Letting Go of Fear

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As I stand on the shore of the beach and the waters of the ocean cool my sunburnt feet, I stare out into the horizon and remember an audio I love called “Bring Me To The Horizon” by Chris Brady. One sentence that Chris said in that audio has always stood out to me ever since I heard it and goes like this. “There is no safety in a significant life and there is no significance in a safe life.” In the audio, Chris was encouraging the people in the audience and those listening to the audio (like myself) to get out of the shallow end of life and get into the depths of life. Lately I’ve been thinking that I have been playing this game of life too small. The reason for this? A one word answer. Fear.

I believe fear started taking over my young life when I was in 7th grade. I don’t know why, but maybe it had something to do with being surrounded by other students much older then me. I do remember though that I was afraid of a lot of things. I was afraid to make new friends. I was afraid to ask a girl classmate to the high school dance. I was afraid to dance at the high school dance. I was afraid to try new things. I was afraid of looking like a fool. I was afraid of…fill in the blank and I’m sure I was afraid of it.

I wish I could say that the grip of fear has left me since I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, but fighting against the grip of fear is my daily battle. Even when I was on the beach and my beautiful bride is encouraging me to “get in the water”, I had the following fearful thoughts running through my mind; “I can’t go in the ocean water, I’m not a very strong swimmer. She knows that. Why does she keep telling me to come out into the water? What if I do go in and a rip current comes and take me away? What if a jelly fish is brought up by the waves, sticks to my leg and stings me? What if a shark comes close to shore and bites one of us? What if one of those planes that are flying above has a malfunction and crashes right near us in the ocean?”

While some of these thoughts are reasonable thoughts, I knew fear was holding me back from having quality time with my wife (By the way, I did end up going into the water). I was then reminded of the events of surrounding the disciples and Jesus that is found in Matthew 8.

“Then he (Jesus) got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”-Matthew 8:23-27

Imagine being one of the disciples on that boat as you ride through the furious storm. The rain is coming down. The waves are crashing over the boat and the wind is howling. You might be thinking “This is it! This is how my life is going to end!” Now imagine seeing Jesus sleeping. What’s your first response? Me personally, I chuckle at that thought. I would think to myself, just like the other disciples probably did, “How can Jesus be sleeping? Doesn’t He care that we could potentially die?!” Of course He cares, that’s not the right question to ask. The right question to ask is, “If Jesus is at peace, so much so that He could sleep through the storm, why aren’t I at peace?” The answer is probably has to do with the fact that we aren’t trusting in ourselves (or others) more then we are trusting in Jesus.

As the scriptures share, Jesus did wake up and calmed the storm, showing that He is fully sovereign and in control of ALL things. What I was reminded of is that we shouldn’t let the fear hold us back from doing or becoming the man or woman the Lord created us to be. We shouldn’t let fear of man be the controlling factor on whether or not we will live of life for Christ. We shouldn’t let fear be the controlling factor on whether or not we should try to have another child. We shouldn’t let fear be the controlling factor on whether we should speak up for what is true. We shouldn’t let fear…you fill what you are fearful of.

I told my wife the other day that Leah’s death shook me in many ways. In one way, it made me realize that we really don’t know how much longer we have on this earth and that I’m sick and tired of playing it safe. I don’t want the grip of fear controlling my life, I want the hand of the Lord controlling my life. What does it look like for Rachel and I as the hand of the Lord guides us through this new season of our life? I really don’t know. What I do know is this, we aren’t going to allow fear to dictate our path. We are going to have the lamp of the Lord Jesus Christ light up our path, one step at a time.

“Your word is a lamp to guide my feet and a light for my path. I’ve promised it once, and I’ll promise it again: I will obey your righteous regulations. I have suffered much, O Lord; restore my life again as you promised. Lord, accept my offering of praise, and teach me your regulations. My life constantly hangs in the balance, but I will not stop obeying your instructions. The wicked have set their traps for me, but I will not turn from your commandments. Your laws are my treasure; they are my heart’s delight. I am determined to keep your decrees to the very end.”-Psalm 119:105-112

When Reality Hits

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A week ago my wife and I took a two day trip and stayed near Hershey, PA. We stayed at a nice bed and breakfast on a horse farm, and we were ten minutes away from Hershey Park. We spent a day at the park and had a lot of fun. I usually don’t like riding roller coasters, but with the help of my wife’s encouragement, she got me to ride on more roller coasters than anyone ever has! While being a way for two days was nice, the reality of what was to come hit me the night before we came home.

