Saturday, April 16, 2011

Raw

I have hesitated to compose this post. I feel like it could be perceived as attention or sympathy-seeking. I don't want people to feel sorry for us. In fact, if you feel inclined to comment with some form of "I'm so sorry", although I know you really mean it and I appreciate your sharing our sorrow, I want you to instead leave a comment of praise to God for our suffering. Please don't take offense to that request...we are so blessed by your thoughts and prayers. But we KNOW that God is making us perfect in our weakness. So we will continue to endure any pain that comes our way by praising him and allowing him to heal us. We are blessed to be children of God and our suffering is making our faith stronger and our relationship with God more complete. First and foremost, every circumstance of our life should be lived for Christ, be it pleasant or unpleasant in the worldly sense of those words. To live is Christ and to die is gain. Greg and I keep reminding each other of that daily as we walk this difficult path we find ourselves on for this season of our lives. In the midst of our suffering, there is joy, hope and peace. There really is...I'm not just speaking Christianese.

Still, the suffering is raw. It is painful. There are times when I collapse in tears. I miss Kirill so much. I replay our last visit with him and wish I had kissed him one more time, savored his touch and his smell just a little longer, taken more pictures, told him how much we loved him just one more time before we walked out of the orphanage.

And then there are reminders that punch me in the gut with no time to prepare or shield myself from their emotional blows. Like ripping the scab from a wound and exposing the raw tissue once again. They come out of nowhere and they reduce me to a heap on on the floor.

There's the afternoon last week when I picked up a load of clothes from the cleaners. As I unwrapped the plastic covers I found the jacket I wore to court. I sat in my closet and cried as I remembered the last time I wore it and the horrible feelings of loss associated with that day.

There's the afternoon that I picked up Clayton from school and he told me they had talked about birthdays. He realized that Kirill's birthday was coming up, but Kirill wasn't going to be here, and they couldn't have a joint birthday party like we had planned. He cried and asked me over and over, "But WHY mommy? You said Kirill was coming home. You LIED to me." We both sobbed all the way home as I tried to explain to him that mommy didn't lie, it just didn't turn out the way we expected.

There's the alarm I had set on my phone weeks before we left for Russia reminding me to add Kirill to our medical insurance after we got home. When I saw the words on the screen of my phone, I had to brace myself against the wall as I cried out to God for strength to make it through the grief.

There's the text I got from someone who couldn't have know what happened, asking how Kirill was doing now that he was home. It took me a full 24 hours to find the words to respond.

Even as I sit here typing this, tears are streaming. Clayton is watching Saturday morning cartoons on Qubo and "Willa's Wild Life" is all about a bear from Russia. Clayton is repeating Russian phrases to the t.v. He should be saying them to Kirill...he should have a brother here watching cartoons with him. Sigh...

I wallow, I cry, I hide under the covers, I beg God to take the pain away, to work a miracle, to bring Kirill home. And I hear his voice saying, "I love Kirill more than you. I know your pain. I see your suffering. Trust me. Seek me. Listen to me. And know that I AM GOD...and you are not."

Then I get up, thank God, and ask him for what I need to make it through the next day, hour, or minute. And you know what? He always gives me just enough. And really, what else can we ask for?

52 comments:

  1. Just keep running that Marathon Tesney! You can do it!!! I can't imagine your pain :( You will get him home, weaker people would have given up already but not you !! hang in there :)

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  2. We continue to stand with you in prayer & look forward to the day when Kirill is finally home with you...where he belongs.

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  3. OH TESNEY, I love your faith, I love the way you put it out there...You my friend are bringing glory to our GOD and Kirill's story is reaching so many people...possibly more now than it would have and TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

    I really do hope that your pain gets easier and easier each day and that one day really soon you will be holding that little fragile body in your arms FOREVER!

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  4. Oh, Dear Tesney, We cry with you as well, because we mothers too. I can imagine the suffering of the moehter's heart who cannot hold her child in her arms, who has to leave him behind in such a faraway place.
    Not for a moment I feel pity, but only admiration. God doesn't put something so painful on someone who is pitiful - no, on someone who in His eyes can handle it. And that is the cause for admiration. In your suffering, it if evident that this pain, your pain, your families pain is because you all are exceptionally strong and special int eh eyes of God.
    But I still weep, because I can feel a fraction of your pain. I weep for little Kiril, and pray you will hold him soon.
    I know you don't know me, but I believe that this is so much bigger than you, or I or anyone else who has prayed and prayer have imagined. Some 2-3 weeks ago, I was traveling in a far-away land, and as I walked and prayed about you, and others, adopting from that orphanage, I believe God whispered this to me: (its a picture of something)http://upthehillbothways.blogspot.com/2011/04/mother.html
    I believe that this pain is not for nothing. I cannot claim that I know hat will happen, but I do know in my heart that this is BIG.
    We will keep praying, hoping, and weeping alongside with you all.

