Welcome to Mommies with Hope

Come and find solace as you get to know us who share in this journey of grief. We have been praying for you and extend our deepest and sincere sympathy. We “hope” you experience comfort and peace in this safe haven of love and support.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Defying all Expectations

What is this hope we have, as Mommies with Hope? This hope extends far beyond an optimism or any kind of wishful thinking for a brighter tomorrow. Sure, this may be part of it, but it’s so much more. When Lindsay and I met in the fall of 2007, just a few short weeks after her precious son Andrew Lindsay died, and over a year after my daughter Chloe died, it didn’t take long before we knew God was up to something by bringing the two of us together through our losses. We were Mommies with Hope. We had the hope of heaven written on our hearts, penned in Jesus’ blood. Being a Mommy with Hope meant having full assurance of faith found only in Christ. And oh how our hunger for heaven grew as we rested in the knowledge that our babies were there before us with their heavenly Father, if only by His grace.

Since the start of Mommies with Hope, God has done the unimaginable. He took two broken-down, beat-up, grief-stricken women who love their Jesus and allowed us to enter in to women’s lives as they walk their own grief journey. He has brought women to us and allowed us to share the hope we have as we comfort each other the way we ourselves have received comfort from God (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). He has given grace upon grace as we come alongside one another through subsequent healthy pregnancies, joyful adoptions, multiple losses, and infertility struggles. He has raised women up to grow in faith and in love for Him and one another and the list goes on. I feel so blessed to be a part of such a group of women.

Just last year, I had the privilege to travel to North Carolina to Proverbs 31 Ministries' annual She Speaks conference. I went to the conference with the intent of getting some practical and informative information about how to more effectively live out this calling God had placed on my heart in the months that followed Chloe’s death. More specifically, I would be focusing on my speaking and had it in my mind that I would come back to Iowa with everything I needed to know about being a speaker, starting more Mommies with Hope groups, sharing the gospel and the rest would be history. Oh did God have different plans in store for me as I flew off to North Carolina just 8 months ago. Proverbs 16:9 says, “In a heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines His steps.” God was leading me down a path completely off the course I had planned...it was uncharted territory, with a rugged terraine.

What I didn't expect was to experience, yet again, the very thing that brought me to my calling in the first place. Loss. I didn’t expect to be going through a miscarriage during my time at She Speaks this past year. As I made my way down to my friend’s house to then head to the airport on that bright July morning, clouds rolled in as I received confirmation by phone from my nurse that I was, in fact, having a miscarriage. You can read about that experience here. Still, I went. Side by side with two godly girlfriends, armed with tissue and coffee in hand, we were on our way to experience a weekend that defied all expectation.

God taught me so much in the midst of my grief while there in 2009. In preparation to attend the conference, I anticipated learning about speaking and marketing and ministry and the like. I did. But still, He had different and better, yes far better, plans in store.

"'For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD. ‘As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.'"
(Isaiah 55:8-9)

In the midst of trials it can be hard to see exactly what God is up to. I have had to humble myself countless times, admitting that my Sovereign God knows what He is doing and that His plans are for my good and His glory. Thus was the case with She Speaks 2009. I returned home that weekend with the tips and the information I was hoping to find, but I brought back so much more. I brought back another dimension to what I felt God was calling me to do. Because of the brokenness I experienced while at She Speaks, God spoke to me more loudly and clearly than ever about what it was He was calling me to do upon my return home. In my vulnerability I was able to see that God’s plans for “my” ministry needed to be refocused. I was so willing and eager to serve others, to serve women, to serve my church, and to serve my community that I neglected the ministry He had set before me in my very own home…my husband and my children. That was such a humbling experience that I am ever so thankful for. I asked God to prepare me for what He would have me learn at She Speaks, not recognizing that His plans are often different, and far better, than any grand scheme we concoct in our own minds. For me, it meant a miscarriage…another loss. It also meant waiting on the public ministry I so desired, and refocusing on serving my husband and my children. The moment I surrendered that situation over to God, He began to bless the Mommies with Hope ministry like crazy. Every week we seemed to encounter a new Mommy in search of hope and God was always faithful to give us the words and the wisdom to minister to her broken heart. Two women felt the call to begin a second group in a nearby community, which came to fruition early this year. My husband has grown in His walk with Christ and He is supportive of the ministry and he has had opportunities to share and be a part of doing ministry with me, whether it’s when we gather as couples or when I’m writing on the blog. Over the months, it became less about me and my desires and all about Him…my Jesus…the reason I am a Mommy with Hope, just like it ought to be.

In the midst of it all and just a few short months after returning home from She Speaks in 2009, I found myself again on the receiving end of this ministry, supported by Lindsay and so many other women in the group, as I experienced another miscarriage…this time at nearly 14 weeks…a precious baby girl, Riyah Mae. Still, He continues to bless and I cling to Job 1:21, where I’m reminded that “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Oh yes, blessed be His name!