When we arrived home from our trip, I started feeling anxious and angry. There were stacked boxes all around our apartment with our things packed for our move. While I’m not proud of this, I gave attitude towards my wife. My tone towards her was rude, sarcastic, and straight up mean. Eventually my wife had enough and said “What is wrong with you? What is the real reason you are like this?” I walked out of the living into the kitchen trying to hide my tears and emotion. I eventually went back into the living room and shouted “I feel like a loser! I feel like I have failed you and our family! I can’t provide the family or the life we both desire!” I finally broke and I could no longer hide my true feelings. After we talked, cried, sought forgiveness, and held each other, I went outside on our front porch as the remnants of Hurricane Ida passed through.

As I watched the rain pour down and the trees bend as the gusts of wind blew, I thought of Job and how the Lord challenged him. Job 38:22-30 reads as followed;

“Have you entered the place where the snow is stored? Or have you seen the storehouses of hail, which I hold in reserve for times of trouble, for the day of warfare and battle? What road leads to the place where light is dispersed? Where is the source of the east wind that spreads across the earth? Who cuts a channel for the flooding rain or clears the way for lightning, to bring rain on an uninhabited land, on a desert with no human life, to satisfy the parched wasteland and cause the grass to sprout? Does the rain have a father? Who fathered the drops of dew? Whose womb did the ice come from? Who gave birth to the frost of heaven when water becomes as hard as stone, and the surface of the watery depths is frozen?”

Obviously Job didn’t have the answer and if we are all honest, neither do we. The point the Lord was making to Job, and to us, is that He is the One who is control of all things, since the beginning of time. Yes we make our plans, but the Lord directs our steps. There will be troubles in our life, but the Lord is sovereign through it all. It’s easy to have trust in the Lord when things are easy, but the true test of our faith comes in the midst of our storms. James 1:2-4 reads;

“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”

Notice how James says that during our troubles to consider those troubles as an opportunity for great joy. This doesn’t mean we go seeking troubles to happen in our life, but to look for joy in the midst of our troubles. How do we find joy? I personally believe it is by having faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, hoping in His promises, and know that the love of the Lord is with us in our trials. The enemy during our times of troubles want us to feel defeated and down for the count, but hold tight to the truth of the Word of the Lord.

“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

-Michael A. Kubus

The Darkest Valley

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“Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”-Psalm 23

It’s 12:45am and I was suddenly awaken from my sleep. I walked out of the bedroom to get a glass of water and started taking deep breathes. My anxiety and stress were starting to increase. I cried out to the Lord, “Please take this away from me.” My flesh is tempted to numb the pain. I cry again, “Lord, forgive me for even thinking of this. Help me, Oh, Lord.” The enemy starts whispering lies in my head and I tremble at the thought that Leah’s death is a punishment for my sins. The enemy’s whispers get louder and I start to believe that I will not see Leah in heaven, but instead that the Lord will say, “Depart from Me, I never knew you.” I brake down in tears crying out to the Lord, “Don’t send me to hell, Lord! I know I deserve it, but You have saved me! You are my Lord!” The whispers from the enemy get louder and louder and I cry out to the Lord Jesus, “I call you Lord, but do you call me friend? How about brother? You said Jesus “Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!” (Matthew 12:46-50). Again I ask, “Am I Your brother?” Finally there is silence, and I’m reminded of my name, “Michael”, which means “Whos is like God?” I proclaim with tears dripping down my face, “No one, Lord. No one is like You.” I look up at the living room wall and see our sign that says “BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD”.

The Darkest Valley

There has been a book, outside of the bible, that has been helping me as I journey through what is considered my “darkest valley.” The book is “Pilgrim’s Progress” and as someone who doesn’t read a lot of fiction books, I’m grateful for this book. There is a chapter where the main character, Christian, is walking through the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and he needs to walk through the valley to get to the Celestial Castle. Even though it was a difficult journey, there was one thing Christian did; He fought and didn’t quit.

Fighting The Good Fight

We all have our “darkest valley”, and it is very easy to give into the temptation of quitting. I’m sure King David felt the same way. (If you don’t believe me, just go read the book of Psalms. You’ll get a great glimpse of the roller coaster of emotions he went through.) What kept David from not quitting? Psalm 23 gives us the answer.

David didn’t fear the valley because the Lord was with him. (Psalm 23:4B)

David was protected and comforted while going through the valley. (Psalm 23:4C)

There was a feast being prepared for David. (Psalm 23:5A)

Honor and blessings were being poured onto David. (Psalm 23:5B)

The goodness and unfailing love of the Lord. (Psalm 23:6A)

David knew he was going to be with the Lord, forever! (Psalm 23:6B)

I don’t know what your “darkest valley” is right now, but I want to encourage you, don’t quit. Yes, it is dark and scary, but there is light at the end of this valley, whether it is here on earth or being in heaven for the rest of eternity. If you feel like quitting, go to God’s Word and pray. The Lord Jesus Christ will sustain you and get you through to the other side.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me—the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.- 2nd Timothy 4:7-8

-Michael A. Kubus


Shirts For Haiti

This past weekend I launched our new shirts that we are selling! I mentioned in my last blog, “Shirts For Haiti”, that any profits that I would have made from now to the end of the year would go to Tia Tannis, a missionary in Haiti, to help her have the funds she needs to get the supplies to help those in need after the earthquake. Please consider purchasing one of the shirts below so we can help the people in Haiti during this difficult time.

