Fighting for my child | {Fierce Friday}

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It’s #fierceFriday today! I’m so honored to bring you Carmen’s story about her son, sweet Malachi and the life-threatening surgeries he endured during the first couple months of his life. You’ll want to grab some kleenex!

A story about a mothers strength in fighting for her child.

As I stood outside of the two large sliding doors that were wide opened the team rushed into the room taking their positions. Each person knew where to stand, what their duty was, what tool or instrument to reach for and where to put it.

It was 26 hours after his second surgery that he had within 32 hours and once again he was not responding.

My beautiful, four month old baby was laying there helpless with a body that was rapidly swelling, dropping oxygen to 60% and a heart rate passing the high number of 220’s.

At that moment I was a mother standing in despair near the entrance of his ICU room. How did it turn so bad so rapidly? How did we go from conjuring one situation of taking him off the breathing tube to forty-five minutes later, him suffering to breath again?

I looked towards my four-month old son lying in the hospital bed fighting with a handful of people standing over him. All I could do was selfishly think he has to fight alone this time. It’s been the most emotionally three months I have ever had and my strength is now non-existence.

I saw a team answering to their calling. Standing tall, speaking confidently and in sync with one another. Their voices and answers were in rhythm. Their feet were planted solid in the ground. Their arms were stretched out crossing one another from one side of the bed to the next working strategically in accordance with one another. Their hands and fingers were steady. Nurses were on standby behind each doctor encouraging the team and ready for instruction. The lead supervisor was shouting out vitals every few seconds.

Moments later one of the members stepped out of his position. He stepped towards me but stopped three feet before me. He stretched his hand out and spoke words to me that nearly broke me!

“He needs to hear your voice, mom. He needs you tell him he is strong, and that you are here.”

What this surgical resident that was assigned to my sons team in ICU did not know was that from the womb the Lord gave me a scripture to pray over my son:

You are strong and courageous, do not tremble or be dismayed for your Lord God is with you wherever you go!

As the surgeon gave me instruction again to speak encouragement to my son, I connected eyes with him in dismay and cried,

“I can’t.”

A story of a mothers strength in fighting for her child.

He rushed back to the bedside to assist.

My husband was standing at the foot of the bed as he watched the team of 8 medical members and 3 nurses rushing in and out of the door with more supplies and responding to instruction. My husband was hurting and was watching in fear.

It was my first time as a wife to watch him tremble.

Even so, his head was up high, and his lips were speaking payers. He was afraid but he was fighting!

I carefully walked back into the room and to be honest, I was in total fear. I stood next to my husband. He grabbed my hand and told me, “Do what the doctor said. He needs to hear your voice.” I wrapped my arms around my husband and cried and said, “I can’t do it. Not this time.”

I felt if I asked my son to fight then I was coming to the reality that he needed to fight and that scared me.

My husband looked down at me and told me “You are stronger than you think, now tell our son he is strong!”

I couldn’t do anything but repeat the verse that the Lord instructed me to pray over my womb everyday.

“You are strong and courageous, do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord God is with you wherever you go.”
You are strong and courageous, do not tremble or be dismayed for the Lord God is with you… Click To Tweet

The more I repeated the verse the more I was reminded that God was in the situation just as the scripture said. I gave my son to the Lord the moment I acted in obedience and prayed that specific scripture over my womb.

The revelation later came to me: Yes, I am to teach my son the importance of the scripture for his life, but the Lord also gave it to prepare me for that moment while I was trembling and was dismayed by the thought of the “what if’s.” 

He gave it to me for the next moments over the next four months that we were about to embark. He had prepared me before we had even started the journey. I was already praying and speaking the scripture out loud daily to myself and my son since he was just a few months old inside of me.

The moments we as a family had to endure through the past year have not been easy, it’s been a struggle each day.

Why our child?

Our baby boy came home with extreme medical needs. We also had other children to care for. My husband and I knew that the only way to get up each day and face the enormity of our situation was to seek Him. To take heed to the words He was giving us because those words were giving us preparation and confidence to continue on.

The words were reminding us He was there, and we were not to leave our position just as those doctors did not leave their position by our son. As long as we were there standing tall and fighting fiercely we would see that the Lord would never leave.

And he never did.

Carmen is a fighter! #fiercelyHis

Malachi was born with a redundant colon. Today he is healthy and whole and completely done with surgeries. Carmen and her husband know that Malachi is a miracle! Today their family is busy with 4 wonderful children. Click here to read more about Carmen’s story and sweet Malachi. 

1463813201298About the author:

Carmen is a woman chasing after God. She is passionate about encouraging women to live in Christ. She is also passionate about building a home full of mercy and grace. She is a wife and mother to four beautiful children that keep her drinking coffee constantly. Carmen blogs at Married by His Grace. You can also connect with her on

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When change is hard.

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I think we can all agree that sometimes change is hard. I’m all about change. I like easy going. Shaking things up a bit. Doing things differently. I could annoyingly go on but you get it.

We made the transition of moving from Oklahoma to Colorado exactly 14 days ago.

It’s been a hectic month. We moved our oldest little into her first year of college at a private christian university in our hometown of Tulsa. 4 days later- me, my husband and youngest little said goodbye to that precious face and tons of other precious faces and left to settle in Colorado.

We will all go through change at some point in our lives. Here are 4 truths to remember when change is hard.

Although the emotions have been real, seeing life from this vantage point has been a breath of fresh air (literally) and awesome. Using the word “awesome” seems so cliche…but seriously…it’s awesome.  There is no way you can drive down the highway every day, see the Rocky Mountains and not know that there is a God.

I’m used to running in to change with open arms. But let’s be honest. Sometimes change is hard. And let’s be honest again. Sometimes it’s brutal.

Ever have those awkward moments where you second guess and question if you did the right thing? Even after you’ve received confirmation after confirmation? Ever ask yourself, God did I hear you right?

Yeah?

But I’m not talking about you because really, this post is about me. Because I’ve certainly been questioning a lot lately.

We’ve all second guessed ourselves I guess. Second guessed God. We just need to recognize it and then make the decision to trust Him. It develops our faith and it helps us grow.

I love the song “Inside Out” by Hillsong. “From the inside out Lord my soul cries out..” When we give our hearts to Jesus there is an internal change that happens and it makes it way from the inside out.

Transition changes us from the outside in. #change #transition Click To Tweet

Going through transition, though, changes us from the outside in. Whether that transition is moving, death, sickness, or loss of something, etc. There’s that an external blow and then it makes its way inside our hearts and can either be positive or negative.

External transition will alter you internally.

It’s important that during change we stay focused and remember what is true in order to have a positive change on the inside.

We will all go through change at some point in our lives. Here are 4 truths to remember when change is hard.

