Monthly Archives: May 2012

Joyful Joyful, We Adore You

During the worship service at Grace this morning, we sang Joyful Joyful, We Adore You. I haven’t heard this song in a while, and NEVER before have I heard it the way I heard it today.

As we were singing, I could feel God’s presence as I have never felt it before. It was as if God was in that room with us, standing right next to me. It was the first time I’d ever felt EVERYONE around me shouting out their praise to the Lord. It was breathtaking.

The worship band at Grace is always wonderful, but today, there was something different. There was a joyful presence that seemed to take control.

You see, I was struggling this morning. I wasn’t feeling very well, combined with being tired, but as we started worshiping…none of that mattered. It felt like God and me were the only ones in that room.

“melt the clouds of sin and sadness, drive the dark of doubt away”

Our God never ceases to amaze me.


Freedom in Trust

This was read during a friends testimony at CR last night – “God will not protect you form things that he will perfect you through.”

This is the poem that I wrote for a wodnerful friend, to go along with his testimony.
Freedom in Trust
Children learn what they live
And he learned to drink
But it wasn’t till later
That he saw the link

In the meantime he drowned
In the pain of his sorrow
Promise after promise
It’d be better tomorrow
He couldn’t get out
Of the sin, he was trapped
And with only his power
He’d see God’s wrath
He was on his way
To death through his sin
But that’s when he gave up
And a Savior came in

Jesus embraced him
And said to him, “Son,
Just give up the battle,
I’ve already won.
Give me your burdens.
Give me your tears.
And don’t ever forget,
I know all your fears.”

You see, freedom is found
Only in trust
Trust in a Savior
Who’ll never give up
Sin has a price
And pain will ensue
But depending on God
Is what brought him through

I think what I love the most about the Gospel is just the pure freedom we find in trusting Christ. I know, at least for me and maybe everyone else is different from me, that before I had Christ in my life, I was bound, chained, and imprisoned. But the imprisonment was within myself. I was imprisoned in a life of sin that I couldn’t get out of.

Yesterday, I was listening to the Grace Bible Church podcast. And I was listening to a sermon that Pastor Dave preached back in November called Follow the Warrior and I caught a glimpse of something wonderful!! This passage in Mark reminds me of myself.

Mark  5:1-20
They came to the other side of the sea, to the country of Gerasenes. And when Jesus had stepped out of the boat, immediately there met Him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit. He lived among the tombs. And no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain, for he had often been bound with shackles and chains, but he wrenched the chains apart and he broke the shackles in pieces. No one had the strength to subdue him. Night and day among the tombs and on the mountain he was crying out and cutting himself with stones. And when he saw Jesus from afar, he ran and fell down before him. And crying out with a loud voice, he said, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I adjure you by God, do not torment me.” For he was saying to him, “Come out of the man, you unclean spirit!” And Jesus asking him, “What is your name?” He replied, “My name is Legion, for we are many.” And they begged Him earnestly not to send them out of the country. Now a great herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside and they begged him, saying, “Send us to the pigs; let us enter them.” So He gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.

The herdsmen fled and told it in the city and in the country. And people came to see what it was that had happened. And they came to Jesus and the demmon-possessed man, the one who had, had the legion, sitting there, clothed in his right mind, and they were afraid. And those who had seen it described to them what had happened to the demon-possessed man and to the pigs. And they began to beg Jesus to depart for their region. As he was getting into the boat, the man who had been possesses with demons begged Him that he might be with Him. And He did not permit him but said to him, “Go home to your friends and tell how much the Lord has done for you, and how He has had mercy on you.” And he went away and began to proclaim in the Decapolis how much Jesus had done for him, and everyone marveled.

Before I knew Christ, my life was uncontrollable. Nothing I did helped and nothing anyone else did could help to subdue it. I was at odds with myself, hurting myself both physically and emotionally. I was imprisoned within myself, with no way to get out. I was uncontrollable. I was the man with the unclean spirit, lonely and hurting, lost and forsaken.

But what I now know is that I was never forsaken because God promises in Hebrews, I will never leave you nor forsake you. I think that, that alone is, for me, one of the most powerful statements. To know that God is ALWAYS with me and that he will NEVER leave me. To know that God ALWAYS loves me and will NEVER give up on me. This is a kind of love that I cannot fathom, it’s beyond my power of recognition. But, I’ll take it 🙂

Like the demon-possessed man, knowing what Jesus has done for me, I just want to be with Him. Forget about everyone else, I just want to spend my time in His presence and worship Him. Standing in awe of His presence is simply wonderful. I read in a book once, “Once you have been truly saved, you can’t help but worship,” and lately, I’ve found, that this is where I find myself – worshiping Him for all He has done and for all He has yet to do. I know that God who began a good work in me will be faithful to see it through (I don’t know that verse word for word, or even the reference for it, but I love it nonetheless.)