MAK Unisex T-Shirt
MAK Unisex Long Sleeve

Shirts For Haiti

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A little over a week ago, the nation of Haiti was struck by 7.2 earthquake, which took the lives of about 2,100 people and thousands more injured. Clean-up has begun and many families are trying to pick up the pieces. A good friend of my wife and I, Tia Tannis, is a missionary for the country. Her and her family are okay, but they are heart broken with what has happened. She recently reached out to the local church I serve with sharing some details and supplies they need. This is where your help comes in.

Faith. Hope. Love.

In the midst of grieving the lost of my daughter, there have been three words that have been helping my wife and I; Faith. Hope. Love. The apostle Paul discusses the the importance of these three words as he closes out a portion of his letter to the Corinthian Church. 1st Corinthians 13 reads;

“Three things will last forever-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love.”-1st Corinthians 13:13 NLT

In this broken world, caused by the curse of sin, it is faith, hope, and love that helps us endure to the very end. Who are we putting our faith and hope in? The Lord Jesus Christ. The Son of God came to this earth, took on human flesh, lived a life in the way we should live, died a death we deserve, and rose three days later to destroy the sin and death. We hope and look forward to the day of His return, when a new heaven and earth will be created. Revelation 21 says;

“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”-Revelation 21:1-4 NLT

Until this happens, we are called to love and help those who are in need, and right now, our brothers and sisters in Christ, and the entire nation of Haiti, needs help.

Shirts For Haiti

I recently had a new logo designed and came up with new shirt designs. Those shirts are now officially on sale! From now until the end of 2021, any profit made from the shirts (after the middle man gets his cut) will all go towards helping Tia purchase the supplies she needs. Here are some items the money will help them purchase;

TEMPORARY SHELTERS/BEDDING:

Tents, Tarps, Blankets, Sheets, Sleeping Bags

MEDICAL SUPPLIES/WOUND CARE SUPPLIES:

Ace Wraps, Gloves, Gauze-Gauze rolls-Medical Tape, Bandaids-Large Bandages, Casting Material (plaster and casting supplies), Slings, Walkers- Crutches, Ointments – Peroxide, over the counter pain meds (Tylenol/Ibuprofen/Aleve), Arm braces -Ankle braces, Medical boot, Splints

There are three things I need your help with. First, I encourage you to buy a shirt. Below are designs and links to the shirts. Both shirts are unisex. Again, I will make NO profit from this shirts for the rest of this year. Remember, you aren’t just buying another shirt, you are helping people who are need. Second, after you purchase a shirt, please share this blog all over social media to get the word out on helping the people of Haiti. Finally, prayer for Tia, her family, and everyone in Haiti. While this is a tragic time, this is a great opportunity for the gospel of Jesus Christ to be spread. It may seem dark right now, but as John chapter 1 says;

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”-John 1:5 NLT

-Michael A. Kubus


Shirt Designs

MAK T-Shirt (Unisex)
MAK Long Sleeve (Unisex)

Switching Chapters

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When people ask me “How are you doing?, it’s really hard to describe how I’m feeling with a one word emotion. I’ve started to come accustomed to sharing this analogy. Imagine you are a writer and you give the editor you are working with a draft of your book. Now imagine that editor reading over the book, ripping a chapter you wrote, and putting that chapter somewhere else. Then the editor gives you the book back with no explanation why he moved the chapter. That in it’s most simplest terms is how I am feeling.

I Don’t Know

My wife and I, with the help of my sister-in-law, started packing up our apartment as we prepare to move in with my in-laws for the next eight months. As I see the packed bins of baby clothes, baby books, diapers, toiletries, etc. I just think to myself, “When will Rachel and I actually start the chapter of raising kids and in the meantime, what is this current chapter all about?” While I have called this chapter of our lives “The Unknown Chapter,” there is one Being who does know: God.

He Knows

As a planner and goal setter, this unexpected season has taken me for a loop, and to be frank, is quite frustrating at times. Rachel and I recently started watching the show “The Chosen”, a T.V. series regarding the life of Jesus Christ; the third episode resonated with me. The episode was regarding the Wedding at Cana, and Thomas, one of Jesus’ soon-to-be disciples, was portrayed as one of the helpers in prepping the wedding and making sure the wine was served. (Note, I personally do not know whether or not if this is true of what Thomas did in real life. Whether the producers took creative liberty or actually looked into the history of who Thomas was, the bible doesn’t share with us any details about Thomas’ life. Whether you agree or disagree with the show, that’s your personal opinion, and the point of me sharing this is not to debate about the show.)

