The Great I Am

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Wow!  Doesn’t that verse just make you feel so warm inside?  When I read Isaiah 41:10, my worries just melt away!  Those few words from God just wrap around me like a giant hug from a parent after you take a big fall!  There is no better feeling in the world!

Let’s break this verse down and really examine it.

“Don’t be afraid” – God is commanding us.  Don’t is a command.  He isn’t saying, try not to be afraid.  He is saying DON’T have fear!  Just don’t even go there!  Yet, so many times we find ourselves in worry, fear, anxiety, stress, etc.  Even though God has commanded us not to.  When we fear something, we are lacking in our faith.  God will take care of us and all situations.  The situation may not turn out the way we want, but He will and He does take care of us.  However, being human, we all feel this from time to time.  Grace from God is extended and we are forgiven!

“for I am with you.”  – God is with you.  God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  He is with you, together.  You are not alone, ever!  You!  Every one of you!  Thank you God for this reminder!

“I will hold you up” – Again, God, three persons in one.  He WILL support, carry and comfort us.  Will – intention if we allow it.  God wants to hold us up.  We need to allow Him to do this. He will release our worries when He lifts us up!  Don’t you want someone to hold you?  carry you?  comfort you?  support you?  My heart is overflowing as I type these words!

“with my victorious right hand.” – God has overcome everything.  He has beaten sin.  He cannot be defeated by anyone or anything.  This is person I want next to me!  He is the one that can pull me through anything!

Stress takes on many different forms.  Work stress, parenting stress, illness, new house, new babies, new schools, new jobs, broken relationships, etc, etc.  The list can truly go on forever.  In every situation, you CAN rely on God to see you through.  Some of you reading may say, “She doesn’t know what she is talking about.  She hasn’t walked in my shoes.  She hasn’t felt my pain.”  You are right, I haven’t.  But, I have felt pain.  I have experienced the unthinkable.  And God walked beside me, carried me and brought me through to where I am today.

My family has experienced all of things mentioned above and then some.  However, we hit rock bottom when we lost our son.  Our baby boy was just 16 months old.  He was a handful of a kid.  Always getting into everything!  He was walking at 7 1/2 months and running by 10 months!  That should give you an indication that he had plans and was always on the move.  At 16 months, he came down with what we thought was stomach virus.  After a day of watching him lose his ability to walk, not eat and go into a seizure, we found out that he had brain cancer.  30 days later, at just 17 months old, my baby boy was gone.

My relationship with God at that time was superficial.  I believed in God.  I believed in Jesus.  I knew all the right answers.  But, I did not feel Him.  I did not try to feed this relationship or work at it.  I was so lost.

This loss took me and my husband on a spiritual journey.  We had no place to go but up.  We were literally drowning in grief.  We hung onto God’s outstretched hand with all the strength we had, and it wasn’t much!  We prayed together for the first time.  We questioned, we read the bible, we prayed more, we leaned on our pastor and our new church family.  We allowed God to walk beside us one step at a time.  We didn’t know where he was taking us.  We didn’t even wonder.  We just needed Him with us so that we could take our next breath, our next step, our next day.

Because of the faith we developed out of sheer desperation, we have come so far!  We have learned so much and we have started to look at life through Isaiah 41:10.  God is ALWAYS with us.  We can reach for Him anytime and He will pull us through whatever it is we are struggling with.

We have leaned on God many times since we lost our son.  And, of course, God has seen us through.  We have moved, changed jobs, had another baby, experienced illness and loss, and most recently, my husband lost part of his finger in an accident.  Through all of these struggles and stresses, we have found our blessings within them with God’s help.

We moved to a beautiful area in the valley.  Everyday, we see God in the mountains and we feel him in the breeze.  It is breathtaking!  We found a new church for our family that has welcomed us as part of the family.  We are blessed!

My youngest was born almost 5 years ago now.  There were so many emotions during my pregnancy and even the first 2 years of life.  I felt guilty having another baby after losing my son.  I felt worried if she was going to get sick also.  The feelings went on and on.  However, I turned them over to God and my almost 5 year old is a rambunctious delight!  What a blessing!

My husband’s sister experienced a life of eating disorders and many complications that went along with her condition.  She lost her battle with life last year.  Through this difficult loss and not understanding how it could all happen, I turned to God and the bible.  I may not have my answers now, but I have peace knowing that God does take care of our struggles and He supports the ones left behind while rejoicing with the ones who have gone before us.  We are blessed.

This past December, my husband lost part of his finger in a lawn mower accident.  I was terrified and he was devastated.  He is a piano player.  They were able to re-attach it and see how the healing process would work.  It has been 4 months.  It has healed well and he has had no infections at all, a miracle in itself!  However, he is not out of the woods.  He was just told that he should schedule a surgery to shorten the finger.  There is nerve damage and it did not heal aesthetically the way the doctor had hoped.  He can eliminate the pain, numbness and tingles and reshape the finger if my husband has the surgery. He is having a hard time coming to terms with this.  However, he is alive.  He has learned to play the piano with 9 fingers!  AMAZING!  And, he healed without infections.  We are truly blessed!

I guess what I am trying to say here is that regardless of your circumstance, God is with you.  He will see you through.  You just have to trust in Him and depend on Him.  Although our wishful outcomes might not be what God has planned, He is still in control and He is not letting go of us!

 

Here is how I diagram my weekly verses to help me break them down and apply them to my life.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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24 thoughts on “The Great I Am

  1. Marilyn says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey with us Erin, and showing us how God is there each step that we take in this journey of life. The good times , the very hard and tough times , the times when life stands still, He promises to “Always” be by our side to strengthen, comfort and to hold us tight and see us through. Our God is a dependable God and we can trust Him in all things.

  2. Stephanie Spears Watkinson says:

    Erin, thank you for sharing part of your story. The knowledge that God is always with us is so reassuring, especially in times when we are experiencing loss or struggling with something. Praying for you as you continue to let God lead you.

  3. Mary says:

    Erin, you are a gifted writer. Your faith leaps off the pages, even though you have been through so much. Thank you for sharing this! Hugs to you my friend, I love the mountains too!

  4. Heather says:

    Erin, thank you for sharing such personal stories. You are an amazing inspiration and have a wonderful gift for sharing your journey. I cannot begin to imagine the depths of your pain, but know that your faith and walk with The Lord is inspirational. Thank you for sharing.

  5. prince26155 says:

    Hi Erin, your blog brought both tears and joy. I have tears because I sensed the pain you have had. I felt joy because God has shown you that, no matter what happen in this life, He is with you, always with you. I pray that God gives you the wisdom as you and your husband make the decision about surgery.
    Barbara Prince, OBS Small Group Leader

  6. Katrina says:

    As you share more of your story through your blogs, I continue to be amazed at how God has pulled you through all your pain, grown your faith, and now how he’s using you to inspire others faith as well. Reading your blog continues to be a blessing. Thanks for sharing!

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