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Archive for September 15th, 2014

I LOVE How God Works…

October 2006:  My husband and I were married for seven years and we were blessed with two wonderful children.  In October I found out God had different plans for our life.  We were pregnant again with a third.  We had a great time telling our family at Thanksgiving and by the last week of my first trimester, early in December, we figured we were safe to begin telling our friends too.  One day shy of 12 weeks, our baby went to Heaven.

An avid reader, I searched for months afterwards for the “perfect” book that would offer me hope.  I wanted to hear in someone else’s words that I would someday smile again.  Despite reading numerous books, none of them offered that hope I was seeking.  I remember vividly having a conversation with God and promising Him this: “Someday, I’m going to write that book that I so desperately wanted when our baby died.”  Despite the fact that writing wasn’t even on my radar as a career choice (or hobby)

October 2011:  It was during a writer’s conference when God reminded me of the promise I had whispered to Him years earlier.  I told God, “If this is what you want, I will work hard.  Please lead me to the people you want to share their heartaches.”  I came home and began asking courageous men and women if they would be willing to tell their personal stories of heartache, in their own words, while offering hope to others who are or who have walked that path themselves.

 

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT AND SNEAK PEEK

 

In October 2014, Hope During Heartache:  True Stories of Emotional Healing from Infertility, Miscarriage, Stillbirth, or Death of a Child will be released.

 

Hope During Heartache

By September 2014, the only thing missing for the book to be published was the perfect picture for the cover.  I had been searching for a picture which would depict a message of hope during one of the darkest times in a parents’ life.  I was getting frustrated, yet, I should know better.  God, my Father, who is always personal, also always has perfect timing.

September 2014:  While browsing Facebook on a Friday night, after a terrible storm had rolled through the Midwest, my husband found the perfect picture. I messaged the woman who took the photo and explained to her why I was asking permission to use it. She responded immediately with a “yes” and then shared with me that her family has been touched personally by the topic of the book.  I believe that God allowed our paths to cross for a reason.

I shared with you some of the background behind the creation of this book in order to show that God works in some of the most incredible ways.  May this book be a blessing to those who need it, those who read it, and those who share it with others who are searching for hope during the heartache in their lives.

Stayed tuned for details on where to purchase the book when it’s officially released.

 

Cover Photo:  Sarah Herr

Cover Design: Emily Lam

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“God has a plan…And everything does happen for a reason. In fact, Paul tells us to ‘know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose’…His promise isn’t that bad things don’t happen…His promise is that God can turn every circumstance into something good. Every circumstance. Sometimes we just need to look….Sometimes it takes a lot of time to see it. Sometimes we don’t get to see it all – but somehow our suffering aids others. The key is trusting the Master through it all.” (William Sirls, The Reason)

 

I just finished reading this great book, The Reason, by William Sirls.  It was great because it tackled the age old question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen to good people?” At the same time, I’m reading another book, nonfiction this time, titled “The Grace of God,” by Andy Stanley.  Both books, even though talking about different subjects, intertwine to reinforce the answer to the above question people have grappled with for years.

In fact, even though I thought I’d come to terms with the answer myself, this past spring I again found myself struggling.  I was introduced to the Sauer family through my cousin and her Facebook page.  Ms. Sauer had been writing a blog for years and this past February, her four-year-old son, one of a set of twin boys, was diagnosed with cancer.  BlueforBen was created and their family’s story spread almost overnight.  I didn’t begin reading about this extraordinary family until April, I believe, but they’ve had a profound impact on my life ever since.  They stood rock solid in their unwavering belief in a loving and good God, when I myself was guilty of sobbing and crying out to God for them, “Why???  He’s only four, almost five, and suffering so much.”  Looking into the eyes of my four, almost five-year-old energetic, full of life boy brought the reality of their situation too close to home.

 

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As God always does for His children, He leads us back to the truth, using as many opportunities necessary until we “get it.”  Both of the above books plus the sermon series we just finished up at my church reminded me of the Truth.  God’s original plan for His children didn’t involve pain, sickness, death, or anything evil.  Genesis 1: 26-31 describes that when God created the Garden of Eden, it was for humankind to enjoy.  He didn’t have to create brilliant colors, the huge variety of fruits and vegetables and animals or the different landscapes.  No, He created all that for our pleasure.  God is all about love.

However, it didn’t take long for humans to mess up perfection.  With the creation of free will, Eve chose to sin, dragged Adam down with her (however, he had free will to resist or not), and then they both decided to blame God and Satan for their wrong choices.  Even though they messed up and chose sin, God still showed them grace with His consequences.  Even God giving them morality was a gift of grace – allowing their time of suffering here on Earth to end in exchange for life in Heaven with God, but only after they confessed and reestablished that God was the only way to live in Heaven forever.

You may be asking…what does all this have to do with God allowing bad things to happen to good people…especially to little kids?  Come back next time and I’ll explain what I mean.

© Cheri Swalwell 2014

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