This song is a current favorite of mine right now, I can’t get it out of my head and it’s just a constant reminder of our gret God Robbie Seay Band – Song of Hope.

Celebrating Recovery…

When I first heard about Celebrate Recovery, I thought, “Seriously, why would anyone want to celebrate being in recovery?” But still, I went.

When I attended my first Celebrate Recovery meeting, I thought, “I can’t do this. I can’t talk to people about my hurts, habits, and hang-ups in life and expect them to still like me. I don’t think I belong here because I don’t know if I believe in Jesus.” But I kept going.

As I kept attending Celebrate Recovery meetings I learned something that I had never known before – people love! People who barely knew me, loved me, prayed for me, and comforted me. One woman in particular, barely knew me, but welcomed me into her life. This woman has been a large part of my recovery. I would venture to say that she is probably one the greatest people I have ever known and I thank God every day for bringing her into my life. She knows some of the darkest parts of me…and still, she loves me. There’s nothing like the body of Christ in action to turn an agnostic into a grateful believer and follower of Christ.

Before Celebrate Recovery, I was angry at God. If God was all mighty and powerful and had the power to make things good, then why did He let me grow up without a dad? Why did He let me endure so much pain in my life? Why didn’t ever mend the relationship with my mom? Why? Why? Why? Sometimes, I still fall into that line of thinking, but because of my wonderfully amazing Celebrate Recovery family, my accountability partners, and my sponsor, I am quickly reminded of the truth of how great our God is.

God brought me out of my pit and is, daily, transforming me to be more like Him. I don’t think there will ever be enough words to describe how I feel about the Celebrate Recovery ministry and how it has changed my life.

In February, I began a step study. A task which has not been an easy one. I recently shared my inventory with a wonderful woman, my sponsor, and she prayed for me and for healing for me. And I am free! The inventory seemed like a terrifying part of the step study, and something I wouldn’t want to do, that maybe I would try to skip. But now that it’s done, I couldn’t be more glad that I did it.

Yes, the pain of the wounds hurts and the healing is still in progress…but I am free! I am free of the chains that sin had tied on. I am free because of the sacrifice made by Jesus Christ. He laid down His life so that I could find freedom and redemption. And I am free!!!

Every day, there’s nothing I can do but thank God for all He has done and is continuing to do in my life. God has taken my biggest fear and my biggest gifts and combine and is now using me in other people’s lives.

Back in March, I was honored to write a poem for a friend of mine at Celebrate Recovery that I read after she gave her testimony. And tomorrow, I will be reading another poem that I wrote for another friend’s testimony. What an honor it is to see how God has taken all of our brokeness and brought us all together for the purpose of glorying Him.

I think that I will be forever grateful to and active in the Celebrate Recovery ministry.

What Happened?

I am proud to be an American. I am honored to live in a country where I can do and say as I please. I am blessed to reside in a place where I am free to worship my God in any way I choose.

I am proud to say that I was able, even though it was only for a short period of time, to serve our great nation. I sm honored to have been in the U.S. Coast Guard. I am blessed that I was able to put on a uniform that meant something important.

I am proud to be married to a U.S. Army soldier. I am honored to be married to a man who loves his country so much that he is willing to lay down his life for every single one of us. I am blessed that I get to say that my is, in every definition of the word, my hero.

And I am angry.

I am angry at the way we, as a country have begun to treat our service members. I am angry at the negative sterotypes that follow the title of service member or service members spouse.

My husband is a hard working man who loves his job, who puts everything he has into all that he does and I am a hard working stay at home mom, who does all I can to care for my husband and children.

Now here’s the back story: when I was in the Coast Guard, I was injured on active duty. My jaw was locked shut and as a result, 5 years later, I have torn and displaced discs in my jaw that require surgery. The kind of surgery I need, a discectomy (try saying that ten times fast), is quite invasive, and I need it on both sides of my jaw – it is expensive, $75,000 at best! But Tricare is refusing to cover it. Now don’t get me wrong, I hate to complain about my medical insurance because I am privlaged and blessed to even have insurance – not everyone can afford medical issurance, let alone, gets it for free. But when I say that I get medical insurance for free, I am only saying that I do not directly pay for it, there is a large price we (as Tricare benificiaries) pay for our medical insurance. That large price includes crummy hours, low pay, and a lot of disrespect.

