It was April 4th, 2021. I was the happiest woman in the entire world; as far as I knew, I really was the happiest woman alive. I was at church celebrating Resurrection Sunday with my beautiful family: an amazing husband, a ten year-old girl, an eight year old boy, and a wonderful six month-old baby. I was also six weeks pregnant…
Three days later I miscarried.
Maybe a month after, I was asked to speak at a Baby Shower for a sweet lady at church, and I wrote (and expounded on) what I said in my “speech” here: God’s Discipline in Motherhood. Obviously, almost no one knew what had happened – definitely not the lady who asked me to speak at the Shower. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know why I didn’t refuse when she asked me to speak, but I went ahead and delivered a message with a lot of good theology – truths from the Word of God that are precious to me, and that I wholeheartedly affirm.
I actually read again that blog entry this morning, and I just realized that it took a full year for my heart and my emotions to catch up to many of the things that I said that day. I think that talking about suffering and adversity is way easier said that done. God has been definitely been gracious to me in the fact that I have been humbled by going through the pain of losing a baby. Oh, and it was a baby. Let me say that upfront. Please don’t ever try to offer some words of encouragement to any mother by saying, “Well, it was ONLY six weeks old, you know.”
Also, I’ve been coping with memes LOL!
So take my advice, it’s for FREE. If somebody telIs you they lost a baby, no matter how far along she was, either you say, “I’m sorry,” or just try to hug them instead. I am a very reasonable person, so I understand that I can’t compare my suffering to the suffering of a mom who has to go through labor to deliver a stillborn, but my child was created in God’s image, and I yearn for the day when I will be able to hold him or her – to know him or her face to face.
It has been eye-opening, to say the least, how my emotions and my feelings got in the way while dealing with a situation like this. And it’s obvious, right? I needed to grieve!! I just didn’t know what grief was or what to expect. I thought I was sinning by not being content after the miscarriage, like I needed to be joyful and thanking God for it… which, by the way, I do thank God for it. I don’t rejoice in the death of my child, but by God’s grace, I am currently able to say something along the lines of, “God, I wish my baby hadn’t died, but I know this was a gift from you. It still hurts, but I thank you for what you have taught me about Your character and your unfailing love for me during this hard time in my life.”
So I was taken aback with all these feelings, right? Anger, sadness, despair, plus plenty of hormones that had to leave my body, too. Add the fact that I had to go to the doctor to confirm that I was indeed pregnant at some point, and then the questions, and the pokes in your arms. So I bought this book called Learning Contentment by Nancy Wilson. I already said I thought I was sinning because I was super sad all the time. I had three beautiful children, and yes, I had lost a baby, but like, “God has been good to me. Why am I this sad? This is not okay, or is it?”
So in her book, Nancy talks about how many women come to her asking for help in dealing with their discontentment, but as she listens to them, she realizes these women are actually grieving. And then I thought, “Am I grieving? Maybe I am. I don’t even know exactly what that word means.”
Yes, that’s how bad my obliviousness to suffering was 😬
Moving forward, I had zero idea grieving takes hard work, and that as a Christian, although you should grieve in a way that honors God, you nonetheless need to grieve. So I bought yet another book called Grieving by James White. Reading that short and sweet book (you can’t read a treaty that explains your pain, so I think it’s the perfect length) exposed me to the concept of grieving from a Christian perspective for the first time. The only other time I have cried over someone’s death was when my grandpa died. I was 12 years old. However, the dynamic of the family in which I was raised is so foreign to the things that book mentioned, that it is literally a matter of light versus darkness. I could not stop crying over not being able to understand why my grandpa hadn’t taken his chemo medicine when he had promised me that he would. He PROMISED me he would, and yet we found all these pills hidden in his bedroom. The adult in charge of me during the funeral (who honestly was still a child herself) told me, “You need to stop crying, Karla. He’s dead. Your crying won’t bring him back, and he obviously didn’t mean what he said.”
You can’t blame that adult, nor the older adults in charge of raising that adult. Goodness, those adults were never raised in functional homes to begin with, let alone Christian households.
So even though it has been hard to learn to grieve well, I am in awe at how God has been so gracious and so good and so kind to me in shielding me from these things until now. I also know, or at least I hope, that I can be an instrument in His hands to maybe one day being able to comfort others with the same comfort that I have received from my Father in heaven. No one teaches you how to grieve well, there should be a Sunday School Class for that, like a Grieving 101, but BEFORE the tragedy or adversity happens.
So okay, I lost a baby. Let’s keep trying, right?
Recently my OBGYN has politely said that my labs suggest I am entering perimenopause, which is the transition a woman’s body enters before hitting menopause. I can still get pregnant, although it will be very difficult. Again, not impossible, but very difficult. And I get it, you know, I am not in my prime anymore. I am almost forty years old, so this is the beginning of the end for me being able to “Be fruitful and multiply.”
I am about to make a parentheses here. I know the “numbers” in my labs might have been a fluke, or that numbers fluctuate, I get that. But I am almost forty years old. Sure, I may not be that old, but it is a matter of fact – of The Fall – that our bodies decay; and I don’t mean to be morbid here, but in a way, we are all dying. It has definitely been sweet to see people encouraging me by saying I should not resign myself to what the doctor said, or that I need to pray with hope, or that maybe I need to change my diet in order to take care of my body and get my hormones right. I have not taken offense at those comments, I really haven’t; and I have thought about the numbers, you know, I really have. If I came to the hospital with a blood glucose of 300 mg/mL and a A1C of say, 7%, the doctor would absolutely declare me diabetic. Numbers DO mean something. My numbers, although the doctor said they are not set on stone, are a good indicator of how ancient my eggs are LOL!
They “should” be around a value of 1.00 for a woman my age, but mine are 0.015 – lower than the lowest range.
