Unhappy Mother’s Day
I am wondering if there are those of you out there who are not excited at all about Sunday’s celebration of Mother’s Day. I’m just putting that out there because for many years, Mother’s Day was excruciatingly painful for me because I was not given much hope to be able to have the children that I so desperately wanted.
If you’ve never been through infertility, it’s really hard to understand. For me, it was like I was grieving the death of a child that hadn’t even been conceived. Strange phenomenon. The pain was so forceful that I remember crying out to the Lord with such anguish that I could barely recognize the sound of my own voice as it left my body in great heaving siren-like wails. Some of you know what I’m talking about.
One day I was vacuuming the rug in our tiny dining room when the anguish of being barren overtook me like black storm. I was alone, so I cried aloud. Asking why. Begging for relief either in the form of a child, or in the form of taking the desire away. How was I supposed to go on? I was terrified at the thought of never being a mother or a grandmother And worse yet, knowing that my husband had married a woman that would never be able to give him the children he’d dreamed of his whole life. As my chaotic thoughts tumbled out in a frenzied prayer, I could hear a still, small whisper over the noise. So still, so sweet, that it calmed me for a moment so I could hear it. “I have ordained this specific trial just for you. I am standing here asking you to accept this pain and walk through it with me. You ask me why over and over again, but you already know why. It is for MY glory. Your barrenness will bring ME glory. And isn’t that your deepest heart’s desire?” And I realized in that moment that God was calling me to glorify Him in my pain, which is the highest form of worship. It’s so easy to serve and love God when the blessings flow, but when He chooses to touch us in a painful way and we beat against it, yes, but ultimately come back to worship Him, ah…..now that’s when we really see Christ being formed in us. Because we look like Jesus did in a minuscule way as He obediently traveled the road to the cross for His Father’s glory. And what’s really cool about God is that our pain is not only for His glory, but for our great good.(Romans 8:28) God’s glory and our best good always go in tandem.
In those dark days, I could never have imagined what the Lord was doing. One of the reasons I am blogging about this is because I truly believe the Lord had me walk through this fire so that I could help others who are going through the same thing. Oh, dear one who is a mother in your heart but not in your arms, look at your Savior. Choose to believe that He is asking you to wait on Him. He is moving in ways you cannot see. For me, after years of trying and almost losing them during pregnancy, the Lord, allowed me to bear 3 beautiful boys. And I’m so grateful for my story. So grateful that the Lord asked me to go through that fire. Why? Because He has been so exalted in my life through it. He did a miracle for me. And it’s not because He answered my prayer for babies in the affirmative, but because in my pain, He revealed Himself to me in beautiful ways. He picked me up and walked with me through it all. He didn’t abandon me when I didn’t have the strength to make it through the day. I HAD to lean on His mighty chest. Was FORCED to trust Him. I never would have known Him in such an intimate way had He not sovereignly and with surgical precision inserted deep pain in my heart. I NEEDED Him in a way that was unique to my pain, and He did not disappoint. With the great pain came His even greater presence. Breathtaking.
If you are hurting, and the thought of Mother’s Day is too much for you to bear this year, be encouraged. Let yourself feel the pain. Scream and holler and sob and wail if you have to. He can take it. And know that under the floodwaters of your pain, there is a Savior that will breathe for you. He will bring value to your hurt and redeem it for His glory. And, in the end, whatever the outcome He chooses for you, you will find like I did that you wouldn’t change a thing. Because if you let it, the pain will become precious to you because it drove you to love Jesus more. Phil. 3:10
Alison Everill Performs “Prayer Warrior”
Well, I hardly know where to begin. It’s been too long since my last post, but with the new year comes the committment to do better, so here goes.
