Walking In Freedom

I grew up going to church every time the doors were open. I went to Awanas and memorized all the verses. I won the Bible drills, every time. I spent time with Jesus “first thing in the morning” because that’s what you were supposed to do. I did the whole read the Bible through in a year, every year. Sunday’s were days to rest. But really they were spent going to church, leader’s meetings, choir, Bible study, and then church again. All good things.The smell of that old building, the clanking of the air conditioner, it felt like home. It was home. I grew up there, I met Jesus there and for that I am eternally thankful. But I wish someone would’ve told me sooner that Jesus didn’t need for me to go to church, memorize scripture, or lead Bible studies. Jesus didn’t need anything from me.

Even though I knew I didn’t have to work for His love, I didn’t believe it.

I came to a point in my life, when my whole world fell apart. My mom was very sick and I was certain she wouldn’t live to see another spring. Every phone call, I would brace myself, just in case. A three year journey of infertility treatments, negative pregnancy tests, surgeries, and hormones left me with lots of questions about the God I had grown up knowing. I obviously didn’t serve Him well enough for my life to be in complete shambles.

And then one of those mornings, when I saw that lonely pink line for the hundredth time, He met me on the bathroom floor. All of the working, all of the striving, all of the trying to be enough, was just too much. My heart was so broken and so tired I couldn’t even pick up my Bible. There were days I didn’t know how to talk to Him, so I just sat with Him and He kept meeting me there.

I quit doing and just started being with Him.

He slowly began to take the truths I had grown up knowing, and lacing them with grace. All good things. All true. All of Him. But those things didn’t make Him love me. He started unveiling my eyes to look into His, and see what He sees back in me. I started learning that He wasn’t a god who was untouchable and unquestionable. He started meeting me at my dining room table and in the car and on the bathroom floor. I began to see a god I had only known in black in white, in brilliant color. I started crawling up onto His lap. I was able to lay my broken heart against His and listen to the cadence of His heart beating for me. He was near, so near I could almost feel His Daddy arms wrap around my broken body and weary heart.

I was free. Finally free.

My circumstances did not change. In fact, they got much worse before I was able to look back and see His faithfulness. But I was walking in freedom for the first time in my life, and those days, living in that newfound freedom with Him, were the absolute sweetest days of my life. After years of being bound to rules and begging Him to love me, I knew that His love for me was indescribable and there was nothing I could do to change it. Our journey together deepened. Our relationship of Him being God and me being servant changed. He called me friend. And I called Him lover.

Keep reading here...

Photos by

Rachel Ackerman Photography

Surviving Sarah Podcast: Episode 14

My last post, I told the story of how God asked me to "close the door, take time to heal, and fall in love." Over the past few months, I haven't been writing as frequently, but have been invited to do some pretty cool things. Last week I was asked to speak at a large ladies event in my hometown. It was an honor to be asked, but even more an honor to be able to talk about my Dad all night. I was able to meet some of you who follow along with me through the valleys and mountain tops of our story.

I often sit behind this computer and type my heart out to you. It's honestly scary some days, and it's not often that I am able to see where my words land. But that night, to be able to wrap my arms around some of your necks, see your sweet faces, and the eyes that read these words, was such a blessing. I can't thank you enough for following along. And it brings such joy to my heart when I am able to hear what Father is doing in your hearts and in your sweet families.

I was also able to be on a friend's podcast recently. I met Sarah Bragg at

Allume

last October. I saw her walking up to my table and thought, "Gosh, she's so cute!" She just sat right down, introduced herself to me, and it felt as if we had been friends for years. She is an amazing mom, beautiful writer, and home girl knows how to dress! She has written a book for middle school girls, and has spoken all over the country. After talking with her, I knew her heart beats for the Kingdom. And that is exactly the kind of friends I want to have!

God called her that weekend to start a podcast. And she's one of those people that decides to do something, and just does it! Her podcast is amazing! I get so excited every Tuesday, because I know her next episode will be sitting in my inbox. You need to go to ITunes, search for her podcast, Surviving Sarah, and then subscribe! Follow along on her blog too! I promise you won't regret it!

I was so honored when she asked me to join her for Episode 14. We talked about everything from our love of coffee, to books I'm reading, and the hard that has filled my last few months with our sweet boy. I shared our whole journey through infertility and the sweet moment I held Selah for the first time. So if you're new around here, it will be a great way for you to get caught up with our little story. But also, how awesome is it to hear someone's voice?! Even though when people call me on the phone, they ask to speak to my mom. Wow. Anyways...

