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Posts Tagged ‘Miracles’

An Easter Gift

There are many occasions throughout the year for celebrations, and Easter is one of my favorites!

Actually, I try to celebrate every day, being thankful for all the blessings in my life. Still, there are certain days that feel extra special to me.

The reason for celebrating Easter is the gift given freely by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The gift of salvation because of His great love for us, is very precious to many, including me.

I used to think that miracles like being raised from the dead only happened during the biblical times. Even after I became a believer and my faith began to grow, I never imagined that I would see a miracle. But that all changed in November of 2010.

When my youngest son, Christian, was killed in an accident and then brought back to life over 40 minutes later, I knew, along with many others, that it was a miracle! But the miracles didn’t stop there. As Christian began sharing his experiences of being in heaven, more miracles were beginning.

Our family began an unexpected journey, which later lead me to write a book. In my heart I knew, it was a story that I wanted to share with everyone. I did not write it to become rich or famous, but rather to give God the honor and glory that He alone deserves. I wrote the book to share with others the awesome power and love of Jesus, and what He did for us.

It has become sort of a tradition for me now, to give away the E-book “Faith, Hope & Miracles” during Easter weekend. It is my gift to anyone that may be searching, hoping, doubting, or just curious about whether or not modern day miracles exist. It is my way of sharing our blessings with others, and to give thanks and praise to God.

From today through midnight Sunday, April 20th, anyone can download the book for free from Amazon. And you don’t need a Kindle to read it. There is a free app for computers and i-pads to read it. I encourage everyone to share it with family and friends, as it is a message of hope. And please help me to spread the word! I really want for as many people as possible to have the chance to read it for free.

Just click here to get your free copy.

1 book cover

I pray that you all are blessed, and have a very thankful and happy Easter! – Amber

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I began writing many years ago, without having any college training or professional background. I just put down on paper what was in my heart and in my head. Several family members and close friends told me that my writing was very good and that I should consider becoming a writer. But that’s what family and friends always say. So I didn’t take it too seriously.

Then I joined a chat room and began joining in a few of the forums there. It was during a time of political debates and elections, and there was quite a bit of tension and heated arguments in many of the forums. So I began a discussion based on sharing humorous stories about my children and animals, as an attempt to cool things down.

Soon there were several hundred people joining in, leaving comments regarding my writing a book of these stories. Several of the comments were from professional writers, and they were encouraging me to become a writer. Me! A real writer?

I had no knowledge of the writing industry, but I asked questions. And to their credit, I found that these writers were more than willing to educate me. Through their kindness, I found some confidence and encouragement, and I began pondering the idea of becoming a writer.

Of course, the picture I painted in my mind was one of me, sitting at my computer, furiously typing out a best seller in a couple of days, while the phone was ringing with offers and pleas from several publishers. I pictured crowds surrounding me in public, asking for my autograph. And I pictured financial success. (Yes, I know that’s funny, but it’s MY picture, so don’t rain on my parade.)

I bought several books on writing, publishing, agents, and marketing guides. After I finished reading them, I think I was more confused than before I started. And I felt a sense of fear, realizing that I had no idea of what I was doing.

I lost contact with the writers I had met in the chat room when the site was suddenly closed for unknown reasons. And things were changing in my life circumstances that were beyond my control. So for a time, I didn’t give much more thought to writing for a living.

But I kept writing, and sharing stories with friends and family. And my biggest fan was always my mom.

Then a few years ago there was an incident which hospitalized my youngest son. There were many people wanting updates and to share loving prayers, but even texting was difficult. So one of the hospital volunteers arranged for me to get access to a computer and set up a webpage where I could post updates and people could leave messages for us. The site was similar to a blog, and I began posting once or twice a day.

The posts were similar to a journal style of writing, and I included my own thoughts and feelings about what was going on with my son. I was writing to share with our family and friends. But by the end of the first week, there were several hundred people that were following this journal, leaving messages of hope and prayers, and requesting that I continue the posts. There were hundreds of people that I didn’t know, I didn’t even know how they found the site. But it was being spread by word of mouth (or computer links) and it continued to grow.

I was a little overwhelmed when I realized that in a short time, there were almost 4,000 people following this journal. And many of them were thanking me for sharing our story, and repeatedly asking me to consider writing a book about our ordeal. My mom was among them.

Over the next year and a half, I wrote the book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”. And while I was writing it, I was also learning everything I could about the publishing industry. Without knowing any writers or having any contacts in the industry, I knew that it was not going to be an easy endeavor.

