up out of bed and searched it out.  The story is in Mark 5 and begins around verse 24.  A man named Jairus has approached Jesus and has asked him to come and lay hands on and heal his daughter who is at the point of death.  (She ends up dying later in the story but Jesus raises her from the dead!)

24 And Jesus went with him; and a great crowd kept following Him and pressed Him from all sides [so as almost to suffocate Him].

25 And there was a woman who had had a flow of blood for twelve years,

26 And who had endured much suffering under [the hands of] many physicians and had spent all that she had, and was no better but instead grew worse.

27 She had heard the reports concerning Jesus, and she came up behind Him in the throng and touched His garment,

28 For she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health.

29 And immediately her flow of blood was dried up at the source, and [suddenly] she felt in her body that she was healed of her [distressing] ailment.

30 And Jesus, recognizing in Himself that the power proceeding from Him had gone forth, turned around immediately in the crowd and said, Who touched My clothes?

31 And the disciples kept saying to Him, You see the crowd pressing hard around You from all sides, and You ask, Who touched Me?

32 Still He kept looking around to see her who had done it.

33 But the woman, knowing what had been done for her, though alarmed and frightened and trembling, fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth.

34 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your trust and confidence in Me, springing from faith in God) has restored you to health.  Go in (into) peace and be continually healed and freed from your [distressing bodily] disease.

After reading these words, I thought, “That’s exactly what I need.  I need this blood to dry up at its source!  I’m that woman with an issue of blood!  And all I need to do is reach out in faith and ‘touch the hem of His garment’ to receive that same healing that she did that day.”

Now, a lot of you may not have ever heard of anything like this before, but I went and got out my tallit.  A tallit is simply a garment similar to what Jesus and all of God’s people wore back in the Bible days.  In Numbers 15:38, God instructed Moses on exactly how the garments were to be made, Speak to the Israelites and bid them make fringes or tassels on the corners in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and put upon the fringe of the borders or upon the tassel of each corner a cord of blue.”

  We find much symbolism in the various knots and winding that make up each fringe and none of it’s weird or anything like that!  It all points to God, His Son Jesus, and the covenant they cut for mankind.  And there’s even a fascinating story about how the blue dye is derived for the single blue cord in the tassel at each corner.  But the thing that just blows my mind about this garment is the healing that is associated with it!

  In Malachi 4:2, scripture gives a promise that unto those who revere and worshipfully fear God’s name, the Sun of Righteousness will arise with healing in His WINGS and they shall go forth and run and jump about playfully and leap for joy like calves released from the stall.

 The Hebrew word translated to “wings” in English here is Kanaph which actually has several meanings including the fringe-like feathers or edges of a bird’s wing, a wing or an extremity of an army, and also a wing or a corner of a garment.

While modern English translations of the scriptures miss this important Hebraic concept, God’s people knew and understood that this verse was not referring to the wings or the fringe of a bird, but to the wings or the fringe of the Sun of Righteousness’ garment, his tallit. 

The woman with the issue of blood was a desperate woman!  Having spent all of her money on doctors who could not help and cures that did not work, she was forbidden by the law to even be out in public in her condition.  Yet, she had heard the reports and anxiously sought Jesus out, not matter the cost or consequence.  She had heard of the Messiah who could heal and she remembered the promise in Malachi that healing would be found in His wings, or in the fringes of His garment.  She knew that if Jesus was in fact the promised Messiah spoken of in the scrolls of Malachi, then the place to find her healing was in the wings of His tallit.  So she reached out in faith and secured that healing!

The woman with the issue of blood is not the only one who understood this Biblical truth.  In Mark 6:54-56 we find that immediately the people recognized Him,55 and ran about that whole country and began to carry here and there on their pallets those who were sick, to the place they heard He was.  56 Wherever He entered villages, or cities, or countryside, they were laying the sick in the market places, and imploring Him that they might just touch the fringe of His cloak; and as many as touched it were being cured.  Matthew 14:34-36 confirms this account.

Now, obviously there are no magical healing powers in a tallit.  God alone was responsible for the healing power that Jesus displayed while He was here on the earth as a man.  The fringes or tassels on Jesus’ garment were simply a point of contact that helped the people to release their faith.  When their faith touched the fringes that represented His word and His authority, the power of God was unleashed and they were all miraculously healed from their infirmities!!!!

I didn’t waste any time applying the lessons of the Bible in my own life.  I wasn’t about to pass up my own opportunity for healing!  I wrapped myself up in our tallit, the most intimate place I can go to be with God and a perfect reminder of the covenant relationship that I have with Him.  I twisted those fringes tightly around my fingers and asked the only one with healing in His wings to dry my issue of blood up at its source just as He did for the woman in the Bible story from so many years ago. 

Our culture doesn’t seem to believe in healing and miracles much anymore these days and many people would probably say that I’m pretty desperate.  But I DO still believe.  And I’d have to agree that I AM desperate.  I’m desperate to win the battle with the enemy for this baby.  I’m desperate to be used for God’s glory and to make a difference in others’ lives.  I’m desperate for others to see and experience the raw active power and authority of the God that I serve.  I’m desperate for my friends and family to come to know more than just “playing church” and religion-but true relationship with the God that created them.

 I AM that woman reaching out with every ounce of faith that I have, regardless of what others may think of me, and I fully plan on receiving an INCREDIBLE report at next week’s ultrasound!