Even with some other comments that have ranged from, “Your baby has wings now,” to “If I couldn’t get pregnant I would think I was cursed,” God has actually worked in my heart, too. I have remembered things that I’ve said to people in the past, and I have had to apologize to some friends for speaking with ZERO compassion. One time I told one of my dearest friends that I was pretty sure God would bless us with babies right away after my husband had his vasectomy reversal, because you know, “I had always been so fertile in the past”. You know what? I had absolutely forgotten that that particular friend had struggled with infertility for years. Ugh… Another time I said to another friend that I refused to take fertility pills because I couldn’t imagine having a child with disabilities. Of course I didn’t mean anything evil! I meant that I could not set my heart on having a child by any means possible knowing that a particular drug could potentially harm said child. But in the process of saying that, I forgot about the fact that my friend has a child with special needs. I’m telling you, that day, when I realized what I had said, I baked a lemon bread, and brought it to her house and asked for forgiveness. She was so sweet, she didn’t even know why I was at her house with bread and apologizing, so I had to go through the shame of telling her what I had said again, and then elaborate on what I actually meant. I felt like such an idiot; this is one of the godliest women I know! How could I have spoken such words without even thinking?! Well, I am a human being, and sometimes – many times – I open my mouth without thinking. So God, using the miscarriage as His instrument, has also taught me to be more compassionate and thoughtful about the suffering of others, as well as the things I say to them; while at the same time helping me to be gracious when people say things to me that might be hurtful, but that I know they probably meant well.
But going back to the numbers and my “diagnosed” infertility… Can God give me life in the womb? Absolutely He can. Will He give me life in the womb if I change my diet or pray with more faith? Not necessarily. This past year has been full of sin in my life, and something that has been very clear to me is that He is God and I am not. He gives life to whomever He wants to give life to. I’ve been exercising constantly, running half-marathons, keeping a healthy diet, precisely because I wanted to get pregnant. But I am done trying to do this or that, so that God does this or that back.
God – not me, not my diet, not my hormones – GOD controls the conception of children. Yes, I do have a responsibility to take care of my body, but at the same time, it is also perfectly fine that I am willing to recognize that my most fertile days are over without wallowing in self-pity (which I have also been guilty of). To be very frank here, if you consider that I was 18 years old when God gave me the gift of life in the womb for the first time, it is amazing to me that twenty years later I became a mom again at the age of 38.
So basically, my husband, as always, was right. I need to trust God, and stop trying to control things: mainly because I can’t. Oh, I would absolutely love to control things if I could. Isn’t that what we all try to do at times? That is precisely why it is a magnificent and marvelous thing that God is God and I am not. I make a terrible god. The LORD does not give His glory to another. I have been so, so proud and so full of myself… I can say without the shadow of a doubt I needed the chastisement of the Lord in my life.
In the words of C.H. Spurgeon, “You will never glory in God till first of all God has killed your glorying in yourself.”
1Then Job answered the Lord and said:
2 “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
4 ‘Hear, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you make it known to me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you;
6 therefore I despise myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”
If you are still reading, what comes next is just pure details on how the Lord helped me deal with all this. You don’t have to read them all to know the Lord is good, but I do need to write them all – or at least the “short” version (yes, this is the short version)- because I forget often about His goodness, and this is after all, a blog that I began writing so that I remember.
I think it is fair to say that my mind has always been my worst enemy. I am a sinner, but I have a wonderful Savior. I keep a journal of my thoughts and my prayers, and though I am not as consistent as I wish I were, I was recently able to see a pattern. I think being able to read what I had written in the past really helped me to see where I have been sinning for the past two years, or three. It’s not that I didn’t know, you know, but I continued doing the same thing. I did see some change, though. I did pray, and the Lord did change my heart. I did see God’s grace in my life one trial at a time. I DID see it.
The best way I can explain it is by saying that God has helped me see different aspects of His character through the same struggle, if that makes sense. It has been the same struggle for me, for a long time – time and time again, but God keeps showing me mercy. The struggle is this: fear and unbelief. That’s it. So I will try to elaborate on that.
For example, I am terrified of my husband dying, or I was. I am not as afraid as before. God has helped me with that. Now, brace yourself for my selfishness: I am afraid because he is the one who takes care of the finances of the home. I know I’m going to miss him, but I’m more afraid that I won’t be able to mourn him and grieve because I won’t know what to do with insurance policies, and all those things that need to be taken care of. He is amazing with his Excel sheet, and the only time I tried to keep the budget, we were in the red as fast as two days. I am not organized. I have zero idea of what he does with the backyard, when it needs to be fertilized, erosion control, weed control, mulch, trimming the trees, power washing the walls when they go green so the HOA doesn’t call you five times. If the AC dies, I don’t know what to do. These are first world problems. I know. I also know there’s wisdom to be exercised here, and I could be learning all of that before he dies, right?
[I actually had to ask him what are some of the many things he does cause I am clueless].
Over the years, God has also shown me that I’m afraid of not being able to take good care of the resources that would be entrusted to me were my husband to pass away. But my energy and my tears have been spent so much on those dark thoughts, that one day, by God’s grace I thought, “Where does your trust really lie, Karla? What if your husband were not to leave you any money at all? How then would you survive? A widow with two children and zero money? – I had two children at the time.
“Where are you placing your trust? In your husband’s bank account or in the Lord who provides? Even if you knew how to take care of that money and make it grow, you might still lose it all; what would you do then? Would you trust God to keep His promises to never leave you nor forsake you? What if you become homeless? Will you still praise the Lord? Will you be able to say ‘The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Blessed be His name’?”
After thinking those things, I realized that I was mainly afraid of my inability to do a good job with the resources that God has entrusted to us. A job like the one my husband has done. I don’t even know how to use Excel, and I mean, I am obviously not my husband. It has made me so angry just to think that were I to die, he would be like, “Okay, children, she’s dead, let’s go buy groceries and keep on plowing through the Math curriculum…”
My husband is so capable and so smart. And I feel like I am not. I actually asked him what he would do before I wrote it down, and he said, “I don’t know, I’d miss you, and I don’t know any of the things that you do with them. I don’t have time for that. I’d probably just tell them, ‘Okay, I need to work. I don’t know what your mother does with you, so do school.'”
This let me know he would figure it out. I have come to the realization that I would need to ask for help. I will need help, at least with some things. And God will help me through His people. I have actually identified that the husband of my dear friend (the one I was a jerk to with my comment about being Fertile Myrtle) is an accountant, and my husband really trusts him, so there’s that. I mean, we are the Body of Christ – the Lord provides you with people to help you, and He is glorified in that. Now, again, there’s wisdom to be exercised, and I’m not looking forward to my husband dying. I don’t have it all figured out, but the Lord has taken that anxiety away from me. He will take care of me. It’s not something that I dwell on anymore as often as I used to do before. Actually I haven’t thought about it in a long time. It was memorizing Scripture and meditating on what I was memorizing that helped me. I memorized Lamentations 3:21-26 .
