FACING THE GIANTS
We all have a journey.
Today I am here to share with you my journey which lead me through my mountains of abuse, sickness, loss and to the celebration of life, love, peace, healing, and restoration.
We are all called on a journey and we are all called to face the giants on the mountain.
What is your mountain? And what have you decided in the face of your mountain?
This choice will forever change your lives; the path you choose to walk will either lead you to the fullness of His blessings or ambling around in mediocrity and lack. Facing your mountain produces for you the very riches of the fruit of His spirit –things you not only reap in this life but the life to come. What moth cannot eat, and soot cannot tarnish.
I know many of us are waiting for God to move on our behalf or family members behalf; there is sickness, disease, threats of divorce, abuse, pain, death and sacrifice. Hopes dashed, hearts broken and loves lost, depression, addictions and loneliness. Some of us have given up. Some of have strived for what we want; creating Ishmaels along the way and reaping little return. We go around our mountains over and over.
But, there is a God who sees. He sees opportunity to make us more like Him by every mountain, and every giant. Through every seeming wall we face He offers peace, compassion, truth, justice, longsuffering, healing, health, wholeness and love. To teach us how to not merely survive but thrive; He offers ABUNDANT LIVING; real living.
He turns trial into hope, hope into blessing. Pain into peace. Heartache to perseverance. Hearts of fear and stagnation to hearts brimming with love and all this is done if we embrace the ‘pressure cooker’ of life and face our Mountain.
~~~~~Here is just a little about my journey~~~~~
My journey began in the back woods of Maine in a hunting shack… I was the oldest of my mom’s children. Abuse lead way to fearful nights (nightmares), and stress… Harboring these hurts, I was consumed with abandonment which quickly turned to sickness; and an anxiety disorder, O.C.D. (which left me counting and washing myself clean), and arthritis (of the Spine). In the heartache of childhood I made a vow and 2 decisions that would change my life for many years to come; setting mindsets in motion that I soon began to reap. I decided that I didn’t want children-all they are, are burdens. And I decided I needed to be the strong one and not cry. I had watched my dad leave and spent many a year not crying.
Fast forward: My husband and I married in 2003… and on our journey God took us to a very dark place in our marriage where the only way I can describe it as there was no light at the end of the tunnel. God had mashed a controlling husband with a scar’d girl- a seeming recipe for disaster… or… the makings of something beautiful if we would only see it through… then in one night, when all was lost, He gave us hope and began to show me how to walk through… no longer AROUND our troubled hearts and thoughts. And I learned to begin to speak over my life, body, and mind the truths of God in His word. He began a cleansing in me as HEALER and RESTORER. As I began to repent-by letting go of the hurts against me for past and present; my body began to get healed; anxiety left, OCD left, and arthritis of the spine was documented as gone!
I really believe this prepped me for the fight of my life; what the world would call INFERTILITY…
Though I seemed to have gotten healed in many areas I was getting sicker in others; monthly cycles started consuming 3 weeks out of the month; with not feeling well and a few days of extreme pain where I couldn’t even talk or move or be touched. But we didn’t think much about having children we just figured they would come when they would come.
Then 2007-2010 began a series of seemingly random events where people whom we did not know and did not know us (at church events we attended outside our home church) began telling us that God said we were going to have kids. They would pray for us, pray healing for us. And we would leave thinking If something was wrong it’s fixed.
September 07 –A woman told us ‘that something may not be working properly or is wrong in body but she said I am supposed to have babies, so she prayed for me laying her hands on my stomach.. How odd
In 08: A man told us at a conference that God had a family for us
In 2010 a little girl approached us at a church and told us that God says you love children and He has a surprise for you coming.
These people did not know we even wanted children. And I had always figured God would just do it! Until one day I was the sickest I had been and through much prayer and seeking God gave me a dream that I should go to the doctors.
This decision lead to an operation table where I was diagnosed with stage 3 near 4 endometriosis (There are only 4 stages and my friend had stage 4 with many operations ending in a hysterectomy, never having had children).This disease covered many of my organs, and because of the severity they didn’t remove any surgically (which they do in lesser cases). This disease leaves many without children and often with other disease. We received a 4% chance of having children and that was before the laundry list was finished. Top that all off with a tipped uterus and a closed cervix the only thing we had to rely on was His word and boy did he massage it into us in these times.
–The list began grow as we were in the doctors sometimes a few times a week with ultrasounds, procedures, injections, blood tests, operations for polyps, cysts, fibroids, etc. etc… but, nothing seemed to be working as pregnancy would bring the needed healing to my body. Once or twice the very operation to remove a polyp would be shortened as the small mass had disappeared.
January of 2012 we found ourselves still not pregnant: WE had a guest speaker come to church and afterwards he told me that God had shown him that ‘I had made a vow as a child that I did not want any children’. Something that no one but God would have known. He prayed over me and told that it would no longer hinder my life.
The next month- February of 2012:-We began joking about having our triplets and lo and behold we were pregnant with 3! After our second attempt at invitro…. During these couple months of pregnancy we went to church and on one particular Sunday a woman (and to this day I have no idea who it was as our congregation is small and I know everyone!) A woman who was sitting in front of me turned and said to me ‘You have been asking God for something, but He is saying to wait; it’s a good thing’…
I remember journaling and asking God that very service what He wanted to be for me. What aspect of Him did He want to show to me? And in the still small voice He said ‘comforter’. My heart raced as I pondered the concept of what He could mean! I was already pregnant, what comfort did I need… unless… my heart was sinking fast!