Truths to remember when change is hard.

The promises of God.

I believe in rainbows. The world has mystified them and made them about unicorns and pots of gold, but in my world they have everything to do with a loving God who keeps His promises!

God used a rainbow as a reminder of His covenant with Noah and I believe it still holds true today.

Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. Genesis 9:16

The meaning of that rainbow was everything to Noah. It was his hope and promise for his future and the future of his family!

It’s not uncommon for Denver to get a 15 minute late afternoon rain. Afterwards, rainbows often appear. There have been two instances after the appearance of a rainbow in which I felt God speaking directly to me about moving to Colorado. It’s been very surreal and,  well…just downright cool. The first time was when we drove into Denver and the second time was when we found “the house.” (You know…”the house” that you find when you’ve been looking for a while and you finally find the one.) Which, by the way, we closed on that “house” yesterday. Yay! Anyway, those rainbows reminded me about the hope and future that God has promised my family. It was as if God was saying…all of this is ME. You are in my will!

God is so cool.

During this time of transition I must remember the promises of God. I must fight to remember them. 

  • He has promised us a hope and a future! Jeremiah 29:11
  • He is good and wants good things for us! Genesis 12:2
  • He has prepared the way. Ephesians 2:10
  • He goes before us! Deuteronomy 31:8

Things usually don’t go as planned- be flexible.

Oh my sweet husband. Let me tell you about him. He is the planner in the family. He keeps us all organized. He has cute preferences and he likes things to go a certain way.

And then there’s me. Fly by the seat of your pants and hope everything works out me.
Bless his heart.

He’s responsible for a mutli-billion dollar sales budget but I bet he’d tell you that being responsible for me and his two girls and helping us navigate our lives are the most challenging effort yet.

Poor guy.

With all of that said, since we’ve gotten settled here, things haven’t gone as planned. We’ve had to regroup. We’ve had to step back and say, ok,..what now?

And ya know what?

That’s okay.

Because things aren’t always going to go as planned and we have to be flexible.

When we’re flexible it allows God to move, because sometimes our ways are not His ways. It’s important that when things don’t go as planned to step back and regroup immediately, and then go on and go forth.

During change be flexible & let God move. #change #transitions Click To Tweet

God will send encouragement your way.

My husband had been quiet for most of the evening earlier this week.  The lines I call worry had positioned themselves right where they like to be in the middle of his forehead.

“Are you okay?” Yeah.. I’m fine. (I knew he wasn’t fine.)

Just hours before our youngest little told us that she’d like to visit a different school. It wasn’t the fact that she wanted the change, it was the reality of why she wanted the change. To protect her sweet privacy I don’t want to go into details, but she was just having a rough time at the school that we enrolled her in, and that’s what broke our hearts.

The next morning I was sitting on the sofa forcing back the tears. The phone rang and it was an odd number. I don’t know why I answered.  I normally wouldn’t have answered…especially if it was a number I recognized, simply because I knew that I would cry and I didn’t want to deal with it.

You get it.

But, it was a number I didn’t recognize. So I answered.

I recognized the voice immediately.

“Whatchya doin?”

Just the sound of my sisters voice made the floodgates open.

With my voice shaking, I told her to hang on and give me a minute.

I put the phone down and just literally sobbed. After about 2 minutes, after I was as composed enough to talk I put the phone back to my ear and my sister began speaking life into me. I don’t know if she realizes how that random phone call impacted me.

I love you so much, sis.

I needed to hear what she had to say and I fully believe that if her name would’ve popped up on my phone, I wouldn’t have answered…not because I didn’t want to talk to my sister, but because I was very emotional and didn’t want to breakdown on the phone with her.

God is so cool.

He sends specific people to encourage us during times of discouragement. Some amazing friends have on-purpose spoken life into me during this time and I’m so grateful. God loves us!

Cling to your spouse during change.

I didn’t know it, but John heard me crying when I was talking to my sister. I knew he was working downstairs in his office, but I didn’t realize he could hear me. After I got off the phone he came upstairs and asked me if I was okay and reached out his arms for me.

It’s so important to cling to your spouse during transitions! Satan loves to try and put a wedge in there when we’re vulnerable, but we have to recognize it and armor up.

We have to remember that we’re on the same team! A marriage is a TEAM!

So how about you? Are you going through change? If not, you’ve been there or you will soon be there. Everyone will go through some sort of change at some point in life.  Let these truths sooth your heart and know that God will not leave you! He’s got you girl!

What other things should we remember? I’d love to hear your thoughts below!

Other articles by Shannon Geurin

How to Stay Confident in a Difficult Marriage {Fierce Friday}

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Hello friends! Today’s #fierceFriday writer is Leah Grey. If you are in a difficult marriage, I encourage you to sit back and lean in! Leah has a powerful story!

“I sat in the dark thinking about what life would be like after being divorced for a second time. I quite liked living alone. Being a perfectionist, living alone suited me just fine. My house would stay in order. I could cook whatever I wanted for dinner. The children would have a routine and it would be blissful. Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times for goodness sake.”

The time on the stove said, “11:13pm”. The lights were off in my parents living room, I was visiting them at the time. I was sitting in my father’s yellow easy-chair talking on the phone to my husband.

I swiveled around in circles in the yellow chair while my conversation with my husband spiraled out of control. He was back in New York, allegedly working. The problem was that every time I left him alone he seemed to forget he was a husband. While I was having family time in rural Ontario, Canada, he spent his days doing God only knows. I didn’t know where he was. That was the whole problem.

You see, I married a drug addict.

How to stay confident in a difficult marriage.

I could tell you about my husband’s pain and the reasons why he used drugs. I could also tell you of his great successes and his savant-like skills in technology but this story isn’t about him.

This story is about me.

I’m a small-town girl who spent most of her life reaching for a bar of success that she personally set too high. I was fearful and insecure. I made friends with “misfits” because I knew they would accept me. I waffled and waned in the crowd of outcasts, drug addicts and drunkards alike, to escape ridicule and years of being bullied.

It was in that crowd that I met my husband.

My husband was a charming, handsome, latin man who promised me security. He was from New York, which was nothing less a dream come true. Typical, small-town girl moves to New York story… I know.

What ensued was nothing less than a nightmare. I won’t go into all the details, I’ll just say that it was bad and leave it at that.

Back to my story:

I vigorously rocked back and forth in my father’s chair trying to will off tears. I thought, somehow, the rocking motion would stop them from rolling down my cheeks. At this point, we had already had a full-on intervention with my husband. He’d been admitted to the psych ward.

He tried to kill himself, more than once.

He went to rehab.

He did an outpatient program. He went to meetings.

He found God.

