Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Presences of God

As sit here alone this morning as the kids are still in bed my heart feels calm.  The last several months I have been planning for a Christian retreat called Koinonia that we just had over this past weekend.  I was so nervous all the way until the time we said goodbye.  I struggled with thoughts that I had to do everything right, what were people going to think about me and that I am not worthy. I have been to these retreats many times and each and every time God moved.  For some reason I thought that I would be in the way of God moving because of my nerves.  Speaking in front of people always has been hard for me and leading is another out of the box thing for me.  I have lead Girls retreats before and they were hard for me as well, but God always showed up.  In the back of my mind I knew that He would this time as well. 

Friday started off bumpy as I fought a battle in my mind.  It wasn’t until I said that this isn’t about me but about God did I feel a shift in the atmosphere.  I don’t know about others but I thought that this was one of the most power God lead weekends I have ever been on.  He showed up in a mighty way despite me. Thank you God!!  He definitely had me doing things out of the box and I had such a wonderful team that didn’t care what their assigned task were, but everyone helped everyone. They didn’t question the changes or the last minute additions, they just served.  Oh how that blessed my heart.

God is amazing and when we get out of our own way He does more than anyone could ever imagine.  Everywhere I turned I saw God at work changing lives.  I watched hearts healed and miracles happen. It is so hard to find the right words to describe the things I witnessed.  All I can say is that God is good.  He used others to be the change for others.  Each person there touched someone through their love for one another.

There were so many attacks on myself and the rest of the team prior to the weekend and on the weekend, but everyone armed themselves with the full armor of God and came out to battle.  The prayer team was hit hard but others came along side and lifted them up.  That just shows you just how powerful prayer is.  The people of God came through in a mighty way and the battle was won.   

The presence of God was so strong.  Every person who talked you can tell were being the voice for God.  The small groups united and support one another. Every team member did their job with joy even if it meant standing in the cold to be a light for someone else.

I wish I could express the thanks I have in my heart for all who came, but I can’t find the right words.

Even though I came home tired I felt rejuvenated and on fire to be the change, to be the light and a voice for God. I will continue to pray for everyone as I know that God is not done, but this is just the beginning.

Monday, February 24, 2014


This is a poem that I wrote 10yrs ago after my first Koinonia retreat.
My heart was broken and full of hate.

God was the one who brought me to this place.

My life was falling apart and I was facing a marriage in which I would soon have to depart.

I was full of sorrow and I didn’t know how I would face tomorrow.

With God I prayed and pleaded.

God knew what I needed.

My heart was broken and I didn’t fill any love, but God sent His love to me from above.

God surrounded me with people with their hearts breaking too. 

God was about to heal all of us, who knew.

God’s love began to chip away at the stone surrounding my heart.

What a journey that we were about to embark.

The feeling of his love was all around.

It was God’s love that we all found.

God’s grace was given to all that came together in this place.

God knew what it would take.

My heart was filled with love and my tears flowed.

For it was God’s unconditional love that showed.

I saw other broken hearts heal as God’s grace and purpose was revealed.

The companionship and comfort made me feel safe.

God healed the brokenness, and love took its place.

Boundaries and walls fell apart.

For it was a relationship with God that I sought.

I saw God work a miracle as he healed mine and my husband’s heart. 

Now I know that as long as God is in the center of our lives we will never be apart.

Where there was once brokenness there is hope.

As long as God is my heart I know I can cope.

I came desperate for acceptance, love, and was full of fear.

I have never cried so many cleansing tears.

I have never felt a love so deep.

God is there when I weep.

I let go of the hurt and pain.

Holding onto them I had nothing to gain.

I let go of the anger, guilt, and many other things I struggled with before I came.

When I did that my Father in heaven revealed to me that he still loves me the same.

For in God’s mercy and love, there is no more shame.

I was searching for something to fill the void in my heart.

With the help of the others there and God’s love I came out of the dark.

I was searching for love not knowing that it was God’s love I’d seek.

The love he gave me was so deep.

Now my heart is full of peace.

Not only was my heart renewed, my opinion about life was changed, and so was how everything viewed.

I was given a new family with a new start and the void was filled in my heart.

I was also given many new family members.

When they prayed with me it was God’s love I remembered.

I am so thankful that God chose me and now my spirit is free.

It was God who opened my heart and now I can see.

My family has a new fellowship and community full of love.

