Faith

A Friend’s Words

July 22, 2012

“Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.  You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.  Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.”  James 1:2-4

I stole this verse from a very dear friend.  The dear friend who has the most beautiful way of putting emotions into words, that shoot straight to your heart.  

In the midst of our personal tragedy, she has been there for me every step of the way.  Over the course of our six-year friendship, she has been such a mentor to me.  As a Christian.  As a Mother.  As a wife.  As a friend.  She and her husband are enduring a tragedy of their own.  About a month ago, she suffered a miscarriage at 20 weeks and lost their sweet baby boy, James.

I share this with you because, as a talented writer, she wrote the most beautiful blogpost about losing James and all the expectations she had of raising him, loving him and watching him grow.  Though our circumstances are different, we both share in the grief of lost expectations.  I wanted to share a paragraph she wrote that tugged at my heart.  I couldn’t help but be reminded of my Ephesians 3:20 post back in April…..

“I’ve found there are dangers and risks associated with motherhood and I’m more than willing to take on those risks–and even to lose them–to know the depth of joy that it brings to me.  I know that my God doesn’t make mistakes in numbering anybody’s days, that He can take my anger and accusations, and that He’ll still walk slowly with me down that road until my anger gives way to peace.  He knows what its like to lose a son.”

As I expected, her faith is unshakable.  It inspires me to continue to fight the feelings of anger, grief and doubt that try to seep into my heart and crowd out the love, hope and faith.  She pushes me to stay steadfast in my faith and trust in God’s bigger plan.  I always think about a metaphor she once told me…that we are all ants on a giant tapestry.  We’re so small that all we can see are the dark colors, slowly changing as we move along.  But what we don’t see is the beautiful piece of art that, when you look from above, all those colors that weave together to form a bigger, perfectly formed picture.   

That’s how I often feel.  I know our suffering is not lost on God.  We must stay strong.  We must persevere.  We must trust in His plan.  He is using all of us to weave a beautiful life tapestry, that when looked at from above, all makes perfect sense.  

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This is Elena. Our Light. You can see all the goodness and joy that shines from those deep blue eyes. She loves sneezes, yawns, industrial toilet flushes, automatic paper towel dispensers and The Star Spangled Banner. Music is her everything, specifically Moana, Frozen (really all Disney), Queen & Taylor Swift. Nothing makes her squeal quite like swimming, fast boat rides and her two brothers in trouble. In addition to her megawatt smile, Elena reminds us to cherish the smallest of victories, to live in the present, and to daily dwell in a posture of gratitude for every breath and every blessing.  

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I’m Emmalee, an ordinary gal born and raised in the Heartland. Wife to Chad, and Mom to Elena, Calvin & Turner, I spend most my days ridin’ dirty (literally so much trash) in my minivan carting kids to and fro. When I’m not being a Momager, I excel at self-care, cooking gourmet meals my kids won’t eat and deep-diving all the feelings. Most days, my attitude is gratitude, just taking life one step at a time.

Emmalee & Elena

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