Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Children Dance in Heaven

This week is National Infertility Awareness Week. 1 in 8 couples have experienced infertility. I am one. As of this year, we have 3 babies in heaven. Yes... that's some very personal information that I just shared with you. But through each miscarriage, I have learned that God wants me to share my story with others. If I can encourage, be there for, listen to, or support another woman who has been through this, then I will share my story over and over. To God be the glory.

With each of our miscarriages these are the emotions: Fear. Worry. Doubt. Anger. Depression. Lost hope. Why? Why give me hope or excitement just to take it away? What happened? What could I Have done different? And along with these emotional comes what I know in the depths of my heart: I trust you Lord. I have faith.


I don't know why it took so long to get pregnant with our son Miles. But I do know that God has perfect timing. I don't know why God allows me to see a positive pregnancy test, just to lose that hope after a week. Why does He allow me to get excited? I don't know... but someday I might. God has purpose and reason. And while I may not understand His timing, purpose, and reason... I know that it is right and that it is out of love. Yes there is anger, disappointment, fear, sadness. All normal. All natural. I have to allow myself to feel these things again and know that it's okay. I'm allowed to be mad. I'm allowed to be sad and grieve.  Lord, remind me it's okay and acceptable to feel this way. I don't have to hide it or pretend I have it all together.

My prayer is that the Lord teaches me hope again, with no reserve. To trust Him with no boundaries. With every loss I've learned, we've learned, that God's timing is perfect. His purpose and promise for my life is real and I can trust it. I can believe that God is good. 

If you have struggle with miscarriages, infertility, or loss, please know you are not alone. And it is not your fault. If you need someone to talk to, please email me at kellyjobregon@gmail.com


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Unglued

I just recently started the Bible study Unglued with my sister. Unglued. Before starting this study I thought I didn't really have the raw emotions and reactions this book was talking about but boy was I wrong.


The author Lysa Terkeurst uses the best imagery and analogy with Michaelangelos' David. Did you know it took Michaelangelo two years to complete David? It's said he never really even left the room where he was making David during those two years. When asked how he completed the statue Michaelangelo said, " It was easy. I just chipped away the stone that didn't look like David." Doesn't God do similar work in us? He chisels away the raw emotions, failures, that don't look like us. Every day he is chipping, chiseling, and molding us into who he has called us to be.

In the Unglued study guide, Lysa states, "Over time, negative thought patterns can become self-defeating labels that impact how we see ourselves and keep us  stuck in hard places. Instead of seeing our failures as temporary setbacks, we begin to see them as permanent conditions or even as part of our identity." She gives examples such as...

I always mess up.
Things will never get better.
I'll never lose weight.
I'm such a coward.

Are you stuck in a hard place and trapped by weaknesses and your emotions?

Jesus sees you. He is helping chisel you into the best you can be. He knows who you are deep down. He knows the truth, you can't hide from him and he is always there for you! Even Peter had emotions to keep him stuck, Matthew 14: 22-32. You aren't alone, you never are and will never be!


Monday, April 21, 2014

craving grace: repentance

Last week I introduced a book, Craving Grace. I talked about the awareness of sin. This week it's about repentance.

What does repentance look like to you? Repentance is an ongoing battle for me. Sometimes I fight with myself because when I come back to a repeated sin I think to myself.. Didn't I repent of this? Why am I caught up doing it, again?

But I am human. This I must remember. And I also must remember God gives me grace in repeated sins. But striving to do better and be better for Him, to me that is repentance.

The word repentance literally means to turn around. -- Ruthie Delk

In sin, we are acting in our human flesh, satisfying our own desires.
Repenting is turning to the Holy Spirit and relying on His strength to satisfy HIS desires for us.

It means I lean into grace while turning away from the things that have distracted my heart from Him.  -- Ruthie Delk

I love that quote. Sin, everything that distracts us from God. Grace, everything that turns us around back to Him.

This ongoing battle for me also makes me think I falsely repent. And perhaps sometimes this is true, but not always. Sometimes when I feel this way it is just the devil getting inside of my head. But other times are conviction from God that I need to rethink my repentance.

I know that when my heart changes, I truly repented.
I know that when my attitude and behavior changes toward it, I truly repented.
I know that when I see that relationship through Jesus' eyes, I truly repented.


