Monday, April 2, 2012

Test or Punishment?


Since experiencing this difficult trial, I have thought to myself many times, "am I be punished or am I being tested?"

Here is what I wrote in my journal a few days ago.

Lord, you know that I am in a place that I have no desire to be in. the pain is great. This is not a punitive punishment, not a disciplinary action towards me. It is a test of faith. A test of endurance. A test of trust. A test of belief.

I am discovering who I truly am. Do I just talk the talk or do I actually walk the walk? I have experienced a crisis of belief as I questioned your goodness and your ways. I have come to the conclusion that you are good, just as your Word tells us. You are loving and you allow trials to test us and to refine us. You are cutting off the dead branches and ruthlessly pruning back the branches that are fruit-bearing so that they can bear even more fruit. Ripe, big, delicious fruit.

Oswald Chambers says, "Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time."

Another entry from my journal...

I am learning that I will be much more effective at ministering to others now that I have experienced a REAL trial. I will be much more sensitive, stop saying stupid things, like "Oh, just trust in the Lord", or "All things work together for the good of those who love Him." There is a time and a place to say those things, but when someone is in the ditch, it's like you are just throwing more dirt on them. Instead I will hopefully say, "I'm sorry you are going through this. I love you. What can I do for you?" I will listen. I will let them work it through, even if their theology is a bit off because of the pain. I will walk with them through their dark valley.

Several of you have emailed me privately thinking that my husband has left me. I can assure you, that is not the case. We are very much together. I do not want to be mysterious, but due to the nature of this trial, I have to protect those that I love. I'm a mom and that's what I do. The Lord has seen fit to allow Satan to sift me like wheat. What did the enemy go for? Who is my ministry to? Mothers. Now because of this, I will be able to minister to mothers on a whole different level. Hurting mamas. Mamas who blame themselves for their children's mistakes. Mama's who have done everything they can to raise their children in the admonition of the Lord and still discover that they have free will. Mama's who learn that God sometimes says "No", for the greater good of their child.

I love all of you. Your comments lighten a very heavy heart. You are brightening my day, knowing that you are praying for us.


14 comments:

MommaMindy said...

speechless.

thanks for sharing your heart and bearing part of my burden when yours is so heavy.

praying for you often and with tears that come when you are in the ministry of suffering.

Farmgirl Cyn said...

Precious post, Stacie.
We have 4 of our 5 children who are not serving the Lord. We partly blame ourselves, as we were in an easy-believism church for most of their growing up years. "Say this little prayer asking Jesus in your heart" is not training up your children to be servants of His. There needs to be real repentance, and then fruit. We saw neither...but because they said their little prayer we believed they were "in". We see it differently now, and are praying that the Holy Spirit does the work He was sent to do and bring them to their knees in repentance. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit....and we see no good fruit in their lives right now.
Not sure if this is even the situation you are currently struggling with, but know that I am praying for you and your husband regardless.

In Christ alone,
Cindy

Cheesemakin' Mamma said...

Very well said, Stacie. I feel the same way as I'm walking through this with you. I love the way we refine each other and the way we can encourage the other when we are weak. I know God has good things in store despite these current circumstances.

Nezzy said...

Oh honey, whatever the problem (God knows) know my heart and prayer are with you.

Who knows why, I know we are promised no more than we can handle. My daughter was raised in church yet she and her little family have never gone. It breaks my heart that my little Grandson isn't bein' trained up with Jesus.

I hang on tightly to the 'train up a child' scripture. Someday baby...I have faith that God is true to his word.

God bless ya sweetie and I pray that this trial is short!

OurLilFullFam said...

Reading the book I am, my eyes have been opened to just how hard it is to show our children GRACE and what it means!

Still praying for you, and I do mean that!

Stephanie

caz1975 said...

Hi Stacie, not sure exactly what's been going on as i've been out of the blogland loop for a while but I just wanted to encourage you as you walk through your valley to keep wrestling it through with God like I can see you have been as I scrolled down your blog. There are never easy answers to our pain but He is big enough to take all our questions as I have been discovering lately myself!! Hugs xx00

Grandma Becky said...

Thanks for sharing some of your journal writings. I did that when I was going through tough times too. It's good to look back on it now and see how I've grown. Thanks for letting me sigh with relief that you and Steve are still together. Continuing to lift you all up in prayer in this trial season. Hang in there til the very end.

Lois said...

Stacie,
I've followed your beautiful blog off and on (found it from Camille's blog which I found from another!) I'm touched by your tender heart. Whatever difficulty you are experiencing now, you WILL see the other side of it. I love the picture of you engrossed in your Bible study. My thought was, this is a woman of God! Even though I don't know you, I am praying for you. Thank you for being transparent. I know your blog is ministering to many people. God bless you and keep you in His grip.

Veronica @ Luv My Quiver Full Of Arrows said...

Just getting back into blogworld, but I have missed your posts.

I will need to read up and catch up, but your post was just so encouraging and blessed me. Praying for you, sweet sister. xoxo

Tamra said...

Stacie,
I was thinking of you today when I read this and it jumped out at me "No matter how serious the trial, how deep the distress, how great the affliction, He will never desert us. He cannot do it. It is not His character [to do so]. He is an unchangeable being; the same yesterday, the same today, and He will be the same throughout the eternal ages to come... We may pass through the fiery furnace; we may pass through deep waters; but we shall not be consumed nor overwhelmed. We shall emerge from all these trials and difficulties the better and purer for them, if we only trust in our God and keep His commandments." (Pres. George Q. Cannon)

Hope this helps heal your heart.

~Tamra A.

Lizzy said...

Don't know the exact circumstances that you are going through but I pray that God has His hand on you and your family. I wish I had something wise and comforting to say but I find that the Holy Spirit is far better at that task. Hold to Him tightly; this too shall pass.
God Bless,
Liz

Camille said...

Precious Friend. God IS Faithful. HE hears our cries. And HE is WITH you in the midst of this storm. Do as you are doing now...fill your mind up with HIM. With HIS Goodness. With HIS Sovereign plans and purposes. HE has YOU in HIS grip!!! HE walks this path WITH you, And HE is already on the path ahead of you. How comforting it is to know that, indeed...HE will never leave us nor forsake us! Do not let the enemy's lies drag you down...he would seek to devour you. But, God is Greater. HE has already defeated the enemy of our souls!

Please know that I am praying...I will continue to.

Much Love,
Camille
Isaiah 26:3-4

Connie said...

I like the lessons you are learning. They are significant. Our little pat answers can be like thorns. The enemy always wants us to second guess what is happening. I can see that GOD is winning here! Praying ...

The Park family said...

I have been out of your loop for a while but have gone back to when you first began writing about this trial. I am so sorry. My nephew who was homeschooled all his life at 14 made a very dumb choice that began his path of falling away from his faith. It was nerve racking, earth shattering and devastating to the whole family. We begin to think if we just do this that and the other thing, everything is guaranteed to turn out well...... and then there is free will and the adversary who's only purpose is to kill steal & destroy. I can only imagine how broken hearted you are as I remember how broken-hearted my brother and sister-in-love were and still are. Keep sharing as the Lord does his purification. It is through yielding and leaning on his Grace that we have hope and can begin to heal. Praying for you my dear!

Theresa

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