I am saddened by the loss of value for service members and their families. I do not think that my life or my husbands life is more valuable than anyone else’s in this great nation of ours, but I do believe that we, as a nation, have lost sight of who our “celebrities” are.

Our celebrities are football players, actors, and singers, many of whom squander their money on drugs, alcohol, and sex and who in most senses are NOT good role models for our children. What I don’t understand is why. I can’t understand why the men and women who have and are defending the freedoms of this wonderful nation are so disrespected.

If congress can’t make a financial decision, service members lose the pay. The military gives medications to service members, with known severe side effects, and then denies the side effects and the needed treatment for the service member. The military can take everything from a service member and send them back into the civilian world, not caring if they succeed or fail.

What happened?

What happened to our country? I know this is only one thing on a long list of things that need to be reformed in our country, but I am not understanding. In 2 weeks, my husband will be having surgery on his eyes, PRK surgery, to correct his vision. And not that I do not think he should get the surgery and I am glad that the Army is willing to pay for that for him, but what about me? Why can my husband have an optional surgery and yet I cannot have a NEEDED surgery that will drastically increase my QUALITY of life.

I am in imense pain. Some days are better than others as far as the pain goes, but over the course of the last few months, the pain has increased tenfold. My quality of life has diminished as I fight through the pain and try to continue on with my daily life. My jaw is bone on bone, there is no disc there to cusion between my mandible and my temporal bone. I have headaches, ear aches, neck/back pain, and a quickly decreasing ability to eat.

According the policies of my insurance, if I were to get in some type of accident tomorrow that injured my jaw – the surgery would be covered. But as of right now, even though I was on active duty at the time of the initial injury, my surgery cannot be approved. Here’s the ironic part, if an active duty service member needed this surgery, it would be covered because it would decrease his/her ability to fully do their job correctly or at their best.

What is my plan now: make calls to Tricare, the Coast Guard, and to the VA office. Someone needs to process this and approve my surgery. I don’t understand what happened. I don’t understand why there is so much “red tape” in this situation. Why do I have to go through so many channels to be able to, maybe, get my surgery. I do not want to spend the rest of my life on pain killers, muscle relaxers, and anti inflammatory drugs.

I know that God is my ultimate physician and that He enjoys, as any loving parent, to see His children healed. I know that God is walking through this with me. I know that God loves me and wants me to be well.

I also know that we, as one nation under God, have gotten very far away from what to word of God says. We have ignored the scriptures and tried to define life for ourselves – the result of living in a fallen world. The fall destroyed everything that God made us and this world for.

I live with a hope. A hope in Christ that tells me that I was not meant for this world and luckily I am not stuck in it forever. I am only here until either God calls me home or Jesus returns, and I find that truth to be so comforting. But in the meantime, I struggle with the pain – both physical and emotional. I often get caught up in thinking, “I am only one person, who am I to make a difference? God, how can You use me?” But God called all of us, each for a specific purpose. Maybe I won’t change the world or the nation directly, but on a personal level with other people, God has called me to love others – and that in and of itself can change the world.Love coverss a multitude of sins.

If you think of me at all, please keep me in your prayers. My life, lately, has been an uphill battle – but God is on my side and I know I will win. I wish I could say it has been and would continue to be easy, but it hasn’t been and it won’t be.

I didn’t understand at first what people meant, when I became a Christian, about how the Enemy would try to attack me more and harder once I put my faith in Christ. But now I am seeing it. Evil things do not come from God. God would never cause us to face financial harship as we put every penny we had into trying to save our dog’s life. God would not take our unborn child from us. God would not cause me the physical pain I am in due to my jaw injury. None of that comes from God, but from the Enemy. The Enemy wants me to abandon my faith. He’s trying to tell me that God doesn’t know what is best for me and that I would be better off to contorl my life on my own – lies. But those are the same lies that the leaders of this wonderful nation have believed. Those same lies have taken the pledge of alleigence out of our schools because of the, “one nation under God,” line. Those same lies have cost us dearly.

My prayer is that we, the body of Christ, can help people see the line between the lies of the Enemy and the truths of the Savior.

The Process of Emotions

For about as long as I can remember, I’ve been a very emotional person. I’ve often felt like my emotions were a bad thing. As I was growing up, I never learned how to process my feelings and I believed, for a long time, that if I felt anything that wasn’t happy, I was wrong.

Since my Christian life has begun, I’ve learned that my emotions are a good thing – God given. But I still struggle with how to process them. And since I’ve lived most of my life without bring able to deal with how I feel, I’m beginning to realize that I have 24 years worth of emotions to process through.

