Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I Get It Now

Last night I got home at 2 AM from picking up my friend at the airport in San Antonio. Since I was out late, Paul took the girls to a drop in childcare center (where we have taken our girls many times) so that I could sleep in and then take care of some things I needed to.

I woke up at 10:15 AM, went through my morning routine, and left the house around 11. I thought about going to get the girls before I went to run errands, but we had said we would pick them up at 12:30 so I took my chance to do some grocery shopping alone. I went to Target, grabbed a coffee, sent some group messages to see if I needed to grab anything for our MC tonight, and then started shopping.

I went to the pharmacy to grab some prescriptions, and they said they had 2 more for me they could have ready in 15 minutes. So I decided to wait, ran into a friend and caught up on some stuff, and my phone rang.

It was the director of the child care center. She said "Mrs. Coppinger, I just wanted to call and let you know that while coming in from outside Amelia was bit 3 times by a younger child on her arm. It didn't break the skin. She didn't cry at all, we have put ice on it, and her teacher held her to comfort her. She just sat down to eat lunch. I just wanted to let you know so you weren't surprised."

Everything in me wanted to forget everything else and go get my baby. I did get my prescriptions, check out, and drive the speed limit to get her.

When I got there I was thinking a few little bite marks no big deal. When I saw her arm I wanted to scream. Her arm has welts on it, and one of the bites is already bruising.

When she saw me, she lifted up her arm and her eyes filled with tears. My heart broke for my sweet girl.

We came home, and I was getting everyone down for naps and she was really struggling to relax. I picked her up, sang to her, and then I prayed for the child that bit her. I prayed for the child's family. I prayed that we could forgive them.

And that's when it clicked for me. That's when I realized how God felt when I was sexually abused.

He was hurting because I (His child) was hurting. He wanted justice because I (His child) needed justice. He forgave so that I (His child) could forgive.

I have struggled for many years to understand why God would allow me to be sexually abused. I have been angry at my perpetrator, my parents, God for many years. I have asked why, and questioned "If God is good...WHY?!?!"

Today, as I heard the words that my daughter had been bitten, and I saw the marks on her arm, and I saw the pain she felt I said to myself "If I hadn't been out late then she wouldn't be hurting. If I hadn't slept in then she wouldn't be hurting. If I had picked her up early she wouldn't be hurting." I hurt because my child hurts. I want justice because my child was hurt. I can forgive so my daughter can learn forgiveness.

Y'all, God was not far off when I was abused. He hurt when I was abused. He wanted to take away my pain when I was abused. He did not desire for me to be abused. Just like I was not far away when my daughter was hurt, I want to take away her pain, and I do not desire for her to be hurt.

BUT sin is in this world. And because there is sin people get hurt. People are bitten, sexually abused, murdered. That does not mean that God is far off. It doesn't mean that God doesn't hurt. It doesn't mean that God wants His children to experience pain, but it does mean it happens. It does mean that His heart breaks when we are hurt. He cries when we are hurt. But He also forgives when we are hurt.

God is still good. God is still sovereign even when we suffer.

I didn't get it until today, but I get it now. I'm still a good mom even when my child is hurt. God is still good even when I am hurt. He forgave so I can forgive.

God demonstrated His love for us that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Happy Birthday!

Four years ago I gave birth to the most beautiful baby girl I had ever laid eyes on. She was absolutely perfect, and absolutely healthy. Healthy is important because 20 weeks earlier we had lost her twin brother, Owen, with no warning and with no knowledge why.

I'm pretty sure that this sweet girl would have stayed snuggled into womb for many, many more weeks had the doctors not said that it was absolutely imperative that she come early. I know this because this sweet girl likes to stay snuggled into her bed or next to me as long as she possibly can.

This sweet girl has taught me what it means to have your heart walking around outside of your body. She has taught me what it means to always see the glass as half full (unless you don't get the coveted the princes cash register for your birthday, and then the glass is very, very empty). She has taught me to love unconditionally, to be willing to sacrifice everything for another person, and to be willing to lay my very life down for them. She has taught me what it means to love like Jesus loves us.

She is the best big sister I know. She loves Amelia with all that is in her, and then some. She forgives without being asked for forgiveness, and she offers so much grace to this mama who is trying to just keep her head above water some days.

Julia Ruth, you are truly a blessing to daddy and me. You will always be the girl who made me a mama and showed me how deep love runs. Happy Birthday sweet girl!! I love you!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

2015 Word of the Year: REST

Last year I decided to choose a word of the year and embrace it for all it was worth. I chose the word brave, and I really thought that God was calling me to be brave with my Noonday Collection business, or with sharing the Gospel, or meeting people. Instead, God was calling me to be Brave in dealing with sexual abuse.

Can I just say that was (by far) the hardest thing I have ever done. It is super easy to give people excuses for their behavior and never deal with it. Trust me, I've been doing it for 25 years. It's also easier to tell yourself that only weak people go to counseling and you're not weak so you are fine (that's a lie...strong people go to counseling).  We bravely followed God into putting our adoption on hold. We have no idea why. Sweet Amelia had to have surgery a few days ago, and even though it is a routine surgery that happens often it takes insane amounts of bravery to allow your child to undergo general anesthesia for any amount of time. (So to all of you parents who have done that this year and your child was under for longer than 15 minutes....big hugs.)

A couple of Sundays ago the sermon was about Jesus being the true and better Moses. I had already started praying about my word for 2015 (I've been studying the life of Moses in BSF so I was completely prepared to sit and learn nothing), and God gently whispered REST.

Y'all, this past year of bravery has left me feeling tired. Probably because I have been doing a lot of hard work, but also because as much as I've been trying to follow God I've been fighting Him too. I've gotten mad, I've yelled, cursed, and just stopped talking to Him. And in all of that God reminded me that I need to rest in Him.

So during 2015 I'm going to rest. I'm going to physically rest, mentally rest and spiritually rest.

Do you have a word of the year? If so, what is it?

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Are you Blessed?

I have seen so many blog posts and Facebook statuses about people being upset about other people describing themselves as blessed. And it makes me sad that among Christians we are starting to quarrel about whether or not we can say we are blessed.

 So I've had enough, and have to throw my 2 cents in on the subject. I'm gonna set the record straight.

Did you know there is a difference in saying you are blessed and blessed (pronounced blesid)?

It's true. I consulted a dictionary.

Blesid is an adjective. If you remember from English class and adjective describes a noun. Like when Jesus says in Matthew 5:3 "Blessed are the poor in Spirit; for theirs in the kingdom of Heaven" he is describing the poor in Spirit. That word in Greek is actually saying that they are fortunate or prosperous. Jesus was literally telling those people that they were fortunate to be poor in spirit because Heaven belongs to them.

Blessed is a verb. An action word that means to "express or feel gratitude to; to thank" So when someone says "I am blessed." they are essentially saying they feel gratitude.

I say this because I feel like it is important to acknowledge that we have been giving many things in this life, one of them being life itself, and we should be thankful for that. We should be telling people we are blessed. We should be acknowledging that which God has given us.

So if you are one of those people who felt ashamed for saying you are blessed, and you meant it because you are grateful for ALL God has given you, you are free from shame my friend.

And if you are one of those people who was like "Yeah, stop saying you are blessed! You're not! That's not how Jesus meant it!", then know that those who are saying it are being grateful, and it's okay for you to be grateful too.

Hugs my friends!