Sowing in Tears by Anabel Gillham

The pain was almost more than he could bear. He had never realized that a broken heart could hurt so terribly, but he couldn’t just sit down and cry. It was planting season. So he took his bag of seed and went to the field.

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But there was no joy in his work. He didn’t hear the clear call of the meadowlark. He didn’t see the fields of yellow and lavender on the horizon. The smell of the fresh-turned earth escaped his nostrils. The bite of the pure spring air didn’t cause him to lift his head and take in great gulps, for even as he broadcast the tiny seed his eyes were blurred and his hands were damp with tears wiped from his weathered cheeks.

Then, when he could bear it no longer, he fell on his knees and his head touched the broken soil. His tears fell into the furrows, wetting the tiny ovule nestled in the pocket of earth. No one heard. No one saw. There was no one to touch, to care, to say, “I understand.”

To know such suffering…and still to sow.

* * *

Those who sow in tears shall reap with joyful shouting. He who goes to and fro weeping, carrying his bag of seed, shall indeed come again with a shout of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.  Psalm 126:5,6

Yes, you are hurting. But you cant just sit down and cry. The seed would not be planted and growth would never come. There would be no fruit to harvest. No, you must sow. And chances are, there will be no one who really understands . . . no one to touch you or hold you . . . no one to care. To know such suffering…and still to sow.

Gods promise is to you: Can you believe that one day you will actually SHOUT with sheer joy?

Grace for Life

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Encouragement Through Suffering

There was an accident two years ago on Highway 66. Two young women hit by a truck swerving into their lane. The two died instantly, the truck driver lived, but has never apologized to the grieving families. I pray for him that God would give him grace, and touch his heart that he would come to know Jesus and find peace.

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I met the mother of one of these young women just the other day. She is a vibrant Christian. Her daughter was her only child…

With tears in her eyes she told me her story, and she told me of Christ’s Victory and even through her grief, she accepts what happened. She knows that for whatever reason it was God’s perfect timing in taking her daughter home. Her daughter had an intimate relationship with Jesus.

To read the rest of this post click  HERE

The Prayers and Tears of St. Augustine’s Mother

One of my daughters was reading Confessions by St. Augustine about the time I was grieving in tears every day for my prodigal son. I found this story about his mother very consoling because St. Augustine was a prodigal himself who came to be a saint. I’m just going to quote some helpful passages out of the book:

“But you ‘sent down your help from above’ Psalms 144:7, and rescued my soul from the depths of this darkness because my mother, your faithful servant, wept to you for me, shedding more tears for my spiritual death than other mothers shed for the bodily death of a son. For in her faith and in the spirit which she had from you she looked on me as dead. You heard her and did not despise the tears which streamed down and watered the earth in every place where she bowed her head in prayer.” (Page 68)

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Continue reading this reblogged post here.

Meddling Mothers

I was reminded today of meddling. I think as mothers we have a tendency to meddle too much in the lives of our children and we also have a tendency to try and fix everything. In prayer one day God brought to my remembrance a chick coming forth from an egg. The process is very slow and sometimes as we are waiting and watching the chick does not seem strong enough to break open that shell and be free. But there are grave consequences for trying to help the chick break loose from its shell. The chick is actually gaining strength by going through the process and if we meddle we may jeopardize its very life.

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I am guilty of meddling too much in my son’s life; of coming between him and his father when I should have stood silent. I have learned submission to my husband in this area, even though it was and is very hard for me to let go. I have learned that I must put all my trust in my heavenly Father and His timing. I have learned that His way is better and how important it is that I not tamper with what God is doing.

Another reblog…please read the rest here

The Temptation to Take the Battle in Our Own Hands

Are you struggling with the temptation to make things right? To take things into your own hands because the Lord in your mind isn’t working fast enough?

I read this morning in “Streams in the Desert”….

“I once thought that after I prayed
that it was my duty to do everything that I could do to bring the answer
to pass. He taught me a better way, and showed that my self-effort
always hindered His working, and that when I prayed and definitely
believed Him for anything, He wanted me to wait in the spirit of praise,
and only do what He bade me. It seems so unsafe to just sit still, and
do nothing but trust the Lord; and the temptation to take the battle
into our own hands is often tremendous. We all know how impossible it is
to rescue a drowning man who tries to help his rescuer, and it is
equally impossible for the Lord to fight our battles for us when we
insist upon trying to fight them ourselves. It is not that He will not,
but He cannot. Our interference hinders His working.” C.H.P.

