Does God Still Perform Miracles?

Yesterday I sat and listened to Pastor Jason Noble speak about the power, blessing and thankfulness for a God of fresh starts.

A fresh start is a beautiful gift that allows us to join the fight, to align ourselves with God, believe in his purpose for our lives and throw our plans out the window. Blind faith takes risks. Blind faith trusts God. And, blind faith believes for miracles.

We take risks in moments of desperation, when the only thing left to hang onto is your faith and trust in God – because God wants your heart. He wants to make a way for you to come to him. Desperation finds the lost and leads them to salvation.

The pastor told us of a story of a twelve-year-old girl who was life flighted to a Missouri hospital. Her father wasn’t actively seeking the lord, but he had asked for the pastor to come in and pray. The next morning he was on his knees in tears, giving his life back to Christ. He whispered to his daughter that Jesus is a much better father than he could ever be and that he would be okay. An hour later she died.

Weeks later at the funeral the Pastor learned that this mans daughter who had died, had been praying for her father every Wednesday night at church. The children’s pastor shared that she would pray these words, “God whatever it takes to bring my dad back to you, do it.” At 12 years old. And, on this day, the day of his daughter’s funeral, her father was praising a loving and good good father.

We don’t always know why people die, especially children. Personally, I can’t imagine that loss and pain. It made me think of Olive Heiligenthal, the two-year-old daughter of Andrew and Kalley Heiligenthal. Kalley is a worship leader at Bethel Redding and a songwriter. They believed God for a miracle; they stood firmly rooted in the belief that God would wake up their daughter and bring life back. They withstood criticism, negative publicity and controversy yet never wavered in their faith and belief in God’s word that with him we can heal the sick and raise the dead.

Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.

Matthew 10:8 (NIV)

People all over the world stood with, prayed alongside and online using the hashtag #WakeUpOlive, the church as one body, united all over the world believing for a miracle. I prayed. I prayed knowing God could absolutely breathe life into dry bones if it is his will. If you have watched the movie Breakthrough, you know God is still a God of miracles, a God who saves. I know that prayer changes things, and a mother’s prayer can restore life. Not just her own child, but lives all over the world.

Whether you disagreed with the Heiligenthal’s beliefs. Maybe even questioned why their child was more deserving than another. Or wondered if suffering a loss of this magnitude had the parents thinking unclearly for an impossible breakthrough restoring life, I say, it restored life. Just like the story above about the twelve-year-old girl who prayed for her father, just like the 2015 true story of Breakthrough, Olive Heiligenthal’s story and her parents’ faith restored lives all over the world. She did not wake up, but others did.

We don’t know why God saves and heals some and not all, but he knows why he does and that is enough for me. Faith, that feeling deep in my heart, tells me that healing doesn’t always mean life being breathed back into a body here on earth. Healing means freedom from pain, it means restoration and peace, and sometimes that only exists in heaven. And sometimes loss heals and restores those left behind.

To answer the main question of whether or not God still performs miracles, the answer is without a doubt, yes!

Mom Cliques: Sorry, I'm just not that into you.

Let me preface this with saying there are many moms I love and adore – and genuinely enjoy spending time with. However, a group of cliquey moms, that is an entirely different story.

I’m a writer which means I am always thinking – if you could see the cyclone of words, ideas, thoughts memories etc., swirling in my head – you’d get dizzy. It also means that I feel emotions deeply, what impacts others impacts me. I don’t even have to know them, it can be a stranger, it can be a commercial even, if it involves emotions I’m sucked in faster than an unmatched sock while vacuuming. Also, being a writer means that I love to be alone. You can’t be alone in a group!

An acquaintance invited me once to a mom thing – and I just blew it! Shocking right?! I have this inability to b.s. my way through anything, I can’t be a fake to save my life and my facial expressions give me away every dang time. Truth is, I’ve done the trying to fit-in thing, and I’m just not a fit-in-able kind of girl let alone a club-cliquey kind of mom.