What was it going to take to wake him up?

As my husband adamantly protested my constant insisting that he needed to go to treatment yet again, I felt hope leaving my body like a gust of wind.

“I’m not going.” He said.  

I told him that if he didn’t go, I wouldn’t see him again. He said, that was alright. No amount of rocking was going to stop the flood of tears that came rolling down my cheeks.

I lost my breath and started hyperventilating.

“How… how… how… could…. you… do…. this…. to… me…?!” I stammered through tears and broken breaths.   

He said nothing.

“What… about… the… kids…?!”

He said nothing.

“I… hate… you…” I said.

A moment passed, “Well, this is your fault.” He said.

I hung up the phone and cried like I’d never cried before. I didn’t know I could be filled with so much agony. I’d mourned before but never like that. A mix of pain and frustration overwhelmed me.

It felt like the room was getting darker.

I didn’t want to fight anymore.

Suddenly, I knew I had a choice. I could walk away. It was my moment to stop fighting for my marriage and let my husband continue on as he chose. In the addiction circles, they would call it, “Letting go” and it would be totally okay if I did. No one would blame me for leaving.

I sat in the dark thinking about what life would be like after being divorced for a second time. I quite liked living alone. Being a perfectionist, living alone suited me just fine. My house would stay in order. I could cook whatever I wanted for dinner. The children would have a routine and it would be blissful. Elizabeth Taylor was married eight times for goodness sake. 

I would be a modern day Elizabeth Taylor and I would be fabulous.

I was so serious, I even wrote it on a post-it-note and saved it to my computer desktop.

How to stay confident in a difficult marriage

This is the actual sticky note I had on my desktop!

In my Father’s easy-chair, I found solitude in fantasies of leaving.

I would paint my walls the perfect creamy white… my bedroom would be bohemian and pink with plenty of natural sunlight… my house would smell like cupcakes and candles… I daydreamed happily.

Be still.

Then, the phone rang.

Reality has a way of coming in fast. It doesn’t sneak in slowly like one would wish for when daydreaming, it comes rushing in all at once. With each shrill ring of the phone I knew I had a decision to make.

The choice was very clear…

“Be Still” He said.

“The Lord will fight for you; You need only to be still” -Exodus 14:14

God had been preparing me for this moment for months. The words, “Be Still” were on a craft I made at a random event I wouldn’t have normally gone to, I ordered a t-shirt and it had, “Be Still” on the tag, my son’s agenda from school that year said, “Be Still”, my husband’s devotional from the treatment center had, “Be Still” on it; The message, “Be Still” was everywhere I went.

I knew that if I answered the phone, the road I was going down would be long. I knew it would be hard. I knew it wouldn’t always be rewarding but it would be fruitful. In a moment, I knew that God would go before me and defeat the enemy ahead.

“Hello?” I said, answering the phone.

“Ok” my husband said, “I’ll go”.

Goodbye daydream.

Real inner strength is actually confidence.

Sometimes, that confidence can come from a confidence we have in ourselves but when life strips away our armor and breaks us down, the most powerful thing we can have is confidence in God.

When life breaks us down, the most powerful thing we can have is confidence in God.… Click To Tweet

There is no enemy who can defeat Him.

God will fight for our inheritance, He will fight for our peacefulness and He will fight for our joy.

That day, I wanted to leave my chaotic marriage but I stayed and clung desperately to Jesus. I’ve not been disappointed. The road I’m on is still long and hard but it’s been filled with a bounty of blessings.

If God has called you into battle, be strong and let Him lead.

How to stay confident in a difficult marriage. If God has called you into Battle, be strong and let Him lead. #fiercelyHis #fierceFriday

Our God is a good Father and even though we may sometimes lose confidence in the world, we can stay confident in Him.

We belong to Him.

We are fiercely His and He fights for us, every step of the way.

Leah is a fighter! #fiercelyHis

LGBio

Leah Grey runs a faith-based online ministry for women with loved ones who struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. She challenges popular beliefs about addiction and encourages women to support their loved ones’ recovery, without abandoning them, by creating healthy boundaries. In March 2016, she launched her website, leahgrey.com and community for women in crisis, “Live, Love, Hope”.
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“Live, Love, Hope” Community link-> http://www.facebook.com/groups/livelovehope

I hope you’ve found inspiration and encouragement through Leah’s story like I have! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. 

Also, would you do me a favor —if you can relate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? 

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Better Than Restored

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John and I have been better than restored in our marriage for about 5 years, and I’m telling you, it wasn’t easy. Restoration in marriage is hard. Sometimes you’ll want to quit, but if you’ll just hang on, you can be fully restored. In fact, your marriage can be better than restored, no matter the circumstance!  I’m so honored to share over at Sarah Koontz blog today. Sarah is one of my absolute favorite writers and although she is younger than me, she has quickly become sort of a mentor to me (and she doesn’t even know it). 

We live in a world in which we want everything to be easy and convenient, don’t we?

We want faster, easier, and simpler.

We want crockpot meals that take 30 minutes to prepare, can simmer all day and be ready to eat when we get home from work.

We want to order our favorite Starbucks drink from an app on our phone and swing by and pick it up in 10 minutes without waiting or talking to anyone.

We want to pay for things with nothing more than our thumbprint on our iPhones.

We want what we want, and we want it right now!

And as much as our society thrives on the now, obtaining restoration in marriage is not immediate.

That is why it’s hard.

But, I’ve got good news for you today!

Nothing is impossible with God. (Matthew 19:26)

Nothing.

Restoration in marriage is hard. Sometimes you’ll want to quit, but if you’ll just hang on, you can be fully restored. In fact, your marriage can be better than restored, no matter the circumstance!

There were times in my own marriage that I didn’t think that we would make it. 

There was just no way.
Too much damage had been done.
The betrayal was too deep.

Every single day, I feared that John was going to come home and say, “Shannon, I can’t do this anymore, it’s too hard, it hurts too much and I’m too tired.”

He had every right to leave.
It’s what everyone expected.
It’s what I expected.

Honestly, it would’ve been easier on both of us if he had left –rather than embracing the hard work of restoration. But he didn’t…

He chose to stay.
He chose to forgive.
He chose to rebuild.

Better than Restored: Hope for hurting marriages. Restoration in marriage is hard work, but if you'll take the steps necessary you will obtain not only full restoration, you'll be better than restored!

My husband and I embraced the difficult work of restoration 5 years ago, and by the grace of God, our marriage is stronger than ever before.

Click here to read the full article.

I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below!

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Adoption: Fighting Fiercely | {Fierce Friday}

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Todays #fierceFriday writer is a beautiful friend of mine I met at a retreat several months ago. She’s been here before. Enjoy her powerful #fierceFriday story!

