Thursday, January 24, 2013

What would you say to a woman who has had an abortion?

My pastor asked my man and me to lead in prayer last Sunday.  He said it was sanctity of life Sunday and that he would be preaching on abortion, infertility, and adoption.  We gladly accepted the invitation to pray and decided to watch October Baby as a means of getting our hearts tuned in to the topic.  The movie itself made an impact on me. I never realised someone could actually survive an abortion, or that abortions were done on babies at a gestational age that they would survive outside of the womb.  It isn't that aborting a baby in the first trimester is morally acceptable but my heart was just too distant from the reality of abortion that I didn't even really consider it's implications. 

Sunday morning we arrived 30 minutes early to join the leadership in prayer.  I sat there at the board room table and my Pastor, David, told me that he wanted me and Jeff to speak about our struggles with infertility and our decision to foster/adopt.  I said yes, knowing that he is asking me to do something so hard and yet that God has given us a voice and if we can encourage anyone with our floundering words we will do it.  He then dropped another bombshell on me, he said he was going to ask me in front of the congregation what I would say to a woman who has had an abortion.  Wow... thankful that he gave me at least a 45 minute heads up on the question I considered it in prayer before the Lord. 

James 5:16 NLT
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.

When I stood in front of my sweet family of Sojourn Church and began to answer the question the Words of James were fixed in my mind like a sign post leading the way to life.  I would say this:  sweet sister, You are broken and struggling under the weight of a heavy burden that you do not have to carry any longer.  You can confess the sin that has so long hidden itself in the dark places in your mind and heart. You can let Jesus shine the light of truth and grace into those festering places that cause you such deep pain, and you can be healed. In fact, you can see the transforming miracle of God taking what Satan meant to enslave you and using it to bring freedom to others.  You can surrender your story over to Jesus, all of it, the hard parts and the parts that make you smile. You can surrender your entire life over to the one who loved you when you were yet his enemy-- the one who went to the cross to win your heart.  Dear friend, God has already paid the price for your sin. He has already made you clean. Let him love you today.  Let Him embrace you today.  Let Him use your broken, humble, surrendered life to share the beauty of the Gospel and of one who has been set free.  

In truth there is much to be said to one who carries the heavy burden of the sin of abortion, just as to anyone who has hidden sin in their past that continues to bring accusation and shame.  The freedom we have in Christ is real.  If you struggle with a weight of sin please don't do it alone.  Trust a brother or sister with your heart and together with them go to Jesus.  Seek counselling, deliverance ministry, let God fill your mind with His Word. Pray.  And know, that Jesus loves you. He smiles over you, he welcomes you, he runs to you and throws the garment of righteousness over you.   

You are welcome to email me at if you need a friend for such a time as this.  


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Because the Womb is Supposed to be the Safest of Places

 It is supposed to be the safest place.  All warm and dark with the beating of a Momma's heart and the swoosh swooshing of blood flow, the squiggles of the tummy.  The close walls of  protection, the floating, the kicking to try to find a little more room.  Baby hiccups, he flutters, he yawns, stretches a bit, trying himself out.  He hears the voices of those who love him, he learns their rhythm and tone.  He will be born with Momma's voice familiar and comfortable in his new world of blankets and pacifiers, nurses and crying.  He will be born because God has designed the womb to be the perfect place for his body to form, his heart to learn rhythm and his brain to function with intelligence.  He will be born because of the skilful hand of God. 

Oscar Sturmfels-- fattest cheeks ever formed in the womb :)
Psalm 136: 13-16
For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;[b]
Marvelous are Your works,
And that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.

When this little guy you see in the above picture was being formed in my womb, God was involved. He was loving my sweet boy. He was speaking tenderly over him. God was making his heart beat and he was teaching Zack to open and close his eyes, to move his arms and legs. He was teaching Zack to ride a little high in there so I would have heart burn and not eat so many jalapenos.  God was with Zack in my womb, that safest of places for Zack to begin his life.  God was present and He knew my son and knows my son.  It is a miracle that life would form at all, and so we must not forget the hand of God in bringing forth life.  Even in the beginning when sperm was meeting egg, God had Zack's life ordained, set apart as special to him.  How happy I am that God has given me Zack.  I am honored that He would choose me to carry that sweet blessing in my safest of places.  

Dear friends, all of these thoughts are from me processing the truth of abortion and how the enemy of our souls has taken the womb and made it a place of death and destruction at least 57 million times in the past 40 years.  Will you join me in praying that God would make the womb a safe place once again? Will you join me even now and just ask God to stop the rampage of abortion that has swept our nation in the past 40 years. 

Because we all need to start somewhere...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What a desperate person really needs

Imagine God said this about you:  "Have you noticed my friend ______ (Insert your name)? There’s no one quite like him/her—honest and true to his/her word, totally devoted to God and hating evil.”  Those are the words he spoke about Job. Job was so faithful that of all the people of the earth God used him as an example of righteousness.  He was a man after God. 

We all know what happened to Job. God allowed Satan to mess with him in a devastating way. He took his children, destroyed his wealth, and caused Job to have sores all over his body.  Job laid in a heap of ashes as he lamented the losses in his life.  His friends came to sit with him and for 7 days they sat quietly with their broken friend. Then they began to give advice.  The irony is that some of their advice seems founded in some circumstances, their words seem true of God and justice... but we know that in the end of the story they were of no help to Job at all. God rebuked the friends for their dishonest words and had Job pray for them.  

