Uncategorized

New life…

A year ago I was holding my newborn son to my chest and studying his features. After feeling as if I would end up pregnant forever, there he was cradled in the nook of my arm with his cheek resting against my skin. It felt like a dream as I conjured up in my mind the memory of holding my newborn daughter for the very first time. The miracle of my two children has been one of the motivating factors in my life. Aside from my faith in God, my two little loves keep me pushing and striving for better; better character, better faith, better attitudes, and better ways.

Becoming a mother has been refining and redefining. The moment I saw my daughter on the ultrasound that very first time, the entire landscape of my journey began to change shape and it has continued to change shape as our family has grown.

Somehow, God stitched a message for me to see in this strange calico quilt that has been my life. I am reminded of His message each and every time I look into the eyes of my children.

I wonder how Mary felt when she held a newborn Jesus to her chest for the first time and felt His cheek against her skin. I wonder what she must have thought as she studied His features and pondered the absolute miracle of His arrival. Did she know what would happen to that precious infant in the years to come? When she kissed His nose and cheeks, did she have any clue at all what her Son was going to face as an innocent man? More than that, did she know God was going to sacrifice Him, that innocent baby boy, for people who would despise Him, reject Him, persecute Him, and betray Him?

When I look at my children, I cannot fathom the concept of sacrificing them for anyone or anything. It is difficult to understand the grief some parents have to endure at the loss of a child. I cannot even imagine the anguish of Mary’s heart when she saw the sight of Jesus on the Cross. I wonder if she was even able to understand the promise of new life in the midst of that kind of grief.

After we brought our son home from the hospital I began to fall into a deeper state of postpartum depression than I ever experienced with my daughter. The past rolled in and collided with the present, creating an incredibly frightening storm. The days began to seem so long and daunting as the clock would stretch out across the room and tick-tock at me so slowly. I felt as if I were stuck white-knuckling the day by the second. At night, I would experience a panic over the day ahead and wonder how I was even going to get through another day with the clock stretching out time that seemed impossible to pass. In the postpartum support group, several of us shared the strange sensation that our mind would be ‘stuck’ that way forever.

One day I heard my daughter tell her plastic fish that her mama was sad. The sound of her voice startled something deep within and I decided I could not sacrifice my children at the altar of my wounds. God had already sacrificed His own Son on my behalf and it was finished on that Cross. My diminishing hope needed to placed in Him and Him alone.

I was blessed with Psalm 107:29-31:

He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the LORD for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind.

When we are struggling and the landscape is dark and shadowed, we often have difficulty understanding or grasping what is in store beyond the raging waters. Our faith gets shaken, doubts brew up a storm, and hope may even start to whither as the storm surrounds us. And, just like in a real thunderstorm, we lose perception of the sun shining unseen behind the dark clouds.

Today we celebrate our son’s first birthday and I am in awe of the miracles of God. It seems strange to look back at this year and see those darker days behind us. It is difficult to believe today that there was a time my mind believed I would be ‘stuck’ in the storm forever. But, the Son was there, unseen behind the clouds, and quieting the waves with His voice.

No matter what trials we are facing or how dark the skies look, we have faith and assurance in Hebrews 11:1:

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

As we enter into a season of remembering Christ’s sacrifice through His death, let us not forget there was a resurrection and celebration that soon followed. In the middle of their excruciating grief, Mary and the disciples were met with a risen Son.

They witnessed the greatest miracle ever known; new life.  In the birth of a Son and the Resurrection of a King, God blessed us with the miracle of new life. Somewhere in there is the promise of Psalm 30:5:

…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

No matter what shape we are in, where we are at, who we are, or how scary the storm is we will always, always have hope in the Resurrection.

Romans 6:4.

We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.

pexels-photo-172256

78 thoughts on “New life…”

  1. This is absolutely beautiful. Reading it gave me chills. I never considered how Mary felt looking at her precious baby boy, just as I looked at mine nearly nine years ago. I too struggled with postpartum after my son was born. My “ah-ha” moment hit when I realized he was the only source of joy or hope in my day. I knew I couldn’t put that pressure on him and immediately reached out and sought help. As we enter the Season of Lent, I find your piece all the more touching. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Heart touching and encouraging! So good to know you are better and that part of your walk of faith is a powerful affirmation you can share! God certainly heard your prayers! As the dad of two gals I can totally agree with you regarding how miraculous it is and how quickly they develop! Thank you for sharing!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Very beautifully written I remember those dark times with small children depending on me, and the struggle, but I also have lovely memories peppered in with the troubling ones, and finally felt the complete release from those dark times We definitely need to encourage others that there is hope…. Diane

