Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Glimpse into August '09

It is painful to look back over the years of my "Facebook activity" in 2008 and 2009. It is honestly very telling of someone's life. I feel somewhat embarrassed if people were to look back at the things I posted. Reading and seeing some things from the past years brought up bad feelings and memories and made me feel nauseated. How much I despise the old Hannah Rose... seeing what I wrote and posted is a part of who I once was. A part of what God brought me out of.

It is amazing that I can even see the change in my heart and life in August 2009 from what I posted on my Facebook page. They were just Facebook statuses, but to me they are evidence of the LIFE Jesus was breathing back into my dry bones...

I can witness the change within myself, just through Facebook statuses. I mean, I know what I experienced in the depths of my heart during that time where Jesus changed everything... but to read posts that I wrote - Scriptures, quotes, and lyrics God put on my heart in the midst of that season, it's just really special. I didn't remember what I posted. It is so beautiful to see how the things I posted changed suddenly and drastically. Just a couple months before this, I posted really ridiculous things about such worldly things... then, the Lord captivated my heart. He wooed me and brought me to the foot of the Cross. And I am forever changed. I stand in awe once again at the transforming work of Christ.

This picture of me was taken on my 20th birthday - August 12th, 2009. It was three days before the scheduled abortion. There are few pictures of me during this time, so it's somewhat strange to see myself then... to know what was going on inside me, the battle that was raging. I am smiling, but I'm not smiling with my entire face, with my eyes. I was empty and broken. I had no idea all that God was doing and was going to do and how I'd look back on that season, seeing how it was a crossroads in my life. I chose the path of LIFE. I chose Jesus. Little did I know how those choices I made during that month would shape my life forever. How they would shape the story God was writing for my life and how He'd use it for my good and His glory. How He'd bring me to my passion and purpose.

I took screenshots of those statuses from August and September 2009 when the transformation occurred to share exactly what I wrote and on what dates. I really want to personally keep track of this always. It was almost as if the first half of August was where the battle for my soul and my child's life was raging. Then, God really opened my heart and drastically changed everything in a short amount of time. He can heal and redeem and restore with just a single word. These posts were when He had drawn my heart back to Himself and I was completely and utterly desperate for Jesus! I had Scripture being poured over me daily and was walking through a deep time of repentance, cleansing, and healing. 

The first post is from five days after my scheduled abortion... obviously I never went! I was so desperate for Jesus.

I was surrendering my life and future and the life and future of my unborn child to the Lord, knowing that He had a perfect plan and purpose for both of us... whether that was parenting or adoption. Nobody else knew what these posts were talking about.

He showed me that if I chose LIFE, He would take care of all the details... I knew I could trust Him. I love how Bex commented on this post. :) It was that month that our friendship began and the Lord used her so much in my life! She knew what I meant when I wrote this.

He delivered me from death and my baby from death.

This was right before I was going to tell my mom that I was pregnant and the Lord was showing His faithfulness and guidance to me in so many incredible ways!

I shared the lyrics from the song "Tears of the Saints" by Leeland. I remember listening to this powerful song over and over during this time and how I would just weep. God was giving me such a heart of compassion and love for others who were like me, prodigal sons and daughters. He had led me home to Him and He was longing for His other children to come home to Him. He was showing me that through my brokenness, He would give me the ability to love and serve Him and others in a way I never would have been able to if it weren't for what I had been through and what I was going through. God can truly work all the things in our lives together for good! This is an emergency - that we would love Jesus, serve Him, and bring others to the foot of the Cross. Because we are never promised tomorrow and God doesn't want anyone to perish! In Christ, we are pure, whole, redeemed, healed! So reach out your hands to Him, even though you feel so weak and undeserving.

Click HERE to listen

Here are the lyrics to the song:

There are many prodigal sons 
On our city streets they run 
Searching for shelter 
There are homes broken down 
People's hopes have fallen to the ground 
From failures 

This is an emergency! 

There are tears from the saints 
For the lost and unsaved 
We're crying for them come back home 
We're crying for them come back home 
And all your children will stretch out their hands 
And pick up the crippled man 
Father, we will lead them home 
Father, we will lead them home 

There are schools full of hatred 
Even churches have forsaken 
Love and mercy 
May we see this generation 
In a state of desperation 
For Your glory 

This is an emergency! 

Sinner, reach out your hands! 
Children in Christ you stand! 
Sinner, reach out your hands! 
Children in Christ you stand! 

And all Your children will stretch out their hands 
And pick up the crippled man 
Father, we will lead them home 
Father, we will lead them home

This post left me:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Precious Feet Pin

In mid August 2009, when I was still unsure as to whether or not I was going to go through with an abortion, I was staying at my aunt and uncle's place housesitting when I stumbled upon something in their kitchen/dining room area.