When I finished writing the manuscript, I sent it to my mother and asked her to review it and give an honest critique, along with editing. I knew she had taken a few English and writing courses in college, so I felt confident that she would spot any grammar mistakes and such.

When she called after reading the manuscript, her voice was soft and shaky as she said, “Hon, you are a very gifted writer, and you did an excellent job”. At first I thought her emotions were very strong because of the subject of the book surrounding her own grandson. But it was more than that. She told me of how proud she was of me for completing this work, and that she believed in my ability as a writer.

Even when I confided in her that I had no idea of how to go about getting the book published, she said she had faith in me and that she knew it would happen. And she told me to never give up.

After careful consideration, I had decided to self-publish that book. To accomplish that required learning even more about the publishing and marketing industry than I ever really wanted to know, but I was determined to do it. It was a bit overwhelming and even frightening in some ways, but when the book was finally available for sale, I felt a great sense of satisfaction. And I finally realized that writing was what I wanted to do with my life.

I must say that going about it the way I did to become a writer was probably the hardest way. I highly recommend that anyone wanting to pursue a career in writing start by taking writing and publishing courses, and earning some credentials. It is hard enough for a first book to be a success when you know what you’re doing. But when you are learning as you go, and no one knows anything about you, it’s even harder.

I sent a signed copy to my parents and several other family members and friends. But I’m pretty sure that no one was more proud than my mother. It was a little over 6 months later when I finally was able to go visit, and she had my book proudly on display on her living room coffee table, next to her bible.

On that visit, I shared a few ideas I had for a Christian fiction series, and my mother liked the ideas. She said she looked forward to reading the books, and I knew she would always be my biggest fan.

My mother passed away the day after I came home from that trip, one year ago today.

In this past year, I’ve written a few articles and worked on a couple of different blogs. But when it came to working on the series I had started, I seemed to have developed writer’s block.

I managed to scratch out a few paragraphs now and then, but I just couldn’t find the time to really go after it.

It wasn’t until this morning that I finally realized that I have been feeling an underlying depression. I know it’s perfectly normal to grieve after losing someone you love. And in this past year, I have often missed my mother very much, and I’ve cried. But what I didn’t realize was that somewhere in my mind, my writing was, in a way, connected to her.

It’s funny how our brains work, making associations and connections that we don’t even realize are there.

But I also realized something else this morning. I remembered back to when my son was in the hospital and I began keeping that online journal. I knew as events unfolded in that hospital that there was a miracle that needed to be told. I could feel it in my heart that God wanted for me to share it with others, and I felt compelled to do so. I also felt a sense of pride with my mother’s encouragement to continue writing. But in this past year, I have not been doing what I was led to do. I was not honoring my mother, or God, with my procrastination and lack of commitment.

This day has been hard, and I know there will still be more hard days ahead. I also know that my mother would never have wanted grieving for her to stop me from doing something that is dear to my heart, and something that she was so proud of.

In realizing the connection I feel between my mother and my writing, I know now that I can turn that into a strength. It can be the inspiration to keep writing, even when I can’t think of what to write about. It can be the motivation I need to stay committed to my work, even when I’m too tired. And it can be the strength I need, to pour out my heart on paper, the words of my stories. And it can be a way for me to continue to say, “I love you Mom. Thanks for believing in me”.

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A Free Signed Copy of Faith, Hope & Miracles.

Hey!

I just wanted to let everyone know, my book is on review at Teaching Christ’s Children, along with a chance to win a free signed copy. Check out the link above, and please share it with a friend.

Thanks, and God bless! – Amber

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New Beginnings

 

I’d like to take a moment to wish everyone (a day late) a very happy and blessed New Year! My son Christian and I were able to spend some time celebrating with some very good friends that we don’t get to see very often. It was a wonderful day, and we will cherish the memories.

Over the past several weeks, I have had many thoughts of family and friends and the importance of our relationships. I had been battling with many frustrations, feeling like I was always behind on something and yet always too busy to do the things I wanted to. And I realized that I was too busy.

My priorities had become out of whack, which tends to happen from time to time. And I had taken on more obligations than I could actually accomplish. As I get a little older, I’m realizing that I don’t have the same energy levels I did when I was a teenager. But my “to do” lists seem to have grown longer, making it impossible to complete all the things I want to do. And this was causing a lot of frustration for me. I don’t like to leave things undone.

