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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

My Soul Silently Waits

This week, one of our blog topics at our Online Bible Study, was based upon this verse. Discussing our 'quiet time' with God. The time when our souls are silent and we wait upon Him. Through the years, my 'quiet time' has looked very different both in content and timing. Often it seems it is not enough. Not enough to sustain me.

A few years back, as my sweet family was growing, I began to find it difficult to have 'quiet time'. I had two older boys, a toddler and an infant. Late nights at work as a nurse, and one child who went through colic and now, the infant with a bowel impaction that kept me up late, caused being an 'early riser' to be out of the question. When the girls were small, I would have lots of time in the afternoon while they were napping and their dad was either sleeping or was at work. Suddenly, that time was gone. 
What did I do? Well, I prayed about it. I asked God to find me a time that I could spend with Him. Not really liking to study at night, I was hoping He would miraculously cause the girls to start napping again. Wrong. Night time became my friend and my time to 'meet' with God. So many people talk about rising early to spend time with the Lord and using several Scriptures to back it up-which left me feeling condemned more than it helped. I am just not a morning person and I believe God creates us uniquely. I believe that He meets with us in the morning, the same as He does in the night. He is the controller of the 'quiet time', not me. My comfort came in the form of this Scripture:

Psalm 16:7~ I will praise the LORD, who counsels me; even at night my heart instructs me. (NIV)

During those times, I have been so blessed. This is the time of day when my house is quiet and when I am alert. It soothes me to sleep, too. I read, work on the current Bible study, and/or pray-either aloud or writing in a prayer journal that I have had for almost four years. I go back over it and record when/how the prayer was answered (when I remember). I have a treasury of the dialogue between God and I. I also see how "His ways" and "His thoughts" were higher than mine for that particular situation. Recently, I started a prayer journal for each child with a note from me in the front of it. Something I remember so strongly from my youth is a praying mama and a praying grandma. Praying with me and for me. I do the same with mine and hope they have those same beautiful memories that I have.

This change of plan has been an enormous blessing. My son, the one mentioned in the Our Story series, has seizures at night. While he is sleeping. It has been a blessing to have been in God's Word, some nights, for those issues. Especially in the beginning when things were so hard. We were on 'shifts' watching him through the night. I read my Bible at the kitchen table on my 'shift'. Just recently--last night actually--this was a blessing too. A 'preparation' so to speak.

This week, the girls have been studying Psalm 4:8 as their memory verse. It says, "In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety." The day this happened, we were discussing this verse, and while learning of kangaroos, discussed God's protection of us. Similar to a baby kangaroo in it's mommy's pouch. We talked of how the Lord watches over and protects us. 

Last night, during my quiet time, I was reading Isaiah 52-54. I had highlighted many verses. I had prayed 54:13 over my kids as I have done so many times throughout the years. That they will be taught by the Lord and that their peace would be great. Verses in these sections talking about the Lord comforting His people, the Lord will go before them and be their rear guard, you have nothing to fear, the Lord has everlasting compassion and kindness. Wonderful things. Then, Isaiah 53, which is one that we know of as the Messianic chapter. Where he prophesies about Jesus. Verse 5 (b): by His wounds we are healed.

After reading this, I laid down to go to sleep. Around 2:30 a.m., I was awakened to a horrible sound coming from my 3 year old daughter's bedroom. It wasn't your typical 'seal barking' cough noise. She had ran a low-grade temp over the weekend, as did her sister, but we thought she was fine. She had a small cough at bedtime and we gave her medicine. As I looked in her room, I saw her motioning for me to come to her. She couldn't talk. It was like time stood still. She was coming to me as I was going to her. She was just inhaling so rapidly and making this awful noise. Then, she would cough and almost vomit. I put my arms around her and remembered our memory verse. In the room we were in, handwritten by my son on the dry erase board, was Psalm 4:8. I kept speaking that over her, "you alone, O Lord, make us dwell in safety." I screamed for her dad to call the hospital and tell them we were coming. Then, I just dialed 911 while he was holding her. The noise wouldn't stop and if she could say one word, it was very faint and hard to understand. We are currently in a locked apartment complex, so my husband went out to meet the ambulance. We have a fire department down the road and they sent them to get to us first as the ambulance was in route. The truck could BARELY fit through the gate and the gate kept trying to close on it. Meanwhile, I was so scared and wondering where they were. I was holding my child and praying, "Please Lord, have mercy on her. Please breathe for her Jesus like you did for Bryce. Please breathe for her" over and over. 

