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{Luke 7} Finding hope in our compassionate Savior…

 

Ever glance through old pictures and think to yourself, “Woah, did I really live through that?” 

Oh, man.  I happened to run across this one this week –  taken on a hot summer day in 2008 – the day we arrived home from the hospital with the surprise of our lives: a brand new chubby baby girl – an entirely new adventure after we had accepted that God’s good plan for us would be to raise a house full of rowdy boys.  All these years later, I marvel at these sweet faces that God has entrusted to Tyler and I (all six and under here!), and can only laugh at my lack of personal space and sweaty brow.  I’m pretty sure I’ve been sweaty and piled on top of ever since. Ha.

I remember my thoughtful, intentional, prayer-filled road leading up to becoming a mom.  I had my plan for how things would go.  I read a few books and committed to some strategies.  I knew we would be far from the perfect parents and we’d never have even close to a perfect child, but before we idealists are forced to hit the trenches, we hold on with everything we’ve got. :)

And hit the trenches we did, right out of the gate.  There was colic and exhaustion, which turned into Children’s Hospitals and diagnoses.  And to be honest, those things paled in comparison to the challenges we faced with a very “spirited” little three year old (“spirited”… good one, huh?), who often gave us a run for our money.  I was the mom who had to leave birthday parties early and say no to playdates at the park, because I just couldn’t handle one more scene.  I remember wondering how I could pour so much passion and love and commitment into this thing called motherhood, only to feel so defeated and lonely at the end of the day.

 

Anyone ever been there?

 

I’ll never forget the night, after an especially difficult day (of correcting and redirecting and training and correcting again…), when I laid my weary body down on the floor outside of my sleeping toddler’s bedroom, and began to sob as I prayed out loud, begging for God to supernaturally intervene.  Crying out for His wisdom and mercy.  Petitioning Him to grab hold of my boy’s heart, and pleading for Him to comfort mine.  I prayed my way deep into the night; oh, there was much to say as I exposed all of my grief and fears to my Father.  

 

God, would you remind me that I’m not alone in this battle?

And like a flood, His words of compassion battled their way into the forefront of my mind:

 

My grace is sufficient… (2 Cor. 12:9)

I am close to the brokenhearted… (Psalm 34:18)

Draw near to me and I will draw near to you… (James 4:8)

I gently lead those that have young… (Isaiah 40:11)

Be strong and courageous, for I am with you… (Joshua 1:9)

I will never leave you nor forsake you… (Hebrews 13:5)

I am mighty to save… (Zephaniah 3:17)

Nothing is too hard for Me… (Jer. 32:17)

I am the One who sustains you… (Psalm 54:4)

The battle is mine… (2 Chronicles 20:15)

Do not fear, for I am with you… (Isaiah 41:10)

My compassions never fail… (Lam 3:22)

You may weep in the night, but joy comes in the morning… (Psalm 30:5)

 

My daughter, you are not alone in this battle.  What a compassionate, loving Savior!

 

That night was over eight years ago, and by God’s grace, I’m not the same hopeless momma I once was.  God has poured His compassion over me, and He’s changed me.  His presence and peace have refined me and brought me joy.  His grace has made me alive in Him.  I can tell stories of His goodness and can now even encourage those in the trenches - not because life is always easy or I’ve figured it all out – but because of the hope that He brings beyond what this world can offer.

Have you ever had moments… days… maybe even years… in your life when you could identify with the grieving widow in Luke 7?  Probably not in the literal sense for most of us, but maybe you’ve grieved the death of a dream, or endured a load that seemed much too heavy to bear.  Maybe you’re mourning over dead relationships, or the loss over any hope or security for your future.  Could it be that some of you have just had some really hard days - for whatever reason - and are simply longing to feel alive again?

Oh friend, run to your compassionate Father, who knows what it’s like to suffer great loss, yet rise victorious over death!

 

He so longs to bring His love and life to your situation today.  And once you’ve experienced His compassion, you won’t be able to keep it to yourself.  Then you’ll be able to say more than you just “lived through it.”

 

You’ll be able to bear witness to the beauty that came from it, because of Jesus.

 

“When the Lord saw her, He had COMPASSION

on her and said to her, “Do not weep.”