So, here’s the pattern…
In March 2019, I wrote in my journal that I was very anxious about not knowing what would happen in the future regarding my life. There was this fear that came out of nowhere. Around the same time, I was praying that my husband would agree that we should homeschool the children. He said he needed time to think about it. At the same time, we were in the process of leaving our church over issues that were irreconcilable. Also, my husband was about to get a vasectomy reversal. I guess life was busy LOL!
My husband was not even scheduled for the surgery and I was already afraid of God not giving me babies. I knew I had done things in the past that were unforgivable – I had an abortion at 18. I had joked about not wanting to have more babies. I had despised in my heart the thought of staying home with my children and homeschool them. Of course, God had changed my heart regarding homeschooling, but I knew I had done things. I was not in the Word much. We were attending a mega church, and even though I loved my friends there, I was spiritually starving. I mean, I loved to hear expository sermons online, but there was no real discipleship, or any real life-giving fellowship that I was a part of. My pastor didn’t even know me.
I had the desire to have more babies as soon as my second one was a little bit older, but by then my husband had had a vasectomy because I had told him I was done having children after labor. Labor. You don’t decide things after labor… Anyway, my husband said the insurance didn’t cover the reversal, and that was that. We were selfish. I was selfish. People have different reasons to stop having children. In our case, we were thinking like the world thinks of children.
Now, the story of how God changed my husband’s heart is so sweet that I’m going to write it again. You can also see that the Lord was already working in my fear issues back since I had Danny. I wrote about it in Welcome Home, Danny!
My husband is telling Danny the story of why he got his vasectomy reversed:
On February, 2019, I took a little trip to Singapore and India. While I was there, I took a stroll to the neighborhood where we used to live. We used to spend all our time together when we lived there, and many memories came back. We had a lot of fun, and it was a great place to live. We would see the sunrise and the sunset on most days because we had a terrace in our building. When I was there, I felt so guilty.
I saw Enzo’s videos from when he was two years old, and I remember we were so frustrated because he was disobedient and angry all the time, and tossing things. But now that I looked back, I felt so guilty… he was only two, he was a little boy. I called Mommy, and I told her about it. She said she knew I was feeling guilty, and she read to me Psalm 103.
I guess the Lord had been working in my heart already, but that Psalm and also looking back at Enzo and Libby when they were little, made me think it had been a mistake. It was not the right decision to make on 2012 when I had a vasectomy. We thought, ‘We are done, our family is complete, and we don’t want any more kids. When we are 47, our children will leave the house, and we will be free. We are still young and we will enjoy our lives.‘ But the more and more I read the Scriptures, the more I saw that children are a blessing from the Lord. We were thinking more like the world than biblically.
On the way back from India, I took a 17-hour flight from Doha to Houston, and I sat down next to a mommy with a little girl. That baby was holding my finger, and she reminded me so much of your sister, her big brown eyes, very cute and tender. I felt even more conviction from the Lord. I thought, ‘What did I do? This was a mistake…‘
So upon my return, and after praying more, I scheduled a vasectomy reversal. On May, I had surgery, and we prayed that if indeed it was the Lord’s will, that Mommy would get pregnant, but it was not happening. On January 2020, I traveled again, and we had missed the window, but we tried anyway. The Lord, in his grace and his mercy got Momma pregnant, and nine months later, here you are in my arms. You were supposed to be born today (October 20th), but you were born two weeks earlier because you are big.
You are gorgeous, you are a little angel, and your Daddy loves you very much. And I’m probably gonna make mistakes like I did with Enzo and with Libby, but it’s gonna be mostly your fault.
I love you. I love you, Son.
This is what was in my husband’s mind when he was in India 🙂
I think there’s a lot to unpack in what my husband said because there are no mistakes in God’s plan for our lives. Yes, my husband did have the vasectomy, but that was God’s will for his life. My pastor would say, “Did it happen? If the answer is yes, then that was God’s sovereign plan for your life all along.”
Things get complicated, though, the more you think about these things. There are things that are horrible that have happened through human history, and we need to think about those atrocities from a biblical point of view, without trying to “let God off the hook”. That’s where most Christians cringe. I think, for the most part, Christians feel safe by saying that God allows bad things to happen, and that He works things out for the good of those who love Him. But what I am saying is that I also affirm that God actually ordains those bad things to happen, that He sees to it that those bad things happen, and that the reason they happen is because He planned that they happen. And if this is where I lose you, I understand.
I would hope you would give me a chance to explain what I mean, but it doesn’t take five minutes, you know. I’m going to link some wonderful resources that talk about God’s Sovereignty and God’s Providence, the misunderstandings of it, and how to deal with biblical texts. God is indeed sovereign and omnipotent while at the same time, unchanging and unchangeable, just and loving, merciful and holy.
We have to have categories in our mind that allow us to see God for who He has Himself revealed to be in the Scripture – a God who bring calamity and even ordains sin to happen, without God being evil or the author of evil. Those things are true at the same time, and there’s a lot of tension with that, but the Bible teaches both are true.
LBCF 1689 – Chapter III. Of God’s DecreeParagraph 1
God hath decreed in himself, from all eternity, by the most wise and holy counsel of His own will, freely and unchangeably, all things, whatsoever comes to pass;1 yet so as thereby is God neither the author of sin nor hath fellowship with any therein;2 nor is violence offered to the will of the creature, nor yet is the liberty or contingency of second causes taken away, but rather established;3 in which appears His wisdom in disposing all things, and power and faithfulness in accomplishing His decree.4
1 Isa. 46:10; Eph. 1:11; Heb. 6:17; Rom. 9:15,18
2 James 1:13; 1 John 1:5
3 Acts 4:27–28; John 19:11
4 Num. 23:19; Eph. 1:3–5
I have come to a better grasp of these truths through the sermons that I will link at the end. My pastor has spent a lot of time going through the London Baptist Confession of Faith 1689, laboring Chapter after Chapter, Paragraph after Paragraph. He has showed the congregation where these truths are found in the Bible. We are a confessional church, and so we believe what we believe because it’s in the Bible, and my pastor has been faithful in preaching God’s Word.