Then I had prayer from church leadership after service that same day and it was as if someone had stormed my prayer closet with God spoke His very words to me… ‘Sheri, God wants to be your comforter.’ We were told that As we raised our arms in a V towards God He was going to fill us with ‘victorious living’.
WE lost our triplets
This was more painful then abuse, more painful than a hurting marriage, this was guttural wrenching pain. I wanted to die. I told God to take me. I couldn’t even stomach to pray. Why would He do this to me! I love Him, I follow Him!! For the first time in my life I understood those who said they were ‘angry with GOD’. But, what He released in me this day was ashamedness before Him. He could handle my anger, my ugly. He released a great passion for life. He released a wife to step aside and a husband to step up in hearing and leading, He released locked childhood emotions and forever set my heart free to love. Because soon after this, in ONE DAY. The heavy burden of sorrow was lifted and I felt free again and I now know that with God all things are possible to step through.
There were days of recouping… and from here there were more procedures/operations and we had another pregnancy and another loss. But this time I pulled out the new weapon of my arsenal that no man could take from me. I took out PRAISE. I took out COMFORT. The comfort of my God. My husband and I went out and celebrated!
Meanwhile I kept remembering the reoccurring dream I would have about running my race and I kept being captured by the enemy until the third time. The third time through the enemy relented because of my persistence with finishing! My persistence with going through this mountain. My persistence with submitting to the process. Not ignoring, not finding ways around it but headlong; face like flint…
Then God calls us to a rest…
In 2013 We took time to heal and rest as we felt Father leading. During this time I picked up a book By Pastor Bob Campbell Freedom from Endometriosis. The book focused on attacking the spiritual roots to the disease…
Through our journey we learned that as we poured out, He poured in:
As we poured out pain and our fears, He poured in comfort that only He could give
As we poured out our unbelief and disappointments He poured in wisdom to speak over our bodies, future and home what He was going to do not what we were seeing.
As we poured out in humility and heartache (at the many births, baptisms, pregnancy announcements, the loss of 4 babies, anger, hurts, and disappointments.) He poured in His longsuffering, His grace to enable us to move on, and His bottomless pools of strength.
As we poured out our anger and control He taught us how to surrender all and to even reap peace and joy in the journey.
And all this brought us to Valentines week of 2014!
I had a checkup this week with a different doctor with what seemingly was unrelated to disease, and during the exam he asked me the very thing I didn’t expect to hear ‘do you have endometriosis’?. You see I had really put my hope in being healed! He rushed me in for an ultrasound and told me that I needed to get pregnant now because if I wasn’t soon I needed to have more surgeries. On my ride home I was oddly not upset but instead with fervor I told God He HAD to do it. He said He would, so do it! There was absolutely nothing left to be done or tried in man’s eyes. There was nothing left I could do!
Though I thank God for even the short pregnancies and drugs given (via hormones) because they had made me feel better than I had in years! But, soon even that was wearing off…
BUT, VALENTINE’S DAY arrived with joy as I awoke from an amazing dream that I was healed and that He had made all things new…
I awoke to hearing his voice in my ear that healed my aching heart for my 4 babies. He spoke these words to me ‘not all life is meant to be lived for 60, 80, 90 years.’ And with that He healed my broken heart.
–a week later after 11 years of marriage we found out we were pregnant (our 3rd pregnancy)- it was without intervention and we knew she was ours to keep…
How can one ask if going through the mountain was worth it? Was the pain worth it? Was the loss worth it? When you look into the eyes of this perfect little girl. When you sit in peace in your own skin. When you know the comfort of a living God. When you’re sitting side by side a hearing strong husband. When you know the joy of a healed body…you will not wonder if the journey through was worth it.
You will never be a conqueror going around your problems (ignoring them, pretending they are not there, or sweeping them under the carpet). But you ARE more than a conqueror through Christ. You can level every mountain into fields of glory.
For I have found, that if you submit to the process, you come out better on the other side, full of treasures that can never be revoked. Treasure that holds no place for fear, control, anger, unforgiveness, heartache, and trauma. For these were never meant for us to carry alone or for us to keep. And if we give up the weight to the one who died to take it off us we will be free to truly live the abundant life.
Abounding in ever increasing peace, joy and love, healing and restoration.
God proved himself faithful and trustworthy; our little Provvidenza Rose was born November 5th, at 7:07 pm! What a glorious perfect day to meet our 8lb 4oz bundle.
You see about three ago my husband had come home saying he knew the name of our little girl; PROVVIDENZA. Little did we know the weight the name would carry as it wasn’t until we were pregnant that we understood its meaning: God conceived and watched over… The very providence of God.
Have you embraced your journey? Today will you leave behind abuse, sickness, loss and begin the journey to love, life, peace, healing, and restoration. *Face Your Mountain and watch it crumble before a holy Powerful Almighty God.. The God who sees. He sees just where you are…
For those who wait upon the lord will not be put to shame… that’s a promise
We all have a journey.
We are all called on a journey and we are all called to face the giants on the mountain.
What is your mountain? And what have you decided in the face of that mountain?