The gift of a ministry

I’ve always been a dreamer, and I’ve long dreamed of serving God in BIG ways. I’ve specifically asked that God would use my passion for writing in HIs kingdom work. The answer to that plea, however, was not even close to what I had envisioned or ever would have dreamt up myself.

Though I wouldn’t realize it until a few days later, the answer came on the morning of May 14, as I lay heartbroken in an ultrasound room having received the news that the precious boy I had been carrying for 21 weeks was no longer thriving inside me. We shared the news with family but didn’t let it go much further for a little under 24 hours. I wanted my secret pain to be just that- secret.

I posted a status update on Wednesday morning, 8 hours after Ezra had been delivered and about 5 since we said our final goodbyes: I delivered our precious baby BOY (approximately 17 weeks gestational age) at 12:35 this morning. Sweet Ezra Coleman weighed 5.8 oz and was 7 in. long. We thank God for the gift of life, no matter how short, and we rejoice knowing our son is safe and whole in the arms of Jesus.

It was short and to the point. It communicated my heart at that time, but it didn’t express how painful the experience was. I wasn’t ready to make that public knowledge. Maybe I was putting up a strong front as I had done for my family. I spent much of my time making sure no one was uncomfortable, which, of course,in hindsight, I know was pointless. We were all hurting.

The next morning, when I woke up, along with tears came an idea that seemed like it had been planted in my head: I couldn’t keep this story of grace to myself. I had to write the ways that God was working as He was doing it or else He would never receive the glory that He deserves for sustaining us the way He did during this excruciating time in our lives.

So I wrote. Through tears, through doubts, and devastating grief. I wrote with family next to me, trying to comfort me, but nothing was as therapeutic as putting it down. Writing has always been a release for me. It made me recognize His hand in it all, put into words those He spoke to me, and accept what He had allowed in our life.

But that was not all I hoped for it. I wanted it to, first, bless the name of the Lord, who gives and takes away. I also wanted it to speak to those who had suffered loss or who were experiencing difficulty in their lives. I wanted it to say, “God is good. He knows our pain, and He will carry us.” Finally, I wanted it to speak to those who grieve that have no hope, that I have it only because I have Jesus Christ.

It was hard to do, but I wrote. And people read. People from many cultural, family, and religious backgrounds. I heard from many people whom I had never met who wrote to tell me they were touched by Ezra’s three part story. When Ezra was born, my ministry was born. And though, like his life, it may have been short lived, I am thankful it had its moment.

I will likely never have as many readers as I had those first few days after his birthday. I will probably never have the opportunity to influence like I did during that time, but I do know that I can minister to the heart of each mommy that suffers this kind of loss one heartbreaking case at a time. While my ministry was once many words in the public sphere, the words that mean the most will be the ones silently uttered to my Heavenly Father. I can pray for these women in a way that most people can’t. It may sound strange, but my loss paved the way to a dream come true!

If I had known that being used in a BIG way would mean MAJOR loss in my life, would I dare to dream? I’m afraid I would not. I’m just glad that God is the author of my story, and all He asks of me is to tell it!

 

All Things Added

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33).

At times, I have felt a little silly about how much I don’t know about India, the country to which our family feels lead. For months, we prayed that the Lord would send laborers to India to fill the great need for the gospel among its millions of inhabitants. I don’t think I ever really thought the family to be sent would be the Taube family. However, when it came down to make a decision and begin raising our support, it was a no-brainer. God had put India on our hearts, and it was there to stay! Here is an excerpt from my blog the morning after announcing our plans to begin deputation to reach the country of India:

Last night, during the teachers/workers meeting at Vision Baptist Church, my dear husband wrote me a little note. This is not an unusual occurrence in any given church service or meeting, but this was a very special note.

It read,”Pastor asked me if we wanted to announce that we are going to India tonight.”

replied, “Up to you, babe.”

“Are you 100% in?” Quite a weighty question for note-passing, wouldn’t you say?

After a shorter pause than I would have anticipated, I quickly scrawled, “YES!”

I have to be honest, at this point I knew little to nothing about this country to which we had dedicated our future. In fact, I just about Googled myself to death the night before our first meeting because I was nervous that someone would ask me a question I couldn’t answer and my cover would be blown. I had just about blindly surrendered to serve in a country I was totally clueless about, and I was a little embarrassed about it.