So I took some time off for Christmas and New Years, and I spent some of that time going over my responsibilities and obligations. I realized that there were some things I was spending too much time on, and not enough on others. For one thing, I was spending too much time on frivolous things like TV and the internet, and not enough time on my relationship with God. I also had not been spending enough time with my family and friends. Most of my family lives far away, and it’s been many years since I’ve been able to visit. And I’ve been so busy with working on projects and chores, etc. that I have not even spent much time visiting with the family and friends we have near us.

I started considering my priorities. Not the obligations of what I am supposed to do, but the real desires of my heart. Spending time with God, my family and friends, and my animals are my top three desires. Writing is also a passion of mine, but without any of the first three, my writing becomes forced and begins to lack any heart. In college we were taught that there are certain basic principles of how to write well: specific elements of style, grammar, methods, etc. To be honest, I always hated that part of the courses. I know it’s important to learn how to write properly, but for me personally, it’s about putting the feelings in my heart down on paper to share with others. The stronger the passion and emotion in my heart, the better and stronger my writing is.

With that being said…as some of you may know, I completed and published my first book, “Faith, Hope and Miracles”, last July. It’s the true story about my son Christian and the horrible accident he had back in 2010 that earned him the nickname of “miracle boy” by our local newspaper. The trauma that our family went through over that next year and the thankfulness in my heart for his revival and recovery led to a strengthening of faith and hope that I never would have expected. I learned more through that year, than all the years of schooling put together. And it stirred such a passion in my heart, that I could not contain it. I had to share it! I had not written professionally before, but I let my heart pour out onto the pages and before long, there was a book. Writing the book was not the hard part for me, it was having to learn everything from scratch about how to get it published. But with a lot of determination, relentless research, hard work, and most of all, God on my side, the book was released for sale on July 9, 2012 on Amazon.

One of the things I learned about during the publishing process had to do with marketing and publicity and social networking. This was a big drawback for me in many ways. For one thing, it led to many hours more than I care to admit, on sites like Facebook and Twitter. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, (actually it’s a very necessary part) it became very easy to let precious time slip away very quickly. Thankfully I have realized this, and am now limiting my time on the internet and learning to make the most use of it.

For this new year of 2013, I have set some very specific priorities of what I will be spending my time and energy on. God will always be first, as He should be. And my loved ones, (including the furry ones) will come next. I have set aside specific times for my writing in order to accomplish the goals I have for my next book, and I have decided not to worry so much about the little things. I will achieve whatever I have time to finish, AFTER my priorities are taken care of. I guess that is my New Year’s resolution, a new beginning for me.

What are some of your resolutions for this new year? Or some of your new priorities? Please share any ideas or solutions you have in maintaining a schedule to accomplish your tasks. And here’s to a bright, beautiful and blessed 2013!

 

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“Am I at home on earth, or am I still in heaven?” This was the question asked by a little boy after being revived from a fatal accident. Do you believe in miracles?

In honor of Thanksgiving, “Faith, Hope & Miracles” by Amber Leggette-Aldrich will be made free on Amazon.com (Kindle version) November 22 and November 23, 2012.

This is a true story of a family’s journey from tragedy to miracles and blessings. After witnessing the death of her 8 year old son Christian in a tragic accident, Ms. Aldrich describes in detail his miraculous revival, followed by more miracles in his recovery.

“In 25 years of being a paramedic, I have never seen anyone with these kinds of traumas that survived”, said 1st responder Glenn Stevens of Matanuska Borough Emergency Services during the 2012 Alaska EMS Symposia. Dr. B.J. Coopes, head of the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Providence Hospital in Anchorage Alaska said, “There was nothing normal about the resuscitation or recovery in Christian’s case”.

But perhaps the most astounding elements are Christian’s encounters with Jesus and what he saw in heaven during the 40 minutes before he was resuscitated.

Christian slept for about an hour and then woke up again. As soon as he began to stir, I took his hand and he opened his eyes and looked at me. He asked, “am I at home?” I said, “no honey, you are in the hospital”. He said, “no, am I at home on earth, or am I still in heaven?” A chill went through me as I began to realize the full scope of what I was hearing. I told him he was on earth and that everything was going to be alright. He became extremely agitated and grabbed me. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “Why did you take me away from Jesus? I didn’t want to come back, I wanted to stay with Jesus!”

In her 1st book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”, Ms. Leggette-Aldrich shares the emotional impacts of her son’s journey in a way that is sure to inspire and encourage the reader. Is Jesus real? Does He still do miracles? Is there hope? You be the judge.

