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February 17, 2011

Have Faith in God...

2/10/11

Isn't it precious how when you start to doubt, when you start to fall, God allows something happen to lift you up and get you back on track?

I have chills tonight as I read all of your inboxes and messages of compassion and love. And though I may have had one person not sure of what to say this week, so many others have given me the perfect words of encouragement. I needed that. Thank you.

I have been so very blessed to have so many amazing people in my life. Every single day, I am encouraged, and loved by all of you. Thank you again.

On this day, something was weighing heavy on my mind. And as I read and searched and prayed, God kept allowing the same thought to come back into my memory. It was the answer to the question that so many had asked. How are you getting through this?

It was something I had heard my sweet husband preach about just a few days earlier. It was something that I knew, but struggled to allow happen in my life. It was something so simple, yet so difficult for me to do sometimes.

It is simply... Have Faith.

Mark 11:23 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

How am I getting through this? I have faith in God.

Sometimes I think the things that would seem to be the easiest thing we can do, becomes one that we are not sure exactly how to. Maybe something we don't want to do because of self will or pride.

One thing I have learned through loosing sweet Maddie Grace is this, I have let go of every ounce of pride that I had left. No more pride. No more "me."

Now, I have decided to let it be All GOD. All the time.

Before all this, I felt like I was in control. I had a life exactly the way I had planned it. I was married. I had two sons and a daughter on the way.

My life was perfect. I was complete. These were the words Rick and I both said numerous time the day Maddie was born and the day after. Our world was perfect.

Perfect.

My facebook status on 1/7/11 was Had a perfect day holding my girl and watching the snow fall. I'm in awe of God's goodness.

We couldn't have asked God for anything more...

I always thought there was a certain "perfect" way things needed to be. How could I think I never needed to ask God for more. I need to ask God for everything in my life.

Now that I look back I regret saying that. My husband and I have come to learn that we should NEVER again put a limit on the Lord. We will never again say something in such confindence, knowing that it is completely not in our hands. We will from now on say "what do you want Lord?" "What is you will Lord?"

We will have faith.

What is faith?

Faith is the confident belief or trust in the truth (Bible) or trustworthiness of a person (Jesus), concept or thing (Salvation). =)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1

Do you hope? I do. Do you have faith? I do.

So many days, I have continued to walk through this life with my plan. A big plan of how my life should be. How big my family will be and by a certain time. What kind of house I should live in and how it should be furnished. How much money we should have and what kind of vacations we take. I was planning way in advace and believing in myself to get things done. I knew what I wanted, and I thought I knew how to get it. I was wrong.

The fact of the matter is... It doesn't really matter I want. God has a plan. He has had a plan all along, and though it may not be what I thought it should be, it is His perfect way and will.

I surrendered my will to His so long ago, but my self will has always held on for a little in control. I have learned I have NO control. Only God.

My life verse for years has been.

Delight thyself also in the Lord, and He shall give the the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4

So, for years I have thought. This is my desire Lord, can I have it? I'm happy in you Lord, can I have it? I have prayed for it, and many times it has been answered.

Maddie Grace was one of those desires.

The truth of the matter is. I can be happy in the Lord and delight in Him and He will give me many of the things my heart desires.
What I really needed to be doing was searching Him more and making His desires mine, instead of trying to make my desires be His.

I was praying all wrong.

Am I saying that I think the Lord called Maddie home because it wasn't His desire for her to live a life here with me?

No.

I believe God had this plan for her life all along. She was created with a purpose in mind. Would I have loved at any moment on that dark Saturday morning for the Lord to have put breath and life back into my tiny girl?

Yes.

And I truly believe He could have. At any moment He could have, and I could be claiming the miracle that took place with my sweet girl the day she stopped breathing, but that wasn't His will. As much as it hurts me, it just wasn't.

Someone said to me the day after we lost her and it kills me to even type this, "Why did God even give her to you if He was going to just take her back."

Well... I desired a daughter and God gave me one. He just had different plans for her life than I did.

She was brought to this earth to change my life and so many others. She was created to draw me closer to my husband and the Lord. She has given us love and taught us compassion. She has helped make our house a home. She has taught me how to soulwin and be a better Christian. She has brought out the "best" in us in so many ways. She has done countless things with her beautiful 2 days of life than I could of in a lifetime. She has drawn me to the Lord.

And so what am I saying here today?

Have faith.

Have faith in God that He knows best and will give you what you need.
Have faith in God that His plan for your life is much greater than anything you can plan out yourself.
Have faith in God that when you are brought to your knees in a trial, that He will lift you up and help you to keep going.

Have faith!

We may not see God face to face, but we can feel Him. I do, everyday of my life. I feel Him and He lets me see glimpses of Him too.

I see Him through the Bible and in prayer.
I see Him in this beautiful world He has created for me to live in.
He talks to me through His word and different situations in my life.
He shows up and gives me those "hugs" of His as He sends a little bird my way.
When certain things "just so happen". I know that's Him.
He was present when I heard "His eye is on the sparrow."
I could see Him in that snowglobe.
He was holding my hand as I opened the pink bracelet.
He sat with me as I listened to the story about the quilt.

He knows. He cares. He is there.

So, when I'm standing in the middle of this forest of trials, and I don't know which way is right. I can't see anything except tall trees and burdens hovering over me, I take a step forward and tell myself "have faith" and another step "have faith" and another step "have faith."