    Liked by 2 people

      1. It came in stages and each stage has been like a release with time to catch my breath, rest, and get fed for the next round. I recently went through one of the angry stages of grief. I believe, especially with trauma, that many things get layered in there over time. To rip it all out at once could be too crushing to withstand. I was consistent in praying certain verses every day and just praying out the emotions, even the ugly ones. I do not know how He does it….But just when I believe I absolutely cannot take it another second and will seriously break under the grief, I go back to praying Psalm 51:12 and put myself in a state of worship whether I want to or not. Then He floods me with peace and I feel the release. Just like having a baby, just about! I don’t know if any of that makes sense, because the intensely personalized work that God does for each of us can be so hard to pass along with any ounce of articulation.

        Like

      2. For me it took God leading me to a doctor, who was a Christian, and offered me cognitive therapy still with some anti-depressants… eventually taking my last one. I realize some have to stay on them because of an issue with serotonin etc. but even though I was leery I didn’t have to go back. Up to that point I had seen so many therapists and psychiatrists who kept me in the past and present difficulties, but never let me believe for the future, and that I could be well again… ‘Hope and Faith’ kept me going after changing doctors….. Diane

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Further to what I said… it was God’s timing. I knew He could heal me instantly if He wanted to and sometimes I would cry out to Him to do so, but in retrospect I don’t believe I was in the right place in my life to receive it. But I always knew He was there with me.
        When I was really in the worst of times I wondered how I could get through the next day or crisis, but like you say I did for the most part. I used to worry that my children would remember those times and that they somehow felt abandoned in a way, but I remember asking them when I was well.. and all they said was ‘no, we only felt you love towards us’.. That made me feel at peace. … so just keep your mind on God, and all that you have felt will be in the past… and your future filled with that peace.. Diane

        Liked by 3 people

  4. How beautiful is the witness that our heavenly Father speaks through us. You quoted from Psalm 107 a verse that is used four times, each time after God has answered the call of HIs people. He shows His goodness and wonderful works to the children of men, even though they have been rebellious. He waits to be gracious to us. We would never know His goodness without our times in the storm.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As you can probably tell from my post on which you commented earlier, I am quite angry these days and want to take it out on God and his people. I am encouraged by you overcoming depression, and when you write of the contact with your beautiful babies, I am assured that no matter what kind of pissy-fit I want to throw today or how much I soak in ingratitude, love is always there. God is always with us.

    Also, meditating on the mother of God and how she experienced the life of Jesus is a life-changing action, I believe. Have you heard of ‘The Poem of the Man-God’ written by Catholic mystic Maria Valtorta? The book is controversial within the church, some popes praising it and encouraging the people to read it, while others warn people to stay away from it because they doubt it to have been divinely inspired. But whether it was or wasn’t, the accounts of the life of Jesus, beginning with Mary’s parents Joachim and Anna and going through the Ascension of Mary, are so intimately written it is like you are there “at the right hand of God” the whole time, growing deeper in Love. I hope you come across the book some day:) God bless you, JD, and happy birthday to your precious son.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, and I hear you. I think many are feeling that way right now, unfortunately. In the ministry I work with, I have had some intense conversations with hurting and wounded people involving both un-believers and believers. There is a lot of cynicism and anger toward the church. The ministry is global, so the theme across countries has been this; “the church does not care and will not help me”. This breaks my heart and I look around, wondering where anyone sees Jesus these days? Do we resemble Him enough to give hope? Are we loving people the way He loves, regardless of lifestyle, belief system, issues, past, etc., etc.? Many are wondering if anyone really cares and if there really is any hope. Would so many wonder if they were seeing enough Jesus in the church body? But, regardless of what is or isn’t happening in the church body, all around us, or across the world our hope still rests in Him and I pray Psalm 51:12 over again – “Restore to me the JOY of Your salvation and grant me a WILLING spirit to sustain me.” Let’s face it, with all that is happening all over it is hard to see the joy and feel willing sometimes.