5 Star Reviews for “Faith, Hope & Miracles”:

“…The strength of this family’s faith was awe inspiring, as it was apparent from the start that the writer’s belief and trust in God is what kept her going. It made me reconsider just how strong my own faith really is…I used to wonder if miracles really happened anymore, but now I am positive they do! Thank you for sharing this beautiful work with the world Ms. Legette-Aldrich!” (Jason Robinson)

“I could not put this book down. I could actually feel the fear, pain, suffering, and yes, hope, of Christian’s parents. My heart went out to them. What a miraculeous recovery!…” (Yvonne Leggette)

“…Amber Leggette-Aldrich, (with her gift of superb authorship from God), is the gracious, fluent, flowing, experiential and narrative author of this wondrous story…As you read this marvelous story, you will be so blessed and will feel the emotional experiences of life-accident-death-miracle—>life.” (Don & Clara Zachary)

For a limited time only, get a free Kindle version of “Faith, Hope & Miracles” by Amber Leggette-Aldrich at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008J0Z2FQ

 

 

 

 

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The Trials of Life

By Amber Leggette-Aldrich

 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

“…May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May your faith be no “baseless fabric of a vision,” but may it be builded of material able to endure that awful fire which shall consume the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite… May your whole life be so settled and established, that all the blasts of hell, and all the storms of earth shall never be able to remove you. But notice how this blessing of being “stablished in the faith” is gained. The apostle’s words point us to suffering as the means employed–“After that ye have suffered awhile.” It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life. Shrink not then from the tempestuous winds of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you.” (Spurgeon’s Devotionals)

Suffering. Not so pleasant a thought. Certainly it is not something that anyone would desire. Yet it is through the suffering that we, as Christians, are made strong. Think about a chunk of coal. After many years of tremendous pressure, it becomes a beautiful diamond. It is from the pressure put on us during our times of trials and suffering that we are being perfected for God’s Kingdom. It is through our faith and trust in God that we have the strength to go through the storms, knowing that there is victory on the other side.

In my book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”, I shared some of the toughest trials a person could go through. But my faith gave me the strength to go through it all. I endured the suffering because God gave me hope in the knowledge of His eternal love. There were times when I said, “In spite of the storm, I am strong”. But now I know that it is because of the storm that I am stronger.

After the storm comes the rainbow. God gave me the privilege of witnessing and sharing in a precious miracle. It has been a privilege and joy for me to see the impact in people’s heart in sharing that miracle. What a blessing it is for me to share God’s love and goodness, not only when life is good, but even more during the trials!

“Faith, Hope & Miracles” is available at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008J0Z2FQ

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Overcoming Fear

By Amber Leggette-Aldrich

 

About 2 years ago, a young female cat wandered into our yard late one night. Watching her through the window, I could tell that something wasn’t right. After 40 minutes of coaxing with a can of food, I finally got a closer look at her. She was so weak from starvation, she had a hard time walking without falling over. But she was also so terrified that it took a long time for her hunger to overcome the fear enough to come to the food. By the time she was working on her 3rd can, I was finally able to bring her into the cabin and she has lived with us since.

Li’l Bits is very shy and easily spooked, but her main fear is of humans. She has enjoyed being pet, but only if she was on the floor. Every attempt to pick her up or even approach her sent her into a panic attack, indicating that she had been dropped before or maybe even thrown. It’s sickening to think about, but I know she had been badly abused to cause the kind of fear she displays.

I’ll never know the details of what happened to her, but in the time she’s been with us she has finally begun to trust us somewhat, on her terms. She is gaining a little more confidence in herself now, actually risking letting other people see her and even walking up to a few. She has even let me pick her up and hold her a few times now. When she first came to us, the main concern was getting her back to health. She recovered physically in about 4 months. But watching her live in such a state of constant fear just about broke my heart.

I often see a look in her eyes that says she wants to trust, but the memory of whatever happened to her is still there, causing fear and uncertainty. Perhaps in time she will be able to feel safe enough to trust us not to hurt her.

To be alarmed of danger is a benefit to keep us safe and alive. But fear can become our ruler and destroy us as well. It can rob us of peace, joy, contentment, and even love. It can also prevent or even kill our faith.

I have seen fear destroy many things, including opportunities and relationships. A few people I have known have let their fears stop them from being able to develop a lasting bond with anyone. Their fear tells them not to take a chance on anyone because they will be hurt, just like my cat. Fears also cause us not to grab hold of an opportunity that could be something great. In my own case, fear has caused me not to speak up when I should have.

