What pits rule your life? Part 3

Pits come in all shapes and sizes.  I don’t mean literal shapes and sizes of course, but I mean that everyone goes through their own struggles and short comings in life.  Everyone has moments of doubt and fear.  Everyone at some point or another will succumb to the lies that the enemy throws at us because we only know as much as our present human mind can understand.  We are not all knowing like our Father is who know what is to come, not just what already has happened.

Continue reading “What pits rule your life? Part 3”

Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Healing: A Life-Long Journey

 

I’m thinking back to a story in the Old Testament about a man named Joseph.  Joseph had one big problem. He had 12 older brothers and all of them hated his guts.  They were extremely jealous that their father loved Joseph more than any of them.  They were jealous that he was richly blessed because of this favor.  They were also jealous of his dreams.  These dreams showed that he would rule over his brothers and that they would all bow to him.  

Continue reading “Spiritual, Physical and Emotional Healing: A Life-Long Journey”

The Enemy is Crushed By the Blood of the Lamb and the Power in Our Testimony

1408944739.jpg (254×169)

Testimony: evidence or proof provided by the existence or appearance of something

God gives power through the stories or occurrences of things that He does in or around our lives. These testimonies have such strong power that they can cause someone to start to believe in something or someone who they wouldn’t have otherwise believed in. Continue reading “The Enemy is Crushed By the Blood of the Lamb and the Power in Our Testimony”

My Little Miracle

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

Azaria Lynn Noack (Yahweh helps those who stand by the torrent), born 6:17 pm on March 10, 2015. She weighed a total of 5 pounds, 14 ½ ounces and was a length of 19 inches long. For most of you, this may have just been another child born on just another day. But to me, especially with what I know now, she is a miracle child. A true sign of God’s strength, love and mercy. She will always be a special little sign to my family, that God is bigger than anything else, and there is NOTHING that He cannot do.

Just short of 8 weeks after her birth, I went back into the hospital with excruciating pain in my left forearm. It was so intense I was begging Ryan to just let them cut it off. My hand was slowly going numb, and I had soon lost all feeling in my fingers, hand, and wrist. He even joked with the nurse that I was claiming it was a 10 on the pain scale, but I had just gone through labor. Looking back now, labor was probably a 9, this was most certainly a 10.

After many tests, the doctors concluded that I had compartment syndrome. This means that the different compartments of my arm filled with fluid and caused pressure to build up. If something wasn’t done to relieve the pressure, I was at risk for losing my arm. The next morning, after they had spent all night attempting to make the pressure go down through arm elevation, they wheeled me back to the OR for surgery. But what they found out then made this hospital stay much longer. Through my pregnancy, I had developed a blood clotting problem called postpartum factor 8 deficiency. This means that my B Cells viewed my factor 8 as the enemy and were creating antibodies to destroy those factors in me, leaving me unable to clot. If I couldn’t clot, I couldn’t have surgery, or I could bleed to death. Trust me, this really is as bad as it sounds, there is no over-dramatization here.

Over the next week and a half, I was flown out to the Albuquerque hospital because they were better prepared to take care of me there. I went through three surgeries, lots of pain, and I can honestly say I have never experienced the presence of God like I did these last 2 weeks. He had my doctors praying over me, and asking to leave me with verses, had countless family and friend hold specific prayer meetings just on my behalf. He allowed my baby and husband to stay with me at the end, provided the means for my beautiful sister to come and help Ryan care for Azy, provided discounted rates at the hotel, numerous financial donations, letters of encouragement and love from my students, and ton of other things. He had ordained everything for my good, and brought me out of this mess with a scar on my wrist and a little bit of pain.

But what I found out halfway through this experience made me fall in love with my Jesus 10 times over. Because of this blood condition that I had gained as a “souvenir” of my pregnancy, Azy should not have lived. I was told that she should have been miscarried and she shouldn’t be here today. But we all know that God is bigger than anything else. He protected my miracle within me and brought her out on term, healthy, happy, and the most beautiful baby I have ever seen.

I remember being so terrified throughout the pregnancy that something was going to happen and that I was going to lose her. I had panic attacks when Ryan mentioned wanting to announce her on Facebook because I didn’t want to “jinx” anything. God gave me the peace then to bring myself to tell the world about her, and gave me the strength to lean on him when I was scared.

God has great purpose for this little girl. She is going to do big things in this world, and I so can’t wait to watch it all unfold. Through this experience, God has shown me that there is nothing to fear when I am living for Him. No matter what happens, He is ALWAYS there, right by our side, and will NEVER leave us. So March 10, 2015 will always be seen by me as the day I witnessed the love of God pour out on me in the form of a true miracle. My daughter, Azaria Lynn, you are a world changer, and always will be.

10405496_816786805071298_4211180103877671827_n

God is Always There

March 1“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 1 Timothy 6:6

Today marks the one week countdown to Baby Noack coming into this world. (Or at last her due date.) Some of you are probably pretty excited to be hearing what that name is by now. Honestly I’m surprised I’ve kept it a secret this long. I’m pretty proud of myself right about now.

