I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I wrote this for my Momma the last Mother's Day we had with her in 2007:
What is a Mom?

Is a mom someone to come to when it’s food our stomachs
Or is momma the one who comes to us-reminding us to
Is a mom someone who holds us when we scrape a tiny
And is she the one who comes running when we scream out,
Is she the one who used to tuck me in when I would cry at
Then she’d come in and tell me, “Everything will be
She works all day and runs the house, a wife, a mom,
a cook,
But still finds time to clean it all-from every cranny to every
Is a mom that lady who, somehow, can always make me
Is she the one who always says, “Come sit with me a
Is a Mom someone I aspire to be more like
From the way she laughs, to how she thinks, or something she may
I think she’s the one who may get mad, but she’s always quick to be
She’s poured so many years into this tiny, little
She’s the one who’s given me so much more than I
Not only the manner in which I speak, but my attitude, my heart,
my eyes.
She’s all these things, my best friend, and more special than she
Lord, help me show her everyday how much I love her
By: Jessica Nicole Schafer
May 12, 2007

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Part two.

Since I talked about the SUFFERING, now what? What about when the suffering doesn't stop? I had already told myself back in December that 2009 would be such an WONDERFUL YEAR. It had to be, right? I mean, after all the junk, the heartache, the sorrow......SURELY God will show mercy and let me have some happy times in 2009!! RIGHT?!?! Well.......not so much. In fact, MANY things have fallen apart since New Year's Eve. Not just with my family, but with many dear, dear friends of mine. WHY!?!?! "But God, I thought.....I thought THIS year would FINALLY be happy!?!?!?"

So, WHAT NOW? Prolonged suffering. And Waiting. Waiting for Him to deliver me. What do I do in the meantime? What if the suffering lasts many more months......what if (GULP).....my life is FULL of deep sorrow and grief until my very days here are over? Hard pill to swallow, that's what I've been thinking about. HOPEFULLY, that will not be the case. HOPEFULLY, I will get to BE IN the Promised Land, and not just SEE IT. That is my hope, but there is NOT a person who can answer that, only the LORD knows. So, I've been asking myself. "Jessica, WHAT IF this is to be the story of your life?". And you know what, yesterday I got a little piece, not the whole picture, but a little piece of hope. A little piece of what to do, you know, in case "WHAT IF" turned into a reality.

All my life I have been told of the LORD's lovingkindesses. How they never cease, they're new every morning. Lamentations tells us of this, a huge picture of Hope. We even have songs about it..."Great is Thy faithfulness....Morning by morning, new mercies I see...". (For me, lately I've been singing it "mourning by mourning".) Did you know the English language doesn't have an equivalent for that Hebrew word? His "lovingkindness" in Hebrew is such a good word, a loving word about God, we didn't have a word to fully describe it, so we called it "lovingkindess". WOW. That's good stuff. I learned that in my college days. ;) Didnt know you'd learn something here, did you? Haha. Moving on.......so I'd been thinking about His lovingkindness.....and how I'd been waiting on Him, MY DELIVERER to show up....how I've been wanting to see some more of this lovingkindness. So, I opened up that Bible, and I went looking. And do you know what? I found something. Let me share. Please read this first, because I don't want you to miss it.......

"I am the man who has seen affliction Because of the rod of HIS wrath........He has broken my bones.......In dark places He has made me dwell.......Even when I cry out and call for help, He shuts out my prayer........He has turned aside my ways and torn me to pieces.......He made the arrows of His quiver to enter into my inward parts.......My soul has been rejected from peace, I have forgotten happiness. So I say, 'My strength has perished, and so has my hope from the LORD.' Remember my affliction and my wandering, the wormwood and bitterness. Surely my soul remembers and is bowed down within me. This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness." -Lamentations 3:1-23NASB- (excerpts from)

Did you catch it? I never did until Sunday. I was able to find even more Hope to cling to when I did. For the writer, what brought hope? Did God come down and change all his circumstances? Did God audibly tell him He would "fix" everything? Did the brokenness change, did the suffering stop? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! But, we read, "This I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease......". Nothing changed, there was no change in what was happening around. He remembered the Lord's lovingkindnesses. He remembered His compassions never failing. He remembered His faithfulness. And if you've read the rest of that chapter, we find even more hope. But YET, we're reminded of this...."Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both good and ill go forth?" -Lamentations 3:38NASB-