Don't reject repentance. Live in His freedom. He GIVES us freedom and grace if we repent. Make that decision today, walk in freedom. Stop having your own plans. Have HIS plans.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

He is Risen!

The angel said to 
the women, 
"Do not be afraid
for I know that you are looking for 
JESUS
who was crucified. 
He is not here
He has RISEN
Just as He said."

Matthew 28:5-6

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Purpose and Promise

There is a lot of trials, sickness, confusion, and change happening in the lives around me. My 7 year old cousin found out he has leukemia over a month ago. And now his only hope is God and a bone marrow transplant. On top of that his family has to move out of their house in a few weeks. And they need a new van to get them back and forth to the hospital. Our head pastor at our church has had to resign after 25 years at the same church, 10 of them as the pastor. There is change coming, and we don't know what it will look like. 

And yet through all these things, through all the prayer, I hear God say, "Trust me, I have promises to fulfill in your (and their) earthly life (lives). That's why I put you here on this Earth. This is for my glory." Sometimes Christians are so focused on the Lord's returning and going to heaven that they forget there is purpose for their lives here on Earth. Why else would God put you here?! In Beth Moore's book, Believe God, she writes, 

"God has made us promises. Real ones. Numerous ones. Promises of things like all-surpassing power, productivity, peace, and joy… while still occupying these jars of clay."

No matter what you may be going through now, or what you may go through in the future, there is purpose to it. And God has promises for you. The Word of God tells us that He knows the plans He has for us - they are plans to prosper us, to protect us - to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Whatever we go through, God has purpose for. Whether it's to show us a better way, to teach us how to become more like Him, to break down our walls, or to allow our story to affect others for Him. It's all for His glory.

Open your Bible. Read how much God loves us and what He has for your life. Cling to the Word of God. There is TRUTH and POWER in the Word. There is comfort, peace, promises, and solid ground in Jesus' words.


"Nothing keeps the mind sane in adversity like the Word of God.

If you know it, then you know peace. If you've read it, then you know hope. And it you love it, then you know love. You would know that love can heal.

When the waters have breached and flooded the walls of your heart, it's the Word of God that rescues you. 

And when the rhythm of life is out of beat, it's the Word of God that becomes your conductor. And when the earthquake comes to shake you, the Word of God is the pillar you can hang on to.

Our mismanagements, brokenness, and sins are all subject to the Word of God.

They are all subject to love because LOVE CAN HEAL."

Pastor Steve Reynolds
Hope City Church


Monday, April 14, 2014

craving grace: awareness of sin

I am currently reading a book called Craving Grace by Ruthie Delk. Grace seems to be my theme these days. God has been speaking to me so much lately about grace. Wanting more of it, giving more of it, learning more about it, craving it in general.
Grace. Unmerited. Unearned. Not deserved. Not worthy. But yet God gives us this, freely.

We don't deserve grace, but He gives grace, no matter what.

Our identity is based on who He is, not who we are. -- Ruthie Delk

How sweet is that to know? To know that our identity isn't based on what we have done or who we wish to become or who we pretend to be or who we really are. It is based on who He is. What He is. What He says we are.

We are all sinners. Sinners that need grace. Without grace we are enslaved to sin. But Chris sets us free. By grace.

Sin is so much more than just behavior. -- Ruthie Delk

Sin is more than a behavior, it's who we become. We get comfortable in our day to day lives, in sin and we continue in that sinful way. Sin gets rooted into our hearts. And what is in our hearts is who we are truly. It affects more than just our behavior but the innermost parts of us. And that hinders our relationship with Christ.
I read that and thought, wow. Wow. So basically I lose my patience (a sin) with my kids because I do not believe that God is powerful enough to give me more patience. Ouch.

When I become bitter I do not believe that God can give me peace.

When my hormones take over me I do not believe God can help me choose joy.

Where I sin, I do not believe God. I do not believe that He can change me or the situation so I choose selfishly to sin.

I make God small. And He is not. He is more powerful than anything I can encounter and I need to believe and act on that.

Accurate self-assessment is the product of grace. -- Paul David Tripp

Until we see ourselves clearly, we will never understand the sweet gift of grace we have been given. -- Ruthie Delk