Jen’s Story and How a Hearts at Home Conference Can Make a Difference

If you’ve been hanging out here for very long, you’ve heard me quote something Jennifer Rothschild shared at a Hearts at Home conference several years ago. While referring to her blindness, she said, “It is not well with my circumstances, but it is well with my soul.”

That statement stuck with me, but for no particular reason. However three months later when my marriage went through a terrible crisis, that statement became a truth I knew I wanted to stand on. I recalled something I’d learned and applied it to my life. I’m continuing to stand on that statement as I navigate this breast cancer journey.

2014posterThat’s the power of attending a Hearts at Home conference. It equips you with the knowledge, the truth, the encouragement, and the resources that you need to love your life…no matter what challenges you face.

Last week I spoke at a moms group in Peoria. Jen shared her story with me about a time when something she picked up at Hearts at Home carried her through a hard journey. Maybe her story will encourage you as well and after you read it, will you take a few minutes to register for the upcoming Hearts at Home Conference? It’s something you do for yourself and your family and it equips you to love your life and your God…no matter what.

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IMG_1291Jen’s Story

We couldn’t believe it. We were pregnant with our third lil’cherub. My husband and I had gone back and forth about trying to get pregnant given my “AMA” (Advanced Maternal Age), but we were thrilled the moment we knew. God was doing a marvelous thing in our family and we knew it.

Several weeks later, I was at the Hearts at Home National conference, with some 4000 mom friends! As much as I wanted to join the many who stood to announce their pregnancies, I remained seated. My husband had asked that we wait to share with our Bible Study and family first. I had also had some mild cramping in the prior week, so we were a bit more cautious in sharing our news.

On the stage, Meredith Andrews began singing “Not for a Moment”…After all, You are constant. After all, You are only good. After all, You are Sovereign. Not for a moment will You forsake me. Not for a moment will You forsake me… Her song became the constant mouthpiece of God’s truth to my anxious heart about this baby.

A week later, we went to our first sono, expectant and joy-filled. There was no heartbeat. Maybe a blighted ovum or maybe I was wrong about my last cycle date. We would do another ultrasound in a week. Craig and I left the office, nervous, but hopeful. On the drive home, I remember saying aloud, “I just want to hear baby’s heartbeat.”

We returned the following week and were elated to hear our baby’s beating heart. Thank you, Father. But I noticed that our baby’s shape wasn’t quite right, and I was concerned about the much lower than expected heart-rate. Possibly hydrops. We would come back in a week for another listen.

In the meanwhile, we went to Bible Study that night. We shared our joy. We ate cake with baby booties on it. We shared our concerns. And I played Meredith Andrews’ song. They gathered around us and they prayed for us, laying their hands on us and on our baby. In our prayer, I remember asking God to be glorified, no matter the outcome…that in some way, our journey, whatever it brought, that it would open the door for His Glory to shine radiantly. We felt, we knew, His peace that night—that unique peace that only comes from God’s Holy Spirit leading His people.

Later that week, we told our families, some close friends and my Mom’s group, sharing both our joy and our concerns, each time, celebrating and asking for prayer, not just for our baby’s well-being, but also that God be glorified in whatever was to come.

On Tuesday, we returned for another sono. Our baby had already made his journey home to Jesus. On the way to the doctor’s office that morning, I had been listening, again, to Meredith Andrews’ CD, this time a song I hadn’t heard before…”Open Up the Heavens.”

Like so many of you who have experienced a miscarriage, or a long-awaited adoption that fell through, I just knew driving there that day that things weren’t right. But on came her song, interrupting my fearful heart…We’ve waited for this day. We’re gathered in Your name, calling out to You. Your presence like a fire, awakening desire, will burn our hearts with Truth. You’re the reason we’re here. You’re the reason we’re singing. Open up the heavens. We want to see You. Open up the floodgates, a mighty river. Flowing from your heart, filling every part of our praise…

That Tuesday wasn’t the day we wanted when we first saw that beautiful double line on the pregnancy test. This is a club of which no mommy wants to be a member. But Tuesday was the day that God opened up the Heavens, opened up His floodgates, a mighty river, assuring our hearts that our Lil’ One was now with Him, with Jesus, having been spared all the struggle and sin, the shame and sorrow of our broken world here.

Yes, we grieved. We buried our son, Agape, and still are grieving to some degree, for the joys we will miss experiencing with him. But in the midst of it all, we have seen God do a marvelous thing… God’s Glory came this time, not in the laughs and giggles of a newborn baby’s coos or in his learning to take those first steps. God’s glory came to us, and comes to us every day, in the knowing that we are His. He has reminded us, and those with whom we’ve shared our story, that all life is His. And that our ultimate journey, whether long or short here on earth, is to be with Him.

Sometimes, Loving our Life is more than we think we can bear. But, friends, it isn’t. God is with us. He is with those we love. And we are called to be with Him, no matter what.

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What about you? Is there something you’ve heard at a Hearts at Home conference that you later recalled and used to carry you through the journey of motherhood? We’d love to hear your story!  You can share it as a comment or as a 1 page Microsoft Word Document emailed to mroberts (at) heartsathome.org. 

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2 Responses to Jen’s Story and How a Hearts at Home Conference Can Make a Difference

  1. Sandi Haustein says:

    I have a very similar story that I was going to share with you. The year before last, my experience at Hearts at Home was very bittersweet. I wasn’t supposed to be there. I was supposed to be holding a new baby who was due the week before. Instead, I had miscarried at 12 weeks and fell into a deep depression for several months. By the time I came to Hearts at Home I was on my road to healing but it was still difficult to be there. This past year, I found out 3 days before coming to HAH that I was pregnant again. I cried many healing tears when Meredith sang “Not For a Moment” because I felt like God was speaking right to my heart, telling me that He had never forsaken me, not the first time I miscarried, and He wouldn’t forsake me in this pregnancy either. I didn’t feel like He was promising me that I would have a happy ending but that NO MATTER WHAT, He was faithful. A month after HAH, I miscarried again (at 9 weeks). But this time, I felt like God had prepared my heart through that experience at HAH — I had that assurance that He was right beside me, that He saw me, that I wasn’t alone. Every time that I doubt His goodness, I listen to Meredith’s song and it takes me back to those moments when He spoke to me at HAH.

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