~ Luke 7:13

At His feet,

 

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you for this. I so needed this encouragement after a long mommy day and over a foot of snow derailed my work from home day.
    :-)

  2. Whitney, I thank God for your words this morning. They are a healing balm to my weary and wounded soul today. Your prayer crying out for God’s mercy and wisdom in parenting is the same prayer that I’ve been praying for months now as I try and mother the third of my four sons. It is the prayer I prayed this very morning in my alone time. The more I’ve been reading and researching, the more I believe I have a very spirited 7 year old. Everything is a constant battle, and I can’t help but feel like I am failing my son. But, when I read the words of scripture you’ve posted today, I am encouraged that God sees, he hears, he answers prayer. I’m so very thankful for you and your words today.

  3. Oh Whitney thank you sooooo much for this post! I can relate as I am at that point where I feel alone in this battle. I to have “spirited” child and at my breaking point with him! Your post is such an encouragement this morning when I’m feeling alone in this battle for my child! Thanks so much for sharing your struggle and how your on the other side and for giving me hope! God bless!

  4. Lately the new song ‘Worn’ by Tenth Avenue North has been speaking to me. It portrays exactly the situation you are describing, and I am feeling. Thank you for the words of encouragement this morning. I am grateful to Good Morning Girls ministry for helping me to remind me that I am not alone, and to encourage me in my walk with the Lord. God Bless!

  5. deb fitzgerald says:

    Wow reading today’s message from Whitney reminded me of the battles I thought I was fighting alone! My struggles were due to the custody of my step daughter. I faced the birth parents who did not want me to stay in the life a child I had been raising with my now ex-husband for 4 years. Over the next 4 years my attorney ( A Christian who would pray for guidance in court!!!)would remind me that God was in control, but I struggled to understand why God let this little girl be caught up in the lies and evil intentions of those who brought her into my life.
    When I was at work in a grocery store bakery, I would replay over and over what was happening and letting the lies and anger build up in me, until one early morning God called me! Literally I heard my name shouted out loud! I was so shocked and jumped to see who was in the store, when God spoke again and told me to let go of my fighting and let him have control. He promised me that I would have so much more than I could imagine if I would just give up trying to control the situation. So long story short, I did and felt so much peace immediately and within a year I was awarded full custody of my step daughter and her parents just dropped out of her life! God was always in control I just didnt’ have enough faith to see that , looking back though God’s promises and his strength were enough!!

  6. I love this!! Thank you for the reminder of His promises along with the scripture ref. It has been one of those weeks that I have been hanging on to His word. And I needed this extra reminder this morning!! I just need to remember – “He’s got this!”

  7. Jessica Reno says:

    Whitney, you did it again. Just what I needed to hear this morning. God’s grace is sufficient! When we are at our lowest, it’s HIM who lifts us up. I’ve been there countless times (just two nights ago to be exact). I spent the weekend praying htru the night (because I couldn’t sleep…snoring husband, teeth gritting son in a hotel room)…but God got me through those nights..and he got me through Monday night when I was so low that I cried myself to sleep…but HE is the great healer. Thank you for posting this one this morning. God surely knows when we need to hear things.

    Jess

  8. Oh… could I possible share on my blog a portion of this post (I will add the link to this post so others can read it ALL!) I would like to use from
    God, would you remind me that I’m not alone in this battle? …. to
    My daughter, you are not alone in this battle. What a compassionate, loving Savior!
    email me at benpip @ yahoo . com if its ok!
    Thanks!!

  9. Oh friends, you are NOT alone!!! Thank you for sharing your stories of struggle and victory this morning. I am praying for you by name throughout the day! Yes, “God’s got this!”!

    Piper, I just emailed you. :) Thanks, friend, for taking the time to encouraging others with the hope that we have in Jesus!

    Much love,
    Whitney

  10. Oh, Whitney! I have been in that exact place and I still crumble so much with my TWO spirited children. It feels like an uphill battle everyday. I am so thankful for the verses you posted. I appreciate your honesty and encouragement.