Thomas was a planner and saw things in a logical sense. To Thomas, 2+2 always equaled 4. As the wedding goes on, Thomas is, for a lack of a better words, freaking out! The wine has run out and there is still a lot of time left in the party. Jesus is asked to help and there is a conversation that Jesus and Thomas have.

Jesus: Fill these jars with water.

Thomas: (Rubbing his face and looking anxious) From the directions you have provided, I see no logical solution to the problem.

Jesus: It’s going to be like that sometimes, Thomas.

I could relate well with Thomas, especially in the season my wife and I are currently in. I have heard and read all the scripture verses regarding how the Lord will restore, redeem, and be glorified in all of this, but the question I keep asking myself from time to time is “when and how?!” Here’s the peace that I can rest in, I don’t know, but God knows. The Scriptures share the following;

“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. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands. Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper, and instead of briers the myrtle will grow. This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, that will endure forever.”-Isaiah 55:8-13

Maybe you are going through a season where you want God to give you the answers of why He is doing what He is doing. Maybe you are a logical person and you don’t see how it all adds up. Maybe the silence from heaven is frustrating you and you just want to hear God say something. He has said some things. It is all found in His Word. Yes, maybe He isn’t giving you the answers you want, but rest assured that if God said it, He will be faithful and trust worthy to follow through.

“And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans.”-Jeremiah 1:12

-Michael A. Kubus

(Below is the clip with Jesus and Thomas from the show “The Chosen”)

They Just Don’t Know

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“Hi! Thanks for shopping with us today! How are you doing?” “Hey neighbor! Haven’t seen you around for a bit. Everything okay?” “Wasn’t your wife pregnant? How is she and the baby doing?” The hardest thing about being in the general public is that many just don’t know. When asked “how are you doing?”, I don’t know how to respond. I don’t want to be the gray cloud coming into every place, but at the same time it’s hard to pretend everything is okay. Sometimes it’s just easier staying in bed with the shades darkened and being left alone.

Being Logically Emotional

God created us individually unique. Me personally, I want logical answers and I don’t hide my emotions well. It’s been two weeks since Leah passed and I’m already trying to find a logical reason behind all of this. In what was going to be Leah’s room, there is a plaque hanging on the wall that says “God is Good”. My logical side wants to know how this situation is “good”, so I do what I know best, I started reading the bible. I decided to read about the events surrounding Joseph because after his father’s death he had a conversation with his brothers and said,

“As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.”-Genesis 50:20

After all the things that happened to Joseph, I wanted to know how he arrived to that statement. I started reading, and I started to see how God worked in and around Joseph’s life, even in the midst of Joseph’s pain and suffering. I’ll be honest, the more I was reading, the more frustrated I was getting. I was frustrated because I wasn’t finding the real answer I was looking for. Sure, I said I wanted to know how Joseph was able to say what he said in Genesis 50, but, what I was really looking for was an answer to why this tragic event has happened to me and my wife. In short, I was demanding an answer from God.

Since I wasn’t getting what I wanted, I started to becoming angry. When my wife started talking to me, I expressed that I felt like these last nine months have been a waste of time. All the prep work, all the shopping, all the medical visits, everything that happened in theses last nine months seemed like a waste of time and a sick cruel joke. Why did we endure all of this if at the end we don’t have our daughter?! My emotional side started kicking in, and tears and anger in my heart started to build. My wife started to pray, but I left the prayer because in my heart I was so angry with God, I couldn’t sincerely be in that prayer.

In the living room I curled myself into a ball, with tears and snots falling on the couch. I repented, and asked the Lord for forgiveness regarding my anger and asked Him to help me with my unbelief in this situation. With my wife comforting me, she reached out to one of my friends, and he immediately came over. I shared with him my frustrations and feelings as he comforts and listens to me. He encouraged me, prayed for me and my wife, and as he was leaving, he reminded me of part of a bible verse that is hanging in our apartment;

“Be still, and know that I am God.”-Psalm 46:10a

It is easy to be still and trust in the Lord when everything is good and comfortable, but in the midst of a storm, our eyes, like Peter’s, can tend to be focused on the storm rather than the Lord. Even in the midst of the strongest storms, God is still God. He didn’t leave us or forsaken us, He is here with us in the middle of the storm.

They Don’t Know, But They Will Know!

