This guest post by Christina Burrell was originally published on her blog “Butterfly Kisses and Tasty Dishes.” I’d like to thank Christina for sharing how the biblical truths in “God Is My Refuge” impacted her life personally.
For those of you who do not know our story, we lost a daughter in 2008, and we are currently in the midst of a very emotional adoption journey. (We were one of the families who were adopting from Russia.)
Our daughter who lives in Heaven was named Savannah Grace, and her story can be found here: www.caringbridge.org/visit/savannahgraceburrell
We have named the daughter we are adopting Emma Charity, and our journey to her can be found here: www.emmacharity.blogspot.com
This morning, I found myself on week four of Kathy Howard’s devotional which deals with “Healing”. Day 3 is called “When I am Weak” and the scripture reference is 2 Corinthians 12:7-10. The main focus of today’s lesson was verse 9. We named our daughter Savannah Grace because it means “abundant grace” and we clung to that scripture and the promise that “His Grace is sufficient for us because His power was made perfect in our weakness.” During the rough pregnancy as I dealt with the reality of Savannah’s fatal diagnosis, I desperately needed God’s grace and His power in my weakness. God did not heal our daughter on earth, but He healed her by taking her to be with Him. Would that have been my choice? No. But, do I trust Him? Yes.
So, four years after her death, God reminded me through today’s message that He remembers, He knows my grief, and His love for me is unending. I miss my baby girl daily, with some days being harder than others. The ache and longing are ever-present, but God’s grace and love are even greater and they give me strength to keep going. My sweet Savannah gets to spend her days dancing with Jesus – how I long for the day when I get to join them.
Today’s devotion was a sweet reminder to my heart that “In any situation, God may choose to physically heal or to respond with ‘My grace is sufficient for you’. Either way, He is seeking to work His purposes in your life. Either way, you can experience His power and His love. Either way, God is still God, and He is still able.” This last statement especially resonates with me right now as we trust and wait on God to bring our adoptive daughter home. He is still God; and He is still able; and He will bring our Emma home to our hearts. In His perfect timing, in His perfect way.
One of the Reflection questions in today’s lesson was “Can you think of any ways God has used this situation in your life or the lives of others to carry out His greater purposes.”
This question reminded me of all the “good” He has brought out of Savannah’s life. Because of my loss, I have a greater compassion and I have been able to pray for, listen to, and encourage other women who have lost children. As I have encouraged others, my heart has also received blessing and has been strengthened and healed even further. God used Savannah to teach me the depths of His love and the intimacy found in complete surrender to His Will. God is using our crooked and long journey to Emma to reveal His purpose, His plan, and the comfort we find in abiding in His peace.
My friends, His Grace is ALWAYS SUFFICIENT! I encourage you today to cling to Him. He is your Refuge in the storm, in the sickness, in the hurts, in the sorrows and the tears. He will not forsake you.
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God has given me strength in my weakness during my 30-plus year battle with chronic depression, throughout the adoption process of a 9-year-old boy, when my parents got divorced, and at so many other times in my life. I wish I would have been more aware of His strength during the trials, and I guess I have as I have aged. I certainly can see it looking back though!
Kari, you hit on something important. We don’t always recognize everything God is doing for us in the moment. I think partly because we are so emotionally wrapped up in the problem. I pray that as I look back and see His hand in those times, my trust in Him will grow and I will be quicker to notice His activity in the future so I can give Him praise!
That is my prayer too, Kathy. Just studied Ephesians 3:14-19 and feel like Paul’s prayer fits so well with what we are talking about here.