I have had a fear of speaking in front of an audience. I can talk to anyone on a one to one basis. But when I stand in front of an audience, my heart begins to race, my knees begin to shake and I feel like I want to run away. I can’t explain why I feel like that, but it is fear. I also have fears of “what if”. There have been many times in the past that I would experience a panic attack because of thinking of all the bad things that might happen.

Thankfully, I can say that I have been delivered from unfounded fears. The first step was in learning to trust God. I had to decide if I believed that God does truly love me, like it says in the bible. I decided “yes”. Then I had to ask myself if I really believed that God is honest and good and keeps His promises. Again, my answer was “yes”.  I had read a verse in the bible that promised God would never leave or forsake me. That brought me some comfort, and gave me some confidence.

For many years I had avoided putting myself in situations that caused me to fear, like speaking to an audience. But there were still the always present fears of “what if”. I have a very creative imagination, so I could conjure up many possibilities to be afraid of. Then I read a scripture that really touched my heart. “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) As I studied this verse I realized that God doesn’t want for us to be ruled by fear. He wants for us to feel safe, under His protection. He wants for us to trust in Him.

There was still a hesitation in me that allowed my fears to prevent me from doing certain things. I prayed and prayed for deliverance from these fears, but they didn’t really go away. Eventually I learned that part of trusting in God means that I can have courage to try something, even while I’m afraid. That requires complete trust. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) As I learned more about giving God my complete trust, I began stepping out in faith, believing that He would be there with me and help me to get through the fear. And He did. I still feel fear when I stand up in front of a crowd of people. But I remind myself that God is right there with me and He is much stronger than my fear. Sometimes I picture in my mind that God is holding me in His arms while I’m talking, and there is an invisible shield around me that nothing can get through. And even though I may feel nervous and afraid, I know His strength is protecting me and I can make it through anything because of that.

Fear of the unknown is one of the hardest fears to overcome. As I said earlier, my imagination can go quite wild with “what if”. What God finally showed me was that anything can happen or change without warning, and I have no control over it. I had to learn that I am not in control at all, He is! I have no power in myself, He is all powerful. And I had to learn that things are not according to my will, but His will. That is when I was able to put my complete trust in Him. Now I know that no matter what happens, it is all in His hands and I have trust in Him to work it out for the best according to His plans. Because I can trust in Him completely, I can accept that bad things may happen. But I know that He can use it for His purpose to cause something good to come from it. I know that I cannot always understand why things happen, but it is ok because He knows. I do not know the future or how things will always affect other things, but God does.

This doesn’t mean that I am without any responsibility. I can’t just sit here and do nothing. But it gives me a freedom in knowing that I do not have to live my life being controlled by fears and anxiety. I can step out in faith, knowing that as I walk under God’s protection and grace, He is always there with me, helping me to overcome any fear. He has given me deliverance and victory, and all doubt has been removed, being replaced with total faith and trust in Him.

 

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I Am B.A.D. (Blessed And Delivered)

Jesus Set Me Free!

by Amber LeggetteAldrich

 

Our church youth group returned from Youth Camp this past weekend. I had been reading some of their posts on Facebook about their experiences, and I could feel the excitement and joy in their hearts. It has always been a tremendous blessing to me to see our young people so full of fire and enthusiasm for Jesus! And their willingness to openly share what God is doing in their lives is something that I deeply admire. These young people are not just talking about God, but they are walking the walk as well.

 

At the Wednesday night service several of the youths gave testimonies about what they had experienced at the camp. As each one shared, I found myself crying inexplicably. It wasn’t out of sadness, but more from a deep sense of thankfulness. Before long I began to realize that I was remembering what my life had been like before Jesus set me free. There was so much bondage in my life, mostly from my own doing. I can’t even begin to explain the deepness of the gratitude I feel for what Jesus did for me. But when I think about it, and how I have been changed by His love, there is a joy that just explodes inside of me, and I want to share it with the whole world!

 

Each new day is another opportunity to let that joy shine into the world. I don’t have to wait for something to stir me up. I only have to think about what the Lord saved me from, and how much He loves me. I can find His goodness in the promises of His Word, and I know where I am going when my race is finished here. My God is more than enough for me! He is bigger than any storm I face! And I am no longer a slave to sin!

 

I am not perfect, yet. But God is working in my heart, changing me day by day, moment by moment. And I will be made perfect when I enter His gates! Knowing that gives me an assurance and contentment, as well as excitement. I no longer live in condemnation, but in liberation.