Romans 8:28 says; “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I still don’t know how God is going to use this situation, and my wife and I probably never will know on this side of eternity. What I do know, is that we still have the opportunity to preach Christ.

After telling people what has happened, a common response Rachel and I have heard a lot is “Wow, you two are so strong. I don’t know if I could be as strong as you guys are.” Our response, is always the same, “We aren’t strong. We are weak. It is Jesus Christ who makes us strong.” Yes many in the public view don’t know what has happened to us, but many also don’t know about the Lord Jesus Christ. Sure, many will get to hear the story about our daughter, but more importantly, they will have an opportunity to hear about the hope that is found in Jesus Christ.

“..but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you;”-1st Peter 3:15a

-Michael A. Kubus

Empty

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The crib, the bassinet, the car seat, the highchair, the changing table, and our arms all have one thing in common; They are all empty. There are no sounds of our daughter crying. No diapers that need to be changed. No looking over the crib to watch Leah sleep. Nothing. It’s empty and silent. My wife and I look at each other on the couch not knowing what to say. All we know is is that our apartment is empty.

What Am I Suppose To Being Doing?

I feel the anxiety rising up within in me. My hands are getting sweaty, and I’m walking around trying to figure out what I’m suppose to do. There are two shelves of kids books that aren’t being read and my wife isn’t asking me to get anything for her or the baby. Again I ask myself “What am I suppose to do?”

In the midst of grief, there seems to be sense to “do something” to distract or numb the pain. As I wrestle through this, I think of the story of Mary and Martha. In the book of Luke, it says the following;

“While they were traveling, he entered a village, and a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who also sat at the Lord’s feet and was listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks, and she came up and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to serve alone? So tell her to give me a hand.” The Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has made the right choice, and it will not be taken away from her.”-Luke 10:38-42

Notice how the Lord confronts Martha’s emotional state. He says to Martha “you are upset and worried about many things.” Was Martha truly worried about whatever tasks she needed to get done, or was she doing those tasks to numb whatever emotional pain she had? Doing a bunch of tasks isn’t going to fix or even take away the pain, it will only numb it for a short awhile. The Lord Jesus isn’t calling us to “work the pain out”, but instead, to come to Him and listen to what He has to say. How can we listen to Him? Through His Word. Psalm 119:130 says;

“The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.”-Psalm 119:130

The Word of God will bring light and understanding to us in midst of our pain and it will provide comfort in our healing. The question is, will we decide to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen?

“But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the LORD”- Jeremiah 30:17

-Michael A. Kubus

Now What?

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The cards are opened. The food has been eaten. The out of town family is gone, and we said goodbye & see you soon to our little girl Leah. As my wife and I were walking the other night, I said to her “Now What?” We know that the grieving process is going to be a long journey ahead, but now that the once future dreams and plans we had for Leah and our family have changed, we are left to wonder “Now What?

Daily Bread

In Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus Christ taught the disciples to pray, and one of the things He said in the prayer was “give us today our daily bread.” The request for “daily bread” has brought a deeper meaning for my wife, Rachel, and I, as each day, hour, and minute brings on new challenges. We need “daily bread” for taking some new steps each day. I remember in the week of planning for Leah’s funeral, we needed “daily bread” to meet with our church family, meeting the funeral director, going back to our apartment for the first time, picking out Leah’s outfit, and the viewing and service. Without this “daily bread”, we wouldn’t be able to function.

What is this “daily bread” you may ask? The simple answer is Jesus Christ. Jesus Himself said;

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again.”-John 6:35 CSB

What Jesus is stating is that when we are spiritually hungry, when we need strength to get through a day, we are to come to Him. How do we come to Him? Through the living, breathing, and active, Word of God. When we are weak, He makes us strong. When we feel empty, He fills us up. Jesus, is the daily bread that we need.

Picking Up The Broken Pieces

For me, it was really hard to explain all the emotions I was feeling after Leah’s death. When my wife shared with the family all of her emotions, she gave the perfect analogy. Imagine our hearts like a balloon, and for nine months our hearts were being filled with love to pour out on Leah. Now, instead of the love being poured out slowly, imagine someone coming up and stabbing the balloon. All the love we had that filled our hearts for her is gone and our hearts are broken into many tiny pieces. We are now looking around, seeing all the broken pieces, and asking ourselves, “Which piece do we start with?”

It’s very easy to be tempted to look at all the broken pieces and say “Forget this! My heart with never be restored!” or use things of this world to numb the pain. Christ doesn’t want us to fall for those lies. Instead, He invites us to come to Him because He is the only one who can restore us. Here are just some verses regarding the healing of a broken heart.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”-Psalm 34:18 ESV

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”-Psalm 147:3 ESV

“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”-Isaiah 41:10 ESV

In the midst of our pain and suffering, we aren’t alone. Jesus Christ is in the midst of our brokenness and is saying “Do not fear, I can restore this.” The question we need to ask ourselves is “Do we believe and trust Him?”

