Saturday, June 14, 2008

Communion & Conflict

My intentions are not to "preach" in this post. But you know how sometimes there has just been something on your mind and you have to say it or talk about? Thus the following post.

Monday evening I attended a worship service at Huntingdon College hosted by the Student Leadership Institute that Nick helped to organize and run. At the service I listened to Pastor John S. who is a minister at a local, very large, Methodist church here in Montgomery. His insight on "Knowing God's Vision For Your Life" has been running through my mind all week. Pastor John shared with the group that in order to know your purpose you must experience and understand the "three C's" that Christians are bound to encounter during our journey on Earth : communion, conflict, and community. I cannot do as good of a job telling you about all he said but I do want to share one of the ways his talk impacted me that night and this week.

I do not spend enough time in communion with the Lord - free from distraction and fully present. We all seem to profess that we are in "constant prayer - when I'm driving on my way to work or walking in my neighborhood." That time is precious no doubt, however, I am anxious to see how much more I can know about His likeness if I will cease from all other thought processes and visual and physical distractions and just be "fully present" as Pastor John encouraged me to be. I think we live in a day and an age when silence is an old distant friend. Some of us aren't comfortable being alone for fear of boredom or lonliness. But there are treasures to be discovered in silence and I'll bet they just may be the answers to the questions that run through our brains 99% of the day - what am I going to do about so and so, how will we afford to pay for such and such, why is all of this happening, and how do I change my feelings about...

One week before I went into the hospital I heard another sermon on the radio by Dr. Charles Stanley and at the end he asked one question, "Do you dare to ask God to show you his Awesomeness?" That question really shook me and for one solid week before I was admitted for Pre-eclampsia I would ask God to "show me your awesomeness!" never once dreaming what was about to happen would, which brings me to the next point Pastor John made Monday evening.

Conflict. No one wants it. No one enjoys it. I would never ask for or wish the illness and preterm labor I experienced and having two babies in Intensive Care for anyone. The unknowing-ness and waiting out preeclampsia was mind torturing - I didn't know how sick I would get or how early I would have to deliver these two precious babies that needed more time in my womb! The needles, blood pressure checks, broken sleep, and treatments were painful. Seeing the worry behind my loved one's eyes was painful (and scary) too. But most difficult to face has been are my babies really going to be o.k. and be home with us one day? Conflict - inner and outer. No one wants it. No one enjoys it. Everyone can survive it. "That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger", "this too shall pass" - you've heard the cliches and probably used them at least once before for yourself or for someone else. The point I got was that no one can escape conflict and that as much as I HATE to hear "everything happens for a reason" it is true. I believe that God allows conflict to happen to invite us to be closer to Him. I don't believe he wills babies to be sick or people to be murdered; this was not His plan. It was not His plan for Adam and Eve to give in to temptation. His plan was for them to live together in the garden in peace. However, there was Satan, evil, darkness, our will, whatever you want to call it, that messed up God's perfect plan. Whatever my conflict is - my storm- there will always be a Rescuer to cling to in the midst.

The nurses have started labeling the babies' diapers because they are looking so much alike we don't want to confuse one for the other! Harper (A) is 2.9 now! and Lily (B) 2.11! Wow! Both gals taking in 20 cc's (A) and 24 cc's (B) of fortified breastmilk every 3 hours. "Feed'in and Grow'in," that's what we are doin'. It seems the only updates we can give you are their weights because there is nothing else to report on - thankfully!

Many people ask when they can come home. The answer is that they will be eligible at 35 weeks gestation (July 4th weekend). Today they are 32 weeks gestation. At 35 weeks IF they can breathe and feed from a bottle with NO complications they can come home. We would love to bring them home "Independence" day weekend however, we are partially expecting them not to be home until late July or until their due date in early August. Until then there will be lots more visits and Kangaroo Care!


Jessica said...

Hi Laura! I created a blog just so that I may leave you comments! I have been keeping up with your posts for several months and I just want you to know that your strength and faith have been absolutely amazing! I have been working in the NICU at Baptist South lately and everytime I see one of those babies, I quietly say a prayer for them and also for your two precious little girls! I can't believe how much they have grown, and I can not wait to meet them. Good luck to the four of ya'll and God bless! (You look absolutely beautiful and radiant in all the pictures, by the way!)

Footprints Ministry said...

Wow Laura!! This is so powerful!!! It's awesome to see the Lord working through this "conflict" you're in. The picture of the girls in precious!! Your faith is so inspiring!
Kim Wilson
Footprints Ministry

"You can make many plans,but the Lord’s purpose will prevail." Proverbs 19:21

Citizen Grim said...

Found your blog randomly... great post.

"I believe that God allows conflict to happen to invite us to be closer to Him." So true. God shares in our sufferings, and it's definitely not the *ideal* world, yet at the same time, God allows certain undesirable things to happen to us. He lets it shape and improve our characters. How could we develop courage if we never faced danger? How could we develop patience if we never had to endure hardship? How could we learn forgiveness if we haven't been wronged?

Eden was a paradise of blissful ignorance, but Heaven will be full of the conscious knowledge of redemption, and the first-hand experience of the price that was paid.

Cliched as it sounds, only when you've lived in darkness, can you truly appreciate the Light.