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  5. You have me in tears. I'm not sure I could have the strength you have to go through what you're going through. Yet I firmly believe our God is a miracle working God. I've seen it over and over again. Learning to completely trust Him is difficult for me. I'm learning some through your blog. Praying for Kirill still. Hugs

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  6. wow! you amaze me and it is proof to me that this WILL work out in the end!

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  7. I read this from Streams in the Desert yesterday... "Oh, may we leave ourselves in the hands of our heavenly Father! It is the joy of His heart to do good to all His children." I trust this and believe it to be true. He loves Kirill and He love you and your family! Psalm 119:42 Your faith in Him is a blessing to experience!

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  8. May He continue to give you strength to make it through minute by minute, Tesney. Much love to you guys as you persevere.

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  9. One.Foot.In.Front.Of.The.Other. Your suffering is bringing glory beyond our understanding to our Heavenly Father. I am praying, our church is praying, my children, are praying for Kirill...
    When you are crumpled in your closet your Heavenly Father is holding you close- he has Kirill, too. At the same time:)
    (((((HUGS)))))

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  10. We don't know you...we have a son with Down Syndrome and my husband and I have prayed for Kirill, his government, his care-takers, and that judge every single night since we heard the news. I often pray for him during the day when I think of him. Just know...we ARE praying!
    Mary Arnold
    Durham NC

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  11. I am celebrating your Grace, and praying!

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  12. Tesney, anyone who knows what is happening, and who is following your story can see how God is already being glorified. The strength that He gives you to breathe your next breath, to conquer your next moment is all to His glory. We cas see His strength in you and your family. Hold on to Jesus Tesney. Know that there are people around the world praying for you, and for your little boy.

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  13. you are amazing and we are standing with you here in the uk. you are making me turn to god again the first time in a long while and i thank you for that and send you all our prayers and love. your strength is a blessing in places you couldnt even imagine. xxxx

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  14. I pray for Kirill and you guys every day. We have two adopted daughters from Ukraine (been here 2 years now) and during our adoption and afterwards, and even stil now, I know that adopting our children was not just about us but the Lord has a plan - and it is way bigger than we know and we have to trust Him always. His ways are so much higher! Hang on sister!!! And when you feel those words that He loves Kirill even more than you do, know that He loves you guys with that same love too. :)

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  15. I pray for your family daily, and I cannot imagine the pain you must be feeling. I continue to pray that Kirill will be home in your arms soon enough, and this will all be a distant nightmare. My heart goes out to you... <3

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  16. We are praying and will continue to pray. May your hearts be filled with peace and may your sweet boy be in your arms soon.

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  17. Thanks so much for your honesty and for being willing to open with the raw parts. As I read your words, it occurred to me: Is this how God feels about His children who haven't responded to His love, who are in captivity and kept from His embrace? Is this how my Father felt about ME? I need to think some more about that...

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  18. Tesney, I have no words....simply prayers for you and Praise to Him. <3

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  19. Tesney, I really can't find the words to express how we feel here. I know i have been amazed by your strength and faith. so many times during the day you will just randomly pop into my mind.
    And that's when i say a prayer, the same prayer for Kirill, "please God just get him home".
    i don't think you will ever know just how many people you have touched, how many people's faith has been made stronger by watching you and your family handle this incredibly difficult situation with so much grace and faith.
    we will all walk through this with you and pray until Kirill is home!

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  20. Thanks for witnessing to me today! Keeping your family and Kirill in my prayers...

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  21. So thankful we're friends :).

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  22. You don't know me but I pray for your family and Kirill daily. I wake up- I pray, I do laundry- I pray, I play with my son with Down syndrome- I pray, before I go to sleep- I pray.I cannot imagine what you are going through but I cry and pray constantly for Kirill and your family. Please know that your precious little boy has brought me closer to God and I feel stronger in my faith. Our Heavenly Father is at work here. God is love and He loves Kirill. I continue to pray for you, your family, and your sweet Kirill.I truly believe he will come home! Your faith in God is so inspiring- when you feel down, just look up!