Walk, Not Run

I’m currently going through the book of Job, with a commentary called “When Lightning Strikes”, by Stephen Davey, Pastor of The Shepherd’s Church in Cary North Carolina. In the beginning of his commentary, Pastor Stephen Davey mentions how it’s easy for us to just look at the first two chapters of Job, then read the last two and say “See, at the end, everything worked out for Job.” Here is a quote from Stephen’s commentary;

“Even the most optimistic Christian among us will say “Job does go through an enormous cloud of suffering, but have you seen the silver lining? In the last chapter of the book, he gets everything back and more!” That’s easy for us to say! Bill Walton, the sports announcer and former NBA basketball star once said “I learned a long time ago that minor surgery is when they do the operation on someone else.” Let me encourage you not to mentally skip to the end of the book. Even though you already know Job’s children will die and he will have more children later, keep in mind that he will never get his first ten children back. Job will experience great suffering, with no silver lining in sight. There is no quick answer from God, no insight or reason from on high, and the clouds hover above the tree of his life for quite some time.”-Stephen Davey

My wife and I will be tempted by our flesh and even from well meaning people to “grieve quickly.” We have heard once or twice, “Well, at least you can have another child” While my wife graciously has laughed that statement off, I’ve found myself angry by that statement. While the intentions of that statement are to provide a “silver lining”, and yes we hope that one day the Lord will provide another child or two, or three, but we cannot have another Leah Grace Kubus. Rachel and I just can’t run through this and act like nothing happened. We need to walk together, with the help from the Lord, through the grieving process so we don’t wreck our marriage, wreck our relationships with others, and even wreck the lives of those we minister to.

Floating On A Lifeboat

I took the time to meet with my Senior Pastor and his wife to discuss how my wife and I were doing and discussing what is the healthiest steps in our new journey. I mentioned how I journaled the other day that I feel like I’m holding on to a piece of wood after a ship has been wrecked by a storm. While I know there is a shoreline, I mentioned that there are times that I don’t feel like “swimming.” Both the pastor and his wife encouraged me to change my perspective. They said “Don’t imagine yourself holding onto a piece of wood, imagine being in a lifeboat that will carry you safely to shore.” Of course, that lifeboat is Jesus Christ.

Jesus has many titles; one of those titles is Savior. As my Savior, I can trust that Jesus will get Rachel and I save to shore. We don’t know how long it will take or even what shore we will end up on, but we are going to trust Him through every wave.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know him, and he will make your paths straight.”-Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB

-Michael A. Kubus


Holding On To Hope

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“Congratulations!” “She’s so cute!” “She has your eyes!” Those were phrases my wife and I were looking forward to hear, not, “I’m sorry for your loss.” “My heart breaks for you two.” “I have no words.” In three hours, our dreams and plans for our first child completely changed.

On July 28th, 2021 around 2:30am, my wife, Rachel, woke up and noticed some unusual pain/cramping. I was up as well, because I was having a hard time sleeping. After a few more “unusual pains”, she realized that she was starting to have contractions. We were excited because this meant our first child was getting ready to enter into the world. Rachel started doing some of the things her mid-wife suggested, and like everything else with her pregnancy, Rachel was focused and ready to go.

The mid-wife and her husband showed up to our apartment around lunch time, with a birthing pool in hand. While I was talking with the mid-wife’s husband, Rachel was getting checked on. As my conversation was continuing, I heard the mid-wife say with excitement “There will be a baby here tonight!” Rachel was three centimeters dilated and the mid-wife encouraged Rachel to continue resting and use the breathing techniques she was taught. Our excitement grew, and I was now able to start texting family and close friends the latest about Rachel. It was awesome to know that our little girl was going to be here that night.

As the day continued on, Rachel’s contractions started to intensify. By the time late afternoon/early evening came, Rachel moved from early labor to active labor. The mid-wife and doula came back to our place to stay with us until our little girl was born.

At this point, I want to pause from the story and brag on my wife, Rachel. From the time of conception, Rachel did everything she could to make sure our little girl got the nutrients she needed by eating healthy, taking the supplements that were recommended, and doing the exercises that the mid-wife told her to do. In the midst of labor, she was focused and strengthen by the Lord Jesus Christ to do a natural birth. I’m so proud of her and she is a great mom to our little girl.

10pm rolls around, and Rachel is in the final stages of labor. It was at this point in time she started pushing. At first, Rachel was having difficulty understanding how to “push”. I could see on her face that she was starting to become tired and frustrated. I looked my sweet wife in the eyes and reminded her that she could do this. She got to this point in the marathon of pregnancy, and our little girl was almost home. With some extra prayers, encouragement, peanut butter and honey for nutrients, Leah Grace Kubus came into the world on July 28th at 11:20pm.