There on the counter, like it was waiting for me, was a precious feet pin. The little feet are scaled to the size and shape of what an unborn child's feet look like at 10 weeks gestation. At the time I found this pin, I was around the exact same gestation... 10 weeks. It was at the time of my 20th birthday.

the exact feet I found on that summer day in 2009 - now in Lily's scrapbook

Looking back, I really do believe God put these little feet right in my path for me to find... I mean what a "coincidence" that I found this pin when I was that exact gestation! I don't even know whose pin it was or where it came from. I am going to tell my aunt about finding this little pin at her home and how it impacted me (my grandmother suggested I tell her. I didn't realize I never had until she mentioned it).

When I saw these feet, it was like it made it all the more real to me... I was pregnant. I already had a baby growing in my womb. She already had the tiniest, most precious little feet ever. It helped my mother heart to connect to my little baby's heart. My little Lily.

I don't think I've ever shared this on my blog before, but wanted to this month as I continue to reflect on August 2009. God is so good!

This post left me:

Monday, August 25, 2014

Generations Missing Her

Earlier this month, when I was in Virginia visiting with friends and family, I met the granddaughter of some dear family friends (my mom has known them for decades).

Anyways, the little girl is 19 months old. She was walking all over the place and is so adorable. Her first name is Catherine, but she goes by a different nickname. Her grandfather kept calling her Catherine though, which really stung to hear. I thought it was really sweet when he said to his granddaughter, "Hannah Rose has a little girl named Lily Katherine."

My grandmother later asked if I felt sad being around her and I said yes, I think it will always hurt to be around little girls, wondering who my little girl would've become (despite how many more children I may have in the future). It is especially hard to see little girls who look similar to how I imagine Lily would've looked, with blue eyes and curly hair, like me as a girl. This little one has brown eyes.

Anyways, I thought it was really sweet and thoughtful of my grandmother when she thought of me and wondered if it was hard for me and she said it's hard for her to hear the name Catherine too (of course we are so happy for our friends, but sad for us). My grandmother said she felt sad for me because my little girl wasn't there, sad for my mom because her granddaughter wasn't there and she was around her friend's granddaughter, and sad for herself, missing her great-granddaughter. It meant a lot to me to know she was thinking all these things. I am thankful for my family who loves Lily so much. I wish I didn't have to feel this ache whenever I hear Lily Katherine's name or see a little girl.

There are generations missing you, my little flower.

This post left me:

Friday, August 22, 2014

Be Still and Know

I want to share a musician who the Lord brought into my life during a very dark time. This month, I have been reflecting a lot on August 2009. I want to share bits and pieces of my testimony and the things God used to change my life, in hopes that it will bless others as well. It was that month that my Aunt Sarah gave me a CD by an artist named David Teems. He reads Scripture, with soft piano music playing in the background and soft waves crashing in the distance. It's truly unlike anything I've ever heard.

My heart was in such turmoil at that point in my life. When I heard this CD, I cannot fully convey the peace it brought my heart. I would fall asleep to it nearly every night that August. It was so powerful to have that Scripture, that truth, being spoken over me in my darkest hour. The Scripture was truly food for my hungry soul and water for my thirsty spirit. I was captivated with the beauty of God's Word. He romanced my soul with it. It was during this season that God changed everything for me. I still fall asleep listening to David Teems and it brings me back to that time. It makes me feel that deep desire for my Jesus.

It was during this time that God radically changed my life in such a short amount of time that I heard this Scripture on the David Teems CD. I claimed them as my verses for that season of my life. He was asking me to trust Him, that He was fighting for me and I need only to be still and know.

"Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today." -Exodus 14:13
"The Lord WILL fight for you; you need only to be still." -Exodus 14:14
"Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord." -Psalm 27:14

The two CD's that are my favorites are called "Hope" and "More Hope." My Aunt Sarah also gave me one called "In the Mourning" after losing Lily. The track that affected me the most is entitled, "I Am Poured Out Like Water." All the CD's are very affordable and completely worth it!! I have played them probably hundreds of times. It is a great way to memorize Scripture as well. David has such a soothing voice, especially mixed with the piano and waves. On the actual CD, he doesn't cite what Scripture it is, but it is cited in the CD case. He reads a little from different passages and puts them all together. You can purchase the transcripts for each CD on his website.

Description of David's music from his website:

"...this music offers the listener a moments quiet in the midst of all the gathering noise of the age. In this recording, many textures are woven together to form a structure that will settle warm and tranquil on the soul, and will ask little of you but to listen. The rich poetry of the scripture will touch the untouched in you, and with the voice of soft command."

"This series combines the beauty and reflective emptiness of a solo piano with well chosen scriptures. The voice comes with a soothing type of command, and the music is hardly there at all. It is the artful economy between the two that makes the difference, as well as something unknown that will not be explained."

