The Bible has many references about knowing God's will and sorting through them can be overwhelming when we tackle such a deep issue for our personal lives. Here are just a few that have been tugging at my heart...
- Isaiah 30:20-21 The Lord has given you sorrow and hurt like the bread and water you ate every day. He is your teacher; he will not continue to hide from you, but you will see your teacher with your own eyes. If you go the wrong way -to the right or to the left- you will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the right way. you should go this way."
- Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, "I will make you wise and show you where to go. I will guide you and watch over you."
- John 7:17 If people choose to do what God wants, they will know that my teaching comes from God and not from me.
- Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not depend on your own understanding. Remember the Lord in all you do, and he will give you success."
- Luke 6:46-49 Why do you call me 'Lord, Lord' but do not do what I say? I will show you what everyone is like who comes to me and hears my words and obeys. That person is like a man building a house who dug deep and laid the foundation on rock. When the floods came, the water tried to wash the house away, but it could not shake it, because the house was built well. But the one who hears my words and does not obey is like a man who built his house on the ground without a foundation. When the floods came, the house quickly fell and was completely destroyed."
Ever since we lost Bristol, there has been an emptiness in my heart. Don't get me wrong, Brody is an AWESOME blessing and I'm not trying to down play how much I love that little guy! But I think any mom who has lost a child, can understand what I am saying. There is a part of you that will always hurt and grieve for your loss. Tiny Heartbeats was an organization that provided us with a fetal monitor during our pregnancy with Brody, and I am forever grateful for the peace of mind that accompanied having access to a doppler. As you know, we raised money in honor of Bristol for her 1st birthday. The success of our fundraising, and hearing how we had helped so many other women and families got me thinking and feeling that there was more I could do. I had been tossing around the idea of starting a similar non-profit in hopes to help more people. Tiny Heartbeats is based out of California and reaches women across the United States- as you can imagine there are a lot of women, and few organizations like this! One night at dinner I asked Brad what he thought about it. He kind of brushed me off and commented "in what spare time will you do that?" (I should note that he is a very supportive husband!!) I was disappointed that he didn't share my enthusiasm, but convinced myself that maybe he was right...I am working three jobs on top of being a mommy. Who did I think I was, superwoman?
I allowed negativity to convince me that I didn't have the time, energy, knowledge, or resources to start my own non-profit. It was a good idea, but not a realistic one...and it got taken off my list of things to do. But the thought kept nagging at me...and I felt as if I shouldn't completely walk away from the idea. So I decided to pray about it. Was this something God was leading me to do? How will I possibly find the time and resources to do this? Am I capable of creating an organization and all that it entails? I went to bed asking god to make his will clear and that I would know. My black and white moment came the following day. Brad and I were visiting another church, and one of the things the preacher touched on was God working through our lives for His will and greater purpose. The preacher talked about how God places us in different situations, and uses our unique experiences and situations to reach other people. Ah, ha! I got it God! (I guess I needed to hear two sermons to get his message!)
So, in a leap of faith I created "Beats for Bristol"...You can check it out at http://www.beatsforbristol.webstarts.com/
I relied on the scripture in Isaiah 30:20-21 The Lord has given you sorrow and hurt like the bread and water you ate every day. He is your teacher; he will not continue to hide from you, but you will see your teacher with your own eyes. If you go the wrong way -to the right or to the left- you will hear a voice behind you saying, "This is the right way. you should go this way."
The amount of positive response has been over-whelming and incredibly reassuring. God has filled me with a new energy and focus on getting this 'project' started and making it a reality! In less than a week, I've already had three women contact me about receiving a 'Beats for Bristol' doppler and received enough donations to purchase my first doppler! My heart is overflowing with gratefulness and enthusiasm.
I often get comments, emails, facebook messages, etc from people who have read this blog or heard "my story"...I love hearing from other people, especially when they say that my experience has somehow helped them. It truly makes my heart happy to know that God's grace through our personal tragedy, can work for the greater good of others. Someone told me that I was an inspiration by creating Beats for Bristol- and I don't feel worthy of such a compliment. It isn't "me" that's at work, it's God. He's the inspiration and motivation!
Music always has a way of stirring my soul, especially when I'm emotionally or spiritually thirsty. As I was driving to meet someone about a Beats for Bristol fundraiser, I truly listened to the words of "Offering" by Third Day.
Magnificent Holy Father
I stand in awe of all I see
Of all the things You have created
But still you choose to think of me.
Who am I that You should suffer
Your very life to set me free
The only thing that I can give you
Is the life You gave to me
This is my offering, dear Lord
This is my offering to You, God
And I will give You my life
For it’s all I have to give
Because You gave Your life for me
What an incredibly powerful song...to think that my life is an offering of gratitude for the eternal life that Jesus gave to me. And how selfish of me, of us, to ignore what He calls us to do! In no way am I perfect or will always "see" and respond to what God calls me to do, but I will continue to pray that He will allow me to see and know His will for my life. For the will of God will never lead you where the grace of God can not keep you.