Fitting in is too much work for me. The energy it takes to be “always on” and pleasing is exhausting. My soul craves authenticity, messiness and side-splitting humor derived from lessons learned by making actual mistakes. If you are not a mistake maker or a recovering mistake maker, how could we ever chill on a couch trading mom stories together? We can’t! Here are some reasons I am in a solo mom clique. If you are anything like me, we should chat.

I leave dishes in the sink, laundry in a pile on the floor and we live in our house. I can’t have just anyone pop over uninvited!

My house is full of teenagers and then some, dogs, a husband that thinks where he takes off his clothes equates to a laundry basket and me… who sometimes ignores all of that and will leave it until tomorrow. Do I take pride in a clean home, oh you bet your sweet tushy – but will I leave it to spend time with my family – or savor a few moments of solitude, you better believe it. We are not a “for show” type of family. Our kids raise farm animals and my daughter has poop on her boots, our boys play sports and leave anything with wheels lying around the house and prepare yourself, our dog poops on the kitchen floor when it is to dang cold outside for his princely paws.

I’m allergic to b.s. and drama! Like, I will break out in hives and most likely say something I will totally regret.

Lying irks me beyond belief and I can spot someone who lies a mile away. Even adding to a story to make it more exciting, nope can’t handle it! So when someone is b.s.-ing their way through anything I am not liable for my reaction. It is like there is a meter that goes off and I just short-circuit. The word drama itself – is irritating. The definition is an exciting, emotional, or unexpected series of events or set of circumstances. But here is the thing drama today is not exciting or unexpected. Just turn on Bravo or E!, and you won’t need drama. Problem solved.

Shots, Shots, Shots of…coffee???

I’m not a huge drinker so the mom groups of the like – I can’t hang. My daughter asked why I don’t ever just go out and be wild… oh honey! let me tell you. Did that, did that real well, and even bought the t-shirt! There is a time and place for a good time but I’m forty-years-old and taking shots isn’t exactly exciting anymore. It was more exciting when I was 20 and it was illegal. Or that one time I made hot chocolate with creme de menthe and took it to our sons baseball tournament – and couldn’t figure out why I took a nap in the car for a couple hours!!!! Yep! That happened, total mom fail but in my defense it was completely unplanned and so warm and delicious.

I’m a lover not a fighter. A positive Polly not a negative Nancy.

I used to be a fighter. There was immense enjoyment in calling people out, using my words to hurt or anger someone who had done the same to me, but not anymore. It is funny what living life, making mistakes and being human does for a person. Now, I just want to be happy, love others, include the outsiders, encourage and motivate people. Zero Judgment what-so-ever. Other women are not my competition and if it turns into one, I will bow out gracefully and let you win my friend. It must mean more to you if it’s important enough to fight for. Oh, and negativity! I just can’t. I’ve had a crappy life before and I mean reaalllyyyy crappy. If I can find positive in that pile of crap, so can you! You can do it, I believe in you!

Don’t tell me what they said about me, tell me why they were comfortable talking about me to you.

Susie will always have something to say about Sally. What I want to know is why you are telling me? And, how much of what I have shared with you, have shared with someone else? If they talk to you about someone else, they will most likely talk to someone else about you. That ain’t cool Karen! I think this past year was the most I’ve said, “I don’t want to know” and “It’s none of my business” ever in my life. And it is empowering! Not to mention, that I would most likely end up being friends with the person you are talking badly about because I am a huge fan of the outsiders, the underdogs and the misunderstood.

Good food for thought too is that the person you are gossiping about, the horrible thing you heard (keyword: heard) they did. It may just be something I’ve done in my past too. And, yes, I know you’ll say it is different because you love me – but is it really all that different? Really? Nope! Aren’t we supposed to love everyone and not judge anyone? How about you just put those stones down and you can thank me later, okay? Okay.

It’s not you, it’s me!

If there was a group of moms who supported instead of judged, talked to and not about and just loved God and their husbands while doing their very best to not raise crappy kids – that would be my group. Oh and loves food, comfy clothes and hallmark. And cusses sometimes, has peed their pants laughing at least once and has made mistakes. Yep, that is my mom group. Care to join?