One thing I learned about my emotions is that because I suppress so much, I’ve become passive aggressive. I do get angry, but I’m always too afraid to tell the person that I’m angry so I take my anger out in unhealthy ways on myself.

A lot of the time, I’ve noticed, I tell people what I think they want to hear and I don’t acknowledge that my feelings have any value. I suppress my needs for the needs of others and then get mad when my needs aren’t met.

But the Bible says to get angry, but in your anger, don’t sin.

I’ve really been struggling with the truth that it’s okay to feel. It’s okay to be sad, to be angry, to grieve, and to just be unhappy in general.

I think one of the most important things that I need to remember is that some of the most important people in the Bible wrestled with God and if I can’t wrestle with my Heavenly Father, then who can I wrestle with. If I can’t depend on God to still love me and be there for me even when I doubt and even when I’m angry….who can I depend on?

God, please help my unbelief.

Medicine for my Soul

This last week has been incredibly hectic. I have tried to keep my mind busy so I wouldn’t think too much about the things that have been bothering me – but that’s not very helpful.

Today, I finally got out of the house and spent some time with friends. It’s actually been a pretty busy day with a yard sale, a pampered chef party, and swimming and dinner with neighbors. The time with people who love me has been great medicine for my soul.

I’ve been pretty down since Tuesday night and I’ve had a hard time trying to bring myself back up again. My husband is absolutely wonderful and has been extra attentive to my emotional state and he’s really been trying to lift my spirits.

I think today was just what I needed to get out of the hosue and spend a little time away from my worries. When I first lost the baby, I didn’t realize it was going to hurt me this much. I thought I would be able to easily deal with the loss, but I was wrong.

I am so thankful for my family and friends who have been such a blessing to me. I am thankful for all the comfort, love, support, and prayers that I have recieved.

Help Me Find It

I recently heard the song Help me Find it by Sidewalk Prophets and I think this song describes where I am right now.

“If theres a road I should walk, help me find it
And if I need to be still, give me peace for the moment
Whatever your will, whatever your will
Can you help me find it”

I often worry over what direction God wants me to take and I think I often forget that sometimes I just need to be still and lean on Him. I think, right now, God is trying to get me to learn how to lean on Him and depend on Him.

This is just my opinion, but I think that if all of us would trust and lean on God more, we would all be a lot happier.

The last few days, I have busied myself with cleaning, cooking, laundry, friends, kids, and just about anything else I could to avoid the pain. I simply don’t want to feel the pain. This is the only way that I’ve ever known how to deal with hurt/pain in my life. I never learned how to successfully fail or suffer. So now, as an adult – a wife and mom, I am having to learn how to endure pain while not shutting the world out and how to experience hurt without shutting out the pain.

My prayer now, is that God will help me find out how to do that.

Late Night and Frazzled Thoughts

If you’re looking at the time of this post, you’re probably thinking, “seriously, Jacquie, why are you still awake?” But I can’t sleep. I fell asleep almost immediately after putting the kids in bed at 7 and woke up at about 9:30, so now I am wide awake. And since I am wide awake, my thoughts are wandering.

Thought #1: I’m amazed. I have struggled a bit with processing through this miscarriage. I’ve never really known how to sruggle or deal with pain very well and I think God is trying to teach me something about coping and dealing and depending on Him. But I am amazed at the love and support that has spilled out on me by my amazing church family. I had never experienced love and caring like this before and it totally just amazes me.

Thought #2: Admit it, quit it, and forget it. When we admit our sins to God, that’s not when He first finds out about it. God first found out about our sins before we even did them. God has forgotten my sins, so why am I still dwelling on them?

Thought #3: If the God of the universe can for forgive me, then I need to forgive me. I think that is enough said. Do I really think that I am better than God? Clearly, I’m not.

Thought #4: Death. Death is a very real fear in my life, considering my husband’s profession. During Robert’s last deployment, I feared daily that I would never see him again (and if you’re a military wife, you understand how I feel). Since I have become a Christian, I have begun to learn that death isn’t so scary afterall – because what comes after death is more than what I can ever dream of. I guess now I just need to get that knowledge to move from my head to my heart.

Thought #5: Your dream may cost you a lot, but don’t quit. “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” My dreams need to be bigger than things I can accomplish on my own.

Thought #6: “I love you too, mommy.” Words that melt my heart and make all pain seem to not matter.