 

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:” (Galatians 4:3) Things like anger, unforgiveness, doubt, fear, drugs, rebellion, hate, hypocrisy, enviousness and more, were all chains of bondage to me. No matter how many times I tried to change, no matter how hard I tried, I could not do it. Maybe for a day or two in one or two areas, but it never lasted.

 

But then I began to learn about Jesus. “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:32)  “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) Through learning the truth about His pure and unconditional love for me, I began to trust in Him. I called out to Him for help, to set me free. The chains that had held me hostage for so long were broken. I repented and was baptized in Jesus’ name. My sins were forgiven and washed away. As I opened up my heart to Him, He filled me with His Holy Spirit and great love, and my life began to change.

 

My journey since then has not always been easy. Many trials and temptations have come my way. But the freedom I have in Jesus replaces the fear I once had with peace and comfort. He is always with me, and He gives me strength and courage to continue on. I remember what my life was like before He saved me, and I won’t go back. “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.” Galatians 5:1  I may fall down and scrape my knees, but He helps me to get back up and keep fighting. He gives me the heart to love others, and to forgive as He has forgiven me. I put my life in His hands, and there’s no better place to be! He has shown me the wonders of His love, and profound miracles too. I AM SO B.A.D. because Jesus has set me free!

 

(Our youth group performed this skit at camp. The song and the skit brought out a lot of emotions in many, and was the main inspiration for this post. The song is “Set Me Free” by Casting Crowns. I hope you enjoy it!)

 

 

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Lessons In Faith & Hope

By Amber Leggette-Aldrich

 

 

 

Recently our Pastor posed a question to the congregation: “Why do you love your church?” There were as many different answers as there were people. I had a few reasons that came to mind that night. For one, it is where I began to learn about God’s truth. One of the first scriptures I studied that had taken a strong hold on my heart was Proverbs 3:5 & 6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

 

For most of my life I had put my faith and trust in myself, believing that others would only hurt and disappoint me. I had believed that it was up to me alone to make myself happy and to provide for myself. But no matter what I did or how hard I tried, things just never seemed to be good for very long. My life was not working out in the ways I had planned.

 

After I began hearing God’s Word, my heart began going through many changes. One of the most important was from learning to put my trust in Him. It was very hard for me to do at first, but I soon found that the more I put myself in His hands, the better my life became.

 

Shortly after I joined our church, my faith and my commitment to follow Christ was tested in a way I could have never imagined. I had to choose to hold onto my faith, and it was not easy. But because I did, I was blessed with peace and comfort that helped me through that trial. Even in the middle of my distress, I could feel God’s presence with me and it gave me strength to go on.

 

My faith became stronger over the next few years. As I learned more of God’s Word and believed what it said, my trust in Him began to grow as well. It was still hard at times, because I had to learn to let go of believing that I was in control.

 

God used my youngest son, Christian, to teach me some very important lessons about faith and trust. I have been surprised many times with the ways God uses people, places and events to teach us. As an adult, I had never thought I would be taught as much as I have from a child. But as Christian was being brought up in the church, he exhibited a profound faith and trust in God that I truly admired. Even as young as 3 years old, he had an assuredness in his spirit that everything was in God’s hands and that He was taking care of things. When Christian prayed, no matter whether it was for himself or someone else, it was a done deal to him. He knew his prayer was heard and was sure it was taken care of. I felt rather puny in my faith compared to his! But it caused me to grow more in mine.

 

I began to pray more from the center of my heart, and I gained a deeper understanding of the messages our Pastor preached. I learned what it meant to submit myself to God’s authority, and from this I was blessed with more security. I was learning the message that God is in control. My trust in Him was also growing, and I began letting go of the fear that I had for so long, the fear of being hurt. But it still took time to fully let go of the desire to try to be in control of my own life. Even though my heart and my life had gone through many changes and God was blessing me far beyond my wildest dreams, deep inside my heart I was still holding onto the notion that I was in control of my own day to day living. I still made my own plans, and lived my life according to what I thought was best. Then came time for another test and time of learning one of the strongest lessons of my life.

 

When things are going good in life, it’s easy to give God praise and glory. But it gets harder when things start to go wrong and the trials come. I had been in the habit of reading the bible and praying first thing in the morning, and most days it helped bring me peace throughout the day. But there were times that things would happen during the day, and I found my peace had dwindled away because of the circumstances. I was aware of this and had been praying for God to help me to become stronger.

