Tuesday, March 1, 2011

calling back and sharing HOPE

In the months prior to Christian's passing, our pastor spoke of the loss by stillbirth that he and his wife suffered years before. I remember him saying that sometimes God has us go through trials so we can be a comfort to others.

Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

-2 Corinthians 1:3-4

I went home and pondered that thought. Would I ever be able to endure such a trial? Would I place my trust in God even when I don't understand? Or would I be a fair weather Christian, only following God when the road is easy?

As Christians, we HOPE we would respond a certain way when death and difficulty visits us personally, but we don't really know for sure until we go through it ourselves.

It is imperative to prepare yourself NOW. God always offers a way of escape when we are tempted to give up and turn back. I waver between strength and weakness. But God never wavers!

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

-2 Corinthians 12:9

When I was at a low, a crossroads on which way I would turn in my grief, God brought a new friend into my life and into my grief.

Daisy, someone I had never met before, emailed me. Out of the blue. I don't believe in coincidence, so I use that term loosely. :)

She shared with me the hurt in her heart from the loss of her son Mason two years prior. Most importantly, she encouraged me to stay strong in the Lord and testified that God is faithful. I was beginning to think that there was something wrong with me. Crazy thoughts like maybe I didn't love Christian enough because if I did, I would be grieving differently. What a relief to hear that yes, she hurt but she was not turning her back on God.

Oh how I needed to hear those words! Oh how I needed to know that I am not alone in my grief!

To see her two years further down the road living, breathing, smiling, crying, remembering and praising. She was living proof that I could have deep sorrow and still keep the faith.

If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back­;
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perchance, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That when the heavens thundered and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the very air was still.

O friend, call back and tell me, for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet bound in the race;
But there are mists between us, and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through the night's sin-darkened sky,­
If you have gone a little way ahead, O friend, call back,­
'Twill cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.

- Selected (Quoted in Streams In The Desert devotional)

Daisy called back to me.

My pastor and his wife called back to me.

I want to call back too!

Daisy and I are blessed to have been introduced to Susan with Haven of Hope Ministries. Susan also knows firsthand what it is like to suffer the loss of a child-- in fact, she has lost two.

I love this woman, y'all. She is real, she is smart, she is transparent with her struggles, and she has a passion for grieving mamas.

Together we are humbled and excited to announce the first annual Haven of Hope Retreat for mothers that have suffered the loss of a child.

"Our retreat is designed to bring together mothers from all walks of life that have suffered the death of a child regardless of that child’s age or circumstances. No matter where you are in your grief journey, we would love for you to join us for a weekend filled with encouragement, good food, and the comfort of new friends that understand."

We covet your prayers as we prepare for this conference. When God calls us to do something, He prepares the way. And when we obey His call, we can count on the devil to do his best to attack and make the way difficult. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world!

Please help us spread the word about Haven of Hope!

THANK YOU, precious friends!

I am looking forward to sharing with other moms what God has done for me. And I am honored to listen to their own stories of loss and love and priceless memories. My desire is that God will be glorified in our conversation, that hearts will be encouraged, and most of all that those that do not have HOPE in Jesus Christ will come to know Him personally.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.


Lori Fox said...

beautiful blog, keep writing and comforting others with the comfort you receive from God. I love that verse!
Lori from Michigan

Debbi said...

Such a wonderful post, Marsha. God is SO faithful! When my brother passed away, a friend "called back" to me. Just knowing that she had lost her brother and had 'lived through it' meant more to me than words can say. God always knows what our deepest needs are, and He never lets us go through a trial without His hope.
I will pray for you as you journey through this conference with others who have had such a terrible loss. God bless you for your willingness to be used to bless others in this way.

Shannon said...


God is Good! As I was reading your blog, I was like yes, yes, and yes. I have loved our meetings and talks because you helped me realize that I was not crazy and like you there were times I felt I didn’t love Roy enough because I was not grieving like the other mothers that lost their son's after I lost Roy, you and Susan helped me realize that we still hurt Oh, God do we still hurt but the difference is we give our hurt and pain over to Jesus. And you are right about Susan, I love her and you, and can not wait to meet Daisy. I also can not wait too attend Haven of Hope, along with me will be two maybe three other mothers I have meet who have lost their sons in 2010. So I guess our next lunch date I will have to fly to Guam, I am so sad about that. LOL…………….Love you and miss you Marsha and cant wait to see you in April. Love, Shannon

Anonymous said...

call back...call back...and keep calling....- oh how the Lord wants us to keep calling even when we grow weary of the calling...

I am so excited about your conference and will be praying for the blessings to overflow.

Hugs - Donna

Sam said...

Your words are always beautiful, and from the heart!

Melissa Stover said...

oh marsha that's wonderful! god will use you, i know it.

Christine said...

I know many mothers will be encouraged and comforted through this ministry. I love you Marshy!

Leanne said...

Wow......How I'd love to have the opportunity to go to something like that. I know that it is the Lord who has orchestrated your involvement with this ministry. You are so compassionate and so transparent, what a help and a comfort to other women!

Hey, Pennie's here! She was born on Sunday the 20th in the morning.....have you seen the pics of her on my blog??? You can't imagine how glad I am that she's here!!

Take care, glad to see your updates every now and again. I think of you often!!!

Dana said...

What a wonderful way to use your life to minister to others.

Todd, Tia, & Tyler said...

How wonderful that in today's world mom's can share their experiences so easily! Thinking of those mom's who lost a child with the nearest neighbor miles away and family even farther, dealing with their grief seems so sad. Yet I'm sure that at the same time, it gave them a much deeper relationship with the Lord. You have been such an example to me of what that means.

HOPE said...

visiting from another blog and will have to come back to read more.

I lost a child 29 years ago..I wrote a blog about this and my journey's since..including a stillborn grand daughter and my own cancer journey. At www.wateringwellsofhope.blogspot.com HOPE surely is the word we all choose as this is the blog name I go by as well.

A blessing also to see good Bible Verses here.

See you again soon..

Unknown said...

I cry and cry every time I come. I am so sorry for your loss. So very sorry Marsha. I pray for you often. With love.