Thought #7: I was not planning on or trying to get pregnant, I’ve come to learn that if God wants you to have a baby, you’re going to have a baby. I only knew I was pregnant for 6 days. Some may say that it wasn’t long enough to be too excited about the pregnancy or to be too upset about losing the baby. But it was and I am. From the moment I found out, I felt that love that only a mother can feel for the amazing miracle of a baby growing inside me. I may have not been pregnant for very long, but I still love and miss my baby and I still look forward to meeting him or her one day, when I get to heaven.

Faith from Fear

So I’ve been reading this book In the Eye of the Storm by Max Lucado; and let’s just say, I’m loving it. (You’ll see in a minute how this book ties in to what I’m about to  write).

The month of April has not been a very good month for the Fishers. We’ve dealt with some family issues, I lost my wallet, the near death of our beloved dog, and now the loss of a child. Late last week, I found out I was pregnant – which was a great shock, but exciting nonetheless. So as Robert and I began to make decisions and change our life plans to factor in another baby, things changed again. Yesterday, I lost the baby.

Another thing I’d like to note before I continue: on March 31, I returned home from a mission trip to Guatemala with my church. After we landed, our pastor told us all that, being in Guatemala, we were ‘on a mountain’ and that the transition back home could put us ‘in a valley’, but God called us to follow Him on mountains and in valleys. So I think April 1st, I fell into my valley and I’m still waiting to get out. (I guess I need to thank Pastor Dave for preparing me for the valley I’d be stuck in for the month of April)

I think, more often than not, we try to play God and work through our own problems instead of depending on Him to help us through. And this is where the book In the Eye of the Storm comes into play.

“There are times in a person’s life when, even in the midst of them, you know you’ll never be the same. Moments that forever serve as journey posts…..I saw God. The God who can’t sit still when the storm is too strong. The God who lets me get frightened enough to need Him and then comes close enough for me to see Him. The God who uses my storms as His path to come to me.”

Robert and I were not planning to have another baby, in fact, it was probably the last thing we were considering right now, so when I found out I was pregnant, we were both very surprised. I was in awe of God’s great power. After only a few days I had adjusted to the thought of a new baby in the house and I was excited. I was starting to think about teeny tiny fingers and toes and late night snuggles. The thought of it just made me glow. I had begun to dream of what we would be like as a family of 5. But then, things changed in an instant. A lot of tears, a lot of prayers, and 6 hours at the ER later, the dreams I had just had were gone. They did an ultrasound and the doctor explained that he didn’t see a baby.

My first thought, like I’m sure many other have thought, was “why is this happening?” But then I remembered what someone in similar situation said once before, that God trusted me enough to carry one of His little babys, even if it was only for a short time, and that alone should remove my despair. That’s not to say I’m not sad. Emotionally, I’m spent right now – I just wish I could crawl in bed and sleep for a while, but life must still go on and I still have two of the sweetest little girls in the world who need me to be there for them.

Another line from In the Eye of the Storm says, “Out of fear would be born an act of faith, for faith is often the child of fear….Faith begins when you see God on the mountain and you are in the valley and you know that you’re too weak to make the climb. You see what you need, you see what you have, and what you have  isn’t enough to accomplish anything…Faith that begins with fear will end up nearer the Father.”

When I was at the hospital last night, I was alone and scared, Robert had to stay home with the girls, and I cried out to God. I wanted to keep my baby, but I knew that God’s will would be done, not mine. I asked God for peace and comfort, and that’s exactly what He gave me. Since they told me that I had lost the baby, I have felt God’s loving arms hugging me – and He hasn’t let go.

As heartbreaking as this situation is, I have learned something very important about my faith and my dependence on God.

“Faith is a desperate dive out of the sinking boat of human effort and a prayer that God will be there to pull us out of the water.” I’m almost positive that there is a reason why I am reading this book at this exact moment in my life.

God simply amazes me. His grace has saved me. I was to be like Peter on the sea during the storm. I want to see the face of God in the midst of my storm and run to Him, knowing He is my only way out.

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is a gift of God – not by works, so that no man can boast.”

In time, God will mend this broken heart and one day I will see my little baby in heaven. Until then, I know God will be looking over him.

Dear Little Baby
Dear little baby,
Who’s not in my arms
You are resting with God
You are safe from harm
Maybe I’m selfish
For wanting you here
But the things I won’t see
Bring me to tears
I won’t get to hug you
Or feel your hand in mine
I won’t get to hold you
Or kiss you goodnight
One day I’ll be there
Where you are now
And hearing your voice
Will be the sweetest sound
But until I get there
God’s holding you tight
Just as He holds me
Through this painful night

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