Now, I look forward with excitement about what God will do with Mommies with Hope and eagerly await to see how He will continue to use me. I would be so honored to have the opportunity to return to She Speaks in 2010. Lysa Terkeurst is offering a scholarship contest for women who desire to go, which is the reason for this particular post. Be sure to check out her blog and read the hearts of many many other women who feel call to ministry too! If She Speaks 2010 is a part of His plan for me and I am blessed to be chosen as a scholarship recipient making it financially possible for me to attend, praise God. If not, I praise Him anyway…His plans are always, always, always far better.

If you sense a call on your life to speak, write, and/or lead women in ministry, check out the conference details here. I would be honored to pray for you as you obey the call….leave a comment below and let me know how to lift you up in prayer!

17 comments:

Jen said...

Genesis 22:14: "On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided!"

God will direct!!!

Love ya,
Jen

randee said...

what an awesome story of courage & faith & hope you have to share.

may God bless you as you bless others with hope.

peace -

Kitty @ Four Little Toms and a Mom said...

Woohoo, Teske! Hope to see you again, this summer!

Melanie Shaleya Lewis said...

Beautiful Site. Thanks for sharing your story. Your testimony of faith and trust in God will continue to bless and strenthen diverse groups to him. God bless you the more in your ministry. Greater is he within us! Congratulations are in order as well! If God says the same we will meet at the conference this summer. Peace and Blessings.-Melanie Shaleya Lewis

Kimberly said...

Congratulations on the scholarship for She Speaks!
There are hardly words to even say as I read your entry. My heart aches for you for all that you have walked through. But my heart also rejoices to see how you continually place your heart in the Father's loving hands and allow Him to use you.
Sweet blessings to you as you continue to comfort others as you have been comforted by God! Your heart expressed here in words is beautiful!
Blessings,
K

Kimberly said...

P.S.
Know you are not alone if having to be humbled on the whole ministry at home subject! :) I am so thankful for that humbling, and for the constant reminders, too!

K. Langston said...

Taske:

It's strange how God walks us through the valleys to find Him. Your post is beautiful, flowing with a message of hope and grace.

I hope to meet you this year at the conference. Blessings to you. God will use you, Taske...He already is.

Elizabeth@LongToLove said...

Taske, what a beautiful story! Thank you for allowing God to use you to minister to those around you.

Congratulations on the scholarship!

KELLY said...

Congratulations on the scholarship! You have a wonderful ministry and I know that God has even bigger plans to speak to al of us through you, Congratulations again! Kelly

Wander said...

Yay! I am so excited for you!
YOU GO GIRL!!!

ET @ Titus2:3-5 said...

Congratulations on winning the scholarship. I pray that God continues to speak to you in profound ways, and that the equipping you received at She Speaks this year will be beyond your wildest dreams! God bless.

Pen to Paper; Spirit to Soul said...

I am heartbroken by your loss, but buoyed by the supernatural hope our God has given!
Congrats on the scholarship! I know the God of the universe has a great future for you...and your family!!!

Pamela in TX

Amelia said...

Congratulations on the scholarship!! It is so clear that God is using you for mighty things. I look forward to meeting you at She Speaks.
Love in Christ,
Amelia

Teske said...

Wow, ladies....thank you so much for your sweet encouragement! I cannot even describe how surprised I was to see that I was chosen to receive a scholarship to She Speaks! Honestly - I've been quite speechless, which for those of you who know me, this is not like me!! It's such a humbling thing to think that God would use me. I pray that He would be glorified above all else!! I look forward to meeting some of you this summer!!

Your Sister in Christ,
Teske

Rachel B said...

Congratulations on winning the scholarship contest!! I can see why you won. What a great ministry...and a heartfelt entry. Eager to see where God will take you as you choose to trust Him through your loss.

We lost a baby to miscarriage in Sept of 2008. It was a difficult time. Hard to understand, but so thankful that I had such peace and hope in knowing that God is in control, He has a plan and I can trust that plan.

Would appreciate your prayers as we are expecting again...in only 3 weeks.

Also, appreciated your words about serving those within your home first. This is something God has been speaking to my heart very strongly recently.

From one Iowa girl to another, many blessings to you as you attend She Speaks 2010. Will pray for a renewed vision and passion for you!

Rachel Clark said...

Woohoo!!! Congratulations!!!!! God Bless.

Teske said...

Rachel B - My heart goes out to you! Thank you for your comments and thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us. I am lifting you up in prayer as you prepare to welcome a sweet baby into this world!

And an Iowa girl, huh? Which part?! :)

Teske