I’ve had to ask myself, “Do I really believe this? Do I really affirm this? I’ve seen it in the Scriptures, but will I submit to it – pain and all?”
You know, it’s easy to affirm God is sovereign when your life is pink, but is He sovereign when you wake up, and see your bed stained with blood? Will I affirm that He ordained my miscarriage would happen from before the foundation of the world, for His glory and for my good? I can tell you something straight: it doesn’t FEEL good!! The death of my child was NOT good! My dreams died. I will never be able to hold that baby, or hug him, or kiss him until the day I die. The only memory of him that I have is that last Easter I was pregnant, and I took a picture with Danny because I was so happy. I was wearing a blue skirt. For the next several months, I would go into my closet and cry every time I saw that skirt. I hated that stupid blue skirt. I hated death. I hated going to church because I would cry with every single hymn, and with every single sermon.
Why did I take that pregnancy test so early? If I had waited, I would have never known I was pregnant, and I would have thought the bleeding was only another very heavy period – like the ones I’ve had in the past. I know God is near to the broken-hearted, but I was in so much pain. I didn’t really feel Him near for some time, and when I would see a little bit of light, the emotions would come at me again, and kick me in the gut. Then it was horrible all over again for a while.
James White writes, “If He [God] is control (and He is), then the change in my life came from His hand. And I don’t like this change. I’m angry, and yes, I’m angry with God.”
This is the perfect break for a meme.
My husband has always being super chill about God’s will. As you read in what he told Danny, he really had the vasectomy to go back to his “natural” state. He never had it because he knew God would give us more children. He wanted to honor God in what he felt God’s conviction was about. I was not as chill, though. Even back then, the OBGYN had suggested I began taking some medicine to ovulate since I was really not that young anymore, but my husband refused. He didn’t want anything or anyone intervening whatsoever. He wanted God to receive all the glory. That made me angry. Anyways, I did not conceive until nine months later, and that, when it was the least likely of times. I was tired of trying, and I literally was done. But he wanted to try and we did. And God granted me conception that month – the month I didn’t want to try. The month I had given up trying.
Looking at my journal I can also see there has always been this fear of asking God to give me good things. The things that are big and unthinkable, things that are almost impossible… I am afraid of asking for those because I am afraid He will say NO. I know I don’t deserve them, so I assume He will deny them. And to be honest, I think God is changing that in me, too. When I began to understand the Doctrines of Grace, I was so terrified about my children’s salvation because I knew I had no control over it, neither did my children. I had seen these truths in the Bile, and I had come to terms with them, but I didn’t like them at all at the beginning. You know that cage-stage? It happened to me LOL!
But over time, I began to see that those doctrines are the sweetest to live by, because Christ really loved me to the uttermost. To be so radically depraved as to reject Him, and that He went through the death that He went through – in order to give me life? I am confident that He will glorify Himself either in the salvation of my children or He will exercise His justice were they to reject Him. I am at peace with that, because I have learned and seen these truths in the Scriptures. And so the confusion and misunderstandings of those doctrines are gone, because while I am NOT in control of their salvation (that is God’s sovereign choice) I know I I DO have a role to play: I can pray and I can share Christ with them.
My prayers for my children and my sharing of the gospel are the means by which the Lord will save them – if that is His will of decree. His revealed will for me in this particular case is that I pray and share the gospel. If I don’t pray for things to happen, then they won’t happen, and if God has ordained that they get saved because my pastor preached a sermon (among other things), then that sermon HAS to be preached, and on and on we go.
Think about when Paul was in the ship and everybody was going crazy, and he told them they had to stay in the boat. God would save them all, but they needed to stay. Had they jumped, they would have not been saved, but they stayed because that’s what God had ordained to happen, and so it happened. And they were all saved. I hope I’m not losing you.
I really hope you listen to those sermons from my pastor, specially when he talks about how God exercises His sovereignty in the works of Providence, and what he talks about secondary causes. I have come to see that my miscarriage was indeed a gift. Not the death of the baby, but yeah, the pain and the loss. God is not rejoicing over that, but He did ordained my sanctification. He is committed to make me like Christ, and I had always been afraid of that because I know that it has been granted to me not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake (Philippians 1:29). I know sanctification involves suffering. I didn’t want to suffer.
I have always asked, “What if this, what if that? What if Emerson dies? What if I never get pregnant? What if I do get pregnant, and then the baby dies?”
And so the whole pregnancy with Danny, I was so afraid of losing him, that I began memorizing Scripture like never before. Every morning I would go on a 2-mile walk, and I would cry my eyes out. Somehow the Lord had opened my eyes to the fact that the godliest people suffer, that sanctification usually happened through suffering. I was already struggling with fear even before I was pregnant. During the nine months that we were trying to have Danny, I had already memorized Habakkuk 3, the last verses when he praises the Lord even though there is no fruit on the vines, and the field produces no fruit.
I was trying to set my heart on God, not on a baby. So I know that Danny was not given to me because somehow I had this amazing faith… I am an over-thinker, I know, but thinking helps me figure things out. So I already shared with you that I was afraid of asking God for good things because I know I don’t deserve them, so I assumed He won’t give them to me. But doesn’t that mean or reveal that I have this underlying false assumption that the things he DOES give me, He gives them to me because somehow I DO deserve them? And honestly, this would not be an uncommon pattern of thinking for me because I was raised in a very works-based fashion. I had to earn approval and love. I have always struggled with my view of God as a Father who loves me and takes care fo me, regardless of what I do for Him. I have had to work very hard at believing HIM and trusting HIM when He says that He loves me for who I am in Christ.
So when I had Danny in my uterus, I was still asking the Lord to help me set my heart on Him – not on Danny. And the whole pregnancy, I was so afraid of losing Danny. Then Danny was born, and I was struggling with breastfeeding, and I thought he would starve to death. But these fears were unfounded; he was not starving, of course. It was just me being fearful.
Goodness, there was a time in my life when I lost like ten pounds just because I was so anxious about dying. Back then, my husband was not really being the spiritual leader in our home, and I was terrified that if I died, he would not teach the children the Bible. Do you have any idea of how many hours of my life have been wasted by crying and worrying over things I have no control over, and most of those things – basically all of them – have never come to pass? (Miscarrying has been the only one that did happen).