This is another reblog… read the rest  here

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God Loves the Broken Hearted by Cathey Stott

It seems timely to reblog this post…

This is an excerpt from a series of articles by Cathey Stott. I thought it was exceptionally helpful to those that are grieving…

The early days of grieving can be very foggy. Life seems unreal and many people report having trouble concentrating or difficulty with their memory. Some feel as if they are losing their mind. Be assured that all such feelings are normal. After all, your entire life has been turned upside down and your brain will need some time to catch up to reality. And then there is the matter of your heart. Your heart is broken so badly and into so many pieces that is seems there is no way you can ever heal.

Just remember what Psalm 34:18 says:
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
(NIV) Read more here

How God Persues Prodigals ~ Ray Pritchard

This is a very interesting take on the prodigal…Can we help our prodigals too soon?

Ray Pritchard writes, “Sometimes in our attempt to reach out to the prodigals we know, we can intervene too soon. Do you remember what happened to the prodigal son in Luke 15? After he had wasted all his inheritance in wild living, he ended up feeding the pigs (Luke 15:15-16). As Eugene Peterson puts it, “He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.” If you saw that, you might think, “That young man is ready for a new life.” Maybe so, maybe not.
Sometimes in our attempt to reach out to the prodigals we know, we can intervene too soon.

In the story Jesus told, the father waited for his son to return and then ran to meet him when he was still far from home. What if the father in the story had gone after his son and tried to bring him back even one day early? The son would have said, “If only you had left me alone for one more day, I would have made all my money back because I was investing in pork bellies.”

So it goes. We may think that someone has hit rock bottom when they are still scheming a way out of their problems. It was not until the son “came to his senses” that he decided to return home. That has to happen to every prodigal son and daughter, and it cannot be predicted or forced.

Repentance is first of all a work of God in the human heart. If you come a day too soon, the prodigal will always think, “With one more day, I would have figured out a way to solve my own problems.” As long as the scheming and lying and deceiving continues, the best thing we can do is to pray for God’s Spirit to bring them to their senses and to wait patiently until that day comes.”

I know you will be greatly encouraged reading Part 1 and Part 2 of this sermon by Ray Pritchard on his website  Keep Believing. 

Toward the end of  his sermon Ray gives these  comforting words…

God knows where they are.
God knows what they are doing.
God knows how to reach them.
God knows how to bring them back.

Between now and then, never give up.

Never give up.
Keep believing.
Keep on praying.

A Praying Momma ~ T. Suzanne Eller

This is a wonderfully encouraging article for parents of prodigals…keep on praying!

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

When he first started drinking, she and her husband weren’t sure what to do. Then he was arrested. Soon after they discovered he was using drugs. For the first time in her life, Mickey felt helpless as a mom.

Mickey’s son was raised in church and he once served as a leader in his youth group. Their home was a safe place where faith was lived out. And yet her son continued to spiral downward, no matter what they did. The night he broke into their small business and emptied the cash register was the bleakest night of all.

Mickey looked around the church and realized there were other moms with similar struggles. She started a Prodigal Prayer Group that met on Tuesday nights. They prayed one year, two years and then three.

Mickey saw others’ children come back to their faith, but her prayers for her own son seemed to be going nowhere. Nonetheless, she continued to show up, joining in strength and support with other praying mommas.

I wish my sweet friend had a video camera recording her son through those dark days. I wish she could have seen Austin rediscover his faith, overcome his addictions, and see him grow into the godly man he is today.

But the reality is that Mickey didn’t have a video camera. All she had was her faith. Faith that was tested over and over.

She was aware of the realities of her son’s choices, but she continued to pray. She continued to believe. She had to make hard choices like setting boundaries. She had to listen to other moms whose children were not straying and who did not understand her struggle.

Mickey says that during that time she began to see Austin through the eyes of faith. She knew that it wasn’t in her power to change her son, but that God could be her source of strength as she stayed the course.

We often say we would do anything for our children. If someone had told Mickey that it would take years of praying and believing like she did without seeing any sign of change, I wondered would she still do it? Mickey says yes, she would.