I remember the day I first saw her face. The big brown eyes, the curly black ringlets of hair around her head, and the smile sprawling across her tiny face. Something about her spoke straight to my heart.

In that moment I knew she was ours. The Holy Spirit moved as I’d never before experienced. This was the child God had hand-picked for us halfway around the world.

You see, long ago, God had created a special place in my heart that laid empty. As I looked at the little girl in that picture, that empty place was empty no more.

It was a beautiful conviction. One for which I will forever be thankful because along the difficult journey ahead of us, I would find myself holding onto that moment again and again. I believe God made my conviction that strong so that over the next several years, I would never doubt whether this child was meant to be ours. I would never doubt His hand in our lives.

5 things adoption taught me about fighting fiercely

 

Our journey was marked by the customary massive amounts of adoption paperwork and red tape, however, paperwork and red tape were only the beginning. Although our wait had already been one year, we fought another 15 months to bring our daughter home. Courts, files, and clearances were mysteriously either lost or unapproved. Judges, social workers, caregivers, and agencies seemed to have lost sight of the fact that a precious life was in their hands.

Not a number on a paper, but a precious life. One that was being neglected and abused while she awaited rescuing.

It was a brutal time in our lives as it is for most who choose adoption. But the brutal isn’t more than God can handle. As a matter of fact, it’s a brutal God redeems profoundly.

For me, a piece of that redemption was the way He taught me to fight fiercely for that which breaks His heart.

Adoption taught me much about fighting fiercely. #fiercelyHis #hope #adoption #amamasheart… Click To Tweet

5 Things Adoption Taught Me about Fighting Fiercely

A voice is necessary.

Before adoption I was a conflict avoider. A peacemaker at all costs. But during that process, God taught me that my voice was necessary to fight for His children.

Learn to do right; seek justice. Defend the oppressed. Take up the cause of the fatherless; plead the case of the widow. –Isaiah 1:17 NIV

Righteous anger is okay.

All anger terrified me before. I would feel guilt for any brewing anger. I didn’t understand the difference between righteous anger and unrighteous anger. Righteous anger motivates us to do something about injustice. Unrighteous anger only leads us down paths of sin. I love this quote by Matthew Henry.

“Wise anger is like the fire from the flint; there is a great ado to bring it out; and when it does come, it is out again immediately.” -Matthew Henry

Jesus shows us several example of righteous anger.

And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. –Mark 3:4-5 ESV

Preparation is crucial.

Preparation with adoption and medical paperwork. I needed to have the receipts, copies, and resources ready at a moment’s notice.

Preparation in prayer. I prayed intensely for God to prepare the hearts of our boys to love their sister despite whatever may come. Oh, how He did! I’ve never seen such a grand love take place.

Preparation in the form of education. Parenting a child from hard places isn’t like parenting a child born into the arms of an emotionally and physically loving family. Trauma has lasting effects on the brains of children born from and into trauma.

Preparation to lay it all down at the feet of Jesus because at the end of all our efforts is Him. He will make the biggest difference.

The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord. -Proverbs 21:31 ES

Pushing forward in battle is possible even when those closest have left my side.

Adoption is complicated. It’s often glamorized by the world and the realities of the grief, loss, and trauma are unknown. Many simply will not be able to wrap their heads around this and will not understand the fight. Jesus sometimes became my sole encourager. He alone understood what I was facing each day.

Obviously, I’m not trying to win the approval of people, but of God. If pleasing people were my goal, I would not be Christ’s servant. –Galatians 1:10 NLT

God is there even when I can’t understand Him.

We did bring our baby girl home. When we finally got to her, she was broken. Malnourished, bruised, dirty, sick, and mentally unhealthy. Overwhelm was our life. I looked to God and couldn’t understand. The question “Why?” consumed my mind with fervor. It had taken 15 months to get to her. 15 months of additional neglect and abuse.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. –Isaiah 55:8-9

5 things adoption taught me about fighting fiercelyHonestly, friends, I don’t truly know that answer and someday when I come face to face with Him, I will ask. But I do know that every step we took toward her, He prepared me for what was to come. He prepared me to fight fiercely because for our little girl, the story had only just begun.

Today I’m still fighting fiercely for her as we navigate doctors, therapies, behavior strategies, and nutrition. And I pray that as God strengthened me into the warrior He needed, He is in turn creating fierceness in those who come after me.

I pray my boys and my daughter grow to be fierce. I pray other Mamas on the journey step into their God appointed battles with fierceness. And I pray that those who hear our story, catch the seed, water it with the power of Christ, and someday step equipped into the battles they themselves will someday face.

If you are on an adoption journey and need encouragement or prayer, please feel free to comment or email! I’d be honored to support you!

Lori is a fighter! #FiercelyHis

1511_Schumaker_090_editedBio – Lori Schumaker is an encourager at heart. There was a day not long ago when she prayed that the Lord would break her heart for what breaks His. Her eyes were opened and her soul was stirred – and sweet offerings of encouragement to others became her purpose. This is the focus of her blog, Searching for Moments, found at www.lorischumaker.com. Join her as she walks beside you through the difficult, lovely, and holy moments of this beautiful thing called life.

When You Feel Small

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He Sees You

Jesus, please take the wheel.

I was on my way to church, gripping the steering wheel as if I was hanging on for dear life. The girls woke up cranky.  The oldest refused to wear the outfit I picked out and the littlest pooped all the way up and out of her diaper which caused me to change her outfit not once, but twice. Great start to the day. That frazzled piece of hair that had slipped out of my ponytail just refused to stay out of my face no matter how hard I tried to blow it away.

The whole scene was definitely a “Jesus take the wheel” moment.

It was a rough morning and it wasn’t.even.noon.yet.

Actually it had been a rough week..month..year. The transition of one child to two was a bit more than I had bargained for. I vowed to let John have it when he got back from his business trip. I parked and stared straight ahead.

I just needed a minute.

Taking a deep breath I put the stray hair back in to place, climbed out of the car, and slapped a smile on my face just like the clown we saw at the park the day before. I held my head upright with one little on my hip and the other little hand in hand.

With my painted on smile I was holding back the tears. I dropped the girls off at the kids center and headed to the worship center to find the closest empty seat all the while wondering if anyone really even cared.

Did anyone see me?

Do they just have any clue? Does God see me?

Lord, do you see me?

I may have looked like I had it all together but I didn’t. There were days as a young mom that I didn’t know if I would make it. The pressures of mothering and trying to be the best I could be for my beautiful littles seemed like an enormous task that I wasn’t qualified to handle.

I wanted to matter. I wanted everything that I did at home to count for something.

Most important, I wanted to make a difference.

