Unfit

The waiting room was small, hot, filled with swollen bellies and joyful hearts. New life was bursting at the seams all around me, including in my single stroller. He was just six months old, my son, whom I prayed and dreamed for years over.  A true picture that sometimes God answers our prayers in just the way we hope. Other times, He surprises us and it takes a little longer to see the blessing or the lesson that He has for us. Here I sat pregnant again, 20 weeks along with my second. My ‘surprise’ child that was due to arrive just 10 ½ months after my first. Today I would learn the gender of this life growing large inside of me, and I just wasn’t sure I was ready to hear the answer.gabby ultrasound

Insecurity is a harsh and deceitful friend. Making us believe that we are not enough, as if we ever could be. It’s more than just not good enough, but lacking down to the very core of who we are.  I was just as positive that I could raise a loving, strong, god-fearing son, as I was positive that I could NEVER raise a confident, capable, God-honoring daughter. I was an insecure, anxious mess as my Renaissance Man held my hand and led me back to the ultrasound chair. It was on this cherished throne, this place so many women pray to visit, that my one of my greatest fears was realized.

bows“It’s a girl!” the tech exclaimed. I offered a half-hearted smile before my eyes welled up with tears. These tears, however, were not of joy, they were of fear and certain failure. How could I be a mother to a little girl without her turning out to be as broken, insecure and fearful as me? Raising a daughter from the ground up? Responsible for every part of who she was and was to be? Her role model in life? I did not always have the best example to lean on. No one taught me to French braid hair and cook crock pot meals. What in all the world could I offer this girl? She deserved so much better than me. Have you ever believed this true of yourself? That in no way could you be enough to fill whatever role you’re faced with?

After returning home from the doctor’s office, I did what I know best, I penned my heart on paper. I wrote out my fears and found scripture that spoke truth to each. Through this prayerful time of surrender, God reminded me that I was worthy of whatever purpose He chose to fulfill in me. That despite my past, it would be Him working through me that would make me the mother I was designed to be. And isn’t this true for all of us? When God calls us in or out of anything, He promises to give us everything we need to see it through. As we replace our false insecurities with the security and truth of God’s word,  He becomes our gabby birthreflection in the mirror,  the lens through which we see the beautiful truth about who we are created to be.

Gabriella Noelle Gurley made her sudden entrance to the world in her first bold attempt to scare the life out of me. I was diagnosed with placental abruption, where the placenta begins to separate from the uterine wall. The placenta is the part of the womb that nourishes the baby, providing oxygen and nutrients to sustain life. I was immediately sent in for an emergency induced labor, and all I could do was trust and pray that God would nourish my baby girl, that He would breathe His very life into her lungs and give her everything she needed to thrive.sassy gabby

I still pray this prayer for Gabby each and every day. Because while He has redeemed my insecurity by showing me beautiful parts of myself through who Gabriella is becoming; He has evenmoreso shown me His hand and work in her life in every area that I lack. Despite me, she is beautiful, brave, outgoing, and strong. She is sassy, sweet, loud, fearless, and wild at heart. She mimics me in the way she sings and dancesgabby prays her heart out, is creative, stubborn, and always wanting to succeed. Most importantly, she mimics my love for the Lord in her words and in her deeds, and that is my ultimate prayer. That I would simply be a light in her life; that I would shepherd her heart well, and she would never know a day where the Lord is not her Savior. That she would find her worth always rooted in Christ and her security in His love. He is the true creator and sustainer of her life and I am just the broken vessel He has so graciously chosen to be called her mamma on this earth.

IMG_2945gabby danceme and gabby

Gabriella Noelle has taught me that God is all about redemption and His promises are true. That He can give you exactly what you hope for, or He can give you more than you could ever ask or imagine. And Gabby is just that–she is more amazing than I could have ever asked for and my love for her is greater than I could have ever imagined.

xo
Tamara
       

Reflection
Worship:
 I love music and I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Enjoy! Strangely Dim – Francesca Battistelli

GratitudeGive thanks— “Those who trust in the LORD are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever.” Psalm 125:1

Grow: “Insecurity is a harsh and deceitful friend…” Where have you allowed insecurity to rule in your life? What false truths have you begun to believe and where do you need God to replace those with the truth of His word?