Three fireman arrived at the house while her dad was still at the gate waiting for the ambulance. They immediately put oxygen on her and began to assess her and ask me questions. I didn't notice it at the time, but I wasn't hysterical. I wasn't upset. Looking back, considering the situation, I was somewhat peaceful. The ambulance soon arrived and we were off. The Paramedic was amazed at her vitals and some of her assessment findings. She was pretty full and having such a hard time breathing yet her oxygen saturation and capillary refill was fine. They started treatment in the ambulance and we arrived to an almost empty ER, (strange for a 43 bed ER), where 4 nurses, a respiratory therapist and doctor were waiting for us. They went to work on her but she was already starting to get better when we got there. She was diagnosed with a severe croup attack.

As my baby was resting after her shot and awaiting her 3rd nebulizer treatment, I began to flip through the TV stations. Nothing is on at 4:00 in the morning. I happened to come across a station that had Joyce Meyer  on. She was preaching on the very first verses I ever memorized when I was crippled with post-partum panic attacks almost 4 years ago.

Philippians 4:6-7~ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (NKJV)

Oh, how I needed to hear those verses again.
They were also having a prayer and praise celebration. They were giving testimonies of healing from prayers, and eventually praise reports, that they had received at their call centers. I was watching and listening to amazing testimonies of God's provision and healing. All while my sweet little girl was sleeping on an ER stretcher way too big for her. God sent the kindest people in the form of the fireman, ambulance crew, and the ER crew. They were so compassionate and caring. Making her laugh. Talking to her.

If my quiet time wasn't at night in this particular season of my life, would I have been so soothed when this happened? I know Jesus never leaves us nor forsakes us, but I had the hope of His Word surrounding me. In the form of a school memory verse, my prior prayer and reading that night, the compassionate people, and finally, a TV show. God's mercy and grace wasn't because I was 'doing' something. Instead, it was Him speaking comfort to me in what was soon to come. His mercy and kindness through my life has been amazing and I am so thankful that He called me and that He loves US that much. 
Yes, US. He doesn't love me more than you. He doesn't have more compassion on me than you. I am not more 'spiritual' than you. I just serve an awesome, amazing, compassionate God. He knew what was to come, and He was having compassion on us all. Preparing me. I am so thankful for the God that I serve, and for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jennifer Newsom
OBS Leadership Team


  1. Great blog Jennifer and from a woman of God's heart. What a testimony of how He calmed you. If He can calm a storm, He can calm His child. So glad you shared the verse Ps 16:7. I have never paused to relfect on it and you shared an insight I haven't known about studying at night. Love it! Debbie W. (OBS Leader)

  2. Thank you Debbie! I didn't know about that verse until recently either. I was feeling bad, yet again, for not rising early enough. Then I stumbled upon this verse. My Mamaw studied a lot at night and prayed often too.

  3. What an awesome testimony regarding your time with God and seeing a verse you needed right at that moment you needed it!! (I LOVE Joyce Meyer...HUGE inspiration in my faith walk the last couple of years)
    Thanks for sharing and so glad your daughter is ok!

  4. "He is the controller of the quiet time." YES to this!!! I so identified with exactly what you wrote here, Jennifer. Even thought I'm not a nurse and I'm not homeschooling my children, I feel those struggles too. And I so love reading how God reaches into a moment with the exact scriptural truth we need in that exact moment. Thank you for sharing of yourself with us!