GOD SEES YOU, AND YOU MATTER

He Sees You

Sparrows.

“Five sparrows are sold for two pennies, aren’t they? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Why, even all the hairs on your head have been counted! Stop being afraid. You are worth more than a bunch of sparrows.” Matthew 10:29-31

Oh my sweet friend how He sees you…

He knows the length of every precious hair on your precious little head.

He knows your thoughts, your hurts, your cries.

He sees every tear. Not only does he see them, he bottles them up.

He sees every hurtful word that passes through your ears and makes its way into your heart.

He sees the trauma you went through as a child that still effects you today.

He sees your effort in trying to be the best mother that you can possibly be for the tiny little ones that He has gifted you with.

God knows everything about you! #HeSeesYou Click To Tweet

He sees you.

And you matter. 

Do you get that? I know you hear itBut do you get it?

HE SEES YOU, AND YOU MATTER

Today I’m absolutely delighted to be a guest over at Internet Cafe Devotions. Join me there where you can read the rest of this post!

I always enjoy hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts here, or at the Cafe.

Do you want to encounter Jesus? Like the woman who was bleeding, are you willing to reach for Him? Like Zacchaeus what do you need to come down from? What are you willing to do to encounter Him?

Also leave let me know how I can pray for you…because I love praying for you!

AND would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

You might also enjoy:

Sugar Droplets | Fierce Friday

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What can I say about my young friend today? Lauren is truly an inspiration to every single person that she comes in contact with. She is half my age yet has taught me so much about life. She is wise beyond her years, and can I just tell you something? Never EVER dismiss someone as not being able to teach you even if they are much younger than you. I admire and respect this beautiful woman that I call friend. Lauren’s story today is a story of hope. Lean in and listen- I promise you’ll be inspired and blessed.
Don't be so focused on your circumstances that you can't see Jesus.

Criss-cross, applesauce.

So, here I am.

Here, sitting alone, crisscross applesauce in the Orlando airport with my gigantic headphones on. I am waiting for my sweet family so we can reunite with big bear hugs and spend a week together on a “magical” vacation. My flight got in early; theirs is coming in late, you know the drill.

A year ago today, I started a brand new chapter of my life. After graduating from Oral Roberts University, I accepted a job to work at a church, which was my dream since I was a little girl. I moved from my comfy nest in Tulsa, Oklahoma all by myself to Houston, TX to embark on this wild adventure.

My heart has ached & felt broken at times because I have missed my family so much this past year. However, Jesus tends to drop what I call “sugar droplets” on me ever so often. Sugar droplets are simply moments in life where Jesus loves on you a little extra. This trip could be summed up as such.

I am grateful for time to reflect in this airport.

To breathe.

To feel.

Even if I am stuck to the floor because of the stickiness, I am grateful.

What a year.

Actually, what a last two years.

I had to fight when everything in me wanted to give up.

When my life felt out of control..

When I questioned that I heard him correctly.

I like to smile.

You see, I am an extremely positive person. I tell people instead of working out my body I work out my face muscles so I can smile all of the time.

Seriously.

I really do love this quality about me, however, sometimes it allows me to put up defenses around me to not fully feel. To not deal with my hurt.

If I went into detail about what I walked through in this last season, we would be here for awhile.

For time’s sake, I will brief you.

Heartbreak and Loss.

Two years ago I was dating who I thought was the love of my life. He was an amazing man of God, who had dreams that were exciting and full of adventure. He was truly my dream man & he really did love me. I let my heart go to a place that it wasn’t supposed to. I treated him as if he was my husband. I fell so hard in love with not only him, but the future that we had created together. Things started getting very difficult as our hearts were being pulled in enormously different directions as college was coming to a close. I wanted something and he wanted something completely different. We were disagreeing constantly.

I was extremely humbled when I realized that I had copyrighted something that was not mine yet, and I was furious, bitter, and confused when it came crashing to end.

In the same month that my boyfriend and I broke up, my beloved grandmother (Mor-Mor) was admitted into Cancer Treatment Center of America. This is the person in the my life that I loved the most. Who taught me about Jesus, who laughed with me and cried with me constantly. Who mentored my friends and I, and would teach as what it means to be a woman of God.

She was my hero.

She was my everything.

She was diagnosed with breast cancer years ago. However, the disease had eventually spread to her brain, hence the getting admitted. The doctors gave her very limited time to live. My family (if you watch the show parenthood…that’s my family!) was devastated but still tried to cling to Jesus, even if it was just by our finger tips. We were at the hospital each and every day, all 11 of us, as we prayed and believed for a miracle.

We were believing for healing.

The more we prayed, it seemed like the worse she got.

I never really said that until right at this moment. I didn’t understand why this was happening. She was only 72 years old. She was supposed to be at my wedding; see my children.

I felt like my circumstances were consuming me.

Don't let your circumstances consume you. #fierceFriday #fiercelyHis @laurenbranz Click To Tweet

I felt like I had lost control.

This wasn’t me.

I wasn’t this girl. I wasn’t the girl who didn’t have it together. I wasn’t the girl who cried all the time. I wasn’t the girl who doubted.

I was the girl who always knew what to say. Who laughed constantly. Who was happy all the time. Who was constantly talking to others about their trials, not focusing on my own!

Who was I? Is this who I wanted to be?

In those moments, I didn’t care what kind of girl I was. I just wanted to be held. And the day she passed, all I wanted to do was be held.

My world froze for while. I felt like I was in slow-motion at her funeral.

And then something strange started happening to me…I started to feel. Like, really feel.

I didn’t have to know what was going on or why everything happened.

All I knew was that Jesus was good and he loved me.

Even when I was mad, I whispered this truth to myself everyday.

Jesus, like he does, slowly began to melt my heart with truth. A couple of days after Mor Mor went to be with Jesus, He revealed that truth to me.

My favorite chapter in the bible is found in John chapter 20. It’s when Mary Magdalene went to the tomb after Jesus’s crucifixion and realized it was empty. There is much intricate, rich detail in this story, but the gist is that she panicked when she realized that Jesus was not in the tomb.

Just like I was panicking with my break-up… with my grandmother.

Mary Magdalene turned around in the story and saw who she thought was the gardener. She looked to him and said, “Sir if you have taken him, tell me where he is and I will go get him!”

The “so-called” Gardener looked at her and simply said, “Mary.”

She finally realized that this gardener was Jesus. She yelled “Raboni” (which means teacher) as Jesus graciously explained to her to go tell the others what she has seen.

Remember this:  Mary knew Jesus well before he was killed. She loved him.

She KNEW HIM.

It would be like your best friend dying and then coming back to life and then you not recognizing them!

Mary was so distracted by her circumstances, by her situation, by her grief that she couldn’t see that Jesus was right in front of her own two eyes.

