On so many occasions, I feel that the Lord has laid words on the hearts of his precious people to encourage others. And time after time, I'm finding encouragement in my life from my sweet friend Robyn.
I'm thankful that God brought her into my life almost ten years ago while I was attending Bible college. I adored her then and I continue to now. Since Madeline passed away, it's like she just "knew" I would need a constant friend to help and encourage me along the way, not just in the months after Maddie but even over a year later. She has been that constant friend to me and I'm so very thankful for her.
After my last blog post, I received this message from her...
"I just read your recent post. What a blessing Jonah is! It's so nice to read the proof of what we have prayed for you all - healing. I know you have hard days, and I try to pray for you when you come to mind, because I know you miss your baby girl. My heart still hurts for you. Everything about how you lost her was so traumatic, but God knows. And I ask Him to help you. I can't remember if I told you this, but when we moved here, we heard a message about "tokens for good". I can't remember exactly where/what verse (I should really look that up!), but the Bible talks about when we go through struggles, God gives "tokens for good"... When I was reading your post, I thought, "he's her token for good". I love it."
She went on to explain some of the hardships in her and her Husbands life and then described to me what her "token for good" from that situation was... Her precious son.
She's right. God gives us exactly what we need exactly when we need it.
That day, I needed to hear her words. I needed to be lead to this message of Pastor Sextons. I needed to hear what he preached and I was beyond blessed.
I wrote her back and thanked her for the continued encouragement that she is to me. And this is how she responded. =)
"I'm glad the Lord has allowed me to be an encouragement. I recently remember hearing that it means to "give courage to", so I decided to Google it. Look what definition came up! "en·cour·age Verb: 1.Give support, confidence, or hope to . . . " ;)
God gives me exactly what I need, every day. And He can use others to do just that. I just pray that I can be an encouragement the way others are to me. It only takes a little time of your day to say a kind word, or give a compliment; but it can be forever remembered in the heart of another. It truly is a blessing.
So after we spoke, I immediately ran to my computer and googled this message, and I found it! I sat with Jonah and listened while Eli was napping and I was completely blessed.
Pastor Sexton was preaching from the book of Psalms, chapter 86.
It was like every word he said in that message was exactly for me.
He talked about verse 17 and the phrase "a token for good."
17Shew me a token for good; that they which hate me may see it, and be ashamed: because thou, LORD, hast holpen me, and comforted me.
David prayed for a token for good.
This psalm is understood to be David's prayer, and in this prayer we can see the Lord Jesus Christ so vividly.
David needed some evidence that God was hearing and answering his prayers. He wanted them in a way that was visible.
Sometimes we need visible blessings. And other times we need an inward blessing, or a peace of heart and mind. We need grace and to trust in God no mater what was going on in our lives.
Wow, do I know the need for that. I think God knows that I need that too. That's why he gave me reminders of Maddie Grace as simple as the snow or the birds. Little bits of peace that warm my heart.
I absolutely love this 86th chapter of Psalms.
So many of these verses helped me in the days after Madeline went to Heaven. The words are beautiful.
There are so many verses that speak to me in this chapter but another one that really spoke to me was... Teach me thy way. (verse 11)
I remember after Maddie passed, I just kept thinking to myself; What could the plan in her life being so short be? What was God's way in all of this?
"The Bible declares Gods ways are not our ways. What we naturally do and naturally think are not the things God would do and God thinks." Pastor Sexton
Naturally, you expect to have and raise your child all your days. I never saw a life without Madeline once I learned that she was coming. But...
His ways are not our ways. Our thoughts are not his thoughts.
God had a plan. Even through my continued heartache and devastation, He has a plan.
I'm being taught His way and His thoughts. I'm learning day by day.
Maddie's life has been used for so much good. Even thought I miss her and I wish she could be here with me, life is good and so is God. God is so full of love and grace and compassion.
We can pray for God to show us a token for good. And He will provide.
God has provided me with this inner strength and grace that Pastor Sexton speaks about in his message. It can only be given by God.
God is good. He can't be anything but good. He loves us.
God has given me a token for good. He's given me Jonah; an answer to my prayer. And like Robyn said, she's been praying for us for healing..... He's providing me with healing.
Sure, there are scars, and pain and heartache resurface from time to time, but I'm healing. I will always ache for her. I miss her and she will always be missing "physically" from our family; but, I can't help to smile for all the blessings I do have here in my life.
I'm finding myself ridiculously happy again.
I never thought this could be. Never.
I look at Jonah and think how I can't imagine life without him. He truly is my token for good.
"We're living surrounded by tokens for good, where God has proven answers to prayer... He's the same yesterday today and forever. He's got a whole lot more tokens that He's gonna drop and give us. We just need to trust Him and believe Him... He's a God that cares." Pastor Sexton
Please take some time this week and listen to this message! There were so many gems that Pastor Sexton shared in here. I promise you it will bless your heart.