I know that most of you don’t take the time to comment, but for those of you that are praying for us, Erin and Jesse, and the baby, I’d love for you to take a minute to comment below and let Erin and Jesse know that you’re lifting them up.  This whole process is extremely stressful and all they can do on their end is pray and wait.  Let’s let them know that they are not alone but are surrounded by many who are going to the Lord on their behalf!

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope.  ~Romans 15:13

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If You Don’t Know Me By Now…

July 17, 2011 at 11:04 pm (More than Mediocre) (, , , )

 

 Ironically, I actually wrote these words for those who DO know me.  Those who have walked through each and every up and down of my life for the past ten years.  Those who are willing to drop everything to help, pray, encourage, love, or listen.  Today I offer a little glimpse into my home away from home where everybody is truly family, Remnant Church.  So, for those of you who have always wondered but haven’t mustered up the nerve to ask, this is what I (as a part of Remnant) am all about!

When friends and acquaintances hear that we’re part of Remnant, the “Hebrew Roots” church in town, they never hesitate to ask in a half whisper, “Remnant Church…Are you Jewish?”

I can’t help but to grin in response. No, We’re not Jews. We just have a true understanding of our Christian heritage. God in His sovereignty chose the Jewish people as His own. He set them apart from all other people groups-that they might testify of His integrity and give credence to the absolute authenticity of His holy scriptures. While His redeeming plan of salvation from sin was originally intended for the Jews alone, the Bible makes it very clear in Romans 11 that we, the non-Jewish believers, were “grafted” into the work that God is doing in and through the Jewish people. We did not replace them, but were graciously included into the covenant God made with them. That’s REALLY good news for us!

Because most Christians today aren’t even aware that a vital connection once existed between Christianity and Judaism, our friends are usually shocked to learn that 2000 years of Jewish history, culture, language, and customs literally form the root of what they know today to be Christianity!

At Remnant, we study the Jewish roots of Christianity to understand our Savior. Jesus was a Jew born into a Jewish family in the Jewish village of Bethlehem in the land of Israel. He lived life and ministered to others as an observant Jew. He read the Jewish scriptures, spoke Hebrew, wore Jewish clothes, ate only biblically kosher food, kept the Jewish Sabbath, celebrated the Jewish feasts, followed Jewish customs, and kept every single law of God. Whew!

Our goal at Remnant is not to “act Jewish” but to pattern our lives after Jesus and to become more like Him and those in the Bible that faithfully aligned themselves with His commandments and character. Over the years, we’ve found that the more our lives line up with the Bible, the more “Jewish” we appear!

Many are curious to know, “What’s the vision. What’s Remnant all about then?”

Well, like Barnabus, Remnant sets out to encourage others, building them up to reach their full potential and God’s purpose for their life.

We’re Caleb. People of faith in a GREAT God. And like the woman with the issue of blood and the centurion whose great faith Jesus marveled at, our confidence rests not in our own abilities but in our understanding of just who God is and what He is capable of.

We are Lazarus, once dead and decaying from sin -raised to walk a new life with Christ here on earth. And like His sister Martha, we are learning that “busyness” of every sort, even serving others and doing “good things,” can become a barrier to knowing Jesus personally and intimately.

Remnant Church is David expressing His praise and worship unrestrained and unashamed before the Lord.

We are Jeremiah, Samuel, and Josiah-our youth equipped and trained to hear from and follow the Lord at any cost.

We are the Hebrew people, meeting up with God in the feasts for scheduled one on one appointments with Him.

Like Mary Magdalene we’ve been miraculously freed from the powers of darkness.

Remnant is Noah, committed to a lifetime of faithful obedience to God, doing our best to live a righteous life in the midst of an unbelieving generation. Our reverential fear of God is greater than our fear of man and anything he may think about or do to us.

We are John the Baptist, continuously pointing others to the Messiah.

Like Joseph and Daniel, we believe that God speaks through dreams and visions and often reveals Himself and His plans during the night watch.

We’re the hands of Jesus reaching out to the broken, the unaccepted, the unlovely.

Remnant Church is Elijah-finding God NOT in the midst of the windstorm, earthquake, or fire but instead in a gentle whisper.

We are Peter experiencing the Lord’s provision in nets that are overflowing when necessities are scarce.

We’re Solomon seeking Godly wisdom above all else.

We are the disciples, learning to live naturally supernatural lives. We choose to be empty vessels for God to use as He pleases. In doing so, we are privileged to utilize the very same power and authority that raised Jesus from the dead to release healing and miracles to those in need.

We’re the New Testament church meeting together in our homes, breaking bread, celebrating Bible prophecies that have already come to pass and anticipating the fulfillment of those that are soon to come.

Like Mary, we desire to lavish our love on the Savior. And like Mephibosheth, we can bask in the Father’s love- knowing that we are in a forever binding blood covenant relationship with Him.

Remnant Church is Esther raised up at a specific time in history for the specific purpose of advancing God’s kingdom here on earth.

Because Almighty God specifically chose Israel to express Himself to the world, we choose to love, support, encourage, pray for, respect, and speak the truth about the Jewish people. Our desire is to be among those who bridge the gap between Christian and Jew and to live our lives in such a way that others hunger to know the God that we serve.

That’s what Remnant’s all about!

http://www.remnantchurchonline.org/

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