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Praising Through the Tears

22 Feb

There are words that penetrate your heart and leave you standing there wondering how you will continue to go on.
My testimony is a story of hope, love, loss, despair, forgiveness, and about my desperate dependence on God.
Jesus came for you, and for me, so that we might have eternal life. Some people think that if they are good enough that they will go to heaven when they die. It does not say this in the Bible. Ephesians 2:8-9 says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” We can do nothing to earn salvation. God gives it freely to those who believe in him. In Romans 10:9-10 it says, “Because if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. “I have titled my testimony praising through the tears, because God is so powerful, mighty, and awesome, that He has saved me, when I accepted Him as my Lord and Savior. There are tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of frustration and pain, but I will continue to praise Him through all of my tears. Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
I have read about people who were without food, clothing, shelter, and didn’t have material possessions, but they had faith that God would provide in a way I did not have. In other words, they had something far more valuable that I had with my big house, healthy children, an abundance of food, clothes, and material possessions. I was incredibly needy for God and did not know it, because I did not see my dependence on God for my well being. I had fallen asleep and thought that my luke warm faith in God was doing just fine. In Deuteronomy 8:17-18 it states: Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’ 18 You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day. On November 6, 2009, I came to see how desperate I am in need of God, each and every day.
My hope in sharing this very real and painful account of what happened to my family is that you will be pointed to Jesus. He is the way, the truth, and the life.
On November 6th we said goodbye to our third child Eli. I laid him down for his morning nap, and when I went to check on him later, he was not breathing. Words at that moment escaped me. I felt so many things in that moment like fear, guilt, gut-wrenching pain. I ran to the basement and called Greg to come up. And said words. Words that I had never thought of saying. “Eli isn’t breathing.” Greg ran up the stairs two at a time as I sat there shaking and not knowing what to do.
I called 911 while Greg administered CPR. We lived very close to a volunteer fire fighter and he came in the door within just a couple of minutes. Everything from then on was loud, scary, and painful. So much pain. I could barely pick myself off the kitchen floor to get in the van to go to the hospital. I wanted a reset button. I wanted to go back and to hold Eli for his nap. I wanted this nightmare to end. I cried out to God, sobbing in the car and asking him to save Eli. We arrived at the hospital and three people from our previous church were already there and waiting to be with us. I was so scared of what I knew in my heart, that the doctor would tell me, that I thought it was better to stay in the van. I did not want to hear the words.
Words.
God brings words of hope, not of fear. God gives us words of love, not of hate. God was there with me on that day. God is with me each and every day. God is with you right now and tomorrow and the next.
Eli did die that day. We were able to hold him, love him, and say goodbye to him. We were surrounded by more love than I can ever remember being around me. That love was the Holy Spirit working through believers of Christ. In the days and weeks that followed, we saw God working and loving us while we were broken. Meals were delivered, groceries were brought, people came to give attention to Leah and Jonah while we went through with the funeral arrangements and had to meet with CPS and the local police.
There really are not words to express what kind of loss it is when you lose someone so close. Yet we live here on earth, and we will all feel this kind of loss. The pain you feel makes you physically ill. But then there is Jesus. He brought us hope in the midst of our suffering. He brought us glimpses of Himself.
Our daughter Leah was 4 years old when Eli died. Jesus spoke to her heart and she said to me, “Mommy, Jesus says not to be sad, he said he is holding Eli.” Greg, myself, and our friend who is a Pastor heard her say that and we all stood in awe, and with tears of Joy on our faces. A friend who is not a believer gave me this pencil sketch of Jesus holding a baby in heaven. Then a couple of days after the funeral I was standing at the kitchen sink doing dishes, and just very desperate for my baby boy to be back in my arms. And I heard God speak to me. I can remember it like is yesterday, and never before have I heard Him that clearly. He said, “It is okay Tiffany, I have Eli here with me.”
A little background about myself. I did not grow up in a Christian home. There were some things about my childhood that I wish I could forget; but God put people in my life to speak words of hope. Words of love, and they taught me who He is. When I was in high school I made some decisions that were not good. I made choices that I am not proud of. All of us fall short, all of us sin. When I accepted Christ to be my Lord and Savior, He forgave me of my sins. He continues to forgive me of my sins. Nothing is impossible for God. He forgives. If there is anything that you have done that you regret, lay it at the foot of Jesus and ask Him to forgive you. He will, He will do it with love.
I am still a work in progress. I am learning each day what to means to trust God. I am learning as I read His word and reflect on His will. I am real. I mess up, I sin, I fall short, but I am His. I will always be a work in progress and I am so thankful that He sees fit to work on me daily. I need it. He sees fit to work on each of us; if we let Him.

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1 Comment

Posted by on February 22, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

One response to “Praising Through the Tears

  1. Deacon Dale Noel

    February 22, 2015 at 11:36 am

    Tiff, you and the family are always in my prayers as we learn to follow Him.

     

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