So the pattern that kept showing in my journal is that of fear and repentance. Fear and repentance. Fear and repentance. Through Danny’s pregnancy, the Lord did showed me how much He loved me. I knew that, of course, but the experience of His love was so sweet. I felt so blessed that He would give me a baby! A baby at 38 years old!
And I cried at the hospital because for one, I was full of hormones; two, I had a long and painful labor; and three, I realized how unfaithful I had been with Him. Why did I worry so much? Why didn’t I trust Him that He would care for me and for this child that He gave me? And my answer would be that I didn’t know Danny would be healthy, or that I couldn’t presume that things would turn out right. I am always anxious about something, and that hasn’t been the best way to live. It is awful.
Reading my journal and seeing the same sinful patterns before the pregnancy with Danny, during the pregnancy with Danny, the miscarriage and now the wait for another baby – even the potential scenario in which Danny is my last child – has helped me see that I am always trying to pry into God’s secret will. His will of decree. His revealed will is that I read my Bible, that I love my neighbor, that I pray, that I don’t lie, that I don’t lust, etc. But it is NONE of my business to try to figure out how my life will turn out. So when I can’t figure it out, when I can’t know whether it would go well with me or not – and I always presume it won’t go well – I always despair, and then I fear, and then I go full corrupt with unbelief.
I mean, is that crazy or what?
The cold truth is that I haven’t FULLY trust God. And I know that’s not a fair assessment of my faith, I have trusted Him at times – fully. I don’t think my faith has to be perfect, because no one’s faith is perfect. The object of my faith is Christ, and I have trusted in Him for the forgiveness of my sin. I know I am saved, but I cannot wait to get rid of this body of death, and being able to never sin again. I look forward to being with Christ more and more as the years go by. I’m not looking forward to dying and leaving my children as orphans in this world, but I hope you see what I mean.
God has been working in my heart, in His most holy and wisest of ways, to make me love Him more. My faith and my trust in Him has deepened through this trial, in ways I can only try to explain. It’s as if He is wooing me. He has been working in my heart to make me trust Him more. And that has been so sweet, and comforting, and tender. He doesn’t afflict me because He hates me, He afflicts me because He loves me. He does afflict, but He doesn’t afflict me from His heart – that is a big difference (Lamentation 3:33).
He wants me to be like His Son. He has promised me that He will make me like His Son (Romans 8:29). And the death of my child has been so sad, but at the same time it has been one of the biggest blessings in my life, because I have seen how my God, my Savior, has taken care of my soul. He has made me identify with His Son in His sufferings. The Lord Jesus Christ asked for the cup of God’s wrath to be taken away, and The Father said NO – for my sake. For my sake. God brought many sons to glory through the death of Christ, and Christ endured His cross for the joy that was set before Him. He did that for me.
God has showed me and exposed in me so many faulty assumptions I had about His character. I knew things about Him in my theological head, but many of those things needed to click in my heart. I am not saying theology is not necessary. I can only imagine someone saying, “See, that’s why I don’t like theology and doctrine”. Yeah, well, you need good theology to properly worship God. The goal of theology is doxology.
I cannot wait for Easter Sunday. It is this Sunday. My child died on April 7th, so the anniversary is behind me. But I can’t wait to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ because He died for me, He loved me and He gave Himself for me. If my righteousness came through the law, then Christ died for no purpose. He is so compassionate and abounding in steadfast love, He is merciful and forgives my trespasses. It has been good for me to wait for the salvation of YWHW. He is good to those who wait for him, to the soul that seeks Him. His mercies are new every morning, they truly never come to an end.
Okay, so, get this. The other day I was running, and I began sobbing. I was listening to when Jesus teaches that God is a good Father who will not give His children a snake when they ask for a fish. Grief does weird things to you. I began sobbing because I’ve been asking for a baby all this year, and nothing is happening. For all I know my womb is dead. And I told him through my tears that I needed to help me believe that he was at work in this, somehow. I know the miscarriage was his plan. But I have also felt like hearing about my fertility was another loss on top of the loss. I knew this was not a serpent, although it felt like one, but I believe the Scriptures, and He doesn’t give bad things to His children. I was so tired of asking, so tired of waiting, so tired of persevering. I just wanted to quit, you know? It would just be easier if He would tell me I’m not going to be a mother ever again. You know what the saddest thing is? That is something I have told him once before – when I was trying to get pregnant with Danny.
So I was sobbing, and I was going faster, and faster… I cried out, “The steadfast love of YHWH never ceases, your mercies never come to and end, right? Your mercies are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. Where? Where are the mercies, help me see them because I don’t see them!”
Ugh… then some days later I am walking with Danny, and it’s a beautiful morning and the sun is still shinning, and I am alive, and I get to talk to God. I get to approach the Creator of the universe because of what Christ did for me on the cross. God has kept me. He has tested my faith, but He has been so good to me in this trial. Goodness… every time I go for a run – literally – He upholds the beating of my heart by the word of His power. I am not that morbid, but I have thought sometimes, “What would ever happen if God said to my heart, ‘Stop beating’ while I’m running and pushing the stroller?”
How is the fact that I’m still breathing not an every-day mercy?
This year I have felt the full weight of this Paragraph.
LBCF 1689 – Chapter V. Of ProvidenceParagraph 5
The perfectly wise, righteous, and gracious God often allows his own children for a time to experience a variety of temptations and the sinfulness of their own hearts. He does this to chastise them for their former sins or to make them aware of the hidden strength of the corruption and deceitfulness of their hearts so that they may be humbled. He also does this to lead them to a closer and more constant dependence on him to sustain them, to make them more cautious about all future circumstances that may lead to sin, and for other just and holy purposes.15 So whatever happens to any of his elect happens by his appointment, for his glory, and for their good.16
152 Chronicles 32:25, 26, 31; 2 Corinthians 12:7–9.
Let me tell you, my heart is DAAAAAAARK. My heart has lied to me, my heart has set me against my God, and against the people of God whom I love. My heart is deceitful and so full of sin. And my God is so, so good.
I think we are almost done… I don’t have many more things to say. I originally wanted to type basically every single thing that I have underlined in every book I have read, but I’ll skip it, this has been long enough already. So the book on grief talks about stages and how you will go through them, more of less, all of them in different patterns. And you need to work through those stages, not ignore them, otherwise you will only delay healing. You will fall into destructive patterns of behavior or coping mechanisms that will just not allow you to heal. I think I went through all of those just fine, they would come and go.