      Like

      1. That is it. How has it become that when hurting people, unbelievers, and anyone desperately thirsting for God’s love look to the church and see nothing resembling Christ? You are right to take solace in the Psalms. I also pray that we as a church body can be inflamed by the Holy Spirit, so that when people look to us they do not see just another body politic to contend with but the open, loving arms our Father.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. I hope you’ll forgive my cut-in. I enjoy this site because I enjoy the writings of the authors, and their kindness in the world. I am a Jewish person and do not believe in the teachings of Christianity. At long last, after two thousand years by the Church of the persecution of our people, the Church has decided that we are not to be blamed for what you believe has happened, and that we are entitled to hold our own beliefs, and — in fact — are still loved by G-d. I find it disturbing and horrifying, quite frankly, that you would even think that whatever your personal problems are, that, somehow, you would need to “take it out” on others, and say it would be upon “His people”. However you mean it, it doesn’t speak very well of how you channel your anger. We are being killed for these false and non-justified feelings of others. I’m really angry at the world, too… And the reason is because of other people killing, harming, and harrassing Jews. You might offer an apology for blaming outwardly what needs inward reflection. Pray that your malcontentedness which you misdirect at others can be forgiven by them and that they will not directly or indirectly cause my death and the guilt of blood on your hands. Remember that David could not build the Temple because he placed Uriah into harm’s way, caising his certain death, all for the desire of BatSheva. What has you so angered? Dwell on that, and what has led your thoughts to that. Then pray. You may try a symbolization method of casting your sins etc upon something and throwing it into the water (Tashlich). I hope your heart will find peace and forgiveness — you need it, as do I. Shalom, B’Ahavah.

      Like

      1. Your poem is deep and beautiful, but too deep for me to comprehend. So, it has just further made murky the issue. My point is within the context of the commentary appearing on this page. Why the goosechase? Can others be expected to know your further contextual references by sheer osmosis? No. They only read what you wrote here, in this space. So, we need to concentrate on the words you wrote here. Regardless of any specific “people” or general “people” you may mean, the lack of description is noted. It is, additionally, irrelevant. The inference can be drawn, however, due to your lack of specifics, that you could be referring to Jewish people. It is not a stretch to think so, given the popular connotation of the Jewish people as being considered “His people”, as such. And that can be taken as a call to incitement. It could mean other people; and that can still be taken as a veiled threat, in any manner. So, the issue still hangs unresolved as to your intentions and intent. What I’m saying is that you shouldn’t be airing a call for possible vengeance, in whatever manner, on any people, in your frustration. Maybe you don’t intend your words to convey this interpretation; but they could also be perceived in that vein to mean that they do. I, too, try to channel feelings of unfairness and injustice directed against me and my people via writing, educating, and action. You still never said what the problem was, though. Define it in simple terms — and then you can find how to solve it. I’ve offered a few suggestions, and you have free will to choose your path. Despite several hundreds of bomb threats against Jewish institutions (day schools, JCC’s, the ADL, etc.) these past five weeks, and hundreds of Jewish gravestones being toppled and desecrated in cemeteries across America during this time, I wouldn’t even think of arbitrarily seeking vengeance on innocent people. It wouldn’t be a thought in my mind. It’s not logical and it wouldn’t solve any problems. What is your basis to think so? And why would you get a free pass to do so? There may be better solutions to help you. Maybe other people here can think of ideas. The writing and your wonderful poetry and choices of artwork are nice; I hope you’ll continue.

        As for me, I have no job and will likely be homeless at the end of this month. I have a bleeding, scabby, black tumor growing on my forhead and no insurance, am slightly disabled and have other issues. My mother is in an ALF; my father died a long time ago. My brother died of cancer several years back, while my mother also got cancer at the same time. I used up my savings then and left my job to be with my brother in his final months. I gave my former best friend my job where I’d worked (she’d just lost her job elsewhere) and she wanted to blackmail me for me to get it back, so I didn’t get my job back and became homeless and had to be at a shelter. I’m also adopted. Nobody wants to hire me as a Jewish person and with a tumor on my head. So, what is the problem that is perplexing you to the extent that you must cause problems for others?