If we’re being completely honest, this pregnancy has been an emotional roller coaster ride for me. We’ve both wanted a baby so bad for so long, I just never expected she would come in circumstances that were so shaky.

We found out we were pregnant the day before I was supposed to sign a one year contract to teach on a Native American Reservation halfway across the United States. We were at the school visiting the area when I got the phone call from the doctor and it literally flipped my whole world upside down. I had no idea what I was going to do. I remember sitting on the bed in the room we were staying in crying when Ryan walked in and asked me what was wrong. I explained the test came back positive and I didn’t know what we were going to do about this job opportunity. I would have to leave Michigan (where I was born and raised). That would mean leaving my family when we were going to have our first child. We would be in the middle of nowhere working in a completely different environment, and it would be my first year of teaching added on to that. I don’t know about you, but that’s a lot of firsts for one person.

Ryan looked at me and told me that he had a strong feeling that this was where God was leading us. “Maybe the baby is a sign that this is the best place for us,” he said. There were so many people here around our age who have children and who would be able to help us through the pregnancy that it really was a good place to be through it. Back in Plymouth we didn’t have anybody who was our age, married and recently had children. It would have been harder to get through it there without that solid support system. So hesitantly, I said, ok, I’ll sign the contract.

At the end of July we made the move. One big UHaul, all our belongings, a nauseous pregnant lady, her husband and a bulky cage in the middle with two terrified cats making the great voyage across the United States. It was very difficult indeed, but we finally made it. Thank you mom and dad for the hotel rooms by the way, that would have been silly if we would have followed our plans of sleeping in the UHaul (Yes, you were right again.) We finally made it three days later to the little reservation, and the beautiful blessing of a brand new duplex that we were going to live in. It was all exciting and new at first. But then the reality of being so far away from the familiar sunk in. We didn’t have a car, so we had to either car pool or borrow vehicles to go anywhere. Ryan didn’t have a job, and living in a village, 40 minutes away from anything, and being white, it was kind of difficult to find something for him to do that was paid.

The first three months were probably the worst for me. I was extremely homesick, not to mention really sick. I never throw up, but I guess having a little human inside of you will make those things change. I thought I was the worst person in the world because I had constant thoughts that I didn’t even want to be pregnant, I just wanted the baby to go away. I didn’t want to talk about that with anyone because I thought that it was just me being a bad person and a bad mom. I finally got the courage to talk to my pastor’s wife about it, and much to my surprise, her gracious self told me that it was completely normal and everything was going to be ok.

By the time I got out of my first trimester, I could eat more than a couple bites here and there again. It was WONDERFUL! But over the next four or so months I struggled so much with being in New Mexico. I wanted so bad to just give it all up and move back home. I went back for my first visit in October when my grandpa passed away, and it was extremely hard driving back to the airport at the end of the trip. It was equally hard when we traveled home to Canada in November and then again at Christmas time. I missed everything about the North. The snow, the fall colors, family, WATER. The list can go on and on. I just wanted to buy a house in Michigan or Canada and set up camp there. On top of all that, I found out my home church/school put up an announcement that they were looking for a teacher for next year, so of course I jumped at that opportunity. I put my name in the hat and started talking with the principal about it. But something (or someone) was pulling at my heart in a different direction and I was trying so hard to ignore it.

Around January or the beginning of February, God finally got through my thick head about His desires for Ryan, the baby, and me. Contentment has always been a huge struggle for me, and I knew that moving somewhere else was not going to fix it. I was just going to struggle with contentment in the new place unless I could learn to overcome it. But I finally figured out what God was trying to tell me. He said very clearly that He didn’t need me. He didn’t need me to be here in New Mexico, working with these kids or these people, and I could leave if I wanted to. He would just accomplish what He wanted to accomplish without me, and because He’s God, He can do that. “But,” He said, “If you choose to stay here and work with the children I have placed in your care, I will make you blessed, and make you a blessing.”

I remember begging Him to send me somewhere to be used by Him when I was back in Michigan. I told Him I would go anywhere and do anything He wanted me to, I just wanted to be used by Him in a big way. But then He finally sends me here, and all I can do is complain about not being back where I was. Isn’t it funny how we beg and beg and beg for something different, and then once things get a little uncomfortable for us, we beg and beg and beg for what is familiar? Paul wrote in Philippians 4:12,

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.”

Dear Paul, I think I am just beginning to gain the wisdom that you have been blessed with, contentment in all circumstances. No matter what I may be going through, or what I may want, I know that God is still God and He is always with me. In that knowledge, I can be content where I am, and can be content to wait upon the Lord to direct my life in the way that He so chooses. It is not my life, but His.

*Credits to Beth Scheeres for being used by God to plant the seed of the knowledge of contentment in my mind. You are a beautiful expression of how our Big God uses us to speak to His children.