I think my healing was delayed as long as it was because I had no idea how to go through the grief. I mean, I had to buy a book, and the book doesn’t tell you exactly how to deal with those things. It tells you what will happen, and that those feelings are normal and to be expected, but it is not like there’s someone counseling you, you know?
I don’t know, I have my dearest friend who always heard me cry, having gone through several miscarriages herself. But after a while, I kind of felt bad, you know, like I had to move on, and not bother her anymore. But that’s the thing with grief – it’s different with everybody. Also, most of the time I felt unthankful for not being joyful about the children God had given me, instead of focusing so much on the one He had taken away. It was okay to be sad. My baby died.
So anyway, I reread the book on grief in order to write this blog, and it said, “Hope accepts the promises of God and trusts in Him. That is the means of your deliverance.”
When I read that, I was like, “I just got there last week. I have arrived at HOPE. A full year in, and by God’s grace, I’ve made it. I’m there. God did it.”
Now, how did God make this happen exactly? I will tell you what… It was a full year of sadness, and crying, and anger, and praying for things I didn’t even know if they were the right things to pray for, but I hope to give some insight. I need to put all these thoughts into writing, but before I do that, the book DID say you have to deal with all those feelings. And I know now that the feeling I was holding onto was my anger.
I was angry at God. I know not all people are the same, but if anybody tells you they are not angry at God in some way after the death of someone they deeply loved, they are most likely lying. I had misconceptions about God’s Sovereignty. Actually, I knew what it meant. I knew what I believed. I just hated the fact that His sovereignty had touched me. What a depraved little heart I have… to be so full of pride that I somehow felt it was not okay for this to happen to me. One never really thinks or even expects this would happen to them.
The book said that if you don’t deal with those emotions, you will fall into a pattern of behaviors that will only delay your healing – destructive coping mechanisms, in some cases. You will express those feelings somehow. Just recently, I realized that I was expressing my anger via memes. I delayed dealing with my anger because of all the misconception and faulty assumptions I had regarding God’s character. Also my heart lied to me, and my emotions lied to me.
Now, my memes… I have always liked memes, but I did get into a pattern of ugly memes. I was angry, and I was making memes to make people angry, and you know what? I loved it for a while. But the Lord began showing me this was not okay, and I stopped full turkey. I left the Facebook group I was a part of.
I thought it was not a big deal that I was making these memes, they were not in any way offensive or inappropriate, they would just make people upset at times. Then I heard my pastor preach a couple of weeks ago on the wrath of God, and I thought, “What have I been spending most of my time with? What worthy things for the Kingdom have I been doing all this year, other than moping about the miscarriage and my infertility? I mean, sure, I’ve been homeschooling my children and serving my church, but will the Lord be pleased with the other things I do?”
I kid you not, my Facebook meme group came to my mind in a second. I knew I had to leave it. And I tried to leave a couple of times, and I couldn’t get myself to click the Leave Group button. I loved that group too much. But then when I spent the whole afternoon not being able to click the Leave Group button, I realized I really needed to leave. It was actually hard. I breathed in and out, counted to three, and clicked the button. And that was that. Honestly, I think that was obedience to the Lord. And I am not saying my obedience was the key to my healing – God healed me – but I think obedience played a huge role in that. And we know that whatever I do, it is really the Lord bringing that about in me (Philippians 2:13).
After I left the group (no more than two weeks ago), I began listening to my pastor preach the sermons I’m linking to. I almost found those sermons by accident, but we know there are no accidents in God’s Providence.
My pastor’s words also healed my heart in a way. You don’t know my pastor, but he is the best pastor. He has seen me from the pulpit straight into the eyes when he knows I’m crying, and he keeps on preaching Christ. He knows what I’m going through, and he asks me how I am doing when he knows I am not doing okay. And yet he doesn’t shrink from declaring to me the whole counsel of God. He just preached last week an amazing sermon on how God is in charge of our pain, and it was so comforting to my soul because it is the first time I hear those words and I don’t recoil at them. I am not angry at them anymore. I embrace them. I was actually so happy during the service. I knew God wanted me to hear that. I will link to that sermon too, and I will end this blog with some of those words.
I had no meme group anymore, so hearing my pastor preach online helped me buy another book called Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges. I read that book in almost three days. I was underlining everything, and things were just coming together, one after another. All those passages I’ve had been memorizing for years, Habakkuk 3, Lamentations 3, Romans 8. It’s like scales began falling from my eyes. I don’t know how else to describe it, but like, I went from disbelief to belief. It was like I saw God’s Word anew. It came alive and I believed it. It was not me, though, I know it was God’s grace that made that happen. It was as if the Lord had made me learn all those things before, and memorize all those passages before, and then He made me flesh them out in my soul for a full year.
This may sound obvious, but the book said that God’s sovereignty is exercised primarily for His glory, but because I am in Christ, His glory and my good are linked together. Because I am united with Christ, whatever is for His glory is also for my good. This is a promise that only believers in Christ have. I had, somehow, disconnected those truths from my heart. I thought Him to be harsh and distant. I was angry. The book also addressed so many questions and thoughts I had, thoughts I had kept hidden. It mentioned that the more we come to believe God’s sovereignty in our lives, the more we are tempted to doubt His love and question His goodness. Not only that, but that Satan will also plant the thought in our minds that God is up in heaven mocking us in our distress. That was refreshing to hear. You have no idea how refreshing. So far I’ve seen four women announcing their pregnancies in my church in the last six months. I love these women, and I am learning to rejoice with those who rejoice. I also, however, felt the sting in my heart as if God were parading these pregnant bellies in front of my face, like a rich man parades a piece of bread in front of a poor man who’s starving. And the poor man says, “May I have some of that bread, sir? I have come to believe you are truly the Only One who can give it to me.” But the rich man, scoffing at the poor man, says, “Of course, not.”
So to read that, to read those temptations are a reality, and very likely have been experienced by someone else like the author, made me rejoice in God. And I repented for allowing my pain to cause me to harbor hard thoughts about God.
I even wrote, “Thank you!” next to that paragraph in page 136. It was that refreshing to read.