Don't be so focused on your circumstances that you can't see jesus.

Don't be so focused on your circumstances that you can't see Jesus! @laurenbranz #fierceFriday… Click To Tweet

I am Mary.

While sitting here on the floor of the Orlando Airport, I realize that I am Mary.

I am seeing the gardener instead of Jesus. Over the last two years, I have been so painfully aware of my circumstances that I have shifted my eyes off of Jesus.

I tear up as I realized this ugly truth.

Jesus…I am so sorry..

My sweet Jesus.. He continues to love me so intimately even when I show him such unflattering parts of me.

But, wait.

Could it be? Is this what Jesus longed for all this time? Did He long to just really know me and for me to let him see me?

I think, maybe so.

It’s such a comforting thought that He is bigger than my circumstances and He is bigger than HOW I FEEL.

Sugar Droplets.

As I am sitting on this sticky floor, I feel like Jesus is whispering something to me that I will never forget:

“Lauren, do you want to feel the greatest sugar droplet of all?”

I LOVE YOU.

WOW.

Don’t be scared.

He isn’t afraid of a little stickiness.

Jesus isn't afraid of a little stickiness. #sugardroplets #fiercelyHis @laurenbranz Click To Tweet

Let him drop this sugar droplet on you, because when you get it, like.. when you really get it, you will never be the same.

I would say that Lauren is a fighter, wouldn’t you? #fiercelyHis

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About the Author:

Lauren Branz is currently residing in Houston, Texas while working at a church and enjoying the 109 degree weather! She graduated from Oral Roberts University in 2015 and hopes to one day open a treatment center for girls struggling with addiction. In her free time, Lauren enjoys loving on her friends and family, eating cheese pizza, and being googly-eyed for Jesus.
To connect with Lauren:
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I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts about Lauren’s story below. Also leave any prayer requests. I love praying for you!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

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When Life is too Busy for God

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“Before you get to thinking that I’ve fallen off the proverbial spiritual wagon please know that I haven’t. I don’t think that not having focused time with God means that I’m going to hell in a handbag. While I wish for more focused time, and I think it’s necessary and important, my relationship with Him is still strong, if not stronger than ever.”

Sometimes we go through busy seasons and we think we are too busy for God. If we are rooted & grounded in Him, we can survive those seasons.

Life is busy.

This morning I am just breathing.

Life lately has been a bit overwhelming. From graduations – anniversary’s – cleaning out my house – estate sales – moving – letting go (of my daughter to college) and even, shall I say it, presidential elections…

The emotions are difficult. They range from bitter to sweet. I can be happy one moment and crying the next. My poor husband…

So, this morning I’m just breathing.

And drinking my coffee, of course.

I feel like everything is happening at once and I feel like my life is spiraling out of control…but the reality is that it’s not. I’m not spiraling out of control.

Because God keeps me and sustains me. Honestly I don’t have a clue how people make it without God in their lives.

I also don’t know how people make it without an active presence of constant communication with Him.

Because there is a difference, ya know. A difference between constant communication with God and just believing in Him.

It’s one thing to believe in God and to say you love Him. It’s a whole ‘nother thing to believe in Him, love Him, and talk to him daily.

It seems life lately has been in constant competition with my time with God.

Here’s my idea of a perfect day:

5:30 AM – I wake up with fresh, wide eyes. (Honestly mornings make me giddy. Is that weird?) I make coffee, then sit on my comfy sofa with my comfy blanket and my perfectly blended cream and coffee in my favorite coffee mug and spend precious, focused time with God which includes reading the Bible, maybe reading a devotion, and praying.

6:30ish – catch up on social media, write, and blog. Wake girls up for school or rather, wake up girL (emphasis on singular since one of my girls will BE IN COLLEGE this year. omg. Dear Lord help me.

7:30 – send the girL off to school then go about my daily activities whatever they may be (grocery shopping, cleaning, mentoring, or writing, etc)

But lately my schedule has been wrecked and I’ll be honest and tell you that I have not had “focused” time with God in several weeks.

Yes, how lovely it would for me to be able to say this:

“Even though life has been hectic lately I am committed and make sure that I wake up early and have focused, quiet time with God.” 

But, if I said that it would be a lie. Because honestly, I’m just grateful to wake up at all. Now- I realize by saying that it seems as though I’m stressed out to the max and in a really bad place.

I’m not.

I’m actually in a really GOOD place, I’ve just been super busy.

Sometimes we go through busy seasons and we think we are too busy for God. If we are rooted & grounded in Him, we can survive those seasons.

Before you get to thinking that I’ve fallen off the proverbial spiritual wagon please know that I haven’t. I don’t think that not having focused time with God means that I’m going to hell in a handbag. While I wish for focused time, and I think it’s necessary and important, my relationship with Him is still strong, if not stronger than ever, and here’s why.

When it seems like life is too busy for God, make sure of these things:

God is rooted and grounded in your day to day.

I’m never “too busy” for Him, because he is a part of everything about my life. Does that make sense? Focused time in the mornings with Him is incredible…but it’s more of a “bonus.” An add-on; so to speak. He’s like an appendage of me. He’s in my day to day.

When life is busy make sure you are already rooted and grounded in God. Click To Tweet

You surround yourself with inspiring people.

Man is this ever important! I’ve got some pretty amazing friends in my life. Friends who support and uplift me. Friends that “speak” life in to me and keep me accountable in my relationship with Jesus. Not that they “preach” to me, but just the example they provide is inspiring.

Have bible/devotional apps on your phone.

While I would “prefer” to have focused time with God alone on my sofa with my comfy sofa, fuzzy blanket or my perfect cup of coffee with the perfect amount of creamer inside, it’s not “required” in order to sustain my relationship with Him.

There are some amazing apps out there. A couple of my favorites are:

First 5

She Reads Truth.

I love these apps because they are specifically for women, written by women. Of course there’s always You Version, which is an ah-mazing bible app that has literally thousands of devotionals.

While there are tons of articles out there about the negative-icities of the mobile phone and how it has negativily impacted our kids and our world and blah-blah-blah… I will say that it’s so refreshing to be able to click on promising words of hope at any time.

There are some that say you need to read the Word from the Bible. Like, the actual printed version of the Bible. Listen- God’s word is God’s word. Whether your reading from a printed version or an app on your smart phone, it’s the Word folks. Don’t let yourself get drowned in religiosity- that inhibits your relationship with God!

Read the Word- whether it's on your smart phone or a printed version. Click To Tweet

You have a personal relationship with Him.

My relationship with God is just an everyday thing. I don’t have to schedule time with Him. I don’t have to request his attendance in order to meet with Him. He is a constant presence in my life. Whether I’m sweeping my floor, putting my make-up on or meeting a friend for dinner. He’s there.

