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South Africa
My husband, Brett and I live in beautiful South Africa and have been blessed with the most precious family. We have 2 very beautiful and brave daughters, Tianna (15) and Angelee (12) and a very precious little boy called Zac who touched our hearts forever in his 1 day here on earth. We never would have imagined that we would have to live this side of Heaven without our sweet boy who was born with half a heart, but every day Jesus carries us through and is teaching us more than ever how to live, laugh and love fully. 3 years ago our faithful Great Restorer graciously blessed us once again with another son ... our beloved Gabriel ... a ray of sunshine in all our lives! "Love in Action" is our journey as a family to love the way Jesus is teaching us to love and live.

Blog Archive

27 September 2011

Looking to the Rock who is Higher than I

As always, I need to start my post with a word of thanks for all the amazing words of encouragement and prayers that have been sent to us. I am not always able to reply to each of you personally, but please know that Brett and I pray God's blessings on each of you and praise Him with all our hearts for the amazing body of Christ who has rallied around us from all parts of the world! We are so humbled and blessed!!!
Every step of the way God has showed us clearly as a family how He has gone before us. Before every appointment we have faced over the last 8 weeks, He has always given us His promises to anchor us before we hear anything negative of fearful. Even in our trip to Cape Town He has provided for us in so many amazing ways. For the first part of our stay before we have our precious baby boy, here is the view from our bedroom and lounge ...
Such beautiful waterways and the back of Table Mountain. Though you cannot see it in this picture, when I look out to the right we see the sea too. It is so peaceful. I feel so cocooned in the shelter of His wings even though the storm has raged around us. The closer we get to Zac's caesar date (next week Wednesday), we have noticed the enemy try to thunder about us like a roaring lion. God in His amazing love and grace has shown us that while he may roar really loudly, the fact remains that he is a defeated foe! Jesus Himself took care of that personally through the finished work of the cross. As we look to Him ... our peace and certainty remains anchored. 
In the week before we left for Cape Town I sensed the Lord ask me if we were willing to "walk on the water" - so to speak - with Him. Thank goodness we have the Word to look to in cases like this, because I have learned from Peter that as long as I keep my eyes fixed on His eyes, miracles are happening all around me. It is only if I turn to look at the size of the waves that my heart may feel overwhelmed. Isn't He amazing that He can give us peace in the midst of any wild storm?! Only He can!
These last 4 days for me have been a real test of whether I would stare into His eyes or look to the size of the waves. We met our new gynecologist, who is a very compassionate man, but also has to do his job professionally. As it was our first meeting, it was his first opportunity to scan Zac's heart for himself. After the scan he sat us down and spoke very frankly of Zac's chances. In short ... he felt that he had to prepare us for the fact that he cannot see how they can possible fix what he sees on that scan. He talked us through the delivery and what we could expect. He was trying to prepare us to say goodbye to our son. Oh Jesus ... it was the hardest appointment for me! Only He could hold Brett and my heart together. It was painful to hear that medical science does not feel equipped to fix what they see. HOWEVER, God had already gone before us once again with promises from the previous day and the revealed miracle of a recreated aortic arch and this reminded us that He IS at work!!!
We did our book in yesterday at the Christian Barnard Memorial Hospital. I found it tough. I just wanted to run a mile!!! Everything within me wanted to run back to the "safe place" back home of familiarity. This walk is a radical walk of faith. I got into the car and cried. As I cried, I felt His immense comfort to say it is all right. You are allowed to cry and be in faith at the same time ;0) How brave we sometimes try to be ... but it is not bravery He is looking for ... it is the leaning of all that we are into all that He is. He is looking for us to completely allow HIM to carry us in every way! This settled my heart once again. He is a God of certainty. Just before we left for the hospital He led me to read Hebrews 6:15-20. Verses 15 & 18 say 
"And so it was that he (Abraham) having waited long and endured patiently, realized and obtained (in the birth of Isaac as a pledge of what was to come) what God had promised him. 
This was so that, by two unchangeable things (His promise and His oath) in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled (to Him) for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before us."
Even as I type this my spirit is strengthened as I see how specific God is when He guides us through storms. When we first heard the actual "heart diagnosis" by the specialist 6 weeks ago and I asked God how we were to stand, I asked Him if He was asking me to lay Zac down. Clearly the Spirit of the Lord told me in the following days that He has not called us to lay Zac down, but that He is asking us to have the same faith that He asked of Abraham. To believe in Him and His goodness. Abraham knew that however God chose to do it ... He WOULD PROVIDE and that he was going to go back down that mountain with his son! He even told that to his servants who waited for them, before he and Isaac went up that mountain.
When God gives us His specific word on a matter, we have to see it as a certainty. That is what God is teaching Brett and I in our journey. He has been so specific with the promises He has given to us throughout our personal journey. Even though we have not yet seen the complete heart miracle, God has promised it to us. Hebrews 11:23 is a great encouragement to us as we stand believing ...
"So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgment of it, for He who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word." 
As I woke up this morning, and looked out my window at Table Mountain He once again guided me to read the following verse:
"From the end of the earth will I cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed & fainting;
lead me to the Rock that is higher than I (yes, a Rock that is too high for me).
For You have been a shelter & a refuge for me, a strong tower against the adversary.
I will dwell in Your tabernacle forever; 
let me find refuge & trust in the shelter of Your wings.
Selah (pause, & calmly think of that)!
Psalm 61:2-4 (Amplified Bible)
My precious Jesus ... You alone are the Rock that is higher than I and it is with You that nothing is impossible. You are my certainty and my sure foundation. You alone are the One who daily gives to us "heart peace".  I will worship You. 
All my love,
Janine xoxox 

