The Lenhart Family

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

time for a trade in...

“Opting for the trade in offer…”

The last few days have been some of the most difficult days I have ever faced. Since losing Hope on Sunday evening, I haven’t been sleeping much at all because I am losing the battle to every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ and I can’t seem turn my brain/ thoughts off long enough to get any solid amount of sleep. This morning I was feeling pretty low and just wanted to stay in bed, cry, and be left alone completely. I was determined to rearrange my day, clear my schedule, graciously bow out of my commitments, and just sulk ALL day long. I wanted to cry it out and honestly was determined to be in a bad mood and pissed off about the circumstances we are currently facing. We were completely convinced that God would show up and show off His glory through healing our little Hope. Instead He has chosen to show His glory through her death. Although I know that God’s ways are higher than mine and His plans are perfect, I wanted to stew in my grief for a brief moment or all day long which ever came first.

But God had other plans because as soon as Jake left for work, the baby woke up and demanded her daily morning cuddles (which just so happens to be my favorite time of the day on most days). And so we took our blankies and began to snuggle in the recliner but instead of turning on the TV (I was in such a foul mood, I refused to stomach the “Wiggles”), we plugged my I-pod into the speakers and put it on shuffle. Music has an uncanny way of ministering to my heart in a way that I can’t even express. The first few songs that played were God ordained… “Every Season” by Nichole Nordeman and then “Times” by Tenth Avenue North. I love that song especially the part that says,

I hear you say "my love is over,
its underneath, its inside, its in between
the times you doubt me, when you can't feel
the times that you've questioned 'is this for real?'
the times you've broken, the times that you mend
the times you hate me and the times that you bend
well my love is over, its underneath
its inside, its in between,
these times you're healing
and when your heart breaks
the times that you feel like you've fallen from grace
the times you're hurting
the times that you heal
the times you go hungry and *are tempted* to steal
in times of confusion and chaos and pain
I'm there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame
I'm there through your heartache
I'm there in the storm
my love I will keep you by my power alone
I don’t care where you've fallen, where you have been
I’ll never forsake you
my love never ends, it never ends”

God completely broke my heart (and my determination to be in an ugly mood) with “Beauty for Ashes” by Shane and Shane. The lyrics of this beautiful song mirror the scripture found in Isaiah 61:2-4…. Which says “to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion— to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” Through those verses and those lyrics God was offering a trade in deal I could not refuse…

beauty for ashes
a garment of praise for my heaviness
beauty for ashes
take this heart of stone and make it Yours,

I delight myself in the Richest of Fair
trading all that I’ve had for all that is better
a garment of praise for my heaviness
You are the greatest taste
You're the richest of fair

After listening to those songs and spending some time cuddling the most precious baby girl in the world, I became determined to face the day and whatever hurts and difficult moments it held. Only a fool would hold onto anger and despair when our loving God is offering healing, beauty, and gladness in its place. I hauled my booty to bible study and allowed God’s word to speak even more healing over my hurting heart. Hosea 6:1-3 offers more powerful healing promises, “Come, let us return to the LORD. He has torn us to pieces but he will heal us; he has injured us but he will bind up our wounds. After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will restore us that we may live in his presence. Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."

This weekend is our annual Y-Shua Retreat with the students in our youth group. We go to this beautiful facility and stay in log cabins and take in some incredible scenery. It’s one of my favorite things we do with our youth group ALL year. This year theme is “TRADER” and we will be challenging our students to let go of things they are holding onto and trade those things in for what God is calling them to grab a hold of. Guess God had some things we wanted to speak over my heart about being a trader before the weekend even started!!

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