The book also helped me to see that I could not let my emotions hold sway over my mind. I had to reason through the Scriptures even when my heart ached. It also challenged my thinking that I should not aim for the pain to be gone. My duty and first priority was to glorify God, and to honor Him by trusting Him in the midst of adversity. The book showed me that trusting God was not a matter of my feelings, but rather a matter of my will. God’s honor should take precedence over my feelings.
I think the sweetest part was that it encouraged me to pray. And when I say that, I mean that I will continue to pray, not for the Lord to take away the pain (it still hurts), but for the Lord to grant me the desires of my heart as I delight in Him. This year has been so crappy. I’ve read psalm after psalm, and the psalmists never allowed their whys to drag on – they always ended up rejoicing in God’s salvation. Like, everything is about God’s salvation, not about getting what they want or getting out of trouble. And I could not understand how they did that. All these verses and passages I read talk about God’s goodness for those who wait for Him, but all this year I did not know what I was waiting for. What had I been waiting for exactly?
Should I keep on praying and waiting for a baby? Should I pray for the Lord to take away the desire for a baby? Should I keep on waiting for deliverance? Deliverance from what? From the pain, from the “infertility”? I even asked my pastor, “What am I supposed to do? When do you call it quits because God is not answering?”
Once again, the book encouraged me to pray and to trust God’s sovereignty, without falling into this pious fatalism that I am prone to: I don’t know what will happen, therefore I despair, then I fear, then I go full-corrupt with unbelief. Habakkuk 3 ends in hope. Lamentations 3 ends in hope. Jeremiah remembered, he literally brings to mind that the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, and that His mercies never come to an end, and he ends up saying that it is good to wait for the salvation of YHWH. They are trusting God to fulfill His promises to them; promises that are beyond this earth. Suffering makes you see beyond what is temporary, and helps you set your eyes on what is invisible and eternal.
I am not saying this has not been hard, but it has really been but a light momentary affliction that is preparing for me an eternal weight of glory that is beyond all comparison. This suffering will produce eternal glory for me. I believe it will because I have believed God, and He has promised that. It has weaned me from the world, it has purified my heart by breaking off from me the sins on account of which God afflicted me, it has disposed me to look for God to console me and support me in my trails. He has promised to reward me for this suffering as I live it in faith. As Isaiah 48:10 says, “Behold, I have refined you , but not as silver. I have tried you in the furnace of affliction.”
So I went on a run the other day with Danny and I I was listening to the book of Luke. I had read the night before everything I just said about prayer, and how I have noticed that I quit, that I get discouraged and I stop. I quit when I don’t see the Lord answer my prayer in what I think should be “my” timing. And what do you know? I heard the Parable of the Persistent Widow, and it starts like this, “And he [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.”
I seriously had to listen to that sentence over and over again. It is my duty to always prays and not lose heart. This is His revealed will for me: that I always pray and not lose heart. I repented for not doing that. I don’t know what God is going to do with my obedience, but I need to obey. He gave me the desire to obey, and I will pray for me to delight in Him. That is my priority right now: to delight in Him.
How futile and even arrogant for us to seek to determine what God is doing in a particular event or circumstance. We simply cannot search out the reasons behind His decisions or trace out the ways by which He brings those decisions to pass. If we are to honor God by trusting Him, and if we are to find peace for ourselves, we must come to the place where we can honestly say, ‘God, I do not have to understand. I will just trust you.’
Trusting God by Jerry Bridges
I have repented of not delighting in God. I have been delighting in other things, but not in Him. Those other things were but broken cisterns that could not hold any water. After reading that book (it really was just a couple of days that I finished reading it), I went to bed, and the next day, I felt… free. God delivered me from my affliction. I DO want God to give me the desires of my heart, but I am not about to vulgarise that great promise.
I have seen the above quote being fleshed out in my life and heart this year. When I looked at Danny during pregnancy and even after that, I was so afraid of losing him. And now I delight in him, but it is different. I am actually delighting in the Giver of Danny. Of course, there is a sense in which I also delight in Danny, and he is so full of life, that I love seeing him every day. But I have learned not to fear losing Danny, and this has been God’s doing. That’s why I am not as afraid as I was before, if my husband were to die. Those thoughts and temptations come at times, but I have been fighting them better. This year God has shown me that my only true hope, and the only true anchor of my sou is Him.
My heart is so full of joy and happiness, like it hadn’t been in a very long time. I had felt so thirsty for Him; this year has been so hard. I know it is His grace, not anything I did. I am so happy I am not pregnant right now, because I know my joy is in Him – not in a baby. This year, I made motherhood an idol in my heart. I still hope He blesses me and grows my family, but He has taught me to say that He is my portion. I will hope in Him.
So I went on a run the other day – I’ve been running a lot – and I heard Psalm 116. I had never been so pumped while listening to a psalm LOL! I can tell the psalmist had issues going on, and I was l like, “Me, too, Brother. Me too.” I have experienced what he was talking about, and it’s not something that I would recommend, but suffering really helps you appreciate the inspired psalmists and their writings.
1I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
2 Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.
He heard me. He heard me cry for mercy all this year. I will call on Him as long as I live.
3 The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
4 Then I called on the name of the Lord:
“Lord, save me!”
This year I have felt sorrow that I had never felt before. My bones were in anguish and at times I did feel death, in a way, entangling me. There were so many nights that I would cry quietly in my bed.
5 The Lord is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
6 The Lord protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.
7 Return to your rest, my soul,
for the Lord has been good to you.
AMEN. He is full of compassion. He brought me low, and He has saved me.
8 For you, Lord, have delivered me from death,
my eyes from tears,
my feet from stumbling,
9 that I may walk before the Lord
in the land of the living.
10 I trusted in the Lord when I said,
“I am greatly afflicted”;
11 in my alarm I said,
“Everyone is a liar.”
12 What shall I return to the Lord
for all his goodness to me?
He has delivered me from death so I may walk before Him in the land of the living. What can I render to Him for His goodness to me? Nothing!
13 I will lift up the cup of salvation
and call on the name of the Lord.
14 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people.
I will lift up the cup of salvation and glory in His name. I will gladly receive His mercy to me.
15 Precious in the sight of the Lord
is the death of his faithful servants.
