Updated: May 12
The process of giving birth always has me in my feelings reflecting on how amazing the journey of life truly is. The day we welcomed our newborn son, I just stared into his face as one of my favorite songs began to replay in my heart -- Graves into Gardens by Elevation Worship. Sitting in the hospital room with tears welling up in my eyes, I thought to myself, “God you are so good.” But not in the churchy religious response kind of way, but a true wholehearted response to His goodness.
I held my son for a while and pondered on all the places in my life that were once graves. Graves that have now become gardens.
Several years ago my womb was once a grave. It was a place where life wouldn’t grow, nor could it be sustained. In the early weeks of pregnancy, I would experience loss and with each loss, a piece of me would go with it. I would often cry and feel such shame that my body could not do what it was created to do. Even though I knew Christ as my Lord and Savior, I still felt broken. I often questioned, how could I be a Christian struggling to have a child? Why am I having to deal with this? I struggled with the thoughts of other women having children they didn't want, but here I am wanting and not receiving. Although my heart yearned, I remained hopeful that things would work in my favor. But, after experiencing my third loss, I had enough. I was tired of losing while being on the winning team.
So I had a choice to make...I could either accept the loss as my life or seek the face of God and hold Him to His words.
I decided on the latter and began to soak in all the scriptures where God blessed, promised, and opened wombs. I started in Genesis 1:28, "God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground." I believed the blessing bestowed upon Adam and Eve was not just for them, but also for all who believed. So, I proclaimed that blessing over my life. I also found encouragement from Hannah’s story in first Samuel, chapters one and two. Learning to never give up on the promises of God just because it appears I can’t do something. In fact, scripture says the complete opposite in Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
I read those scriptures repeatedly and in moments where my faith was tested, my husband would read those scriptures over me. I believed, even when I didn’t see. I also prayed the promises of God back to Him, knowing that His word never returns to Him void. If God said it, He will do it, and so I reminded Him of all the things that He said and why those promises were my inheritance as His daughter. As a result, God began to work in my life and the transformation began. It started with knowing the door that was open in my life which gave death access to my womb. Once my eyes became open to it, I prayed. I repented and renounced the attachment I made when I decided to open that door in my late teens.
Because I was able to pray the correct prayers, God sealed that door shut and it was never reopened again. The enemy, who the bible says is a thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10), no longer had access to that part of my life. Through Christ and His redemption, I was able to have life and life more abundantly in what was a dead area. Here I am ten years later, a mother of three children, all born from the same womb that had once been a grave.
Glory be to God, He is a restorer! He will restore what the enemy has stolen. He yearns for His children to know it, to believe it, and to live it. To be restored into the people He designed us all to be. To be fruitful, to increase in number, to subdue, and to rule. Jesus Christ was the ultimate reflection of that love as God in human form. Because of His love for us, He was put to death for sins He did not commit. He was laid in a grave, but the power in Him could not be contained in that tomb. He resurrected from the dead giving us all access to the abundant life He came to give along with the power and the authority to do greater works.
God wants me to remind you that you have work to do. Your faith without work is dead, it's time to put your faith to work to bring those dead areas back to life.
I encourage you today to stop settling and allowing yourself to believe that your present suffering is where your story ends. That is a lie from the enemy! You may have made mistakes, you may have committed the sins that deserve those consequences or you may just be dealing with the consequences of a fallen world. Whatever it is God and His unmerited favor allows us the opportunity to change. God forgives and He is in the business of changing lives for all those who want to receive His forgiveness. It all starts with repentance. If I allowed my past to dictate my walk with Christ, my children would not be here today. My identity in Christ would not allow me to succumb to my circumstances, I am an overcomer, because Christ overcame.
If you have a grave in your life today, I encourage you to give it to God. He turns mourning to dancing, He gives beauty for ashes, He turns shame into glory, He turns bones into armies, and He turns seas into highways, He is the only one who can!
To hear the amazing song Graves into Gardens by Elevation Worship, click to watch the video below: