Death Does Not Mean Defeat

I’m reading this fabulous book right now (for the second time) that I am LOVING. It’s by Lysa TerKeurst, called What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. It’s one that’s really great to do in a group setting because every chapter ends with topics for discussion or questions. I’ve made notes in my book {this is why I’m reading a second time…the first time I kind of skipped the “hard” work of the life application} along the way. I’ve written out the prayers that she instructs me to write. I’ve really dug in this time. I’ve really tried to apply this time, instead of just read. And, wouldn’t ya know it, I’m getting so much more out of it this time around.

At the end of my reading today, in the chapter “Death Doesn’t Mean Defeat”, one of the things to do is share a time when I can look back and definitely see God at work, but at the time wondered if He had forgotten me. It says to share it with my group I’m doing the book with or with friends. Well, FRIENDS, because I’ve committed to doing the hard work this time, I’m sharing my story with you.

In the winter of 2002 I found myself in a place I never thought I would be. I was raised in a Christian home, with Christian teaching, at church every time the doors were open and a generally good kid. But in 2002, at the age of 23, everything I thought I knew about God and about myself was completely turned on its ear.

For two years I had been dating this guy. We were serious, but were struggling to make a long distance relationship work, yet still talked marriage and had plans for the future. We planned trips around holidays to spend time together. And a couple of months after one of those holiday trips, in January of 2002, I found out I was pregnant. Initially, my concerns were of what people would think of me, how people would react, how disappointed my family might be. But those concerns quickly faded to the background when this person I had made lifelong plans with decided being a father didn’t fit in his life.

Now, not only was I unmarried and pregnant, I was single. I was scared. I was fully uncertain as to what my future held. And I was alone. I had yet to share my secret with anyone. So now I was going from, “Hey, I know this isn’t what you expected, but we’re having a baby” to “Hey, so I’m pregnant and single. He’s not in the picture anymore”. And that made the weight of it so much heavier. I wasn’t just pregnant. I was single.

And I didn’t see God anywhere.

I begged for peace and freedom from fear. I begged for God to just consume me and cover me. But for a while felt nothing. I finally had to get out from under the weight of my secret and told one of my dearest friends. He listened without judgement and promised to pray me through it. For the first time, the weight began to lift. Shortly after that, I told my parents, then my grandparents. All who reacted with more grace than I could have ever imagined possible. And the weight lifted a little more.

Slowly but surely I shared my news with friends and family. And the more I shared, the more excited I became about this baby growing inside of me. And the more I prayed, the more I pressed in, the more committed everything in my life to raising the child the way God wanted me to, the more I began to sense Him. In the midst of the absolute toughest road I had walked in my life, I found God.

I found Him in the most real, most personal way. I had seen God my entire life. And I knew Him. But not in a deep, personal, profound way. And at the end of that journey, God gave me the gift that literally saved my future…my precious son.

There were times early on that I literally felt as if God had forgotten me. That He had moved on and left me to handle this alone. There were times that I felt that the “death” of the me before my son was my end, how I would be defined for the rest of my life. But I wasn’t defeated.

Fast forward 11 years and I still look back and see ways that God was so ever present that I hadn’t realized before. Death in my journey then, didn’t mean defeat. It actually meant the complete opposite. It meant new life.
If you’re in a place in your journey where you feel there’s death, it doesn’t mean defeat. IT DOESN’T MEAN DEFEAT. God is ever present. Death does not mean defeat.

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