You can listen in to our conversation here:

http://www.survivingsarah.com/blog/episode-14-jessica-satter

I'm breathing in His beauty today.The sun is shining over here, friends! And if it isn't where you are, He is still working in your waiting, and making beauty from all of those ashes! So lift your face, sweet girl!

All my love,

Jessica

To The Waiting Mother, on Mother's Day..

Although I am now a mother, and will celebrate my fourth Mother's Day, my heart still breaks on this day. My heart still grieves all the years of pain this day caused. It makes me want to come find you, Waiting Mother, wrap my arms around your neck, grab some Ben and Jerry's, and eat until we see the bottom of the container. If I could, I'd tell you it gets better.

God is so faithful and He answers prayers in the most beautiful ways. Ways we would never imagine, but always better than our greatest dreams. Although I know this to be true, on this day for you, it feels so far away. And every commercial, every present, every lunch, every barren second of this day, holds the reminder that you are not a mother...yet.

If I could, I would hug you, and remind you that "yet" is the word to breathe in, breathe out, and repeat today. I pray from the depths of my heart that these words meet you in your need, and more than anything, I pray that you will find Him here, right in the midst of your waiting.

To The Waiting Mother,

You, precious one, are not alone.

God sees your broken and weary heart. He is here, right now, holding all things together. Quiet your heart, just for a second. He is holding your very existence together, spinning your world, telling the sun when to set and fall, and holding each star in it's place. And in His grace, knows what you ate for breakfast, your favorite song, how you like your coffee, and the very depths of your aching heart.

Most people would tell you, Waiting Mother, to sleep. Because you will literally never sleep on your schedule again. Seriously. You will walk around like a zombie for the first two months (if you have a good baby). You'll wash your hair two or three times in the shower because your so tired you won't remember if you did it. And they say, "sleep when the baby sleeps." Yeah, right. Only if you don't want to get a shower that day. Eventually, sleeping in on Saturday, will mean your body (or a little squeal) waking you up at 6:30.

But you won't care. You'll run to that nursery. You've dreamed of this. What it would be like. How it will feel to be someone's mommy. You've imagined those tiny hands holding onto your finger as you softly sing Jesus' name. You'll eventually learn how to function on very little sleep and those baby love snuggles will be even better than caffeine.

Some people would tell you to go on dates with your husband. And I know you say, "That won't be us. We'll have a date night once a week." Well maybe so, if you get to stay at home during the day and you don't feel guilty leaving your baby with another baby sitter. Or if your willing to pay 10 dollars an hour, plus your actual date, every week.

But you won't care. It'll be hard. You will make it work. And when you do get those sacred moments where you just get to be a wife to your husband, you will cherish them more than ever before. And ultimately, he is your first ministry, so you will find a way to make him your priority. It might come with lots of trial and error. More losses than wins, but you'll make it work. After all, your marriage is the Gospel on display. Your little one, and the world for that matter, is watching.

Other people will tell you to get your nails done, shave your legs, do the laundry, organize, and clean. Really clean. Because you won't have time to even cut your nails, so you'll just bite them. Your legs won't see a razor until your husband starts to complain. The laundry....there just aren't words. It will NEVER, I mean NEVER be done. Just accept it. And your house won't ever be clean again. Really clean. You'll find puffs in your couch, paci's in random drawers, and green pea splatter on the walls.

But you won't care. You'll learn that all those things can wait. Your life, will indeed, go on even with a messy house. You will never have this day with your baby again. You won't want to miss one gummy smile, slobbery kiss, or squishy hug.

But you do care. You're not there...yet. Telling you to enjoy your sleep, go on dates, clean, and shave your legs is just ridiculous, and honestly insensitive. Your heart aches.

So while you wait...grow.

All those nights when you are crying out to the Father, begging Him to answer your prayer for a child, you are learning how to need Him. Because you will.

Lean into that.

Every time your friends tell you they are pregnant, deep in your heart you wonder why it can't be you. And you run to your Dad, to feel His big, safe arms wrap around you. This is how you will comfort.

When you feel like you are the only one in the whole world who isn't a mommy, you remember the story of a woman named Hannah and the big prayers she prayed for her Samuel.

And you'll pray those same prayers for your promised one.

It hurts.

It's so uncomfortable. The pain is just too much some days.

But don't fight it. Open up your hands and ask Papa to teach you how to wait. Ask Him to help you grow. Savor your desperation for Him. And then watch. Watch Him make your angry, winter heart a beautiful, spring meadow.

 And while your eyes are on Him, you won't even notice how He surprises you with your dream.

"Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give her her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope.."

Hosea 2:14-15a

*Photo by the amazing

Rachel Ackerman Photography

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