GraceConnect eNews, No. 192, Week of February 20, 2017

Communication-Conversation-Conservation

The eNewsletter for the Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
Hope Through Miscarriage

This story comes from Zac Hess, young adults pastor at Grace Polaris in Columbus, Ohio (Mike Yoder, lead pastor). 

During the week of January 10, 2016, my wife Sarah was experiencing some unexplainable discomfort and bleeding. She called her doctor and was asked if she was pregnant. We were surprised to discover the pregnancy test to be positive, and an appointment was scheduled for the next day. We went to bed with confusion in our minds and our hearts, praying that a healthy baby was inside her womb.

Once we arrived at the doctor’s office, Sarah was given an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech found nothing in the womb and immediately became alarmed. She shared with us that an ectopic pregnancy was likely the case and the baby was in the tube, not the uterus, which was a huge risk for Sarah.

We then met with the on-call doctor who, by God’s providence, is an expert in these cases. Surgically removing one of Sarah’s fallopian tubes was the only option. We immediately called several medical professionals in our family and church and were assured this was not an abortive since the baby couldn’t survive in the tube. We needed this assurance.

Sarah was eventually taken to have the surgery.The doctor confirmed that the pregnancy was indeed ectopic and that Sarah had a pint of blood in her abdomen.

I finally let out all the emotion that had been welling up inside of me. Pastor Mike and Letitia came and waited with me. Their encouragement, prayers, and presence were a lifeline. Finally, I could see Sarah. We held one another and cried together and went home that evening sad, relieved, puzzled, and tired.

When we arrived home at night I laid awake in bed, and this is some of what I wrote to process:

What words are there to describe such a day? A mix of grief, joy, thankfulness, and disappointment. On one hand, I’m broken that we will never know, in this life, our son or daughter. On the other hand, I’m overjoyed my wife and best friend is alive and beside me in bed. This is what the vows are for.

Why did this happen? I don’t know. Many people suffer
miscarriage. And we, like others, found it difficult to process it all. We didn’t even know Sarah was pregnant until we knew something was wrong, but we still felt the loss.

As much as it saddens us to recount the story, there is also much that God taught us through it. We now have a glimpse of what others go through in miscarriage. We can “mourn with those who mourn.” We realized how much we need God’s people. When we had questions, there were certain people in our church I had to talk to. I needed their advice, their wisdom, and their comfort.

By God’s grace, Sarah is pregnant again, and we await the birth of a little girl this month. The reality is we would not have this baby if God had not ended the other.

When we suffer, we cling to anything that will give us hope. Where is our hope? God. His love. His character. His sovereignty: He was in control over every detail of this and if He willed He could have saved the pregnancy. But in His will, love, power, and sovereignty He didn’t. I don’t have to understand why.

But we don’t only trust in a God who is sovereign; we also trust in a God who has suffered. Jesus’ death on the cross was no accident. We now know Jesus better because of this and our love for Him has grown. Yes, we have unanswered questions, but we also have a sovereign Savior. And in Him, we place our hope.

[Connect:]

Zac and Sarah's daughter, Caroline Elizabeth, was born on Sunday February 12. Zac notes, "The providential thing was that the doctor who delivered her was on-call was the same doctor who did Sarah’s ectopic pregnancy." Click 
here to send a note of congratualtions to Zac and Sarah. Read the full story here
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[Your Turn]


[Read:]

"I see a picture of the church here. We are in the city, but cannot allow ourselves to be part of it. We are under the scarlet redemption, and dare not stray too far. We read the Scripture and we can almost hear the trumpeters tuning up — but we are yet left waiting. We know redemption is coming, but God has shared so little of the battle plan with us. Sometimes, we tire of waiting."

James Burke, pastor of the Grace Brethren Church in Menominee, Mich., writes about "expectation fatigue" and the story of Rahab in a post titled, "This City Will Fall."
Click here to read the rest of the post. 

[Watch:]

Mike Silliman, care and connections pastor at 
Grace Community Church in Goshen, Ind. (Jim Brown, senior pastor), blogs at MikeSilliman.com. In a recent post, he uses a fun object lesson to demonstrate how the Holy Spirit works in our lives.

Click here to read the rest of the post or the picture below to watch the video. 
 
Chocolate Milk and the Holy Spirit

Events in the FGBC

February 24-25, 2017   WLS: Spiritual Formation (Spanish), Tampa, Fla. (WGUSA)
March 13-15, 2017   South Focus Retreat Haines City, Fla. (FGBC)
March 17, 2017   Day Away - North of 55, Ashland, Ohio (AGBC)
March 17-18, 2017   WLS: Women & Scripture, Roanoke, Va. (WGUSA)
March 25, 2017  Connect & Equip East: Regional Mission Conference, Parkesburg, PA. (EWP)
April 5, 2017   Pastorpedia Live, Winona Lake, Ind. (CE)
April 7-8, 2017   WLS: Spiritual Formation, Frederick, Md. (WGUSA)
April 28, 2017   Heritage Event: Shady Maple Smörgåsbord, East Earl, Pa. (CE)
April 28-30, 2017 –  Hispanic Summit,  Atlanta, Ga. (WGUSA)
April 28, 2017  Heritage Event, East Earl, Pa. (CE)
May 11-17, 2017   National Institute Cross Cultural Youth Min.Module, Philadelphia, Pa. (CE)
May 22-24, 2017   Northwest Focus Retreat, White Pass, Wash. (FGBC)
June 14, 2017   Pastorpedia Live, Winona Lake, Ind. (CE)
June 18 – July 11, 2017   Operation Barnabas (CE)
June 26-30, 2017   Encounter Atlanta (EWP)
July 5-9, 2017   StreetWise, Philadelphia, Pa. (CE)
July 18-23, 2017   Momentum Youth Conference, Marion, Ind. (CE)
July 25-27, 2017 – ​ Access2017, Fremont, Ohio (FGBC)
September 20, 2017   Pastorpedia Live, Winona Lake, Ind. (CE)
November 8, 2017   Pastorpedia Live, Winona Lake, Ind. (CE)

AGBC – Ashland, Ohio, Grace Brethren Church
CE – CE National
EWP – Encompass World Partners
FGBC – Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
SGCC – Susquehanna Grace Community Church, Wrightsville , Pa.
WGUSA – Women of Grace USA

Send events for the calendar to msanders@bmhbooks.com.
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