 

When Christian’s accident occurred, everything happened so fast I didn’t even have time to think about it. As I watched my son dying in my hands, my first reaction was to pray like I had never prayed before! I was so utterly helpless to do anything of my own accord, except to pray and put it all into God’s hands. I remember the first words of my prayer were “I believe in You, and I trust You completely”. And that was true, and from every cell of my body, I called out in Jesus name. The next words I spoke were “I know in my heart, that You will heal him and make him whole again, if not here on earth, then in Heaven”. I can’t explain how I knew, but I did. And for the first time in my life, I also knew that I’m not in control. Right then and there, I put not only my life but my son’s life into God’s hands alone and I felt complete confidence in trusting Him.

 

God gave us many miracles that day. He brought Christian back to life. A tremendous revival of faith and love began to grow, and is still growing. And the beginning of a remarkable journey began for many. Throughout the following days while we were in the hospital, my faith never wavered, even when the doctors said it was likely that Christian would not survive. Watching the amazement in their eyes when he not only survived, but recovered fully in such a short time, strengthened my praise and faith even more.

 

I had reached a point where I didn’t think it was possible for my faith to be any stronger than it was. But when Christian told me that he had been in Heaven, sitting in Jesus’ lap, that was the moment when my faith was made whole and complete. Whatever doubts there may have been in my heart had been completely and permanently erased.

 

Over the next 18 months there were still more trials that came. Sometimes it seemed that the more I tried to share about God’s miracles and goodness with others, the more trials and temptations came. Many times I questioned why these things were happening.

 

Through reading God’s Word and hearing many sermons, I continued to learn God’s truth. I began to realize that God’s blessings aren’t only about when good things happen, and it’s not always the enemy attacking when bad things happen. I began to understand that a major part of life is about learning, and then responding to what we learn by putting it into practice in our life. One of the things I have learned is that trials can be counted as blessings too, because they can help us to grow closer to the Lord. They can help us to become better than we were. And they can prepare us to be able to help and bless others who need it. Whatever trial or hardship I may face, I know God is with me and He will make a way for me to go through it. I know that it will be used to help me in some way, whether it is for my own personal good, or to equip me to help someone else.

 

Our Pastor has taught me about God’s truth through his preaching. There have been many in our congregation who have encouraged me and helped me. I have found genuine peace, comfort, support and love in our church. But I think what I love most about my church is that it was where I first knew the love of God, and then I fell in love with Him.

 

In my heart I know that God is using my life to encourage others in faith and hope in Him. I believe that it is a part of all of our lives, to be a help in some way to others. And that is my prayer for today, that faith and hope in Him grows, spreading like a wildfire that cannot be put out. May you find peace and comfort as you put yourself into His mighty and capable hands. God bless!   – Amber

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Good morning! I have been away for quite some time now, but have made my way back. And I have an incredible testimony to share of God’s goodness, grace, mercy and power! It is a story of many miracles, and it is my prayer that many hearts will stirred to connect with our wonderful and mighty Lord, Jesus Christ.

Have you ever had questions about heaven, or wondered if Jesus is really there? Do you or someone you know have doubts about all this “Christian stuff”? I cannot promise you that I have all the answers. But this much I can promise…Jesus and heaven are real, and if you open your heart to His truth and seek Him with all earnesty, you will find Him!

In previous posts I have shared a little of the effects that my children have had on my heart. Perhaps God knew that it would take a child’s touch to have such a strong impact on me, resulting in a faith and love that surpasses anything I had ever imagined. I cannot explain God’s reasons for the ways that He chooses to work, so I will simply share this story, for His honor and glory. For time and space, I have to give the condensed version here.

The Accident

On November 13, 2010 my 8 year old son, Christian, was killed when he was run over by a pick up truck. The truck ended up with it’s back tire sitting directly on top of his chest, crushing his lungs and stopping his heart. I arrived at the scene of the accident within a minute or so after the crash, and I held Christian’s head (the only part of him that I could get to) and kept repeating over and over how much I loved him. As I prayed harder than I have ever prayed, I watched as my baby died in my hands. I cried out to God and said, “I believe in You and trust You. I know You are mighty and capable, and I am putting my baby into Your hands, and I know in my heart that You will heal him and make him whole again, if not here on earth, then in heaven”.

