A Humble Tree and Resounding Joy

My heart is bubbling with joy to share a very meaningful story and a testimony of God’s goodness and grace.

It began many years ago back in June when our oldest was 4 and our son was 1. 

We found out that I was pregnant with our 3rd child. Our daughter was so excited to be a big sister again and really wanted a little sister.

Ryan and I were shocked, but it soon turned to excitement as we imagined life as a family 5.

All started well, I heard the baby’s heartbeat and saw the ultrasound picture. It was becoming more real and my heart soared at the possibilities of this new blessing.

I remember a moment sitting on the couch in our playroom watching the kids play when I became very aware of the baby in my womb and placed both hands on my tummy. It was one of those moments that only became special looking back with the understanding of what would unfold in the next couple of days.

There is no need to recount the scary details or trauma of what would transpire in the coming days. There would be calls to my midwife and confirmation that I was having a miscarriage. It was sad and scary and a whole mix of emotions.

Fast forward to after Christmas and just before when the baby would have been due. The grief was real and our struggle for healing a process. We decided we wanted to plant a tree in the baby’s honor. 

Ryan picked out the tree and since we were renting an apartment, decided to plant it at church where we could see it often and watch it grow. It was our declaration that God was still good. We had a simple heartfelt little ceremony just the four of us with the Lord.

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.

Romans 8:28 TPT

A few months ago, the Lord reminded me that my sister and her husband are expecting the birth of their first child, after many years of trying, with a due date just 2 days after when mine would have been.

I felt the Lord’s loving embrace and joy that we will soon welcome a little life and celebrate that life for many, many years to come. I was in awe of His goodness to redeem such a painful time in such an amazing way!

The Lord always goes above and beyond and gave our family an extra hug and kiss when we viewed our tree decorated with beautiful white lights for a drive thru nativity.

Our tree all festive celebrating Jesus’ birth.

My heart welled up with love and joy to see how big our tree had grown and how beautiful it look decorated in an event aimed to tell the story of Jesus’ humble birth and the gift He is to those of us who believe.

I felt my Father’s love and presence. I felt seen by Him and aware of His goodness and faithfulness to a new level.

I wanted to share this, because it is a beautiful picture of hope for anyone who may be grieving or struggling with heartbreak and loss after such a difficult year.  

I trust that if you cling to Him and His goodness, despite the challenges and sorrow, He will redeem your grief and suffering with joy.

Many blessings to you and your family for a very Merry Christmas!

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring. 

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Remembering 9/11/01 and a Call to All Christians

I published this on my personal Facebook page this morning, shared it with family and thought I would share it here as well. https://www.facebook.com/alison.h.lewis.5/

This anniversary is stranger for me because of the effects of the last 6 months. It feels like another shift in our collective experience on a deep level from all the trauma we have been through.

However, I remember the horror of that day while I was sitting in a seminary classroom and the days and weeks that followed. The eerie silence from no airplanes in the sky and then equally unsettling sound of when they slowly resumed flying in our area.

I have met so many first responders who are battling cancer and have shared stories of coworkers who have lost their battle with cancer in the years since.

One of my friends said it so well. “We will never forget but I also hope we can REMEMBER how we came TOGETHER as a country and all the patriotism we felt in the aftermath because we need that today just like we did then.” (Emphasis mine)

The opposition against our country has grown and expanded, but our war is not with flesh and blood. As a Christian, there only has been and only will be ONE ENEMY.

CHRISTIANS, it’s time to STOP fighting EACH OTHER and UNITE against the TRUE ENEMY of humanity and fight the REAL BATTLE in PRAYER and through ACTS OF GENUINE LOVE toward ALL humanity that is only possible by the power of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Comfort and blessings on this land and all who are grieving and hurting extra on this anniversary. ❤️

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Opportunities for Growth Living in Quarantine

How are you?

Perhaps the shock of our new way of life is starting to wear off as you establish a new normal for this season.

I would encourage you to pay attention to what emotions bubbled up over the past week. It is very likely that many of us were triggered in some way by an emotional memory or traumatic event and that’s okay.

The Lord allows us to be triggered in areas where He knows we are ready for Him to bring healing. He invites us to bring those feelings to Him and dialogue about them.

Yes, I really do mean dialogue.

Expect Him to speak back as you quiet yourself and listen for His gentle impressions, still small voice or highlighted verses as you read the Bible or devotional resources.

The Holy Spirit is a real person and wants to bring you comfort and peace. There is a reason He is called the Counselor. He longs to bring truth and understanding to what is going on inside of you because He knows and cares. He loves YOU!

Since most of the world is in quarantine, we have a unique opportunity to slow down and simplify our lives to what matters most. The quarantine forces us to face ourselves and our internal reality. We have a choice: to fill our time to “just get through” or to seek to grow.

I believe many of us need to grow emotionally, spiritually, relationally or even intellectually.

I have been reviewing my journals over the past year to see what bible verses, songs or quotes have really been speaking to me. What have I heard the Lord say to me over the past year or so? What has He been teaching me?

This is important because I believe He has been uniquely preparing each of us for this time. He has equipped us with biblical truths that He wants to become a reality in our lives in a new way. This is when we go from simply mentally agreeing with biblical truth, to actually experiencing it in a way that it becomes a deep part of our life.

I have been listening to songs that have touched my heart in the last few months and asking the Lord to reveal some of the reasons He has highlighted these song to me. I then put these songs on periodically throughout the day and worship until I once again believe the truths they declare and fortify my peace.