        Like

      2. I have been praying for you for the past two days and I am grateful to you that you shared your suffering with me. I pray that you may be relieved of at least some of your burdens and that potential employers will see you akin to how God sees you, and that you have so much to offer the world by means of your incredible thoughtfulness, your compassion for the persecuted, your boldness to stand up for righteousness and justice, your gift of interpretation and empathy in listening to something you may not understand, and that your humility is a strength more valuable than gold. And of course that you are worthy of Love. May God continue to bless you and also be with all of those whom you are or will be close to. I know what it’s like to be teetering on the brink of homelessness, being poor in part of my childhood and in my adulthood as well. There is not one day I take for granted having a humble roof over my and my family’s head, and I know God will provide your needs too. Thank you for reaching out as it would have been unacceptable to speak that way about “taking it out on God and his people” as you originally read it. I do believe that a seemingly insignificant threat like that could have horrible, even evil ramifications if allowed to take root and grow. I don’t know if you still want me to name that which was the source of my anger, as you now have thoroughly and beautifully understood the meaning of my poem, despite its Catholic liturgical imagery. But just as you are… I am angered by the shameless perpetrating of rape of and hyper-masculine control over innocent individuals and entire peoples, to sum it up. How can we, God’s people, be complacently supporting it, consuming the Lamb of God yet refusing to be transfigured in our hearts? It is going to blow our minds when we meet God at death and realize the precious mustard seed –the prized pearl– we’d been carrying around most of our entire earthly lives but failed to simply put it in the ground and watch it grow. So here we are in our dead rituals and traditions, getting bored and looking elsewhere to solve the world’s problems. I spent part of my life in China and Tibet and I will never forget the Buddhists’ most commonly spoken prayer, “Om Mani Padme Hum” or, ‘the jewel is in the heart of the lotus’ meaning, the Love and Truth we all seek is in us. Shoot, I can go on and on now, but JD has been kind to let us use this space (you are right, she shows immense kindness to the world.) Thank you once again for all you have done and I will continue my prayer for you and for your mother. Shalom, Amaya

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Thank you so much, Amaya. I guess it was one of those fortuitous occurences that G-d throws out to us in how people wind up to cross paths, for I never really wouldn’t have gotten to know you as the nice person you are, unless I said something. And it was only because of the person you are that you walked with me in forgiveness to let me see that. So, thank you. I’m sorry for your difficulties and bothered outlook and hope you will find the mode and means to also work through that; there will be rainbows in some of the perspectives, cuz G-d puts them there for us to find. I’m wondering if part of your being in China and Tibet was through mission work or if in reference to conflict (I’m really familiar with similar situations, a la Israel!)? This is off-topic, but the Wycliffe museum near Orlando is always seeking people for their missions. Thank you for your prayers and to everyone here for theirs. I wish you blessings and realization…Randy ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Ahhh, how sweet! Happy birthday to the kiddo 🙂

    I had post partum depression with my second child. They called it “mild” ppd. I must say it was the most disturbing thing ever, definitely hormonal, physical, and felt like being trapped in time or something. I have also learned that storms pass, but that can be such a hard concept to hang onto. “This too shall pass” and “joy comes in the morning,” but it sure doesn’t feel like it sometimes. “Feelings” can be awesome tools, but they are not the best predictors of the future.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I had it with my daughter, but it was nothing like how complicated it got after my son was born. I am going on 4 years, too. I have a history with PTSD, depression, and anxiety. But, PPD is another beast entirely and just complicates all the rest. It is definitely not a joke! May God let us both bounce back with wholeness in Him!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. A person who looks down on other people (Christian or not) is someone who has their own issues to contend with. Looking down on someone says more about the person being haughty. We know what God says about the haughty…

        Like

  7. beautifully written.

    On Thu, Mar 2, 2017 at 5:21 PM, Shattered in Him wrote:

    > Shattered in Him posted: “A year ago I was holding my newborn son to my > chest and studying his features. After feeling as if I would end up > pregnant forever, there he was cradled in the nook of my arm with his cheek > resting against my skin. It felt like a dream as I conjured up in” >