16 Truly I am your servant, Lord;
I serve you just as my mother did;
you have freed me from my chains.
17 I will sacrifice a thank offering to you
and call on the name of the Lord.
18 I will fulfill my vows to the Lord
in the presence of all his people,
19 in the courts of the house of the Lord—
in your midst, Jerusalem.
Praise the Lord.
I don’t know what else to say. I have literally exhausted my brain LOL!
God is so good to me. That’s all I’ve been saying lately to my children for the past four days. He has told the rod of my affliction to stop, and it stopped. Oh, my pastor had no idea how happy I was when he was preaching this last week.
When we believe God’s revelation, it will cause us to lean on Him, instead of leaning on what seems visibly powerful. In Isaiah’s day, it was Assyria. Don’t put your hope today in wealth, when you know the One who gives wealth… Friends, the Sovereign Lord says to the rod, ‘That’s enough, this is where you stop.’ And let me tell you something, friend, just like He limited Assyria, the Sovereign Lord says that to the rod in your life, ‘This far is what I intend, and no more.’
Even in His chastening, God shows mercy. He is so good. I am just overwhelmed by His wisdom, His fatherly care, even when He wields the rod. He doesn’t wish any more suffering in His people that is necessary for their sanctification, and whatever His tool, whatever His instrument, whatever that messenger of Satan sent to harass you, and drive you to humble dependance upon the Lord, your loving heavenly Father is just waiting to say, ‘Enough. Your work is done. My servant is purified. He’s cleansed, he’s learned, he’s grown. He’s cast his hope on Me, and not on the powers that be.’
Friend, trust His wisdom. Trust His heart. Trust His Sovereignty. Kiss the rod. For the Lord disciplines the one He loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.North Houston Baptist Church.
Pastor John Bray.
Sermon on April 10, 2022
I wanted to go straight after the sermon and give him a hug, and tell him, “He stopped. You know how I was waiting for something to happen? Well, I’m not pregnant, but the Lord heard my cry, and He delivered me! I believe His plan is good for me, I know He will fulfill His promises to me. I know He loves me. I know He is near me!”.
But I was also so close to the beginning of the line for lunch, that I chose lunch LOL!
The book on grieving said this, “God is doing something in our lives, trials and difficulties are the fire that He uses to bring our impurities to the surface. But what does the goldsmith do after removing the first impurities that appear? Does he stop? No, he makes the fire even hotter, bringing up the next level of impurities. The process continues on, each time requiring more and more heat.”
I read that as I was preparing this blog, and I was like, “Oh, no, who’s gonna die next?” And then, I laughed, not because I rejoice in death or find it funny, but because that is the kind of thought that entangles my mind. I know He wants me to be more like Christ, so my trials will only get more and more difficult. I know this, then I despair, then I fear, and I go full-corrupt to unbelief. But this time, I was able to laugh, and rejoice in my Savior. And I don’t look at suffering in the face and say, “Bring it on.” That would be stupid and arrogant and proud. But I trust my Shepherd. He will guide me through whatever valley He choses to lead me to. He is good. I am not going to pry into His secret will – that is HIS. My duty is to trust Him, and obey Him as He leads me.
I’m done. It took me almost three days of full-time writing. I literally abandoned my baby to the mercy of YouTube nursery rhymes for one full day, maybe two. But my heart is so full.
There is a happy ending. My dear friend who has struggled with infertility just had her third baby this Thanksgiving. My baby would have been born around the same time. We had dinner with them a day after the anniversary of my baby’s passing. I told her I was going to try to hold it together, but that I had no idea how I would respond. I had no idea what emotions I would feel when I hold this baby in my arms, so I asked for grace in case I cried. She was sweet and told me I didn’t have to keep it together for her.
So we went. I saw the baby. He is so chubby and cute. I had to make a conscious effort to ask for him, but when I held him in my arms there was no sadness at all in my heart. No bitterness. No anger. No despair. No envy. No covetousness. No emptiness. No anxiety. I DID NOT SIN. When I carried him, I was overwhelmed with joy. I didn’t cry, and I didn’t even had to hold back the tears because there were none. I was happy.
That evening I saw my three children playing together with her three children. The house was full. I realized that God, in His goodness, has set my heart straight. I don’t idolize a pregnancy anymore, and that is yet another mercy. God set me free, which has enabled me to pray for His will to be done. I still have the desire to have more children, but the Lord has purified my motives. I rejoice in children because they bear the image of God, they are cute, and I want to train them in the ways of the Lord. So yes, I want to have more babies, and I hope one of these days He says YES!!
But even if I never get to call a baby my own anymore, I will rejoice in the Lord. I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength. He makes my feet like the deer’s. He makes me tread on my high places.
- Learning Contentment by Nancy Wilson.
- Grieving by James White.
- Be Still, My Soul, edited by Nancy Guthrie.
- Holding on to Hope by Nancy Guthrie.
- Hearing Jesus speak into your Sorrow by Nancy Guthrie. Personally I didn’t even finish this one, cause I cringed at how she would talk, almost pretending to talk like Jesus. It reminded me of the heresy of Jesus Calling. However, I have seen Nancy being recommended by Costi Hinn. I am not saying she’s doctrinally in error. I just didn’t feel comfortable with the book – that’s all.
- Trusting God Even When Life Hurts by Jerry Bridges.
- Deserted by God? by Sinclair B. Ferguson.
- Mysterious Ways by David Kingdon. This is a book on Providence in the life of Joseph. I haven’t read it. I got it at a conference. I think it will most likely make more sense now, maybe not so much if I had read it when I was full into the saddest moments.
- Jeremiah and Lamentations by Philip Graham Ryken. This is a commentary. I haven’t finished it, but the section on Lamentations has been very helpful to me.
- Providence by John Piper. I have not read it. I just found out about this book last week, and it’s seven hundred pages. I am intending to buy it, though. I am linking a video with john Piper explaining all that the book contains.
- Doctrine of the Providence of God by John Piper. He starts with the story of Ruth and how the Lord gave her conception so he obviously had my attention. This is part 1. There are ten parts in this series. If you click in the link, YouTube will show you all the remaining parts.
- Book on Providence by John Piper.
- The Glory of God in the Sight of Eternity by John Piper
- My pastor’s sermon on God saying STOP to the rod.
SERMONS ON LBCF1689