Give: Who in your life can you share this message with today? When will you share it?

Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.

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Friend

This week I was a bit down. I had lost a little luster in my zest for life, passion for writing and purpose in my day-to-day grind. Have you been there? Those days, months or even years, where you can’t seem to find your way. Where you just can’t make sense of all the messiness that defines our imperfect lives on this earth. When the only words that can come out of your mouth, if any at all, are why? how? and when?photo (15)

One thing I can’t do is offer a magic formula that lifts the head up and the knees off the ground. But I do know that God offers His Spirit—His Holy Spirit, to speak truth, peace and life to every moment of our days. And I do know, that God offers His precious children to be His hands and His feet to the world. Not just to those with starving bellies, but to those with starving souls. And aren’t we all there from time to time? The only way I was able to get up from being down was because a friend, a fellow lover of Jesus, reached down and picked me up. Through prayer, encouragement, fellowship, and friendship, I was held up, until I could stand up on my own.

The life and work of the apostle Paul is a perfect example of this truth. As Paul traveled and shared the message of Jesus, he was often beaten and imprisoned for his beliefs. In Acts 16, we find Paul and his partner in ministry, Silas, on their first visit through Philipi—quietly living out and sharing their faith when suddenly they are falsely accused of causing an uproar in the city:

They were stripped, beaten, thrown into the inner dungeon of the city prison, feet bound and hands chained.

Have you ever felt accused, beat down, humiliated, rejected, hurt, stripped, paul-silas-2dchainedtrapped, worn or afraid? Where do you turn in these times of weariness? After Paul and Silas experienced these same emotions, they chose to spend their evening in chains worshiping the Lord. Suddenly the earth quaked, the jail doors flew open, the chains were released, and the jailer was left trembling in fear. After witnessing a miracle of God, the jailer not only became a new believer but a friend to Paul and Silas. In the middle of the night, he cared for his new friends, nourishing their hunger and treating their wounds. He was helping to restore them to be able to complete their God-given mission.

“Even at that hour of the night, the jailer cared for them and washed their wounds…He brought them into his house and set a meal before them…” Acts 16: 33a, 34a

rock friendsWe desperately need one another to help nourish our hungry souls and wash our wounds. We need to be and have the type of friends who hold each other up; who fight on behalf of restoring the broken parts, so we can complete the mission God has for us. Whether that be in work, motherhood, or serving those in need, we all have a significant part to play. We need friends to be our rock, a safe place to be weary, a safe place to crawl till we can stand.

The very next day, despite the torture they endured, Paul and Silas were able to stand up and walk toward their next city, their next battle ground for Jesus—simply because a friend offered to be a part of their healing.

Dear God, may we be the type of friends who are not blinded by our own circumstances, but see the needs of others. May we be the type of friends who not only see, but help one another stand, walk and live out our life’s calling. May we be willing to be a part of the breaking of chains, the nourishing of souls, the washing of wounds no matter the inconvenience. May we not be too busy to offer our words, deeds, prayers and hopes to those with whom we have the great privilege of calling, friend.

xo
Tamara
       

Reflection
Worship:
 I love music and I love to share it. Each song is for each post. Enjoy! This is What You Do– Bethel Music

GratitudeGive thanks— for the nourishers and the washers in your life. Really, go and tell them thank you! Every time I think of you, I give thanks to my God… So it is right that I should feel as I do about all of you, for you have a special place in my heart…God knows how much I love you and long for you with the tender compassion of Christ Jesus.” – Philipians 1:3, 7-8

Grow: Often it is difficult to praise God or reach out for help when we are struggling through this life. What do you learn from Paul and Silas’ example of thanking God despite their circumstances and accepting help from others? It is good to be known and have others we can rely on in times of need. Have you considered plugging into a church, small group or moms ministry to help build your community? What is holding you back and how can you trust God with that?

Give: Who in your life can you nourish and wash? How can you encourage one of the friends God has gifted you with today?

Each LSLW post includes three areas of reflection in hopes to offer a chance for us to give thanks, grow in our personal faith and find ways to pour out from our lives what Christ has poured into us.

© Tamara Gurley 2014