  11. Beautiful Whitney, thank you!

  12. I got goosebumps when I read your blog. You have such a gift for putting into words how so many mothers have felt at one time or another. My daughter once said about one of her own, “I CAN’T STAND HER.” Not to her face thankfully! She continues to feel so much guilt over it. As an ‘older’ mom, I had to reassure her that we’ve all been there at one time or another with one, two, three, four of our children. Grace & peace Donna

  13. Laurie Messer says:

    Dear Whitney,

    Thank you so much for the list of verses and this post! I so need to be reminded of these verses as I pray over my own son. I have experienced those long nights of tears as well. We are fighting for their souls and I do grow weary at times. It’s so nice to know I am not alone. I’ll be sure to pray for you other moms out there as well who are standing in the gap for their children. (Jennifer, “Worn” ministers to me where I am at in this time of my life as well!)

  14. Lisa Pacholko says:

    Beautiful…. Thank you…. This really encourages me to keep fighting the good fight of faith because there IS gold on the other side of the battle….

  15. Whitney,

    Thank you so much. I too needed to hear this today. I have an amazing, but “spirited” son. I can see so much good in him, but I sometimes think that it’s really hard for others to see. Especially because we just recently moved and people here don’t really know him or our family. God’s really been working on me really trusting Him, but man last night was one of those sleepless/worrying nights for me. Thanks for your honesty and encouragement that I’m not alone. Thanks for reminding me of His promises and that I just need to take all my fears to Him. Blessings!

  16. Whitney, thank you so much for this wonderful post! I have been in this place many times…a lot lately! I printed the pages out and have put it in my Bible so the next time I am having one of those days, I can take it out and re read it and look up those passages. Thank you again for Good Morning Girls and God bless you!

  17. Thank you so much Whitney for these wise words. I can totally relate and love knowing that I am not the only mom dealing with tough days, but that Jesus is right there with me. Jen

  18. Thank you for taking time to minister, to list Scriptures of encouragement, to tell real stories of real struggles. You are appreciated!

  19. Sure Whitney, most of us have faced situations like this! It is the faith in the almighty and the courage he gives us that keeps us going.

  20. Thank you, Whitney, for posting this and for sharing those Scripture verses. I cried reading this. My life has been turned upside down in the past week, and I am hanging on to the hope in our compassionate Savior. May all of this life be used for the praise of his glory.

  21. Amy Talbott says:

    Whitney,
    I have gotten behind in this current study and only today did I find this post. I wept all the way through it. I am a mommy of soon to be five little ones. The baby is due in just two months. My oldest daughter just turned 5 in January. This pregnancy has been a tough one for me on all levels it seems. But emotionally it has been pretty dark. I was doing some of the lessons from Chapter 7 this morning and really seeing and being reminded of some pretty special things. Just as Jesus saw the broken woman weeping at his feet, he sees me too. He sees my darkness my heartache and isolation. He SEES me. And he doesn’t walk away or just blow me off. And all those other verses you listed here remind me of the same things. Jesus knows our struggles and cares. It is such a comfort.
    Some days seem so dark and I am prone to be way too inward focused, way too caught up in the moment by moment exhaustion. And trying too hard to do it all myself. So silly to struggle all alone when we have such an unlimited resource of strength to depend upon if we only ask and seek our Savior.
    Thank you for the reminder. I reaaly needed to be reminded.

  22. We all face storms in our lives. I am grateful in knowing the Calmer of the Storm. He is an awesome God. I find your stories here very touching and encouraging. Thank you for having the courage to share them. Many of us have our own but lack courage to share our testimonies. I’m praying for boldness to share mine more frequently. :)

  23. Angieandboys says:

    Oh, was this ever what I needed to hear today! I am just beginning to see how God makes all things our lives hold worth it!

  24. Whitney, I needed this reminder of the promises that He is with me today. We’re struggling with our second son who is almost 5. We recently found out that his preschool teachers had been “jokingly” threatening to cut his hand if he did something wrong. We’ve pulled him out of there, but he also has a hard time with anger and hitting other kids. It’s hard to know all that’s going on in his mind and heart, but I want to see God’s healing over the next few months before he starts kindergarten in the fall. I feel like I don’t even know where to start to help him except to just reassure him that he is safe. I cried reading the promises you listed. I need to cling to them through this time and remember that “God’s got this!” as another sister said.

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