I truly believe we have a unique opportunity for the Lord to firm up our foundations so we can truly abide in Him like never before. He wants us to be so anchored in Him that others take notice and want to know the Jesus we do.

We must choose to believe He is who He says He is and who He has demonstrated Himself to be in the Bible and in our lives up until this point.

“Jesus, the Anointed One, is always the same—yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8 TPT

Our circumstances are changing, but Jesus is not. Let Him keep you anchored in this storm so that you may stand even when things are shaking all around you.

So now, beloved ones, stand firm and secure. Live your lives with an unshakable confidence. We know that we prosper and excel in every season by serving the Lord, because we are assured that our union with the Lord makes our labor productive with fruit that endures.   1Corinthians 15:58 The Passion Translation

I want to leave you with this powerful song by Bryan and Katie Torwalt, “Prophesy Your Promise,” to encourage you to declare the truth of who He is in the times when it may be hard to remember.

“Fear can go to hell, shame can go there too,

I know who’s I am, God I belong to you.”

What verses or songs have been strengthening you recently?

Feel free to share them in the comments as it may encourage someone else.

Blessings to you and your family for good health and peace.

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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Provision: One Day at a Time

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My grandmother

This past weekend we celebrated my grandmother’s 100th birthday! What a milestone! She is the mother of 4, grandmother of 9 and great-grandmother of 4. She has modeled a life of prayer and service and is deeply loved by all who know her.

Already in a reflection mode, I retrieved some scrapbooks from the attic that I had recently rediscovered.  The other night we decided to look through them as a family. It was fun sharing our baby pictures and upbringing with our kids.

In addition to the scrapbooks, I also rediscovered letters I had handwritten to my kids during their first few years of life. They were labeled by name and age and included the date they were written.

abstract black and white blur book

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I read out loud the first letter I had written to each of my children. It detailed my love and joy of my firstborn at 3 months old. It shared what she was able to do, what she was learning and what she was discovering. It also shared my hopes for her relationship with Jesus and the future.

After not seeing them for over 13 years, it was so amazing to go back in time and be reminded of some things we had forgotten. We laughed at the similarities that were evident at such a young age and still very true today.

We did the same for my son, although his letters started at 6 months, and were just as amazed.  Again, we laughed and marveled at the time capsule gift from what feels like ages ago. The reminders stirred up more memories and stories. Of course the kids wanted me to keep reading letters, but we decided we would only read one letter a night.

While I enjoyed the letters for all the same reasons my family did, I was even more struck by the content and how each letter highlighted areas that each child is currently struggling with. The letters repeated key themes for each child that they needed to hear and be reminded of regularly.

woman doing hand heart sign

Photo by Hassan OUAJBIR on Pexels.com

I was amazed at the provision of the Lord to inspire me to write and address areas long before there were actual traumas to heal and challenges to overcome. I praised God for His care for my family! He knew we would NEED those letters on multiple levels. What I thought was just a neat idea (from somewhere) was actually His leading and showing His personal care for me and my family. While He didn’t prevent the heartaches and bad things from happening, He has walked closely with us through them and promises to continuing to do so: one day at a time.

So we are convinced that every detail of our lives is continually woven together to fit into God’s perfect plan of bringing good into our lives, for we are his lovers who have been called to fulfill his designed purpose.  Romans 8:28 TPT

May we all have the gift to see the ways the Lord has been present and made preparations ahead of time for the hard times we have walked through or may be walking through now. He truly IS in control, and has ALWAYS been in control, working ALL things for our good.

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

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When the Waters are Rough

I don’t know where the first half of January has gone, but time continues to fly!

I haven’t been able to write until now, because of a turbulent beginning to this new decade that required I focus on my family. I have spent a lot of time praying, journaling, and processing the challenges, and I have come to believe that they are a result of God moving to bring greater healing to our family.

When God moves, things change and the shaking and transformation are not often pleasant, but necessary to become more like Christ. We are being conformed into His image and likeness and that requires some pruning.

We get stretched and pressed in such a way that buried, unprocessed emotions are driven up to be experienced, processed, and released so more of the Holy Spirit can dwell and reign in us to produce the fruit of the Spirit.

Galatians 5:22–23 (The Passion Translation)

But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: 

joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit.

Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.” 

I need more love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control in my life, especially when life feels out of control and like I am getting hit, wave after wave, threatening to knock me off my feet.

I have clung to Proverbs 3:26.

“God is your confidence in times of crisis, keeping your heart at rest in every situation.”

Did you catch that? Not in some situations, but in every situation my heart can be kept at rest if my confidence is in God!

I am so thankful that I am regaining my peace much quicker. It used to take me weeks or months to regain it. Now my heart often needs only a few days to regain my footing in Christ and be at rest and peace to hear what He is saying about my situation.

The quicker I get His perspective, the deeper my rest and often the quicker I can get on the prayer offensive, if that is how He is leading me. Otherwise, I am learning to wait on Him and enjoy His Presence with me, loving those around me until I have been given another way to respond. I repeat this process as many times as necessary to overcome the challenge.

I don’t know how your start to 2020 has been, but I am praying we will all remain at rest, knowing He really is in control and working for our good in every situation, no matter what the facts may say. The truth is: nothing is impossible with God!

Love and blessings to you (and your family) to know, like never before, that His goodness and love are pursuing you!

 

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Copyright © 2020 Alison Lewis, A Secret Spring.

All rights reserved.