"These CD's together can offer a timely, sensitive, and power-laden therapy for the soul."

Purchase David's music HERE. On the website, you are able to listen to each song. At some point, I hope to give away one of these CD's on this blog, so stay tuned! :)

You can listen to the "Hope" CD below.

This post left me:

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

He Gave Me a Mother's Heart

In late August 2009, I was around 11 or 12 weeks pregnant and was working at a little restaurant in my hometown in Virginia.

As I remember this one particular day, it feels as if I am back there on that hot August summer afternoon. The sky was clear and blue and the sun was warm on my skin. I remember I was wearing a green shirt I often wore and my favorite pair of jeans. It's almost like a movie and I am watching myself but also experiencing it again myself (I don't even know if that makes sense).

I had just celebrated my 20th birthday. God had been changing my heart so much in such a short amount of time. He kept me from going through with having an abortion on August 15th. My baby was still safe and alive.

At my job each week, we would receive a shipment of supplies and food needed for the coming week and I would help carry in the heavy boxes. Well this particular day, I remember so clearly thinking that I better not lift anything too heavy because I was pregnant and I didn't want to hurt my baby. Nobody I worked with knew I was pregnant. I hadn't even shared the news with my family yet. Only my child's father and a new friend who had also experienced an unplanned pregnancy knew.

This is one of the first times I recall feeling my motherly instinct to protect my child. It brings happy tears to my eyes to think of this because I was in despair not long before this day. But look how God had breathed LIFE into me and was giving me hope that can only come from HIM. Hope for my life and the life of my child. Assurance that He would give me everything I needed the moment I needed it and that He cared more for my unborn baby than I could ever know or comprehend. I knew we were in His hands. He was giving me a heart of love and the desire to care for and protect my sweet babe.

I remember my heart smiling on this August afternoon and a real smile finding it's way to my face, as an overflow from my heart. It was one of the first times I was excited to be pregnant, despite my circumstances. I had a baby in my belly! And for a short while longer, it felt like it was a precious secret shared between my sweet child and myself...

That was the beginning of my desire to protect Lily's LIFE... now I have a desire to honor her legacy.

This post left me:

Monday, August 18, 2014

It Sure Feels Good to Finally Share It

Over the last couple weeks, I've had the blessing of sharing Lily Katherine's pregnancy scrapbook with quite a few people, both friends and family (Kala, Grace, Sharon, Bumma, Anna, Nana, and Patricia). It will be shared many more times with many more people in the coming days.

One of the people I was most excited to share it with is my grandmother "Bumma." I took my time, going over every detail of every page.

This is how I mother Lily, this is how I share her with others. This is how her story will continue being told through the generations.

I told Bumma what a gift it is to me for people to want to hear about Lily and to want to see her scrapbook. That speaks more love to me than I can describe. Sharing her heals my heart. Having others genuinely want to talk about her and hear about her is a huge blessing. Thank you to those who care.

After putting more hours than I can count into working on this scrapbook and more love than can be measured, it sure feels good to finally share it.

This post left me:

Saturday, August 16, 2014

He Shattered My Darkness

On August 15th, I celebrated my "spiritual birthday." It just so happens to be three days after my birthday.

I grew up in a Christian home and Christ was a part of my life from a young age, so I don't recall any specific date that I became a born-again Christian. It was more like a gradual thing. But, five years ago, in August 2009, was when my entire world was changed. Jesus wrecked my life. He rescued me from darkness and brought me into His marvelous light. Because of that time in my life, August will always remind me of that. It will always be a sacred month, marked by the beauty found in His victory! He intervened in my life and saved the life of my baby. I am forever changed because of it.

I decided that having a spiritual birthday to celebrate is even more important than the day I was actually born. Since August is so special to me, I wanted to choose a date in August. I chose the 15th. That is the date that I had a scheduled abortion at Planned Parenthood in 2009. That is the day that I didn't go because God kept me from it. I chose a day that could have been a day full of heartbreak, sorrow, and tears. Instead, it is full of tears of another kind. Tears of thankfulness and joy! Tears of knowing I am completely unworthy of my Lord, yet standing in awe over all He has done for us, His children. August 15th was the day that the enemy wanted to end my baby's life. But, instead it is now a day that I celebrate her LIFE! She lived and she will live forever in my heart. And because of her and all Jesus did in me through her, I have eternal LIFE.

Jesus, You are my Victorious Warrior, my Rescuer! I rejoice over LIFE. I rejoice that You gave Your very life for mine. That my daughter can live forever with You because of Your perfect sacrifice. I could never find the words to thank You.

When I heard the lyrics to this song for the first time, I was amazed at how perfectly they describe my journey from darkness to light. I couldn't believe where my life was, yet my Jesus broke through! Lyrics to the song are included in the video.

This post left me:
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