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  23. I am praying for you and Kirill everyday Tes. This has to be agonizing for you because I know how much it hurts all of us. I remember the tears streaming down my face at the moment I heard of what the judge had done. I was begging God not to leave Kirill over there. I admire you so much, as you endure these difficult days...... you still reach out to us and encourage us. We love you Tes!!

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  24. No words, just prayers- you're my hero!

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  25. You are carrying your cross and suffering just as Christ did. And what happened on Easter morning? A glorious miracle!! I know deep in my heart that a miracle is going to happen for your family. If every tear that has been shed for Kirill could have been collected, there would be buckets full. I have all the faith in the world that our loving Father will take all of this suffering and do something sweet and good with it. Many hugs coming from our family to you, Greg and your precious boys.

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  26. Please know that so many hearts are broken for your family and little Kirill. So many knees bent, heads bowed- for you and for Kirill. It's so hard to know God's plan, but we continue to trust Kirill will soon be home with you, his loving family! Hugs from California-

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  27. One of the hardest parts of obeying God is not knowing the outcome and still being obedient. A wise woman in my small group reminded other friends of this when their adoption (domestic) fell through last week. And somehow they, like you, are continuing to give God the glory and to be obedient to His call on their life ... regardless of the outcome! Praising God for your witness as we pray for the outcome to be Kirill's arrival in your family.

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  28. Dear Tesney, Greg and sweet Clayton.
    My heart is broken for your pain and longing. Our whole family is praying for you. All the Glory to God for the precious, beautiful, faithful Godly people that you are.
    I trust our Heavenly Father and I know that His Love is unmeasurable. NOTHING is impossible for Him and no matter how strong the enemy looks, GOD IS THE KING! Your little angel Kirill knows your love and God will whisper hope to him. That is all that we must keep; Hope & Faith and God will sort out all the details.
    Brothers and sisters worldwide are praying with you and fighting this battle with you. You are not alone. Cry if you need to, but keep strong...
    I urge you to please read Psalm 18... God put this in my heart as I was busy typing this to you and I had to read it twice! It is amazing! All the Glory to God!
    Much love and hugs, from my heart to yours,
    Mel G

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  29. Dear Tesney, Greg and sweet Clayton.
    My heart is broken for your pain and longing. Our whole family is praying for you. All the Glory to God for the precious, beautiful, faithful godly people that you are.
    I trust our Heavenly Father and I know that His Love is unmeasurable. NOTHING is impossible for Him and no matter how strong the enemy looks, GOD IS THE KING! Your little angel Kirill knows your love and God will whisper hope to him. That is all that we must keep; Hope & Faith and God will sort out all the details.
    Brothers and sisters worldwide are praying with you and fighting this battle with you. You are not alone. Cry if you need to, but keep strong...
    I urge you to please read Psalm 18... God put this in my heart as I was busy typing this to you and I had to read it twice! It is amazing! All the Glory to God!
    Much love and hugs, from my heart to yours,
    Mel G

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  30. Words of encouragement
    I can't even imagine what you must be going through. This was sent to me by a new friend Kim. It is just what I needed. I hope that it might help you too.<3 "TODAY’S SCRIPTURE “...Imitate those who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised” (Hebrews 6:12, NIV) TODAY’S WORD Are you facing a challenge today that seems overwhelming? Through faith and patience, you will see God’s promises come to pass in your life. Understand that the enemy always fights the hardest when he knows you are closest to your breakthrough. He’d leave you alone if he thought you were going to live in mediocrity. If you keep pressing on toward your promise, through faith and patience, you will get there. Don’t be like the Israelites in the Old Testament who were right next to their promised land when they talked themselves out of it! They said, “There are giants in the land. It’s too difficult.” No, today, don’t look at the obstacles in your life. Lift up your eyes because you serve a supernatural God! Follow the example of Abraham who believed God even when his circumstances looked impossible. Remember, God always rewards the people who seek after Him. Stand in faith and keep believing because God will take you places that you never dreamed. Keep pressing toward the promise so you can live in the supernatural victory He has prepared for you! I Corinthians 15:57 -Richard"

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  31. My children and I are still praying...