God is just a part of me and I talk to Him all the time.

Please hear me.

I’m not perfect by any means. I’m sooooo not a religious person. I’m the type of girl that will “show” you God in my actions rather than “tell” you about Him.

In the past, I used to condemn myself for not “taking time out of my day” to read the bible and pray. I left me feeling guilty and even more distant from God.

That’s just non-sense. God is not up in Heaven with a whip, looking for chances to “get us.”

While I believe it’s necessary for us to have “on-purpose” time with Him, there are “seasons” of life when it’s difficult, and I believe that if we are rooted and grounded in Him we can survive if only for a season.

I love hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. Also leave any prayer requests. I love praying for you!

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

You might also enjoy:

I really wasn’t as fierce as I thought.

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I don’t know about you, but this series has blessed me in ways I didn’t initially imagine that it would. Honestly I wasn’t as fierce or fiercely His as I thought before this started. I’m thankful for a God who is always teaching me not only through His word, but through women in my life who are wise.

Through women who are fierce.

Women who are warriors!

When I started thinking about and praying about the Fiercely His series, I prayed with thoughts of you, my readers in mind. I also prayed for the writers. What I  didn’t foresee was that I would be the one to be so blessed. I was not only blessed by the words, I was blessed by the relationships I’ve built with the writers through corresponding with them. I encourage you, go back and visit those that have blogs and subscribe to them. They are truly amazing and incredible women and writers! They’ve all taught me a lot.

God is building up a generation of women how know how to fight!Your response to #fiercelyHis has been overwhelming and I’m so grateful and humbled. Due to the amazing response, I’ve decided to do a regular series on Fridays. I don’t know if it will last 2 months or 2 years, but I’m willing as long as God leads. “Fierce Friday” will showcase your FIERCE stories. I’ve said this before and I believe it with everything inside of me. I firmly believe that God is building up a generation of women who know how to be strong! We must lead the way you guys. Our world is hurting. Literally hurting!

When we share our stories something cool happens. It brings supernatural healing. Light is thrust into a place that darkness has prevailed. The exposition of darkness and replacement of light is a beautiful thing!

Now, upward and onward we go. Here are some things I’ve learned through the amazing writings of my friends and the #fiercelyHis series.

15 WAYS FIERCELY HIS

15 Ways I’ve learned to be Fiercely His

Jesus is our rescuer.

He even says so in his word. “But ME he caught, reached all the way from sky to sea.” …all for ME. Through Kim’s story I learned about a God who loves us more than anything. I learned that no matter what lies the enemy tells me, they are just that: LIES. I also learned that the people right next to us are hurting and we don’t even see it. We go about our daily lives and don’t even realize that the person right next to us may not be here tomorrow because they will take their own life.

The world is hurting, y’all. What are we going to do about it?

God allows pain.

I don’t know that I will every fully understand this. Yet I also know that it isn’t for me to understand. He allows us to struggle so that it will bring us to Him. Through Alison I was reminded that everything we go through in this life is practically insignificant when compared to our future glory. It will ALL be worth it one day! And we must hold on!

 13 ways i've learned to be fiercely His

Fierce women are weak in reality.

Keri reminded me that we are weak, but we’re made STRONG because of Him! He is our strength, and fierce women just get that. They are fierce because they rely soley on their Savior!

God’s pursuit of us is relentless!

Fancy prayers are great, but God delights in prayers that come from a broken and torn heart that doesn’t know the first thing about religion.  I learned that sometimes we fight to know God and don’t even realize it. Through Lloydetta’s story, I was reminded that God pursues us, and it’s relentless. If God comes to those that call on his name that don’t even really know Him, how much more will He come to those that know Him?

If we don’t deal with our past, it will deal with us.

We need to deal with our past. Our past becomes our present if we don’t deal with it. In Terri’s words, “If you have not dealt with a painful past it will deal with you.” How true this is. In my own marriage, if we had not dealt with what had left us broken I don’t think we would be together today. We had to come face to face with our brokenness in order for us to be whole. Brokenness is a powerful thing. It’s where He shows us who we truly are, how weak we are, and only then are we able to grab on to His strength. “Brokenness is where Jesus plants the seeds to be fierce.”

Brokeness is where fierce begins

I learned that I’m not alone in the fight to forgive.

I struggle with different situations today that can leave me bitter if I’m not careful. I’m sure you can all relate. Bitterness causes us to not only hurt ourselves, but it causes us to hurt the ones we love, and it’s a sin.  Dawn reminded me of this very important truth: “Sin confuses us and causes us to pick the wrong fights.” The rightful fight is against the sin in our own hearts; the sin of bitterness. We have to fight for a heart of forgiveness. God is on our side! And that is why we win! And that is what makes us fierce!

In our marriage, the battle is constant and we have to fight.

Valerie reminded me that the battle is constant, really. Constant because hard times come and go. It’s life. And when they come, the battle is on, and we have to fight. We have to fiercely fight for our marriage!

We aren’t fierce on our own.

I loved Melissa’s story about her daughter and anxiety and how as a mama she had to fight it out. But the fight is nothing without Jesus. Our fierce is nothing without Jesus. Fierce means that we physically get up and grab our armor and actually put it on. Staring at it does nothing. We have to get it on and fight. Because without it, we are weak. We must put the armor on not only for ourselves but for our children!

We have to fight for our calling.

We ALL have a calling..whether you believe in Jesus or not. We can not let go of that calling or dream even when it’s buried down so deep and barely flickering  to stay alive. We have to fight for it. We have to surrender to God and say yes! When we surrender our wounds and our weaknesses to God, and lean into that grace and power He promises, that’s when we can get up and fight even when don’t think we can. FIGHT.FOR.YOUR.CALLING. I don’t know about you, but I’m so excited to read Casey’s book, “Perfectly Weak.”

Being forgiving makes us fierce.

Oh how I could relate to Melanie’s story. Forgiving is so hard, but when we pray for the ones that hurt us, it frees up our hearts to forgive. I knew all of the powerful truths that she shared with us, but I needed the reminder! We can be forgiving and still fierce…I loved that!

We must surrender.

This one’s hard for me, I’ll admit. I’m a defender. I’ll defend my family and friends when I feel that they are being wronged. But sometimes we have got to keep our mouths shut!(uuuggh) The Holy Spirit helps us discern God’s will. Rebecca reminded me that sometimes His will is for us to keep silent. And Jesus is our ultimate example!

13 ways i've learned to be fiercely His. We must surrender!

It’s the fierce love of God that sustains me when I’m broken.

