The Macs

Monday, October 18, 2010

I saw you too, Lord

In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, 
and the train of his robe filled the temple.
Isaiah 6:1

I love it when you are learning something about God and everywhere you go He seems to remind you of that specific truth. I have been attending Bible Study Fellowship this year and I am absolutely loving it. My head sometimes feels like it is going to burst because I am learning so much. We are studying Isaiah and this past week we were learning about the holiness and glory of the Lord. Isaiah saw a vision of the Lord. He saw a God who is like no other. I walked away challenged to ask myself this question: Do I have a vision of the Lord? If I do, it will change my life. I couldn't get that out of my head. I want to have a vision of the Lord. I want my life to be changed by Him. How do I get there?

Then last night Joel and I were at church for the dress rehearsal for Judgement House. We have been a part of this ministry for the last three years, but this year the story became very personal to us. In fact it wasn't just a story. As we watched the drama last night we felt every emotion. We had been the parents standing outside the hospital room when the doctor said there was nothing else he could do for their daughter. She wasn't going to make it. For us, it was real life.

This year our Judgement House script is Hannah's Hope. It is the true story of a teenage girl who lost her six month battle with cancer. But Hannah and her family did not fall into despair when facing death. Their testimony of faith and unwavering hope in Jesus through their storm is amazing. I am so challenged by this young girl's strength and by her parent's continued trust in the Lord. Hannah has left behind an incredible legacy and her story continues to reach so many. This year her story is even reaching Newton, Kansas.

At the end of our time together last night, we read an excerpt from Deb's journal. I was so touched by her words:

...You know Lord, I have heard it said many times - even this week - that so much fruit has come from Hannah’s journey. In the deepest recesses of this mother’s heart, I pray we have not seen anything yet. As I stood at her grave yesterday morning after sharing with a middle school FCA, I asked you again to bring forth much fruit from this kernel of wheat that has fallen into the ground and died. When we stop missing Hannah every day and thinking about her all the time, perhaps I will stop asking You to bring forth fruit from her life. No, don’t count on it. We want every single bit of fruit You desire to bring forth and for as long as we have breath in our bodies we will continue to ask. We ask it not only through Hannah’s life but through the lives of her brothers - whose cost has also been high.

I am a spectator in this arena called earth, Lord, and I want to see You in all Your glory! And I think You want us to see You in all Your glory! Isaiah saw You -  he saw You the year King Uziah died - I saw You too, Lord - the year Hannah died. You have changed me - I never want to be the same again. I never want to go back to life as usual - I never want to settle for less than all You have for me. When we see You, Lord, You transform us. You do it over and over again through Your word! You deepen our understanding of who You are - of how big You are!...

I loved that she said, "I saw you too, Lord - the year Hannah died." And I saw the Lord too - the year Cora died. The Lord has changed me and I echo Deb's words, I never want to be the same again. I never want to go back to life as usual - I never want to settle for less than all You have for me. I too pray that as long as I have breath I would be faithful to use Cora's story for His glory, that I wouldn't stop asking Him to bring forth the fruit that He desires from her short little life. I may not have physically seen God, but through Cora's death I have seen aspects of His in His Word and in His works...and I am forever changed. I hate that Cora died, but I love that He is changing me and using Cora's life to change the lives of people around me.

I am praying as Judgement House approaches this week that the Lord will continue to use Hannah's story to draw people to Himself. That many will come to understand true HOPE that can only be found in Jesus.


Blogger Jenae said...

Are you doing Bible Study Fellowship???

If so, where do you go? I go to the east side one on Tuesday mornings.

October 18, 2010 at 12:18 PM  
Blogger Jenae said...

Oops...missed that in the first paragraph. :)

I love it too! I am learning so much!!!

October 18, 2010 at 12:19 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

WOW, this is POWERFUL. So beautiful!

October 18, 2010 at 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh Jess. God is using you. Using you to encourage me to write it down. I see Him carrying me through these past few weeks. But it hurts to write it down. I need to share His grace and His truth and the joy and I am learning each day.

Thank you, Jess for sharing this.

October 18, 2010 at 12:41 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

I am currently studying James and I love seeing how believers use trials as tests of faith and perseverance. I hate that you lost Cora, but I can see that this trial is making you stronger and closer to God. We may not understand it, but you have not lost your joy and I love seeing that in you. You set a fine example.

October 18, 2010 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger purejoy said...

i love BSF but had to quit in the middle of the year last year and elected not to return this year. i bet the study of isaiah is amazing. i hope to return someday, but just not the time for me right now.

great post… there are things that have happened over the years that i would have loved to have not happened.
but they did. and i am forever changed. and better for it. there were some incredibly huge gains for the Lord in those circumstances… and i wouldn't trade them.
love how you so eloquently share your heart. blessings to you, jess

October 18, 2010 at 2:04 PM  
Blogger Andy and Cari said...

I too saw the Lord, the year Caden died.

