Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Making It Through

I have been asked what passage(s) in the Bible I've been holding onto in this time. For the past couple of months in church we've been studying the book of James. As Kit and I were preparing for Ellie's arrival, trying to sell our house, both working full time, having him in grad school part time, etc., we had found more and more of a need to bring everything before the Lord because we knew we couldn't do it on our own.

Every night since Kit met with our dear friend Marc in January, we've prayed together for the Lord's guidance and wisdom as we took small steps in the direction He was guiding us. We made the decision to sell our home, which was the hardest decision either of us have ever had to make. We both love our home and had planned to live in it for the rest of our lives (adding on if we needed more space). But we knew it was more important for me to be home with Ellie and working less hours than for me to be working full time, having someone else take care of Ellie and then for us to be reliant on two full incomes in order to pay the bills. As some of you may know, we were scheduled to have an open house last Sunday. Obviously that was canceled.

Back to our process in getting here. As we began to deeply and purposely seek the heart and will of God for our lives with Ellie coming to join us, He began to reveal Himself to us in amazing ways. He made it very clear that we were to sell the house (despite the bad economy). He also made it very clear that He may sell our house or He may just have been preparing us for the next step in our journey - having the house not sell and learning what it's like to not be able to pay the bills and to have to rely on Him for every penny.

He also made it very clear through our pastor that we are to be single-minded in our following of Him. We don't have the option of asking for His wisdom and then saying, "Thanks, God, but I think I'll go ahead and do it my way." Well, we do have the option, and we ignore God much of the time. But Kit and I have been working at continually reminding ourselves that life isn't about us. Our lives are for the glory of God. And while we're imperfect and mess things up much of the time, He continues to work in and through us.

On Saturday morning, I awoke feeling very overwhelmed. I hadn't slept well and had the weight of baby preparations, open house preparations, errands, etc. on my mind. I got out of bed for a bit but then went back to bed for another hour (not typical of me) because I felt so tired and overwhelmed. I prayed and cried as I fell asleep. When I awoke, I still felt a heavy burden but decided I needed to get up and going. During my time of getting ready for the day, I plugged my iPod into our stereo to listen to Francesca Battistelli's album My Paper Heart. I sat at the dining room table eating homemade raspberry scones Kit had made Friday night. Kit's Bible is usually on the dining room table because He reads it there most often. Rather than getting up to grab mine from my nightstand (where I'll be honest, it's only been getting picked up daily within the last couple of weeks). I opened to James and began reading. These are the words that have been getting me through...

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James 1:2-8, 12-25; 4:13-15

Count it all joy, my brothers,when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. Let no one say when he is tempted, "I am being tempted by God," for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit" — yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that."

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We don't know the Lord's will for our little girl's life. We don't know what today or tomorrow will hold. We may have her for years to come or for days. But we do know that He is faithful. And we will remain steadfast. He has given us a wonderful gift in our beautiful daughter and we praise Him for every moment we have with her. And we trust Him to use her life for the exact purpose for which He designed her.

Please continue to lift us up in your prayers. We have a long journey ahead.

10 comments:

Kelly said...

Praying for you!!!! They can do AMAZING things for tiny babies!!! Have hope - I know this will be a journey but HE will carry you!

Doreen T. said...

Continuing to pray for Ellie! God is truly glorified in your wholehearted trust in Him.

Becky said...

Hi Emily & Kit! I am Mike Baden's wife. I found your blog through Jamie & Kari's and wanted to tell you we are praying for you guys and your little girl.
We will check your blog often and will be praying you through this process!!

Suzanne Berryessa said...

Em,
We are on our knees for Ellie, you and Kit. . . ps- Ellie is an adorable nick name- I love it!
My heart aches for you and at the same time is so encouraged at how you are running to Jesus through this. You are an incredible woman, your depth is beautiful and I'm really feeling blessed to know you and be able to pray for you. I love you guys!
Suz

Anonymous said...

Good morning Wagner Family!

Emily, yesterday, was on the edge of my seat reading your riveting, bittersweet tale of Ellie's birth. So happy you are both well. You are all in my prayers daily. By the way, script write much? Your post read like a segment on an episode of Private Practice! We miss you at work! Marie

Jayme said...

My name is Jayme - found this on Christie & Aaron's blog. My husband and I are in prayer for you, Kit, and Ellie. Stay strong.

Erin said...

What a wonderful post! I will be praying for Ellie and you and your husband.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys-
You don't know me; just read about you at kellys korner. Just wanted to say I've been where you are. My son, who is now 5, was born at 25 weeks. This can be something that brings you so much closer to God if you allow it to. We learned to totally depend on God daily and to not take for granted every day you have with your family. She seems to be doing great if she has no brain bleed and is already off the vent. Take it one day at a time; there will be ups and downs but stay with God and He will carry you through this. You won't even realize how strong you can be. Praying all goes well. I think it's really cool that your NICU is letting you be so involved. Be thankful for that!! Take care and God bless!


Kristin
Mauriceville, TX

Anonymous said...

Hey guys-
You don't know me; just read about you at kellys korner. Just wanted to say I've been where you are. My son, who is now 5, was born at 25 weeks. This can be something that brings you so much closer to God if you allow it to. We learned to totally depend on God daily and to not take for granted every day you have with your family. She seems to be doing great if she has no brain bleed and is already off the vent. Take it one day at a time; there will be ups and downs but stay with God and He will carry you through this. You won't even realize how strong you can be. Praying all goes well. I think it's really cool that your NICU is letting you be so involved. Be thankful for that!! Take care and God bless!


Kristin
Mauriceville, TX

Rebecca said...

Thank you for sharing what the Lord is teaching you during this time. It is a blessing to know that He wastes nothing, no matter how surprising the circumstances seem to us. I'm still in shock that Ellie is already an "outside" baby! I love you, Emily!