Me, Scott and the boys had a great Christmas. We went home to Florida and saw our precious families. We even were able to go to Disney World with our boys, my brother’s little boy, Cole, my mom and my 76 year old grandmother. It was the craziest day I can ever remember with 2 hour waits for almost every ride and trying to keep track of 4 little boys. I got there and panicked when I saw all the people. I thought, “What are we going to do if one of these boys gets lost! We’ll never find them!” So, I came up with a plan. I wrote my cell number 4 separate pieces of paper and told the boys to put that in their pockets with strict instructions that should they get lost they were to go immediately to the nearest official looking person and give them the piece of paper and ask them to call their mom. I thought I was so with it until I realized that none of my boys had pockets! But I was not to be thwarted so I had the boys put the piece of paper in their underwear. They didn’t seem to mind, but I had to have a giggle at the thought of one of them getting lost and pulling a piece of paper out of their underwear and handing it to someone. Anyway, a mom’s got to do what a mom’s got to do.
Along with the trip to Disney, I got to sing at FBC Jax which was so much fun. It was great to see some old friends and to get to minister there once again was such a privilege.
Sometimes I wonder what the Lord is doing in my life. I wonder if I’m really having an impact for the Kingdom at all. Then something will happen to remind me that even on the most common of days in the most ordinary circumstances, there is opportunity to speak for Him. I had just such an opportunity last week.
The doorbell rings. I’m not expecting anyone and I’m clad in my uniform – a huge T-shirt, workout pants and a hoodie. I answer the door to, you guessed it, Jehovah’s witness. I talked to them for a few moments and everything was all smiles until I informed them that I believe and know it to be rock solid truth that Jesus is God. You talk about back pedaling, woah. They got so grave and treated like I was the most pitiful creature in the world. We talked for a while and I showed them several verses that proved that Jesus was not just a good man, but God. I told them that He was equal in every way to the Father and has existed as one with the Father from eternity past – they did not come around to my way of thinking. But I was so encouraged that I had the opportunity to speak up for the Savior and actually say what I knew would be hard for them to hear. As I closed the door, my heart was breaking at their darkness and how they can believe in a false god and how clever Satan is to concoct a religion that leads people down such a sinister path. I prayed that their eyes would be opened and the true Light of the World would shine into their hearts. One of the ladies came back the other day to drop off some literature that would help me see the light, I’m sure. So I’ll do my homework, take some notes and talk to her some more. I don’t know what will happen, but I know that the Lord loves her and that He is God whether she believes He is or not. I’ll keep you posted on how it goes.
We all have a message, THE message. Let’s speak the truth in love and not be ashamed of the true gospel. It really is the power of God unto salvation. Nothing else will do.
I am not a good sleeper. My mind goes so fast all the time that I have a hard time shutting it down when it’s time to crawl in bed and call it a day. So, an uninterrupted night of sleep for me is a rare commodity. A couple of weeks ago, my active mind was just losing the fight with my over-extended body and I was drifting off to that wonderful world of REM. It was about 1:30 in the morning and just as I was closing my eyes I hear, “Mommy, I need you.” My youngest son was leaning on the banister of the stairs with his tattered blanket slung over his shoulder asking for my help. What was I going to do? Ignore him? Get angry and think, “How dare he interrupt my sleep! Doesn’t he know that I need to rest?” No. Even though I was bone tired, the love of motherhood would not allow me to ignore him. He needed me and I was there.
As I helped him get settled back in for the night I lay beside him for just a moment and kissed his perfect cheek. Even though he was asleep almost immediately and probably didn’t hear me, I whispered to him of my love for him and Jesus’ love for him. I told him that he could call me anytime day or night and I would come running. As I left him to his sleep and went back downstairs to finish the night, I thought about how what I had just experienced was a smaller scale of the Father’s reaction to me when I call upon Him. It doesn’t matter to Him when I call, He is always available. And what’s even more incredible is that, unlike earthly parents, He never slumbers or sleeps.(Ps. 121) He relentlessly watches over me and even longs to hear from me.
Scripture is filled with requests from our wonderful Father to come to him and talk to him and even ask for what we need. Why don’t we do this? Is it because we think that He doesn’t have time, or that He doesn’t really care – that our requests are too small for such a big God? If we let that train of thought dominate our prayer life, we will never have the intimacy with Christ that He died to provide. Remember, He did die for you and it was not only to make a way for you to get to heaven, it was also to make a way for you to have fellowship with the Father. It must grieve His heart when we don’t take advantage of the privileges He died to give us.