    Sarah

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  32. I am praying so hard for you, your family, and Kirill. I am praying that Kirill will remember the feeling of love that he had when you visited him last. Keep the faith and dont forget that God knows what you are going through and he will NOT leave you alone during this.
    -Abby

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  33. Someone made the comment that you are suffering for Christ and I agree completely. I believe without a shadow of a doubt that satan wants nothing more than to stop this adoption. I also believe that God wants nothing more than to be glorified in this situation. More than you know. Already, thanks to this blog and Kirill thousands of people know about the plight of these most defenseless orphans. Already, because of this blog and Kirill, people have seen true faith and trust in action. No matter what happens God will win. Just remember Ephesians 3:20-21 (New King James Version):
    20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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  34. Dear Tesney, my heart breaks for you but I am not sorry for you. We went through the exact same thing (almost) as you and I learned a LOT during the process. 1) God never gives you more than you can handle. 2) It's such a faith strengthener. 3) This to shall pass and eventually Kirill will be home with you and the family and no the memories of this pain won't be gone, but they will dull and you will have such tremendous joy. In the end the pain will still end in joy and Kirill coming home. We left for Russia for our 3rd trip in December knowing our daughter was ill, had been through 2 spinal surgeries, was in a brace, malnourished and had rickets. Because one piece of paperwork (not one of ours) had not been done correctly by the Russian office in charge of doing it we were sent home empty handed unsure if that document would ever get done in time and completely NOT in control of the situation. There was nothing we could do but rely on God that he was in charge and that he was in control and that he would bring our daughter home in his perfect timing. Fast forward 2 months and a 4th trip and we finally passed court on our 4th trip and then had to wait another ten days knowing how sick she was (had been pulled out of the hospital a month prior to court and sent back to the orphanage). Now she is home and the time is flying by and no, the pain is not necessarily gone, but we have such a tremendous joy that no matter what stress we went through on this journey, whatever pain we went through and no matter what we had to overcome to bring her home it was worth it. If you need someone to talk to please let me know. I know how devestating it was to us to return home empty handed, having missed Christmas with our daughter (who stayed behind with my parents) to be in Russia over Christmas thinking we were coming home with our daughter and to return empty handed.

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  35. You've made me think of all the suffering that Joseph had to go through and he still did what was right and trusted in God.Even though Joseph didn't know what the end result would be God did. Joseph was able to save his family and the jewish nation.God's timing is perfect.
    I pray for Kirill's safety and for God to soften hearts.Only the Lord knows how many lives you are touching and how many orphan children may be saved because of your suffering.

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  36. When I see Kirill's army of supporters here, I'm reminded of Aaron and Hur who lifted Moses's arms so that the Israelites would prevail in their battle against the Amalekites (Ex 17). They won and defeated their enemy! I think of all the people who are praying for all of you, agreeing with you in prayer for Kirill's homecoming. When you are weary, tired and "raw," I know at that moment there are so many warriors out there lifting you up and calling out to the Lord on behalf of your family. That has to be such a sweet fragrance to Him! We're here to fight this fight with you.

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  37. Dearest Tesney, i praise gOd for your suffering, and not just because you asked us to post this, but because I know, like you, that this suffering is part of His plan for us and He sooo knows best. Like you, I have waited and waited for a child from Russia I thought would be home. The first few months were so painful I thought I would die, then a year passed and I kept trusting. It is almost six years now and Anya is still not home, but I KNOW he has a plan far greater than what I can conceive of. I finally really get it and can actually rejoice in my suffering after many years of deep grief.

    my heart tells me your Kirill will be home soon. I have prayed the rosary for you, and felt an incredible peace. This is all serving a greater purpose and how blessed you are to see this. Know, too, you are not alone in this grief. I and many others have been where you are...some of us are still there. but we know something much of the world doesnt....the victory is secure! God wins! Love wins! My heart is with you.

    Keri

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  38. Wanted to add this scripture that I just read. Hebrews 10:35-36 "So do not throw away your confidence it will be richly rewarded. You need to perservere so that when you done the will of God, you will receive what He has promised.

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  39. God is so faithful and good. He will not fail you in your time of need. He will work all things to His glory. I pray that God gives you the strength you need to continue this fight for your son. I pray that God will remove all obstacles.