But I felt a peace I couldn’t begin to describe, and aside from the self-consciousness of my ignorance, I really didn’t care that I was so clueless. I had surrendered my life to Christ, and I had submitted myself to my husband. When I told God I would follow Him anywhere I meant it, and I told my husband the same! A few days ago, we returned from our survey trip to New Delhi. I am overwhelmed just thinking about how God answered many questions and provided peace for many concerns during the short time we were able to spend in the country.

Despite my ignorance I have found the promise in Matthew 6:33 to be absolutely true! I’m thankful for my husband’s wisdom as he lead me to seek God’s plan for our lives and trust Him to take care of our needs as we did.

It’s not perfect, of course, and it would have never been my first choice based on the few things I had heard about it in the States. Maybe it’s the comforting peace of knowing we are following the Lord in our lives or maybe it really is just because many things about India really “rock”, but I am feeling great about moving here in the near future! It could also be that the Roberts are doing an awesome job and making it look easy, but I guess we will find out soon enough and have a great example to follow when we do!

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Getting Used to India

Well, we have been in India since Tuesday night, June 11! It’s definitely been an interesting and eye-opening experience! I’m not shocked that things are different; I had prepared myself for that. But the reality  of actually seeing all of these things and being personally affected by them is a whole other story!

I’ve had time to adjust, and I’m realizing that, while it will be challenging, I can get used to all of these things. 

I can get used to having a “Revolving Door” as Autumn refers to hers.

I can get used to always being the passenger and never the driver.

I can get used to living in a heavily populated area.

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I can get used to only being able to call my family at certain times of the day and not just when I feel like chatting.

I can get used to wearing clothes that aren’t necessarily “my style” (learning to love it!).

I can get used to eating a mostly vegetarian diet that is heavy in spice (I already have! I love the food here!).

I can get used to extremes in weather: the heat, the humidity…even the monsoons.

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I can get used to people ALWAYS being around (maybe).

I can get used to the stares and unwarranted attention.

I can even get used to monkeys in the street (Varanasi).

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What I can’t get get used to, however, is that the masses of people I push my way through are nearly ALL lost. The majority have never even had a chance to hear the gospel I’ve grown up with. I pray that this will be the one thing I will never become accustomed to.

I can’t get comfortable living here and getting by on broken English without constantly being aware of the great need of the gospel in the country that will become my home. The reality of the void of the gospel in this country has to be the fire that fuels me to learn (language, culture, etc) and grow so that we may be able to plant churches, train leaders, and give God ample room to do an amazing work among the Indian people.

I’m not gonna lie, it’s going to be hard to return to the United States. Not that I just love the way of life here because I don’t (yet). It will be easy to return to my normal American way of life, but in just this short time, I’ve been challenged to want to be here. I want to learn the language (like YESTERDAY!) and culture, and I want to get started in the ministry as soon as possible. My last post was about how much I love deputation, and I do, but I’d like it to hurry up and be over so we can come back to India and get started on what we believe the Lord would have us to do! I’ll TRY to be patient…

I’m so thankful to have been given the opportunity to come on this trip and to see all that I have seen. Please pray with me that we, collectively as believers, would never get used to the need of the gospel around us. In the US, in India, or wherever the Lord takes us.

I’m going to India!

When we found out that I was pregnant with Ezra, we were a little disappointed by one thing alone: I wouldn’t be able to go on our survey trip to India. We came to this conclusion based on my last pregnancy in which I was sick 24/7 and had a hard time accomplishing even small tasks. We figured that a 17 hour flight and 9.5 hour time difference as well as temperatures above 100 degrees would do me in.

At orientation at the beginning of May, however, Bro. Austin Gardner encouraged me to go to India whether it be now or later…AND I decided NOW was best! My morning sickness was tolerable, and I had the second trimester energy I never seemed to find last time around. PLUS: I only needed to seek care for one child and did not currently have a nursing baby to provide sustenance for.

When we returned home from orientation, Paul began the process of applying for my visa. He had the paperwork completed and was going to send it out on Tuesday the 14th. However, that day was also our ultrasound appointment where we found out that our sweet baby was no longer living in the womb. The process was halted as I went into labor and was resumed a few days later.

We praise the Lord that even though this process was started late and halted for a bit, we were able to buy a ticket for the same flight that Paul had booked for himself, and I just heard yesterday that my visa was approved by the consulate and is on its way to our house! Pray with us that it’s not “too much too soon” and that my physical recovery will be entirely complete when we leave June 10th.

It really is a dream come true to go to India with my husband, to finally see the country the Lord has put on our hearts, and to see my sweet friend Autumn who, I’m sure, has very much to teach me from her first few months on the field!

New Delhi, here we come!