It seemed so surreal. After 9+ months of waiting, we were finally holding our little girl. Being able to finally touch her soft skin, kiss her forehead, and play with her hands and feet that once kicked mommy was breathtaking. Rachel and I each took turns holding our daughter, Leah Grace, and we both experienced the dirty side of parenting, being pooped on. Our dream as parents finally came true, but what happened next was something neither one of us were expecting.

Our midwife started to notice that Leah wasn’t staying warm, and so we started wrapping her in extra blankets and keeping Leah close to our skin. We got to a point where we started using a blow dryer to keep her warm. It worked for a brief time, but Leah still wouldn’t stay warm. Her color started changing and the midwife started giving Leah breaths. In a blink of an eye, Leah’s birth went from a joyous occasion to panic and fear.

We quickly called 911 and what felt like an eternity, the ambulance finally arrived. One of the EMT’s named Barb, quickly grabbed Leah and I ran to the ambulance with them. Panicking and scared, Barb calmed me down and started providing oxygen to Leah. On our way to the hospital, Barb and I prayed over Leah. After praying, Barb continued to work on Leah until we arrived at the hospital.

The EMT’s rushed Leah off the ambulance and took her to Trauma Room A. As I waited for my wife to arrive in a separate ambulance, I watched in fear as Ed and his team worked on Leah. It was a chaotic scene. Doctors and nurses rushing to and from Leah, while I, some other doctors, and EMT’s watched what would happen. All you can hear from the doctors working on Leah were “1, 2, 3.” “1,2,3.” “1,2,3.” “Do we have a pulse?”

About 20 minutes after I arrived to the hospital, my wife came in on a stretcher. She was feeling faint after giving birth and the midwife wanted to make sure Rachel was okay. The doctors put Rachel and I in a room that was close to Trauma Room A. All we could hear at the point was beeping sounds. We started to pray, asking God for a miracle, and our family started to arrive to the hospital.

A little over an hour went by, and a doctor came in to tell us the latest update on Leah. They did an X-Ray, and noticed that there was a hole in her diaphragm. Her intestines moved up into that area and her lungs weren’t fully developed. The doctors said they were going to have to transfer her to another hospital to do emergency surgery. As the doctor left the room, our heart sank, and we continued praying and waiting for Leah to be transferred.

We started reaching out to friends via text and phone calls telling them to pray. It’s crazy to think just three hours prior we were telling everyone that Leah Grace came into the world and everyone was healthy. As we (Rachel’s mom and dad, and my sister) waited for Leah to be transferred, a doctor from the other hospital that Leah was going to be transferred to, came into our room, sat bedside next to Rachel, and broke the news that they did everything they could for over 2 hours, but Leah had passed away.

It’s been a little over a week now since Leah Grace Kubus has gone to be with the Lord Jesus Christ. Each day, hour, and minute feels like an emotional roller coaster. There have been a lot of tears, feeling of emptiness, anger/frustration, feeling numb, and asking a lot of questions. Many have told Rachel and I that we have been strong, but to be honest, we are very weak. It is only the divine power of Jesus Christ that has strengthen us. If it weren’t for the hope in Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t be holding on.

All of us have gone through trials and tragedies, some worse then what Rachel and I are going through. Maybe you have gone through something similar; a miscarriage, a stillborn, or maybe the death of your baby 6 months after, and maybe you have questioned where your child is. I want to let you know that the Word of God tells us that he/she is in heaven with the Lord Jesus Christ.

In 2nd Samuel chapter 12, a king named David suffered the loss of his newborn son. The child fell sick and for seven days, David wept, prayed, and fasted for his son, but after the seventh day, King David’s son passed away. After David found out about his son’s death, he cleaned himself up, ate food, and worshipped the Lord. Those who served the king, were astonished and asked the king how he can be “back to normal” knowing that his son was dead. Below is David’s response;

“While the baby was alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let him live.’ But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I’ll go to him, but he will never return to me.”-2nd Samuel 12:22-23 CSB

Rachel and I miss Leah, and wish we were holding her in our arms. As parents, we never imagined that we would have to bury one of our children, specifically our first. While we have many questions, our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ continues to grown and we lean on His strength during this trial. One question we don’t need to worry about is Leah’s salvation. Leah Grace Kubus doesn’t have to worry about pain, sorrow, or the temptation of sin. She is now in the presence of the Messiah, and we can’t wait to see her and worship the Lord Jesus Christ together and forever.

