Dying to Live

I sent this pic to Paul on Tuesday after a four hour non-stop cluster feeding session with our newest son, Jude, (#boymom 😊) who officially entered our Father’s world on September 21st, 2020. Because of some issues at birth (which I will share at a later date when I am able to sit down and write the birth story), we had to unexpectedly stay an extra night in the hospital. So Paul headed home to be with our older two boys and relieve my mom who needed to be at work the next day. I am so thankful to have had the care received at a hospital this time around (my last delivery with my middle son was at a birth center and it was supposed to be for this pregnancy/delivery too, but they dropped my insurance when I was around 12 weeks pregnant…but nothing is coincidence with God) for a number of reasons I will share later, but I am happy we are finally now home. My heart is full. 

Yet, at the same time, these last several days have been filled with much struggle and difficulty, and I find myself having a lot of flashbacks of my experience as a first-time mom almost exactly six years ago

This is the second time we have brought a new life into the world at the turn of Fall…Paul and I’s favorite season. It’s when we began dating so it holds a very special place in our heart. But with the turn of this particular season, I also have memories of some dark and heavy times in my life as well.

It is rather mind-blowing to me that not only were Isaiah (our oldest) and Jude born around the same time of year (just about 2.5 weeks a part), they have strikingly similar facial features, and what is even more obvious to me is their similar temperament. 

To be completely honest, Isaiah was not an easy baby. Frankly, he was not a very happy baby. I felt like I was failing as a mom because he was constantly upset and uncomfortable. I had trouble soothing him with things that normally worked and when he got upset…he got REALLY upset. Once he cried so hard in the car that he popped blood vessels in his eyes. He also barely slept either during the day or at night…unless I was holding him. (His struggle with sleep actually lasted until he was about 2.5 years old and on and off for another year after that).

It didn’t take long for me to realize that because of a traumatic birth experience, severe sleep deprivation, and my history of struggle with anxiety and depression, I was not handling any of it very well.

But because of my severe lack of understanding of the sovereignty of God and horrendous Word of Faith beliefs, I never told a soul, not even admit it to myself that I was struggling. You just don’t do that because once you say it, it becomes reality (**Cough** Law of Attraction **Cough**Cough*). There’s power in your words…power to speak life and death, I was taught. This, of course, is taking Proverbs 18:21 out of context (and not even quoting the whole verse) to mean we can create every outcome in life with our words.

Friends, that is not what that verse means, but that’s another topic for another time. 

And how could I forget to stand upon my “life verse” in times of struggle… “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Taking Philippians 4:13 out of context to mean that I am unstoppable…a super human if you will… because “I am a Christian! I am a child of God…I am more than a conqueror in Christ! I am to walk victoriously in all areas of my life! I am blessed and highly favored! When Jesus died of the cross, He took away ALL sin, sickness, and disease! I am healed and whole. Nothing missing, nothing broken. Anxiety and depression are just attacks from Satan and he has no authority in my life…I bind this anxiety and depression in the name of Jesus! I am not weak!” 

But the thing is… I am weak!

I know to admit that now probably more than ever because of these last (almost) six years of motherhood.

This particular passage of scripture in 2 Corinthians has carried me through so many dark nights of the soul, and I find myself clinging to its truth in my current season:

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NASB

Not only have I learned to admit my weaknesses so that I can boast in the strength and grace of Christ, I have learned a whole new level of dying to self as I lean into the high (demanding) calling of motherhood. 

This morning as baby Jude stirred for a feeding and my body feeling the ache of the aftermath of my third natural childbirth and only 2.5 hours of sleep as I write this, I read these comforting and timely words in an email from Well-Watered Women:

“When the mornings begin to cool and the leaves start to change, so does my heart. The heat of summer is passing, and any sign of a chill in the air causes my heart to soar and my tummy to crave a nice cup of coffee. The changing of the season brings new life to my soul and my home—but at the same time, it ushers in death.

Once-green leaves begin to turn colorful hues before falling to the ground and losing all signs of life. The leaves that previously shaded us from the sun become a crumpled heap we step on. This necessary death brings about new life in the world as well as in our souls.