15 comments:

Debra said...

My darling, isn't it amazing that God has seen fit to give you your wonderful message this morning as well as make sure that you are 'situated' beside a HUGE Rock (Table Mountain) as an analogy to Him being Your Rock!

Stand Firm in your Faith! My heart and prayers are with you! xx love Debs xx

Dardi said...

Last year at this very time, we were in a place of such uncertainty with the adoption of our daughter. We knew what God had whispered to our hearts, but everything seemed to be unraveling around us. In the midst, He gave me a time of amazing peace & rest (like your cocoon). I almost got to a place of resignation, but then a prayer partner sent me a message that said, "Never forget that our God is in the business of miracles", which is when I was convicted to pray like never before b/c while it was such a blessing to have a time of rest, we knew in our faith that that's not what we signed up for...we signed up to step out of the boat. So, again, much of what you're feeling now about "walking on the water". You're right--many tears in faith, but He is God, and He is good. Praying that mountains to be moved for your family here in Ohio.

Adeye said...

I thought the same thing about the ROCK that you get to look outside and see each and every day while you wait! What a beautiful analogy, my friend. So amazing. I love you from afar and my prayers are with you each and every day. I love the picture of my sweet friend being COCOONED--what beauty will rise!

Hugest hugs ever.
A

Anonymous said...

Beautiful, just beautiful...i love your soft spoken voice, your love for Jesus and your trust and faith in Him. Our family will continue to pray for your family. We send blessings over you all. A reminder of who He is "Be Still, and know I am God". Continue to dwell in His Holy presence, soak in His annointing oil! Blessings dear child of God.

Jedidja said...

Pslam 121. God bless you!

Tesseraemum said...

I am visiting from Adeye's blog...I have read your story and feel compelled to tell you about a friend of ours! They were not believers when they found out that their 3rd child had spina bifida and she was missing both legs and one arm. It's kind of hard to miss arms and legs in an ultrasound (they even have the pics)! They decided not to abort and ran to God. They fell on their knees and prayed. They didn't do as many ultrasounds as they do now when there is a problem but each time they did they saw the same thing and were asked to abort. They held on. They went into delivery with their eyes wide open. Their daughter arrived perfectly! With all of her limbs and no hole in her spine! She is now the mother of 3 healthy kids herself! She and her parents have not stopped praising God and share their story at every turn!! We are praying for you and your family in Ohio! Blessings, Sheri

Janine said...

Oh my goodness Sheri! What a powerful testimony! That is the Jesus that I serve and love with all my heart. He always desire to do good! THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing this testimony with us. We are so strengthened and encouraged in our faith hearing the testimonies of what Jesus does!!! BIG hugs.

Adeye said...