“…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”-Psalm 30:5b

-Michael A. Kubus

Leah Grace Kubus: July 28th 2021-July 29th 2021

5 Things I Was Reminded of While On Vacation

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I recently went on a week long vacation with my wife and her family down to Wildwood New Jersey. While we were there, my wife reminded me that it had been a while since I last wrote a blog and encouraged me to write one while we were away. While I agreed that I would write one, I decided to wait until we came home.

Now that we are home and I’ve taken the time to reflect on the week, I believe there were five things I was reminded of that I personally believe everyone should be reminded of.

1.) The Need To Rest

If we are honest, most of today are constantly on the go, go, go! We rush to and from jobs, meetings, schooling, and activities. The usual “go to word” when we are asked “How are we doing?” is “Busy.” It seems like we take pride in being busy. The problem with that is if we are constantly “busy”, it can cause us to be physically and/or emotionally drained or worse yet, we can burn out. I was reminded from the book of Genesis that The Creator took time to rest;

“So the creation of the heavens and the earth and everything in them was completed. On the seventh day God had finished His work of creation, so He rested from all His work. And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when He rested from all His work of creation.”-Genesis 2:1-3

If the Lord, who is the Creator of all things, took a day to rest, how much more should we take a day to rest?

2.) Family Time Is Important

As I mentioned earlier, my wife and I went on a week long vacation with her side of the family. In total there was 11 of us. (Some of you might be cringing of the idea being away just one day with your family, let alone an entire week!) For us, it was a blessing because it was great to be with family that we don’t see everyday and to have the opportunity to catch up on life. It was awesome to see our nephew play on the beach and make sand castles (Actually, now that I think about it, he was actually destroying them). It was nice to gather around a table to have dinner and play some games.

Now does this mean our vacation was perfect? Of course not! There was an afternoon when it rained. Our nephew was sick for a few days, and my wife’s older brother had to go get his leg checked out from a bug bite. Oh, did I mention that our competitive nature came during all the games we played?! But that’s the beauty of spending time with family. We were able to make memories that we can look back on.

I encourage you, make time to be with your family because you never know if you will ever see them again.

3.) Expect Changes In Life

One of the reasons my wife and I took a week long vacation was to help us prepare for a new season in our life. We are expecting our first child somewhere between the last week of July and the first week of August, and we took the time away to get ourselves “ready.” As I was sitting on the beach and looking out into the ocean, it hit me that our lives are going to change. Now I heard many people tell me this, but the reality of it sunk in. Then I asked myself, “why am I surprised that things will change? Of course they will change!”

Like any new season, change happens and I was reminded to just expect for change. Sometimes change catches us off guard, but we shouldn’t be surprised when change occurs. In the book of Ecclesiastes, the author writes the following;

“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”-Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Life is changing everyday and we are either going to embrace the new season(s) ahead or we are going to have negative attitudes towards it. Is change scary at times? Yes! But we shouldn’t let the fear of change keep us in bondage.

Which leads me to the fourth thing I was reminded of…

4.) Let Go of Your Fears

All of us have fears, how we handle those fears determines how we live our lives. For me, because of the fear of man, there have been times that I have shrunk away from things I love to do. One of the main reasons I stopped writing blogs and stopped creating a podcast after two episodes was because of what others thought. Some people didn’t like what I was doing, some people thought I was trying to “make a name” for myself, and some people disagree with what I have to say or write.

The truth is, I love providing educational content, whether through writing or speaking, to help teach truths that aren’t being taught and to encourage people who are on the journey to do the same (So, be prepared to see more blogs and new episodes). For 21 years of my life I was lied to. It wasn’t until I surrendered my life to the Lord Jesus Christ that my eyes were open to the truths of this world, based on the Word of God. Now, for the last 9 years I’ve been on a quest to know the truth and spread the truth until the Lord calls me home.

I say all that to encourage you as the reader to not give up the goals and aspirations the Lord has laid on your heart. All of us have an assignment from God, and each race will look different, but I hope and pray that we don’t let fear hold us back.

5.) Growth Is Not Optional

I read a book called “The Father You’ve Always Wanted: How God Heals Your Faith” by Ed Tandy McGlasson and one of the key points I took away from the book was how our “father wounds” effect how we parent our children. The author goes on to say that we have a choice to either let our past wounds carry over or we heal from them through the power of Christ. This hit me, because it reminded me that “growing up” in not an option. We must discipline ourselves to grow and mature into the person God has called us to be and live it out for His glory. This means dealing with the hard stuff like character flaws, past hurts, and seeking forgiveness. Growing is tough, but in the end, it is worth it.

Which of these five needs most of your attention? How are you going to respond? Let me encourage you by praying and seeking the Lord Jesus Christ for wisdom and guidance.

God Bless,

Michael A. Kubus

Beach Trip 2021

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