What’s the point? We are God’s children and He loves us. He wants to be “interrupted” by our requests even if it is the middle of the night. The veil of the temple was torn in two. He was trying to say something when He did that. (Heb. 4:12). So call on Him.
Have you ever awakened in the morning and thought, “It’s just another ordinary day.”? That’s me most days. I fail to see the wonder in the simple act of waking up. Instead of realizing that the world I awaken to is one where I am loved supremely, where every breath I’m given comes from the Lord Himself, I have the audacity to say, “It’s just another ordinary day.”
Yesterday started out that way and then the Lord took my day on an unexpected path. I was just going through the motions of fixing breakfast for my 3 little guys and trying force myself to get moving when the phone rang. I looked at the number on the i.d. screen and didn’t recognize it. I knew it was a GA number and I have family and friends there, but I knew it wasn’t any of their’s. Then, like a thunderclap, it dawned on me. I was picking up a phone call from a very special new friend. She is one of the greatest Christian songwriters that the Lord ever dropped on the planet. She has written songs that have encouraged the church for many years. She is also a very successful recording artist. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard a voice on the other line say, “Hello, may I speak to Alison?” and I squeak out, “This is she.” then she says, “Hello, Alison, this is So-in-so.” What is happening? Did the room suddenly tilt? I think I’m going to faint. I was so excited.
To try to make a very long story shorter, she was calling in response to a song that I had written. She was excited about it and wants to work with me and help me get started as a Christian songwriter. So I talked to her very cooly, and calmly and then I got off the phone and did a happy dance right there in my bedroom. I was so overcome I didn’t know how to pray. Should I say, “Thank you, Lord!” No, that doesn’t quite cover it. Should I fall on my knees and commit to the Lord that any success He gives me will be used for His glory? That’s a little closer to the right response. But closer still, I ask my precious Father to forgive me for taking any day for granted. I beg Him to help me to trust in His plan for my life instead of allowing my mind to go to that place of chaos when I refuse to rest in Him. And, yes, I thank Him and commit that anything that happens in my life that gives me joy or pain will be used for His glory.
Right now I am sitting in my living room. The sky is just begining to dim(I love this time of day) my 3 little boys are giggling in their bedroom and my husband is walking in the door safe and sound. I am smiling because this moment is a snapshot of God’s great grace in my life. I don’t deserve any of what I am experiencing right now, yet somehow, I am being lavished upon by the One who loves me most.
As I think back over the last few weeks I really feel a sense of gratitude. It’s been so much fun. I’ve been able to cut a demo, go to a songwriters conference, and lead a night of praise and worship at my home church. These are all dreams fulfilled. I am so thankful that the Lord allows me to do what I love the most to honor Him. What could be better?
Over the last 6 months things have changed drastically for my family. My husband, after pastoring for nearly 20 years, felt the Lord moving Him from ministry into the secular business world. Talk about a crazy time! We have been hanging on waiting for the Lord to open doors, windows, or even a doggie door! He has kept us in the dark, forcing us to trust Him. Imagine that! Trust God? Really? It has been a time for us to put our money where our mouth is, and God has been faithful. I watch Him daily bring my frantic heart back to the rock solid truth of Scripture and cause me to truly believe Him when He says, “Nothing can separate me from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus.”Rom8:39.
I am learning daily to surrender my will and my plans to the Father’s desires for me – to make His desires my own. There is great peace in that. I still have many “freak out” moments as I wait on the Lord, but I feel myself growing and as the Apostle Paul said, “For momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison” 2 Cor. 4:16. This isn’t all there is. In fact, the things we run from, pray against, cry and agonize over are most often things that the Lord is trying to use to bring us closer to Him. So, with fear and trembling I pray, “Lord, I am willing to be in the storm if that’s where You are.”