Thursday, March 28, 2019

Facing Pregnancy Scared

I wrote the post below back in June 2018, shortly after finding out I was pregnant with my third son, Cade Oliver Code. In October of 2018, at 20 weeks, I found out Cade died. I wrote about my experience of grief and hope with his neonatal death months before I got the courage to publish it. Well, here's another post I never had the courage to post until now. I actually wrote this post while I was still pregnant, and I was feeling very depressed and hopeless. I was facing pregnancy scared but trying my hardest to keep my eyes on God.

Below is the original post I wrote during my pregnancy, with just a few minor edits for better flow structure. Anything written [in italics and in brackets like this] is a later edit I wrote commenting on the original post. 

Feeling Scared

One Thursday in June

I started my day off confused about what my role is in my family.

Monday, March 25, 2019

How to Embrace Brokenness to Find Joy

Does Joy Feel Unattainable in the Brokenness?

Brokenness is a fact of life. All of us endure messy, broken seasons at one point or another. Do you ever get discouraged at how some people seem to pull it together while you're stuck fallen by the wayside, unable to put the broken pieces together? Joy seems unattainable. Hope feels false. The storm is never-ending. Is it really possible to embrace brokenness to find joy?

Jeremiah 6:14 (NASB)
They have healed the brokenness of My people superficially,
Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’
But there is no peace.

Job 17:1 (ESV)
My spirit is broken; my days are extinct; 
the graveyard is ready for me. 

I often allow myself to wallow in my failures, thinking things like:

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Don't Overthink Daily Devotions

When I Used to Overthink My Devotions

For the longest time, I struggled with confusion on how to conduct my daily quiet time with God. (Can you relate?)

See, I was born into a family deeply involved in church. From the time I was just a few days old, my parents brought me to service. And when I was in preschool, my dad graduated from seminary.
As a teenager, I started having a desire to go deeper into Bible study. I craved meat instead of milk, and I thought this required large amounts of time daily spent in meditation, memorization, commentary reading, and journaling. I felt if I wasn't doing all of that daily, I was only getting "milk."

When I went to Bible college and took a course on studying the Bible, those feelings were reinforced. I was taught that using Bible study books was relying on other people's interpretations instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to learn from God's Word. So I felt a lot of pressure to do daily devotions a very specific way.

As a result, I've had many seasons of life where

Thursday, March 14, 2019

3 Ways to Break The Loneliness Cycle

When I go through seasons of loneliness, I tend to get myself into a hopeless cycle. I convince myself that no one really cares about me. So then I think, "What's the point of being around people if no one cares?" I'll isolate myself, staying holed up at home. Then, by not being around people, I feel even more lonely. In this loneliness, I again convince myself that no ones care and use that to continue isolating myself. It is a vicious, endless cycle.

So if you are caught in a similar cycle, how do you break it? Well one thing I've learned in my pain is that God is very personal, so each person's victory over loneliness is unique. But victory is achievable by seeking the Lord's help, comfort, and strength through it.

Below is a list of 3 ways to break the loneliness cycle. Keep in mind that these are not a quick fix. It took me years of implementing these behaviors to find victory of chronic loneliness. So I encourage you to commit to these spiritual strategies

Thursday, March 7, 2019

The Grief & Hope I Experienced After My Son's Neonatal Death

Losing Cade to Neonatal Death

Five months ago, on October 8, 2018, I lost my third son, Cade Oliver Cole, to neonatal death. I was 20 weeks pregnant when I went in for a typical midwife appointment. I expected to be in and out in 20 minutes. Instead, we spent nearly that long searching for a heartbeat that wasn't there. The next day I went into the hospital to be induced, and early in the morning on October 10, 2018 I delivered my stillborn son.

About a month after delivering him, I started typing up a post about the many feelings I was experiencing, but I never had the strength edit and publish it. But now that some time has passed, the feelings aren't as overwhelming and scary.

Below is the original post I wrote, with a few very minor edits.