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I have had a sweet spot for Mother Mary since my son was young. She’s given me peace and comfort for a long time. She’s known to be the caretaker of children and wraps her blue cloak around them for safety. She’s amazing! Great post.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Okay, A at Gospel Isosceles. I apologize. I’ve spent some good time working myself through the meaning of your poem, and think I’ve kindof mostly gptten it worked out. I think that what you’re saying is that musty tradition has continued through the ages, but that we still, as people, get lost in the minutiae of the ritual, rather than the practicing of the principle, like compassion, charity, etc, especially in our callousness to be so successful, that we neglect the truly poor among us. I see that in the allusion you make with the stratified layers of the people throughout civilization — nevertheless buried, just the same, in the same earth… one on top of each other. And that less people are in the churches (love the reference to “replaced knees” — that was a great play on words, as was the “mass upon mass” reference). And when they are, they’re thinking how quick they can escape and go to eat out, without second thoughts for the person whose meal might have only been a communion wafer, itself. I’m not sure if the “You” is an individual (which could even be yourself; and, if you’re in that situation, I feel very badly for you) or if it references the “you” of the G-d which should be operating in us, but seems to have “left the building”. I don’t know. It’s a sad depiction, and I see why you would be depressed. You don’t need me coming down on you, too. But, I hope you forgive me for misunderstanding the meaning and how it appeared to sound under the framework of my own experiences. Living with the additional anxiety of potential anti-Semitism and/or their attacks within America, or even anywhere else in the world, is an additional onus, but a glad burden none of us would ever trade for the world. I feel your pain. I sit here in the same situation, and your poem could be my personal story, as I, too, want to live, and feel the desperation of needing to change this situation and not being able to, nor receiving the help and blessings needed to make that happen. I also rail at those injustices. So, we have, actually, alot in common. But, you know what? We need to accept the serenity prayer for times like these. People will always be like that. Rich people do give alot, bit they can’t actually support everybody. Complete equality means communism, and that has never worked for any country or people under its vise. I’ve heard a few tidbits from a Jewish woman who lived under communist Russia, and it was horrid. So, that extreme doesn’t work. The Bible says there will always be the poor among us. But, that doesn’t mean we should just throw up our hands and give up because it’s a never-ending problem we can’t solve. Instead, what we can do is change our perspective and realize that, while we may never eradicate poverty for all of the people at all times; we may be able to eradicate poverty fully for some of the people, sometimes. And that will certainly benefit those who we wete able to help. The point is, not to give up, and not to give up hope. I hope that helps, and I’m sorry.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I was reading about the difficult time you are having these days and I wanted to let you know I am praying for you. I sincerely hope your health and the whole situation receives some relief and blessing. He is Elohi kohl-Nechemah, our Jehovah Shammah, Jehova Jireh, Jehova Rapha, and Jehovah Shalom. May you receive His comfort, covering, provision, healing, and peace.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. God of all comfort – I tend toward the alternative spellings and there may be an optional way to write Elohim kohl-Nechamah. I cannot yet write it traditionally. I love Hebrew music (both messianic and traditional), so I will check that out. A song I love is Jerusalem Gold and I love to sing the Shema (such a joyous song). I am away and out of routine, but when I am able to I will listen to some of those songs.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I went to the songs you share. I have the Hatikvah, the Shema, and Shalom Aleichem on my playlist, but they are different versions. I enjoyed discovering other versions. 🙂

        Like

      1. If the venue was correct for me and they would pay as an employer, I would. But, the industry mostly pays contract, and I have yet to find something that would cover running a business. I have three weeks of rent left, then I’m done. Time’s run out. I’ve written in-house copy for a niche market magazine before; and once turned down a production type of job with a humungous publisher because the contract-work was my dealbreaker. My blog only gets less than 300 people in 5 years, so I can’t monetize it. I’m still looking, but I just don’t have the stamina I used to for the creative fields.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. What if Shattered in Him, you knew you would be seperated from your Son or Daughter and never see them again and worse still that they would suffer for Eternity, but you knew a way to save them yet to do so your heart would break, would you still save them regardless of what you suffered?

    Jesus knew His Father could not bear to be separated from us for Eternity to see us go to Hell for our Sins, to suffer in the Lake of Fire for ever, He knew He had to pay the price to Redeem us but oh how it hurt to know because of our Sin He would be separated for the first time from His beloved Father and it was the same for His Father but Jesus still said not my will but yours be done and after being tortured and spat at and hung to die, He said in Love; “Father forgive them they know not what they do”……..Oh how He Loves you and me…..

    Christian Love Always – Anne.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m happy you’ve already accumulated the essential songs in your quest. Keep up the good work. Thanks for your openness to new discoveries in faith, and I really appreciate that you take into account that aspect of it in your beliefs.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. You’ve changed your blog appearance again Shattered! What was wrong with the last one? lol You write so well! I’ve never had PPD and I sympathise with you. I’m so happy that you can see the light at the end of the tunnel on this. Your words are inspiring and it is a pleasure to read you, and I love the play on words: the Risen Son (risen sun) and the Son behind the clouds (sun behind the clouds).

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow – thank you so much!:) I actually really need them right now: been really stressed out about some really important news I’m waiting for, but I am trying to trust God that whatever the outcome, I will still trust Him, because he knows what is best for me.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s