WOW....what an incredible testimony, Sheri! Thanks so much for sharing. Just incredible. Wooohoooooo.....be ENCOURAGED my Jan!!!!! God of wonders! God of miracles.

"NOW SHOW US YOUR GLORY!"

rosedel said...

You are in my prayers while you wait to meet Zak.

Denise Malafaia Cerqueira said...

Beloved, nothing is better than saying the word that comes from the mouth of God. So I shut up so that only God the Holy Spirit speak:

"Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful unto me: for my soul trusteth in thee: yea, in the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until {these} calamities be overpast. {Altaschith: or, Destroy not} {Michtam: or, A golden Psalm}
I will cry unto God most high; unto God that performeth {all things} for me.
He shall send from heaven, and save me {from} the reproach of him that would swallow me up. Selah. God shall send forth his mercy and his truth. {from the...: or, he reproacheth him that}
My soul {is} among lions: {and} I lie {even among} them that are set on fire, {even} the sons of men, whose teeth {are} spears and arrows, and their tongue a sharp sword.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens; {let} thy glory {be} above all the earth.
They have prepared a net for my steps; my soul is bowed down: they have digged a pit before me, into the midst whereof they are fallen {themselves}. Selah.
My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed: I will sing and give praise. {fixed: or, prepared}
Awake up, my glory; awake, psaltery and harp: I {myself} will awake early.
I will praise thee, O Lord, among the people: I will sing unto thee among the nations.
For thy mercy {is} great unto the heavens, and thy truth unto the clouds.
Be thou exalted, O God, above the heavens: {let} thy glory {be} above all the earth." (Psalms 57)

Greace and peace, forever!

Susan A said...

hello Janine, on my bedside there is a "Our Daily Bread Promise Box" and a little card which is on display, it's a part of His word that encourages me, and which I hope will encourage you too, it is

...there hath not failed one word of all his good promise... (1 Kings 8:56).

(the following url shows a picture of what the promise box looks like)http://tinyurl.com/3jddgng

Just to let you know that my mum is back home now after her operation and she seems well, we won't know of the results till next week.

I love Sheri's testimony. Linny also shared her amazing walk in faith over at www.aplacecalledsimplicity.blogspot.com, her post is called, "He is Mighty to Save" but the post is down now :/ I hope she'll put it back on again, the way God is speaking to her, reminds me of you, similar way through His word and a walk in faith.

You are awesome. This walk of faith is very hard for me, it's a complete trust in Him.

May He bless you and keep you all in His peace and heal Zac's heart completely with His joy and peace.

Doug and Terrye said...

Dear Sweet Sister in Christ, I have wept with you over the trials that you have faced, and at the same time I have been encouraged by your consistent faith in God! We serve an awesome and sovereign God! I am praying for you as we wait for all the glorious things that He has planned for you.

Susan said...

You remain in my thoughts and prayers daily. Thank you so much for sharing through all this. You've been so open and honest about your faith, your fears and your hope.

Jen said...

Dear Janine,
I read your update today and am joining in your faith stand for the completed work of restoration for sweet Zac. What a testimony it will be to all those who have been involved in the journey to his birth :-) I wanted to share that as I read your message and you mentioned Table Mountain, the 23 Ps. flashed into my mind....verse 5, "You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies." What a perfect picture of the Lord's caretaking for you at this time....Each time you look at the mountain, you can remember His word and see that you can enjoy all His abundant goodness and outpouring of love, right in the midst of the enemy's camp. You can indeed sit and rest at His table, even when the enemy is still trying to divert you and bombard you with worry and fear. That verse always seemed peculiar to me, but now I can see what the Lord means....He wants us to have that feast of peace, providence and deep shalom (nothing missing, nothing broken), right in the midst of the battle! The world wants us to wait til we have victory firmly in hand before we sit down and relax. But praise God, His ways are not like that of man! I'm continuing prayers of thanksgiving and expectation for you and your family. Much love being sent from Philadelphia, USA. For Him, Jen

Denise Malafaia Cerqueira said...

How is everything with you, dear!
We continue in prayer for their lives.
God is faithful!
"If God be for us who will defeat us?"
Thank God my blog is back.
Thank you guys for understanding.
Peace!