God is with You

“Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.'” – Matthew 1:23 (NLT)

Jesus is still with us today in the person of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the greatest gift God could give to his children because it is the power of God within us. It is a remarkable promise that God is always with us and we can connect with him anytime and anywhere.

But, what happens when you find yourself asking, “What’s the point of God being with me anyway?”

It was May of 2016 when I found out that I was expecting my first baby. My husband and I were so excited and began dreaming about our future with our child. As I entered the 2nd trimester of my pregnancy, I started to have some complications that put me on bedrest, and ultimately caused me to have our son, Samuel, almost 3 months early. His birth was truly a miracle. It was a miracle that he stayed inside of me long enough to have a chance at life and it was a miracle how well he did right after he was born. When he turned a week old I could hold him for the first time. About 2 weeks later, Samuel went home to Heaven.

After the initial shock and memorial service came the unknown territory of letting go. Letting go of what was lost made me want to hold on even tighter to all the things that remained in my life. The desire to control my life kicked into high gear. I wanted to make sure everything else was going to be okay because I didn’t know how much more pain I could take. This mindset sent me into a period of anxiety in which I worried intensely about my life. Would I ever be happy again? Would my life be a perpetual tragedy? Would I have kids? Could I trust God?

What’s the point of God being with us anyway?

Thankfully, I surrounded myself with help right away. A personal counselor, family, and friends rallied around me to help me heal from this deep hurt and anxiety. Most importantly, I surrounded myself with the Word of God. Even when I was questioning God, I resolved to know that he was still good and he was the one who could pull me out of my despair. I did a lot of things to help myself get back up again. I listened to sermons, I went to counseling, I exercised, I made lists of the things I was thankful for, I took time off work, and I served others. These things were crucial to my healing journey, yet there was one revelation that set me free.

In the midst of doing all these things, I realized that I was trying to earn something that I thought I had lost. The pain and sorrow made me feel so far from God. Even though I went to church and listened to sermons, I struggled to pray and read my Bible. I feared God. I thought that I had failed him or that he was punishing me with this trial.

I didn’t feel like God was with me.

I felt the need to pull myself out of the pit to get back to God. I even felt tempted to hide the pit-moments from God. Yet, at some point in those low moments, God gently reminded me, “I am with you.”

This revelation brought great comfort to me and revived my faith. As a result, I prayed this prayer, “Lord, please guide me through this healing process”.

Over the last 9 months, I have truly experienced so much healing. God has given me great hope for the future and has blessed my present as well. When I look back over the last 9 months, I see all the great moments of time spent with family, working at my new job, and trying things that I never would have done before. I know this would not be possible without all the work God has done in my life. I am no longer afraid to pray and read my Bible because I know that God is with me and for me, no matter the circumstances.

This amazing work in my life can make the lingering bad moments so tough. It is challenging when I am faced with something that stirs bad memories or forces me to let go of Samuel even more. I worry that if I allow myself to feel them, that I will fall back down again. I still feel the temptation to face these moments alone and the need to work my way through them in order to get to God.

Recently, I was having a rough day, but I didn’t want to face it. God had done so much healing in my life and I felt guilty for the feelings I was having. As I stared into my bathroom mirror pondering all these thoughts/feelings, I heard God speak into my spirit. The Lord said, “Even now, I am with you.”

This revelation of Immanuel – God with us – was so empowering. Once again, the Lord reminded me that I am not alone. Jesus died to set me free and to give me the power to overcome the darkness. This burden didn’t rest on my shoulders, it was already carried on his.

Whatever your personal burden is today, know that Jesus has already carried it for you. Surrender it to him today and trust him to heal your broken heart. He who began a good work in you is faithful to complete it!

 

Emily and her husband, John, have been married for 4 years. At her church, she serves alongside her husband in the Young Adults Ministry, and she also serves on the Women’s Ministry Team. She has spent a lot of time working in the public schools as a substitute teacher. Emily has a passion for dance, especially as a form of worship or testimony.

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