He has done amazing things through her short life and her death, and I , like Hannah's mom, pray that I have not yet really seen what He is doing through my daughters life, even though she is awaiting us in Heaven.

I am in BSF,this is my 5th year and first year as a group leader, God is really teaching me some things... mostly about my sinnful heart and my mountain of pride.
It is neat to see God using the same scripture,in the same weeks, to show us all something of Him, and of ourselves.


October 18, 2010 at 2:42 PM  
Blogger The Mershawn's said...

Thanks for sharing that. God sure is using Cora. I think that's so awesome. Such a little girl...changing so many. Praying your journey is growing more & more bearable as you cling to Jesus. Praying memories of that baby girl are still strong & sweet. I can't wait to squish her in heaven...

October 18, 2010 at 2:59 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

This was an amazing post. What a powerful testimony Hannah's mother shared, and how amazing that God spoke right to you through it. You faith still blesses my life daily. Cora's story is continuing to bear fruit!

October 18, 2010 at 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know how hard it is when we face challenges and trials in life. You have had a challenge and trial with the likes many of us will never experience with the loss of your Cora. But you turned your life over to God. I know He will not forget you and will carry you in your times of need. God bless you and your family each and every day for your trust, faith, hope in the future and for your unwavering faith in our Savior. Cora is so proud of you and your husband. She is watching over her little brother and loves you forever. In my church we have a second set of scriptures. My favorite scripture has sustained me these past few years. It says: ".....for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." I believe this happens if we trust God and turn our very lives over to Him. You are amazing and inspiring to all of us. Mary in Salt Lake City Utah. :)

October 18, 2010 at 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happened upon your blog one day and have been reading ever since. I have never commented on a blog before but I am this time because I live in Spartanburg, South Carolina (Hannah's hometown). I closely followed the story of Hannah's Hope during her courageous battle up to the time when she met her Savior. Her aunt goes to a chuch in Spartanburg that also does Judgement House every year and the year after she passed away they too did the story of Hannah's Hope. She was and is an incredible inspiration to us all. Thank you for sharing and God bless.
-Courtney Spartanburg,SC

October 18, 2010 at 6:40 PM  
Blogger Sallie said...

Your blog brings me to tears and at the same time fills me with an incredible awe and admiration for your family. I have never met you, I live in Kentucky and happened upon your blog one day...reading every entry and crying my eyes out while laughing out loud at times- like a crazy person! I have not gone through a loss like yours- but am humbled at your love and faith in the Lord. I hope you know that every time I pray and the choices I make, Cora and your family are in the back of my mind- reminding me to be a Godly and Faithful Mom, Wife and Friend-trusting in God at all times- not always easy for me! Your entry today really hit home and I just wanted you to know- Cora lives on in her story and inspires the masses...or at least an almost 30 Mom in Kentucky :-)

October 18, 2010 at 6:49 PM  
Blogger All Things Zaney said...

I am always so encouraged when I read your blog. My son, Zane, suffered an in-utero stroke before he was born on Jan. 2, 2009. It has been a difficult journey but we also have "seen God" in the year Zane was born. I recently heard this song and thought if you hadn't heard it you might also really appreciate the lyrics. It's by Kutless and it's beautiful. Hugs.

October 18, 2010 at 8:12 PM  
Blogger Kelli said...

I have followed your blog for a long time and I just had to comment today! I live in Spartanburg, SC where Hannah's Hope Ministries is located. I have heard Hannah's mother speak and her story is powerful...because our God is mighty! Thank you for sharing Cora with us! Blessings!

October 18, 2010 at 9:26 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Wow...wasn't quite ready for these tears after along day at work. God bless!

October 18, 2010 at 9:41 PM  
Blogger Selena said...

Hi Jess,

I am always happy to see you have a new post... it was so heart-warming. Your love for God is so encouraging, and Him using you is even more so.

I wish you could visit with some friends of ours. Their little girl, Hailey, is in her final stages of brain cancer and their faith has been shaken to the core. I am sure that you understand, and I am sure that you've gained wisdom that would be so helpful for them.

I have seen God work through Hailey as I have seen Him work through your sweet Cora over the past two years I have been following you. I dropped you an email over the weekend, but just to be sure you received her info, I thought I would leave you a comment. I believe God is encouraging me to share her info with you as your post was so fitting tonight. In case you didn't receive my email, her CaringBridge site is:

Will you please pray for Hailey?

Thank you... and thank you for sharing your heart and your family. May God's blessings continue to cover you, and thank you for reminding me to look for God; it really is exciting to "see" Him!


October 18, 2010 at 10:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Jess

I have been following your blog for a while even though I am an atheist. Cora's story touched my heart. I find it difficult to understand how you manage to love a god that made your baby suffer and took her away. I think that if there is a god, he is not a god that I want to love. However, should I ever loose someone close to my heart, it will be hard to think that I will never see them again, because in my mind, we live only once. Saying that I try to make the most of everyday because we never know when it will be our last.
You are a very strong person to have been through what you've been through and still find some good in the world. Although I don't share your beliefs, I think you are an amazing person.
Kindest regards

October 19, 2010 at 5:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm from Michigan and Hannah's Hope has reached me here. My family in SC knew and were friends with Hannah. I followed story and prayed for her daily.
Now that you say it... I do see alot of "Deb in you".