You can not go the wrong way if you are walking with the Lord. He will lead you exactly where you need to go and if you let Him; He'll carry you.

I'm so very thankful that I have the Lord. He has shown himself to me in ways I didn't even know I could see Him. I can see Him in the darkness when all hope of the light seems lost. I can still see Him. I know He held me up that morning at the hospital as I said goodbye to my Maddie Grace, and He has every day since. He's there...

And I know that because of my faith.


Mark 11:23 And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.

Romans 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:
~ Lord may I be able to say this at the end of my Life.

10 comments:

  1. Thank you Natalie. I needed that. What a blessing and testimony. Praying for you friend.

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  2. Oh Natalie! Once again chills and can I get an Amen!!! Mom called me this morning and told me to read your blog, we didn't need to talk about it I had a feeling it was great. I feel like there should be an altar call after reading this post. I see God has helped you fill the pages that you weren't sure you even could and that reminds me he is with you holding your hand as you the words come to you like some sort of poetry. I'm Thankful for Maddie's mommy who is willing to use her life as a Testimony of Gods Love.

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  3. This was such a blessing to me Natalie!

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  4. This is powerful!!! If I could invite everyone I know to read this, saved & unsaved, what a powerful testimony of FAITH!! I needed this today, Nat. Even in the midst of my tiny trials I needed this reminder of faith. Thank you! God used you to pen this post, & wow did it speak to me.

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  5. Natalie, Thank you so much for sharing your story! Maddie is a beautiful baby girl and so blessed to have such a wonderful family to love her and tell her story. Your thoughts and stories have been such an encouragement and blessing to me. You all are in my prayers!
    ML Isaiah 43:1-2

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  6. this is a very incredible story. I feel everyday of my life that you not only have faith at the end of the day but also morning noon and night. God is a very good listener. God Bless your family.

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  7. Natalie, I went to camp victory for years and I was just old enough for teen camp when Rick had been there for a while. My whole youth group was impressed with his ability to say verses: he could say his verses like none other :) He would just look at it one time and could recite it word for word. Then one week when I was older, after you and Rick had already met, My best friend and I stayed in the same cabin as you and Annette. We would lie in bed and listen to you and Annette talk. Its funny because you didn't even know us but we looked up to you both so much :) We would say, many times, I hope we are just like them when we grow up. Im trying to make this comment as short as possible but you and rick have been a blessing to us for years and didn't even know it :) One week at teen camp, Rick preached a sermon called "Their Blood is on My Hands" Revival broke out. At one point, he layed his head on the pulpit and cried, there was barely anyone in their seats. Everyone was getting right and kids were bringing things they shouldn't have had at camp to the altar. It was amazing. We even had a bonfire with all the stuff. That same week though, Rick fell off the horse and my mom who was a nurse, was a counselor that week and ran to help. They said he couldn't remember anything not even the sermon the night before. From then on we would watch you and Rick, hoping one day, we could be like you :) Fast foward to present: At the time Maddie went to heaven, my husband and I were at a friends house with other friends. One spouse in both of the other families worked at camp victory too so they knew you and Rick. Miss Leah Sandlin texted one of them to tell about Maddie going to heaven. Right away I hurt for you because I had looked up to you for a long time now. I mentioned your family as a prayer request in our Sunday School. There wasn't a day that had gone by that I didn't pray for you and your family. I found your blog on someone else's facebook page. And since, have read every blog. I pray for you and your family constantly. I also want you to know you are still someone I look up to and I have learned so much through your heartache that has helped me and my relationship with God. Thank you for telling your story and for still being someone I can look up too. I cannot tell you how good it was to see you are still the Godly woman I had thought so much of.

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  8. Dear Natalie, I wanted to let you know that you, Rick and your family are in my prayers everyday. Your ability to find words to write about this is amazing. The most amazing is your faith! I cry every time I read your blogs. Tears of compassion, tears of joy for your beautiful heart full of God's love.I can't imagine being able to be so honest, so steadfast in your journey with Jesus after such a loss. Without his love and grace, I don't know how anyone could get thru something like this Thank you for sharing. I send love and prayers your way!
    "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" II Corinth 12:9 Anita White ( Adam's Aunt)

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  9. Hello Dear Natalie,

    Your words spoke straight to my heart! Right now I am going through a trial, but with Jesus this trial is sweet because I know HE IS IN CONTROL.

    I continue to pray for you!

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  10. Jessica H,

    I had chills as I sat and read your comment.
    I was in awe of the things you remembered from that special night a long time ago at Camp Victory. I "like you" will never forget how God worked that night and moved throughout the camp. I'll never forget the words Rick said and the message he preached either. So good. What I didn't know was that I could possibly, as a young teenage girl myself, be making an impact in your life! That's great. I have to say, I would've NEVER known, and I'm so thankful that you found me and decided to share this with me.

    I don't think you will ever know what an encouragement you have been to me. Thank you for your words, and thank tyou for sharing your heart! Annette and I were both shocked to read your words. But so blessed. She too, is still serving in Church and loving the Lord. I'm so thankful that we have stayed close all these years.

    I find it amazing that the news of my sweet daughter reached you, and after all these years has prompted you to write me. I'm so thankful that I was able to be a good example in your life. I'm glad God has kept me close to Him and is using me even during a trial in my life.

    Please know we appreciate your prayers so very much. They mean the world to us.

    I would love to get to know you better. Please friend me on facebook. I'm under Natalie Shaw Ross.

    Thank you, Jessica.
    Love, Natalie

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