We will all live together with Jesus above.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Condition of the Heart

Yesterday was a day full of mixed feelings for me.  My son J.J. had his annual heart examination as well as his 3yr heart checkup in which they would have to run many test.  J.J. was born with a heart defeat and we have been watching it ever since.  He has avoided surgery so far and we are hoping that he can avoid it as long as possible.  When he was younger there was not much they could do as far surgery to fix it, it was more of watch and see.  As advancements in technology there is now a surgery that can fix it. As they were running the test I sat there anxiously waiting to hear the results.  I was watching his heart beat on the screen as they did an ultrasound and was praying that everything would be ok.  I saw the two flaps in his value (he should have three) open and close as the blood pumped in and out I thanked God for his life.  J.J. has been able to live a normal life for the most part with some minor precautions. 

Even though J.J. just turned 16yrs old I pictured him as he lay there on the table as a little boy.  I remember the day we first found out that he had a heart defect.  It was like a blow to my heart.  As the words came out of the doctors mouth my heart sank, I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and my mind filled with worry.  That day I held his little body in my arms as I rocked him and prayed to God begging Him to let J.J. live.  This morning J.J. got his drivers permit.  Thank you God for his life. There was a time I wondered if that day would come.

Hours past and several test more.  Finally the last test. It was an exercise stress test.  For this one I wasn’t able to go back with him.  I was to wait in the examination room until he returned and that is where we would find out the results of the test. During that time many thoughts crossed my mind.  I reflected on my daughter Stephanie who just had two heart surgeries to have a pacemaker put in.  I thought about this lady I know who lost her child as a baby due to a heart defect.  As I was reflecting my heart grew from worry to thankfulness.  God has been so good to my children.  He has blessed them with life.  Just writing this I am crying because God chose to allow them to still be here.  I couldn’t imagine my life without any one of my children.

 After about 45mins J.J. came back to the room, however he had on scrubs.  I guess during the stress test they plugged his nose and had him only breathe through a tube to reproduce labored breathing.  After a half hour of going full force J.J. couldn’t take it anymore and when he stop the exercise he became really sick and threw up and his nose started bleeding a lot, so they gave him some scrubs to wear.  He was beat red which always happens when he works out a lot because of the increased blood flow he has.  Five minute past and the doctor and her assistant came in.  She started to go over the results.  My heart was now pounding with anticipation and to be honest I was a little fearful of what she would say.  She said that for the most part things looked good.  She did say that there is some thickening of the heart walls which is normal for his condition, that the flaps are not leaking, or sticking.  She said that he doesn’t have to have surgery yet, that things still surprisingly looks good.  She was concerned about the nose bleeds he keeps having and the chest pain he gets when he over exerts himself, but all in all the results were good.  She said that he can continue to live the normal life that he has been living with the same few restrictions he has to follow.  She said that she wanted him to come back in two years in which he will be 18yrs old and they will start transitioning him to the adult clinic.  This gave me an instant whirlwind of emotions.  I was so thankful that he has made it to 16yrs old and that him becoming an adult was coming true, Thank God for that.  However, my little boy is growing up.  He is such a wonderful young man, full of life, love for others and talented in so many ways.  I know God has great things planned for him.

Over the past several months with my daughter Stephanie and my son J.J.’s heart issues God has shown me such mercy.   God holds each of our hearts in His hands.  Every day we wake up is a gift of life. God is so amazing and is the definition of love.  Not only does he care about us physically but he cares about our heart’s condition.  Each of us whether or not we were born with a physical heart defeat or not were born with a heart condition.  There is a God shaped hole in each of our hearts that only God can fill.  I don’t know about you but I have tried to fill that hole with so many other things besides God.  The moment I chose to fill that hole with God was that moment my heart was complete and started to truly beat for the first time.  At that moment I was alive.  God came so we can have life, but it is our choice if we accept it.  We can choose His love and the fact that He died for our sins or not.  However, the only way we can have true life is if we choose to believe that and to accept His love. 

It doesn’t end there, we can choose to believe in Him and what He did for us, but do we choose to follow Him and allow Him to continually fill that void.  I wish the moment we believed we would never have to fill that void again, but unfortunately we are human and think we can venture off and face life alone.  I don’t know how many times I decided to take on life myself before even considering that God has it.  The moment we choose to step away from His presence is the moment that that God shaped hole in our heart is exposed.  God makes everything complete and when we choose to walk with Him our problems don’t go away but become worth it. 

In the middle of writing this I had to leave to take the kids to school and in my mind the song “Change My Heart oh Lord” played reminding me how much I need God to change my heart. 

Change my heart oh God,
make it ever true.
Change my heart oh God,
may I be like You.

This is my prayer to have the heart of God. 

Today whatever the day brings I pray that we allow God to fill our God shaped hole completely.  May the Lord bless you and keep you.

May the Peace of the Lord be With you,

Trish Iiams