Death brings new life for believers as well. Death to self brings life in the Spirit (Romans 8:9–11). Death to sin brings life in Christ (Romans 6:6–8). Jesus offers us the invitation to die to ourselves in order to embrace true life in him (Luke 9:23). This year, let the changing of the seasons be a physical reminder of the importance and beauty of death in the Christian life. Death is not the end for the follower of Jesus; it’s the segway to new life in him.

May we die to live. May we lose to gain him—and him alone—as we remember that in the changing of the seasons, he never changes. His truths never fail and they never grow stale. They never falter or become less vital. Rather, his Word sustains us when every leaf falls and the cold of winter comes. His grace gives us hope and enjoyment in every season.”  

Gretchen Saffles

What a powerful reminder of who our God is…never changing even when the seasons change!

So I will end with this…

As we enter this Fall season, and I enter a new season of motherhood that brings me to my knees in the middle of the night and causes me to die to myself a little more each day, I fix my eyes on Jesus and boast of my weakness and my great need for the Lord. 

Jesus’ grace is sufficient today and in every season. 

“This year, let the changing of the seasons be a physical reminder of the importance and beauty of death in the Christian life. Death is not the end for the follower of Jesus; it’s the segway to new life in Him. May we die to live.”

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March on in truth!

Charles Spurgeon once said,

“Controversy is never a very happy element for the child of God: he would far rather be in communion with his Lord than be engaged in defending the faith, or in attacking error. But the soldier of Christ knows no choice in his Master’s commands. He may feel it to be better for him to lie upon the bed of rest than to stand covered with the sweat and dust of battle; but, as a soldier, he has learned to obey, and the rule of his obedience is not his personal comfort, but his Lord’s absolute command. The servant of God must endeavor to maintain all the truth which his Master has revealed to him, because, as a Christian soldier, this is part of his duty. But while he does so, he accords to others the liberty which he himself enjoys.”

Over this past year, my husband, Paul, and I have experienced a sense of urgency and heavy burden to preach truth in love and call out error through our online platform. We wouldn’t call it “fun.” It’s uncomfortable, but as followers of Christ, we know we are called to stand in boldness when God’s Word is being distorted. 

In the epistle of Jude, he exhorts believers to be defenders of the faith, to hold fast to our message as Christians, the glorious gospel.  

“Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints.”

Jude 1:3, NASB

Engaging in Christian apologetics in today’s culture is desperately needed when defending the faith, even within the Church and especially in America because error abounds. We must stand for truth and become defenders of the Christian faith that has stood the test of time for thousands of years, even when wolves come in to devour the flock (Matthew 7).

It isn’t about a single person being right. It is about God being right because He is. He is Truth. If we are His, we will want to grow in that truth, boldly proclaim it, and protect it from error, even if it makes us uncomfortable or even experience pain and rejection at times. 

The gospel is offensive.

Truth can cut deep and point out things in us that we don’t want to see, but if we want to be conformed to the image of Christ, we must believe and follow truth. 

We should not have to apologize for our zeal for God’s Word and His glorious gospel because without those precious gifts from the Lord to us, we would not be able to revel in the benefits of the good news or share it with others so that their fellowship with their Heavenly Father is restored.

As God’s children, we have been transformed by God’s love and mercy. We can live forgiven and free because of that. We should long to share that love with others by sharing truth found in the Bible, whether they have never heard the gospel, or they have strayed from its pure message and have begun following a false gospel.

We should never feel ashamed to share the hope of our message as believers, turning from our life in sin to turning to Christ alone who offers us new eternal life in Him that was purchased for us by His own blood. In Christ, we are forgiven. In Christ, we are God’s precious children. This is the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints of old and we must continue to pass it down to each generation and protect it from those who would want to twist its message. 

Do you have a desire to share truth with a loved one who may be caught up in deception of a false gospel or on your social media platform to reach others for the gospel?

Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the boldness and ask Him for a greater desire for His Word. It is so important to become a diligent student of God’s Word so that when the opportunity presents itself you are able to give a response for the hope that you have inside of you (1 Peter 3:15).

Stand firm, and march on in truth, soldier.


If you would like to learn more about my husband and I’s ministry, you can visit, www.wewouldratherhavejesus.com.

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