I loved Deb’s beautiful words! Sometimes we are broken and we just have to be still, but it doesn’t mean that we still aren’t fierce. Sometimes being fierce is doing nothing and realize that we are in desperate need of Gods love.

Jesus went through the ultimate pain!

Jen reminded me  that Jesus went through the ultimate pain on the cross. No matter what physical pain we endure, Jesus knows how we feel. He is no stranger to pain! So, we have two choices: we can either lay down and feel sorry for ourselves or get up and let God show off His power in us! Her story was heartbreaking and I’m so grateful she shared a piece of her heart with us!

We are free to love others fiercely when we learn to be fiercely His.

Relationships are difficult. Sometimes those closest to us are the hardest.. but when we learn to be fiercely His, we are free to love others fiercely. We love because Jesus loves us. It’s that simple. But, we can’t follow his commands without Him! I loved how vulnerable Sarah was in her post about her Mom. It was a beautiful thing to read. There is nothing like a Mother/Child bond. We all have it whether we have a good or bad relationship with our Mom’s. If you can relate to Sarah I urge you to follow her in her journey!

13 ways i've learned to be fiercely His.In order to be fierce, we must have Faith!

What a powerful truth! Julie reminded me that being fierce means that we have Faith. In our everyday, mundane lives, when all goes wrong and when we’re wiery and just worn out, when we practice our faith we are automatically fierce. This is such hope friends!

13 ways i've learned to be Fiercely His

 

I LOVE hearing from you! Please take a minute to say ‘hi’ and share your thoughts below. And do you have a story you’d like to share? I’m working on a landing page right now, but in the mean time just click here.  

Also, would you do me a favor —if you resonate with this article or it has helped you today— would you share it with someone else? Maybe a friend, coworker, or family member…?

You might also enjoy:

How to Breakthrough with your Faith to Become Fierce.

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I’m so excited about Julie’s post today! Julie is a new friend. She’s positive, supportive and SO EASY to work with. Julie, I appreciate you!

How to breakthrough with your faith to become fierce.

How to Breakthrough with your Faith to Become Fierce.

When I say “fierce” what are your thoughts? Beyoncé, America’s Next Top Model, or Tyra Banks?

What is the definition of fierce?

According to Urban Dictionary, fierce can be related to fashion or confidence.

Those heels with that dress are fierce!

Your confidence is fierce!

When Beyoncé gets on the stage, many will say she is fierce. Is it her confidence in her slender figure? Her ability to sing? Or is it the amount of money she has?

What makes someone fierce?

As a mother to five kids, I definitely don’t feel fierce. My body shows the effect of five pregnancies. Things have shifted south and many days I try to find something to make me look slimmer or put together.

I honestly feel like I’m winging it most days in regards to parenting and this thing called life.

Confidence seems to have left me years ago. I would consider myself the polar opposite of fierce.

Am I looking though, through the eyes of culture instead of what God says in the Bible?

About a year ago, I started following a Christian women on Facebook that was diagnosed with Stage IV stomach cancer. She was diagnosed during pregnancy, so she waited until the baby was born to start treatments.

Surgery didn’t work. Chemotherapy didn’t affect the cancer.  Chemo had huge effects on her body. She became gaunt. Sickly-looking. Fragile. Her clothes just hung on her and her bandana covered up her bald head.

She chronicled her journey through becoming a first-time mom while battling cancer. Her posts to Facebook were never about the tough break she had, or how angry she was about her circumstance. She wrote about how God had blessed her, her faith and her excitement about becoming a new mom.

Would I surprise you to write that I think this woman was fierce?

In the sadness of this situation, a bold, confident woman was at center stage. She wasn’t flashing her money or her slender figure.  

This woman was flashing the God that kept her in the palm of his hand.

In her loose, baggy clothes she had the confidence of knowing where her journey would end. The bandana was amazingly beautiful because even without the hair, God knew her so intimately.

She was eye-catching and alluring because most of us in this situation would crumble into ourselves.

A beauty radiated from her.

The glory of the Savior whom had good things coming for her here on Earth and in her forever home.

In the Book of Joshua, we become acquainted with Rahab. The Israelites under the direction of God are going to storm the city of Jericho. This Amorite city, Jericho, was an evil city with no believers except Rahab and her family.

But first, the Israelites need to figure out what type of fortifications Jericho has. Two spies are sent into the city. They spent the night hidden by Rahab because her home was right on the wall where the spies could quickly come and go.

Rahab was a prostitute.

A lady overlooked by humanity.

She was rejected and on the bottom of the totem pole in her society. She was not only vulnerable in this societal position but now she had made herself vulnerable hiding the spies.

Rahab was confident in her faith and believed God would carry her and her family to safety. Even though society thought she was less than, she radiated a beauty of a princess of the Heavenly Father. This confidence in her Savior prompted her to turn her life around.

Rahab’s name in Amorite means “fierceness.” Did you catch that?

She was already named fierce before any of this happened!

This bold woman who was rejected by her culture was put in a prominent place in Jesus’ genealogy.

As I’m writing this, I’m thinking have we got it all wrong?

Have we applied this word to the wrong people? To the Hollywood stars?

How to breakthrough with faith to become fierce.

 

Shouldn’t we start to apply this word, “fierce,” to faith?

When we deal with the unknowns in life.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 (AMP)

When we need to be brave about situations and fear is gripping us.

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (NIV)

When confidence is small.

“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.Jeremiah 17:7 (NLT)

When we step out and be different in our culture.

“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 (NIV)

So how can we be considered fierce in our everyday, mundane lives?

How can we be fierce on those days when we are chasing our tails and we fall into bed exhausted to only repeat it tomorrow? What about when our bodies have shifted south and our disappointment in the mirror is on-going?

Fierce Friend- can I gently shift your perspective to the strength in faith?

Beauty is the woman that radiates His confidence because she embraces the fact she is secure in God.Beauty is the woman that radiates His confidence because she embraces security in God.… Click To Tweet

What are the facts?

  1. We have the Creator of the Universe behind us.
  2. We have 3,000 promises in the Bible from God himself.
  3. We have numerous Bible passages telling us that God is for us, and not against us.
  4. We have the promise of Heaven in our future.

Let us walk with this confidence and this boldness. Find your inner power of faith. Fight with that intense passion for Him. Put on your boxing gloves!

As W.E.B. Du Bois says “There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.”

There is no force equal to a woman determined to rise.

 

Julie is a fighter! #fiercelyHis

julie headshot 100x100Julie Loos is the mom of 5 kids and has been happily married to Greg for 17 years.

She loves to read, eat chocolate, drink iced tea and spend time writing in the midst of messes. Julie blogs over at Unmasking the Mess.

You can connect with her on Facebook Twitter Instagram 

 

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