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  40. Your last paragraph was BEAUTIFUL. Excellent stuff, girl. I'm proud of you!

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  41. My husband and I have adopted two children internationally. Even though they both went relatively smooth, I too experienced those moments of despair. I remember that the mother's day I had expected to spend w/my son and could not felt like the worst day of my life. But that pain was completely erased with the joy of holding him for the first time, just 2 weeks later. I remember despair watching the days tick by as my daughter headed toward her first birthday. But feeling it all dissolve away the moment she was handed to me, sound asleep. Her precious little cheek resting on my shoulder. (at 11 months!)
    To feel raw is normal. It is part of the process. Adoption is a lesson in patience and in letting go. In trusting God and HIS timing, HIS plan..... never ours. This experience will give you so much, and make you stronger than you ever imagined. You will gain a faith greater than you imagine.
    I don't feel sorry for you at all. I am excited for the day you bring your baby home. Excited for you to feel that overwhelming miracle and joy. Still have you in our prayers!

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  42. My heart aches for you...and your precious boy. I know God has His hand in this...when you feel like giving up, give it to Him and he will carry you through...

    Many prayers....

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  43. prayers for you and your family..I had a situation not similar but very painful when it came to my children...I always said,"I give this to you God".

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  44. God has great plans for Kirill. I am sure. You have so many people praying for you and I am sure in time God will reveal his plans.

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  45. Praying for you today. May you find enough (strength, love, hope) in Him to take you through these dark days. Awaiting the day when we can rejoice with you!

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  46. It has been said that what doesn't kill us makes us stronger. And you are definitely being made stronger. I do praise God for what is happening in your lives even though it is painfull. It is amazing to see how God is using this. Because the judge said no, HUGE awareness has resulted. How many followers did you have on 3/17? How many of us have posted and reposted Kirill's plight?

    I am continueing to pray for Kirill to be able to be a part of your family, for the judges decision to be overturned.

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  47. Still standing with you in prayer.

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  48. I'm so touched by your beautiful story.
    I think you are one of the sweetest people ever and God truly has great plans for you. I do not know if you have heard Mandisa's song, Stronger but it truly makes me think about you everytime I hear it... "When the waves are taking you under. Hold on just a little bit longer.
    He knows that this is gonna make you stronger". I would love to have you guest post on my blog sometime if you would be up to that! I truly would love for so many more to hear your beautiful story:)
    God bless you!
    xxo.

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  49. For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

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  50. Saying prayers for your family and especially Kirill. God is working to bring you all together soon.

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  51. You may not know it, but David Wilkerson died in a car accident last night. His last blog post was this:
    To believe when all means fail is exceedingly pleasing to God and is most acceptable. Jesus said to Thomas, “You have believed because you have seen, but blessed are those that do believe and have not seen” (John 20:29).

    Blessed are those who believe when there is no evidence of an answer to prayer—who trust beyond hope when all means have failed.

    Someone has come to the place of hopelessness—the end of hope—the end of all means. A loved one is facing death and doctors give no hope. Death seems inevitable. Hope is gone. The miracle prayed for is not happening.

    That is when Satan’s hordes come to attack your mind with fear, anger, overwhelming questions: “Where is your God now? You prayed until you had no tears left. You fasted. You stood on promises. You trusted.”

    Blasphemous thoughts will be injected into your mind: “Prayer failed. Faith failed. Don’t quit on God—just do not trust him anymore. It doesn’t pay!”

    Even questioning God’s existence will be injected into your mind. These have been the devices of Satan for centuries. Some of the godliest men and women who ever lived were under such demonic attacks.

    To those going through the valley and shadow of death, hear this word: Weeping will last through some dark, awful nights—and in that darkness you will soon hear the Father whisper, “I am with you. I cannot tell you why right now, but one day it will all make sense. You will see it was all part of my plan. It was no accident. It was no failure on your part. Hold fast. Let me embrace you in your hour of pain.”

    Beloved, God has never failed to act but in goodness and love. When all means fail—his love prevails. Hold fast to your faith. Stand fast in his Word. There is no other hope in this world.


    I thought of you, as soon as I read it, and all those who are struggling to bring their little ones home. I pray you are blessed by his last post.

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  52. There is so much beauty in your pain. Thank you for sharing it and for praising the Lord for it. There is power in that and it's good for all of us to read. I'm praising with you now that the pain is gone and your Mountain has been moved.

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