So as I read Job I found a thread of what Job may have really wanted. I found myself there and recognized the longing of my own heart. 
Job 16:18-22 says (MSG)
There must be Someone in heaven who knows the truth about me,
    in highest heaven, some Attorney who can clear my name—
My Champion, my Friend,
    while I’m weeping my eyes out before God.
I appeal to the One who represents mortals before God
    as a neighbor stands up for a neighbor.

He wanted an advocate. He wanted someone to stand before God and pray for him, plead for him, say that he was worth a rescue.  He wanted Jesus!  He wanted to know that he wasn't alone, that God had not forgotten him. He wanted God's presence.  Will someone go to God's throne and remind him that I am down here suffering?
In Job 21: 3 Job cries out "It's not you I'm complaining to-- it's God. Is it any wonder I'm getting fed up with his silence?"  

Perhaps the biggest betrayal Job felt was that He felt like God had left him.  He felt like God was distant, and Job was forgotten. He asked his friends to stop lecturing him and to talk to God on his behalf (Job. 19: 6)  He wanted the comfort of God.

I have been in a place of desperation. I have felt like God was distant in answering my prayers and the longings of my heart.  Today I remember two moments in which my friends did what my longing heart needed them to do. They prayed for me.  I was struggling one morning over our desire to have children.  It had been at least 2 years with no baby and my heart was broken. I met my friend Danielle at the gym with her sweet Zoie who was probably about 4 at the time.  She saw my broken heart and right there on the grass in front of the Y she and Zoie prayed over me. I felt the little hand of Zoie on my head.  I felt the presence of God bring peace to my turbulent heart.  Another time, I was weary once again of infertility and I went to a friend's prayer group.  These were some praying women and they gathered around me.  My friend, Kim, spoke over me "remember".  She had no idea that I felt God had asked us to name our son Zack, his name means "God remembers".  I was encouraged more than words can say, and shortly after we conceived our son.  

This may be a simple view of Job. I may have missed so much of what it is really trying to say, but for today, God knows the message I needed to hear.  For friends who are hurting they need you bring them to Jesus. They need you to listen to Jesus on their behalf because in their brokenness they may not be hearing clearly.  They may need you to speak truth into their lives, but before you speak, pray. Ask God what He is doing, where He is working.  As a girl who has had a broken heart many times in the past, the thing I needed most was to know that my God was loving, and that He was present, and that He cared.  We can pray that for our friends, we can be that in their lives.

And if you pray, pray for me too.  We have completed our Foster care preparation and are now in a waiting pattern.  Pray that God would complete our family according to His perfect plan, and that perhaps God would have mercy on us and allow me and Jeff to conceive once again.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Preparing the Bed

Hey folks, 
So what is the deal with seed  I was just now struggling with feeling like a blog slacker when it dawned on me that instead of scattering many seeds in the past month I have been preparing a bed right here at home.  In December I blogged about having a truly Christ focused Christmas so each night during story times instead of Jeff reading to Zack in his room while I write my blog, we read through Ann Voskamp's advent series in front of our Christmas tree.  It was a special time of preparing my son's heart for Jesus, and of giving Jeff and I a greater focus on the grace of Christmas.  The ironic thing is that through all of the reading instead of thinking of a babe in a manger this Christmas the thought that pervaded my mind was of a Saviour on a cross.  It just still amazes me that while I was an enemy of God, no good to him at all, He chose a horrible death on a cross to make me His friend.  That was the miracle I celebrated at Christmas, and I still celebrate.

 Above is our Gingerbread house display.  Jeff and I have been making these houses for 7 years and they get better each year.  Jeff covered his house in marzipan that he made.  The stone work is white chocolate, the river is sugar we made and poured.  Jeff's windows are also sugar work. 

I have also been preparing my home for our Home Study to become licensed foster/adoptive parents in our state.  Our Social Worker comes on Tuesday so we greatly appreciate your prayers.  I have been having a serious case of nesting with the reality that our season as Foster parents is quickly approaching. I completely redid the basement, put things in the attic with Zack's help (he loved it), and Jeff finished the deck he was making behind our house. 

Here you can see that Zack loves to help with the building, but to be honest, for only short bursts of time.

Jeff designed the benches and the whole deck actually. He is quite a carpenter!

So here at the Webb house instead of scattering seeds we are preparing beds.  We are preparing our home for children that we don't yet know, but already love. We don't know if we are waiting for a toddler, baby, or preschooler.  We don't know if we will provide a home for a boy or girl. I feel like I am preparing my garden with no idea of what to plant. All I know is that the preparing has felt like worship to me.  The idea that God has given us a heart to serve the orphan is a complete miracle. We really are selfish people, but yet God, He opens our hearts and gives us His heart. He motivates the work of our hands to prepare a place for one or two that we don't yet know.  I have never felt so satisfied in a clean basement or so energized by raking leaves.  I am overwhelmed by the invitation of God to love the orphan and serve the widow, this is our true form of religion.

Sweet friends, take heart, I will come back to you with a deep reflection on Scripture. You can be sure there are many passages that I am wrestling with at this very moment, but today instead of a study of Scripture, Jeff and I are living one out.  

Thank you to those of you who walk with me a little bit on this blog.  You have blessed me.  I know your prayers will open a way for us to see God's completion of our family.

And for those of you who are our home town friends and visit our house take heart, Jeff has created a bridge out the back door so you can step safely!