Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ah the power of prayer

So I was thinking about everything that has happened to us over the past few months and I have to say this: "Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost! amen." Honestly- I can not think of enough words to say thank you to God for all He has done for us. Our lives have been changed as we have been blessed by His love.

Now to tell the story: Last May we found out we were expecting our son Jacob. We had only major medical (which does not at all help to cover prenatal care or childbirth). I quickly dove deep in to depression. I was concerned about how things would work out, both financially and physically. I had just lost close to 40 pounds and was feeling great and looking good for the first time since before my daughter was born. I, selfishly, did not want to let go of that or of the stability we seemed to have finally found financially. So many nights I could be found crying my self to sleep. I had so many different ideas of where we would be and what we would be doing,and none of those ideas included have yet another child. Was I ready for this??? I didn't think so, but God had another plan. In the mean time, I stayed in the pit of self pity. I began to ignore my kids and my husband and focused on being insanely uncomfortable with morning sickness. I could not see how this would work out. Right around 16-20 weeks of pregnancy, I realized what a strong grip God had on my life. I had been so sick for 4, almost 5 months, and God gave me a peace. He answered the prayers of my little girl and brought me rest when I needed it most. It was after seeing Him work through her prayers that I started to trust Him- to really want to trust him for the first time in my life.

I began to challenge friends to join me in praying for everything- big and small. I knew God wanted to work through us and He wanted to bless us by answering our prayers. So then came the challenges. In November, things got a little shaky financially for us. My husband's job is 100% commission so we never know from one week to another how much he will make and if we will even have money to pay the bills and eat. It can be scary, but God showed us He's bigger than our finances. He showed up in amazing ways, starting with a few gift cards we received anonymously in the mail. They were always just enough to help out when we needed it most. What a blessing!

Then came the big day in January when my little Jacob was to be born. If you remember from previous posts, I was overcome with an almost paralyzing fear. I had allowed Satan to have control of one area of my mind and I could not shake the fear that death was coming- either to my self or to my Jacob while on the operating table. I would wake up in cold sweat night after night feeling sick to my stomach from the nightmare. No matter what I did, I could not shake the fear and was certain something terrible was happening. I remember 2-3 days before he was born, I had an emotional breakdown. I could not live with the fear that something was going to happen. I cried for hours, eventually crying my self to sleep. Then I shared my fears with a friend who prayed for me. Immediately I was granted peace. Not just a peaceful feeling, but true peace. I had been released from the fears that so entangled me and covered with the peace of God. What a blessing! So while I was on the operating table, it happened- my heart rate started to drop and I just "knew" I was about to die. This is not me being a hypochondriac- this is me having felt certain that it was my time to go. I cried out to God to save Jacob and to help me. Immediately after I prayed that, the doctors pulled out my perfectly healthy ten pound, 2 ounce baby boy and my heart rate regulated! I was completely healthy and so was Jacob- PRAISE GOD!!!!

He hears our prayers and He answers them. Of this, I am confident! :) I know this has been a long post but, well, it's my blog. So... I HAVE share this one last thing. We were in an apartment and when Jacob came, we knew we would be out of room. So we started praying that God would provide us with a house. I had some specifics in mind that I secretly prayed for, but didn't necessarily have to have. I just wanted a bigger place for our family and mostly so my son Timothy would have much needed room to roam. We looked for a couple of months and either the houses were much too small for us or they were too expensive. I had a peace, though, that God was in control and He had a plan for us. When our lease was coming to an end, I started to get nervous that we might not find a place or that we couldn't afford it. The week before we moved, I went to the prayer service at our church. One of the prayer volunteers prayed for a miracle to happen. So the following week, we found a house that we wanted, we were approved, but we did not have the money for the down payment. Where did I turn? I turned to the only place I knew I would find an answer- I turned to God. He was the only one who could make this happen- and He did. He laid it on the hearts of two friends from church to take up a collection for us- sort of a "love offering". I don't know all of the details, but I do know they asked people to pray about their involvement in this and what was collected was the exact amount needed for the down payment for our home. All of that and we moved in the same week. What a blessing! God has totally blessed us. He heared our cries and even when we tried to do things on our own, as soon as we gave control back to Him, He worked perfectly.

I can not say that He always answers prayer the exact way we want Him to, but He does always answer them. I had no idea what a blessing this baby would be, but let me just tell you- we would not have moved out and we would not have learned to trust God without Him. Jacob is the prefect baby and we are finally in the perfect home. I am so Glad God is in control because His ways are perfect. In Matthew 7:7-11, His word says "Ask, and God will give to you. Search, and you will find. Knock, and the door will open for you. 8 Yes, everyone who asks will receive. Everyone who searches will find. And everyone who knocks will have the door opened. 9 "If your children ask for bread, which of you would give them a stone? 10 Or if your children ask for a fish, would you give them a snake? 11 Even though you are bad, you know how to give good gifts to your children. How much more your heavenly Father will give good things to those who ask him!"

So my response? Ask! HE wants to bless you! He wants to answer your prayers- most of all, He just wants you, all of you, to trust Him, to love Him, and to ask Him. He will be our provider, He is the Lord!

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