Celebrating Claire's 7th Birthday - Despite the Lies

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Next Friday, August 30th, marks Claire’s 7th birthday, and the Lord has finally given me the courage and the strength to celebrate it out loud with joy in my heart. I am finally seeing God’s full blessing after the hard season.

Psalm 126 “Those who sow in tears shall reap with songs of joy.”

The past five years have been a journey. A difficult one to say the least. However, it would have been  easier and perhaps shorter if I would have known the lies that I was accepting as truth. Satan is crafty, cunning like a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He desires to work against the Holy Spirit in our lives, he cannot be trusted or ignored.

John 10:10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.
I came that they may have life and have it abundantly
.
John 8:44 says “for there is no truth in him…he lies, he speaks his native language,
for he is a liar and the father of lies”

But thankfully
1 John 4:4 “…greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”
 

The grief I felt losing Claire was/is unexplainable. It is an inescapable, unrelenting, disorienting, painful force that wreaked havoc on my mind, deep in my soul, and rippled into my daily life. I was so confused and broken, I would just sit and cry. There was an emptiness in my heart where Claire used to be. It felt eternal.

-Satan convinced me life would never get better, that I would never heal. Then God said…
               Jeremiah 30:17 -But I will restore you to health and heal your words,
declares the Lord.

Isaiah 57:15-18  -“I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite…I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the LORD. “And I will heal them.”
 

Losing a child is a lonely place. The intensity of grief sent me deep within myself and many people did not understand the pain, the guilt, and the void that it left inside. This desolate place left me depleted, powerless, weak… I simply was not enough…for anything…I was barely surviving.

-Satan stole strength and purpose to thrive in life. Then God said…
2 Cor 12:9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
 

I remember two years after Claire’s passing breaking down in Jordan’s arms because life felt so solemn. Joy, happiness, excitement were distant memories. To be honest, the thought of being joyful brought up difficult questions within my soul. Am I suppose to feel joy while grieving? If I enjoy life without Claire, does that diminish my love for her? Am I mourning her improperly if I feel joy?

-Satan not only tried to steal my joy, but make me feel guilty about the thought of it returning.
But God said…
 
James 1:2-4 Consider it pure joy, my brother, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of our faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.
Psalm 94:17-19 Unless the Lord had given me help, I would soon have dwelt in the silence of death. When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought you to my soul.

 

I wish I had been wiser when I was facing these untruths, but I am thankful for a God who pursued me. He slowly illuminated truth in his word, and the Holy Spirit counseled me from within my soul. Through the perseverance my faith has been purified and strengthened. I have gained immeasurable eternal blessings from a difficult time, and my cup overflows as God promised.

1 Peter 1:6-9 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
 

Satan tried to put salt on my wounds, but the Lord has healed them. He has gone into the deep dark places of my heart and filled up every void until there is no emptiness. Grief is a part of me, but it does not identify me; Jesus does.

 

Satan tried to beat me down until I was unable to move. Now the Lord has restored me to a strength beyond my own because in the valley I learned to stand and walk on his power because I had none of my own. Now I live by God’s grace for his kingdom, and I am full of his purpose.

 

Satan tried to steal my joy, and now my heart overflows to the point that I feel more joy, excitement, and zest for life that I ever have. God has restored and multiplied his fruit in my life.
 

I have an awesome God who healed me, restored me, and set me on fire! I am so excited to share all that he has delivered me from, and I am full of joy to celebrate Claire’s beautiful life with you. I pray the Lord blesses you today as only HE can!!
 

In Christian Love,
Connie Parker

Bethany Egland