October 19, 2010 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Juliann said...

Jess - thank you for your testimony, your perseverence, and your commitment to the truth. I pray God's overwhelming blessing on your life today! I've been reading off and on since Cora's illness, and your faith is lived out and an example for me.

October 19, 2010 at 8:30 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I have never written before but have been following your blog since right after Cora went to be with the Lord, and I have read your post daily and you inspire me to be a better person. You took, in my eyes, the worst thing that can happen in this life to a parent and instead of laying blame or turning away, (as many do) you chose to seek your Savior even more. I know that there are people out there that have come to the Lord because of you and your faith. That is why God puts us on this earth. To Glorify Him and spread His word and you most definitely Glorified Him and you spread His word by holding strong and telling your readers that without Him you would never have made it through your loss. That is REAL FAITH and you are doing as God commands by living it day by day no matter what comes your way you will trust in the only One who can give you the strength to get up and face another day. What you have done is no different than what happened in Hannah's life. Hannah just lived a longer life than Cora but Cora's testimony through you is no less diminished. Levi is blessed to have such Godly parents as was Cora. Thank you for sharing your story and being a source of unwavering faith to us other Christians so that when we may face devastating loss we can remember your story and your faith and how you allowed God to carry you through the storm and then maybe we will follow your example of staying strong and leaning on the strong arms of Jesus.

October 19, 2010 at 8:32 AM  
Blogger jbreeden said...

I love this quote for you:
Whatever your life entails right now - no matter how far removed it seems from what you expected - He has anointed you and divinely equipped you to not merely handle it but thrive in it. -Priscilla Shirer

October 19, 2010 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Rob and Corrie said...

Oh, goodness! You know your opening line about how the LORD is teaching you something and then it "pops up" all over the place?! That's this post for me. :) I saw the LORD when I contracted Lyme Disease and it went undiagnosed for a year, the docs thinking it might be cancer...or MS...
I was just sharing with my MIL yesterday how I wouldn't exchange that time of physical pain and the "unknown" for the world. I never, ever want to lose sight of HIM...or waste the changes that He made during those so-called dark days. That and the years of treatment to follow was the most precious time of my life...tho' I don't ask to repeat it! :)

Also, we lived in Greenville-Spartanburg (til hubby got a job in Texas this summer! :), so followed Hannah's story closely.

Love, in Christ,

October 19, 2010 at 3:55 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

Jess - thank you for being such a source of encouragement! Cora's sweet life is still being used in amazing ways. "My hope is in you, Lord..."

Dear Sam - I am on my knees praying for you tonight, that God would reveal himself to you in incredible ways. You are loved!


October 19, 2010 at 8:56 PM  
Blogger meg duerksen said...

you say it so well jess.

i am loving isaiah too.
so much i have never even noticed.

every time you post on your real feelings you are brave.
you are obedient to God.
and you are brave.

October 19, 2010 at 11:08 PM  
Blogger cupcakefitz said...

You are so inspiring. Thank you for sharing...again.

October 19, 2010 at 11:57 PM  
Blogger KF said...

Thank you for sharing Jess! That was very encouraging, your blog is always so encouraging.

October 20, 2010 at 8:54 AM  
Anonymous heather said...

Thank you for the reminder to see God in every aspect of our lives - from the mundane everyday to the earth-shattering. You are doing God's work with every post!
Thank you.

October 20, 2010 at 9:07 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

just had to say that this post meant so much to me this week. i have been bombarded with the "truth." it was just what i needed to hear to put a little perspective on things in my world. thanks for sharing your thoughts.

October 20, 2010 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Stephanie Lawson said...

Such a small world, Jess.

I also live in Spartanburg, SC. I was able to be touched by Hannah's story as well as it was unfolding. She was the picture of grace and faith at its finest.

I have read your blog for about a year now. I find it so inspiring. Thanks!

October 20, 2010 at 1:57 PM  
Blogger Al's World said...

I love BSF!  I am learning so much about God's holiness, His righteousness, His total devotion and love for His people!  I am so glad that God is touching you in a real and special way.

October 20, 2010 at 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jess, what a beautiful blog straight from the heart! I am Hannah Sobeski's aunt Hope and I was directed to your blog from a local lady here in Spartanburg who had followed Cora's story. It is amazing how God connects all the dots! As you know, Hannah's mother will be visiting Newton this weekend. I can't wait to hear how God uses her story of hope! Thank you for loving the Lord and recognizing His hand at work in your life, even when life doesn't go the way we hope. Stay true to the coarse.

In Hannah's Hope,
Hope Houchins

October 25, 2010 at 2:34 PM  

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