That was the shift in thinking for me, in hoping, in my "theology"....which, thanks to my old professors I learned our theology should always be changing and growing.....never stay where it is. You see, I was freed from that thinking that I can hope in Him and rejoice in Him and worship Him whenever He comes to deliver me. Because what IF he doesn't come in this life, for me? What if MY deliverance will be the end, when we're all reunited with Him? Like I said before, HOPEFULLY that will not be the case. But if so, I learned the other day to lift up my face, look ahead, yet still look back and remember. Remember the suffering, remember the sorrow and the grief, remember the dire circumtances God has placed me in.....yet alongside that, remember Him. I learned to remember that I can't change what's going on around me, but I can change me. (Please don't misread, there are times in one's life when SIN is the reason for the suffering, they need to repent and stop the sinning.....but sometimes the suffering has nothing to do with that. It just happens. Look at Job, and hellooooo, JESUS!!!) But I can let Him change me. I can look back and remember Him, my Hope. I have to hope in Him even when NOTHING AROUND ME HAS CHANGED. Because if I don't, sorrow wins. Death wins. Loneliness wins. Grief wins. But if I just remember, though all around is the same.......I know that CHRIST has already won. And THAT is HOPE.

Part one.

So, I've been thinking. Ever do that? Gets me in trouble sometimes. ;)


Looking back on the past fourteen months, I've learned a ton. More than I could ever write on a little ol' blog. But I DID want to share a few things. I want to talk about SUFFERING. I want to talk about PAIN. Now, before you click to another blog, please stick with me. I am FULLY aware that many people do NOT want to read about hard times in another's life. I mean, why worry about someone else when you have ENOUGH of your OWN WORRIES?! And, in our society, in AMERICA....we often think that if someone is enduring prolonged suffering, it MUST be their own fault, either they're living in SIN, or they're simply NOT TRYING hard enough. I have had MANY a "friend" talk with me about how maybe I'm stuck in a hard place because God's trying to "teach me a lesson" or I'm not "trying hard enough"....I've even been told to "get over it". As disheartening as it is to hear someone say those words to me, I'm sure I'll continue hearing the same stuff from people who have good intentions....however, good intentions aren't always good.

Okay, back on point. I want to talk about something in this post, and continue on with the next post when I get the chance to get it all out successfully. MANY people say while enduring hard times, "Well, I know God will never give me more than I can handle...". Where in the Bible does it say that? If it DOES say that, I am FULLY UNAWARE OF IT. I know some use I Corinthians 10:13....but that verse is talking about God making a way for you when you're being tempted. Not suffering.

So.....where do we get this idea? Beloved reader, whoever you are, could it be that indeed WE ARE given MORE than we can handle sometimes? What if God often does give us such a huge load to carry because he WANTS US TO COME TO HIM? "Come to me all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest. Take MY yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easey and My burden is light." -Matthew 11:28-30 NASB-

I can't get Job's story out of my mind. I have thought about that story over and over again through the past fourteen months. The tragic circumstances with my Momma were one of many things I've been going through. I remember Job. I remember how he still said "Blessed be the name of the Lord" though he lost everyone he loved. I remember how his "godly" friends were the VERY ONES pointing at him telling him SURELY he has done something wrong to be living through such hard times.....the very friends he needed were the ones quick to judge him instead of be there for him. I remember so much of his story. AM I JOB? No. I am Jessica. BUT, is not life a mixture of all our stories in history? Was not the Bible written for us to learn from and draw comfort from? That is what has comforted me lately. I can say, with all my heart, "The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away. Blessed be the name of the LORD." -Job 1:21b NASB- Though we never forget sorrows, we have to move on.......BUT, ignoring reality will NEVER bring true healing.

Read the Psalms. They're filled with complaint. Almost all of them are filled with complaint WITH Hope, though. (Though I wonder about Psalm 88.) I have learned that God knows my heart, HE alone knows my sorrows, what I've seen, what I have endured, what I will endure.......and HE is BIG ENOUGH to hear my complaints. He is the VERY ONE who is in charge of what's happening around me. He listens. He comforts. He doesn't condemn me when others do. He knows. He always knows. I have learned, as a very wise Professor of mine spoke of, to worship him THROUGH my complaints. Why pretend with Him? Why push aside reality with Him? HE KNOWS!! Oh, what comfort I have been able to experience through my questions to Him, my anger, my loneliness, feelings of betrayal.......through staring death in the face.......through one thing after another falling apart.......what comfort in knowing HE IS WITH ME. And HE KNOWS and DELIGHTS in my honesty with Him.

And you who are reading, HE KNOWS. He knows your struggles, your pain, your worries, your doubt, your fears, your loneliness, your depression, your sadness, your frustrations, your sorrows, your grief.......He Knows. He wants you to bring it to Him.

More next post.