Maybe you identify with my friend. You raised your son or daughter with love. You provided a safe place. You showed them Jesus, and yet somehow they lost their way. Today I want to encourage you. The Father loves you and your child. In Jesus’ story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32, NIV) we see a son who has hit rock bottom. He finally decides to go home and this is the reaction of his father:

So he returned home to his father. And while he was still a long distance away, his father saw him coming. Filled with love and compassion, he ran to his son, embraced him, and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against both heaven and you, and I am no longer worthy of being called your son.’ 

But his father said to the servants, ‘Quick! Bring the finest robe in the house and put it on him. Get a ring for his finger, and sandals for his feet. And kill the calf we have been fattening in the pen. We must celebrate with a feast, for this son of mine was dead and has now returned to life. He was lost, but now he is found.” (verses 20-24)

Jesus told this story to illustrate the love of the Heavenly Father. The beauty of a praying momma is not lost in the chaos of your child’s choices. You are not alone as you pray, because He’s waiting, just as you are, to welcome your child in His embrace.

Dear Father, thank You that You love my child even more than I. I am not alone. You are with me. Walk with me today. Give me Your strength. Give me renewed hope and eyes of faith. In Jesus’ powerful, precious Name, Amen.

View this complete article at Proverbs 31 Ministries

Featured Blog ~ Families, Prodigals and Turkeys by Martina Mcgowen

I came across Martina Mcgowen’s blog the other day when looking for something to encourage parents during the holidays. I know this is a very hard time for families dealing with prodigals, but really it can be very hard just dealing with family. I chuckled when I read Martina’s take on it…

“Families and holidays. I often think, “Could the Lord have made a worse combination?” Now, I don’t know about your family, but mine doesn’t always have it all together, but that makes them interesting, usually fun and sometimes downright bizarre.

Most of us worry that our families are a bit dysfunctional. Well, I’ve got news for you- they all are to some degree. Yours, mine, the girl with the perfect hair in High School, that lovely family down the street. All our families have some-thing or some-one that doesn’t seem quite “right.”

Martina is sharing a series called Families, Prodigals and Turkeys. She uses beautiful paintings to embellish her post on the prodigal story. Her series is concentrating not so much on the prodigal, but his brother. Something, as parents, that we need not to forget. The siblings that are still at home need our love and attention.Their hearts may not be quite right and when our focus is mainly on our prodigal, we may not see it.

Featuring Martina Mcgowen …Families, Prodigals and Turkeys

Thank you, Martina, for this wonderful series.

31 Days ~ How Long?

Day 31 ~ How Long? 
This  is the last day of the 31 Days of blogging with all the incredible bloggers out there. I’m going to leave you readers some links to older posts that have been really helpful to me and hopefully will encourage you. A special thanks to James Banks who wrote the wonderful book of prayers, “Prayers for Prodigals” that I have been reading through day by day, and that has inspired so much of this writing…
How long, O Lord, how long?” Psalms 6:3Some of you are just starting out on this journey. I think that is the hardest of all. When it all comes crashing down on you and the pain is excruciating and the nightmare you never dreamed would happen to you is now your life…It’s as if someone has died and you will experience the same stages of grief. I found this very helpful during that time…
As time goes by in our loneliness we hear of others who have perhaps suffered a greater loss than our own and we realize that in order to heal we need to reach out and help others…
After a while we think, “I don’t want this to last for years and years…how can I bear this…how long, Father, how long?”We may even be tempted to take the battle into our own hands…The Temptation to Take the Battle into Our Own Hands

How long, O Lord, how long? Is a phrase we will utter many times no matter how long it takes, but in the meantime God is not only working in our prodigal but also in us…

“Only God knows the end of the story for our prodigal. Every once in awhile we get a glimmer of hope that our son will fully return to God. Many times I’ve wished I could just read the final chapter; then perhaps I’d sleep better at night. But we are learning to walk by faith, one day at a time. God is sovereign, and we have learned much about His grace, His patience, and His love that we probably would not have learned otherwise.”

Praying today that we might comfort one another no matter where we are in this journey. We as parents are learning to TRUST and have FAITH in a way that transcends human understanding. Reach out and encourage someone today with the comfort you have received from the Lord. It is His way of bringing us closer to Him and giving us healing and peace.
Praying for our prodigals that no matter where they are in their journey that they will see Jesus. Father, take the blinders off their eyes that they might see You today. And we thank you and praise you for the work You alone can do in their lives.