It was nearly 20 minutes before the first of the emergency responders arrived. As the truck was lifted up with a winch, the paramedics had to shovel out the snow from around Christian to get to his right leg which had been wrapped around the back axle and almost torn from his body. Once he had been pulled out from under the truck, CPR began and continued for 40 minutes. I do not know all of the details of this time, except that tubes were placed into his lungs and injections were administered directly into his heart. A faint pulse was finally achieved, and Christian was flown by helicopter to the hospital.

The Hospital

After many hours had passed, the head doctor of the pediatric intensive care unit came to us. She told us that in spite of all their efforts, there was just too much damage and that Christian would not live through the night. His lungs had been crushed, his heart was badly bruised and damaged, his liver and bowels were bruised and swollen, 2 ribs were broken, his brain was swollen and surrounded by fluid, and his lower right leg was hanging by a thread of skin and a vein. We were told to go be with him and love him while we could.

In the meantime, prayer requests had been sent out all over the country. By the end of the day, there were thousands of people praying for Christian and our family. I’ll never know the exact number or who they were, but I am truly thankful to them all!

Since it was believed (by the doctors) that Christian would not live, there was no attempt to perform surgery on his leg at the time. When he was still holding on the next day and some blood flow had actually returned to his foot, an orthopedic surgeon said that if Christian survived, the leg could be amputated later.

Christian remained in a coma for 4 days, barely hanging on to life. But as his vital signs began to improve a little, the first surgery on his leg was performed on the 4th morning. The doctor had decided to try to save the leg, but didn’t seem overly hopeful. That same night, Christian came out of the coma! A respirator was still breathing for him, and he was hooked up to every kind of machine imaginable. The neurosurgeon said that there would probably be severe brain damage due to the impact and going without any oxygen for almost an hour.

On November 20, the respirator was removed and Christian was finally able to talk. During the previous week I had been told (and already knew in my heart) that it was miraculous that he had even been revived, but to be healing and recovering at such a rapid rate was unbelievable to all of his doctors. But the most miraculous thing was what he said once he was able to talk. He asked me, “am I still in heaven”? When I answered no, he became agitated and asked, “why did you take me away from Jesus, I did not want to leave Him”! Later he described brief memories from the accident, after he had died. He also described “coming down the stairs”, to which he later added that his older brother Jason (who had died the month before Christian was born) had led him down the stairs from heaven. Christian said that Jason told him it was not time for him yet and that he would see him again someday.

To the complete amazement of all of his doctors, Christian was released from the hospital 20 days after being admitted! His heart, brain, lungs, everything except his leg was totally healed.

Full Recovery

Christian’s recovery has been published in several medical reports over the past 16 months and is still being talked about in the medical communities. One report that I heard was from a conference of over 500 doctors. It was stated that there are 2 categories: one of what medicine can do, and one of what medicine can not do. Christian’s case was listed in the “cannot do” category, and his recovery was attributed to “Divine intervention”.

Christian’s leg required several surgeries over a 1 year period, including 2 bone grafts, a skin graft, and a titanium plate placed over the shin area. For a little over 4 months, his leg was held together with 2 fixators screwed directly into the bones and he suffered from severe nerve pains as his leg was healing. He had permanent scars and his right foot is now somewhat smaller than his left foot. The tendons and ligaments were extremely tight, causing his foot to turn inward, but with stretching and exercise have become almost completely normal and he is now able to run again, with only a slightly noticable limp. Even this is expected to return to normal in time.

Throughout this entire ordeal, our faith and trust in Jesus has strengthened. He has carried us through, giving us peace and comfort in a time of great trials. In spite of his pain and suffering, Christian remained positive and confident in God’s ability to heal him. In his own words, Christian often said, “I know God is with me, and He is going to make everything alright”.

In Conclusion

One of the hardest and greatest lessons I have learned from all of this is that I am not in control. I had to learn to put my comlete faith and trust in God, to know that it is His will that must be done, even when I don’t understand it. To walk by faith and not by sight, trusting that God is watching over us and He will work everything out for good in the end brings an unexplainable peace and comfort to my heart. I felt God’s presence in and around me when I began to pray with all my heart at the accident, and I knew He was there with us. I witnessed a miracle that day, and I have been privileged to watch God take the most horrible scene I have ever watched and turn it into many miracles and blessings over this past 16 months.

There are far too many details of this story to put it all down here. But it is something that I know in my heart must be shared. It is my passion to share what God has done, and is doing, for He is truly a mighty and holy God! It is my prayer that every heart be opened to seeking and finding Him! And if it is His will, the full details of this story will be published, to honor and glorify Him.

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