"Lord, take our lives and do whatever you want with them. We are yours. We want to be used by you, so Lord - lead us, guide us, send us. More than anything Lord, we want to bring You glory."
Months before we were even pregnant, Benson and I began praying that God would start to use us in a radical way. Over a period of months, we had grown spiritually stagnant. Our lives and our ministry had become a weekly routine and we grew desperate for a change. So, we began to pray for God to move - to challenge us, to fill us with His presence, to send us to people and places where we could minister, to shake up our world in a way that would glorify Him.
When I found out that I was expecting a baby, I began to fervently pray that God would anoint him even before birth. I prayed prayers that some people would call crazy - that the Lord would fill Him with the Holy Spirit, that He would be an ambassador of the Gospel and that people would come to know Christ because of his life. I gave Luke to the Lord very early on - knowing and trusting that this baby would grow up to bring glory to the kingdom of God.
I look back on those prayers and realize now just how faithful God is when we call on Him. Maybe I should have listened to all those times people told me to "be careful what you pray for."
Last night as I sat in a pew worshipping the Lord as my amazingly talented and passion-filled husband led worship with Steadfast, the Lord began to speak into my heart. I felt the Spirit leading me and convicting me to once again, give my life over to the Lord...to let Him have his way with my family and with my future...to commit myself to His ministry and His call. It is a prayer that I have prayed many times throughout my life - however, last night - the thought of promising my life over to God absolutely terrified me.
You see, it wasn't long ago that Benson and I started talking about having another baby. I know most people would think that we should take months or even years before trying to get pregnant again. However, as Benson and I both prayed, the Lord spoke into our spirits that He would bless us in His time - whether that means a few weeks, a few months or a few years...and whenever He was ready to bless us in that way, we were ready to receive it.
A few days after having this conversation, satan began to speak doubt into my mind..."What if you lose another baby? What if you have a miscarriage? What if your next baby has another heart defect?..." The more people told us about how Luke touched their lives and how God used him in such a mighty way, satan would try to speak thoughts of how "You prayed for this...you asked for God to use your baby...He answered your prayers..." into my mind.
So, last night... when I felt convicted to pray once again for God to use my life, I could hear the devil saying "But Kristin, what if He chooses to use your next baby in the same way as Luke?"
Luke 9:23 says "Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me."
In society during the time of Christ, the cross was a symbol for pain and suffering. It was a well-known figure that represented torture and death. When He call us to "take up our cross" He does so with the understanding that giving your life to Him will most likely involve some kind of pain and sorrow. We must give up everything to serve Him, knowing that it will not always be easy - but in the end, it will be worth it.
So last night, I went to the altar with a heavy heart. The Lord knew my fears and as much as I wanted Him to speak to me and promise me that I would ever have to go through such intense pain again - I knew that He couldn't. The Lord cannot promise me that I will never hurt again or that He will never lead Benson and I down another dark path. What He does promise is that He will never leave me or forsake me...that He loves me and He will always be my strength.
So, last night...on my knees in front of the Lord, I prayed a prayer that I would never have dreamed I would ever have to pray...
"Lord...I love you. I give you my life...I give you my yesterdays and my tomorrows. My heart is broken and I feel so empty Lord. My pain is unbearable at times, but...You Jesus are the lifter of my head. You promise that no matter what, You will never leave me or forsake me.
So, whatever you want me to do Lord - I'll do it...whether that means that I may have to suffer or go through heartache again - as long as it brings you glory Lord, I am willing...send me...
...and if that means losing another baby, I'm okay with that...because Jesus, you are worth it. You are worth it all."
I don't tell you any of this to bring any kind of glory to myself...I tell you this because it's true...He is worth it all.
People have asked how we can go through losing our baby boy and still have a passion to serve God...why after all we have been through, we choose to give our lives to Him - I can tell you very simply why it is so easy for us to do..
It is because we have tried everything else in this world and the ONLY thing that works is Jesus.
Drugs, alcohol, sex, relationships, anger, bitterness, resentment, depression - between both Benson and I we have been there and done that. I am telling you, nothing fills the void in your life like Jesus can. Nothing. So when you are faced with pain or suffering, you have a choice. You can either run away from Jesus or run to Him. I have ran the other way before and learned the hard way - if you want healing, if you want Him to mend your brokenness...you can't do it on your own. You have to choose each day to give it all to Jesus.
We both feel like the Lord has brought us through so much in our lives because He wants to use our lives, both past and present, to glorify Him. I know that there are many of you who read this blog who are going through a lot of hurt and pain right now. Maybe you lost a child or someone your love...or maybe you are in a relationship that is not glorifying the Lord...or perhaps you just aren't where you need to be spiritually and you need to reconnect with Jesus...or maybe you have never really truly accepted Him as your Lord and Savior and want to know more about how to become a follower of Christ...we want to be an outlet of grace for you to share your feelings with or ask questions.
Some of the greatest way to release bondage in your own life is to just get it out in the open and tell others of your hurt. We don't have all the answers, but we know a God who does. We are real people with real pain and we want you to know that if you are hurting, you are not alone.
If you feel led to share what is going on in your life and just want someone to reach out to our email addresses are listed below. Please feel free to send us a message:
Kristin's email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Benson's email: email@example.com
Also, if you would like or us to come and speak to your church, youth group, school or anywhere - please contact us. More than anything, we want to keep Luke's story alive and continue the ministry that the Lord has called us to. We would love to share Christ with as many people as we have the opportunity to. You can email us or message us on Facebook to contact us.
So where are you today? Are you too filled with fear to allow the Lord to completely have your life? Are you too scared to take up your cross and follow Him? Do not allow satan to rob you of the amazing journey that Christ has for your life. No matter where that journey takes you, whether through joy or pain, we serve a God that is there to carry you every step of the way...and trust me, He is worth it all.