Losing a child is hard enough but what about if no one is prepared to admit that there was even a child to begin with? That’s part of the trauma that Elizabeth Meyers suffered and why she wrote a book to help others facing distress, doubt and suffering. She is also the host of the podcast, Resilient Life Hacks. These days, she uses her experiences to reach out to others who find themselves in life's dark nights. Her book, Undefeated: From Trial to Triumph, How to Stop Fighting the Wrong Battles and Start Living Victoriously tells the story of her journey.

 

  

 

Elizabeth Meyers Website: https://elizabethmeyers.me/

Resilient Life Tribe on FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/resilientlifetribe

YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/elizabethmeyers

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thelizmeyers/

Resilient Life Podcast: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/resilient-life-hacks/id1530688662

 

 

(Transcript is a guide only and may not be 100% correct.)

 

Emily Olsen

Wherever there are shadows, there are people ready to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. This is Bleeding Daylight with your host Rodney Olsen.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Hello and thank you for listening. I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Just search for Bleeding Daylight. That’s where we can start a conversation about this and other Bleeding Daylight episodes.

 

Losing a child is hard enough but what about if no one is prepared to admit that there was even a child to begin with? That’s part of the trauma that Elizabeth Meyers suffered and why she wrote a book to help others facing distress, doubt and suffering. She is also the host of the podcast, Resilient Life Hacks. I’m sure you’ll enjoy her story.

 

What do you do when your faith and reality collide to leave you broken, discouraged and swimming in doubt? That's what faced Elizabeth Meyers after a tragic event, derailed her life and left her searching for true healing. These days, she uses her experiences to reach out to others who find themselves in life's dark nights. Her book, Undefeated: From Trial to Triumph, How to Stop Fighting the Wrong Battles and Start Living Victoriously tells the story of her journey. I'm so pleased to have her joining me on Bleeding Daylight. Elizabeth, thanks so much for your time.

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Oh, yes, thank you for having me and giving me the opportunity to share my story.

 

Rodney Olsen 

We're going to talk about a very traumatic event that had a huge effect on you, but I want to take you back before that time. Tell me what life was like leading up to that event.

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Yes, well, my husband is active duty in the Air Force. So we move around a lot and at the time, just prior to that we had five children, you know, life was just clicking along, we were homeschooling and looking back now I see how my my faith in God was, I call it a fairweather faith, where, you know, I kind of had this concept of if I do my part, and if I do the right things, and don't do the wrong things, you know, God will bless that and, and life will just go swimmingly and everything will be great, but that that whole concept crumbled. When I faced real tragedy,

 

Rodney Olsen 

And just before that tragedy in the month leading up to it, I believe that there were a number of things that started to go wrong before that major tragedy, what what were some of those things?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Interestingly, I had really had this time of deepening my relationship with God, where I really discovered the power of prayer and I really felt connected to God, I believe that God's presence is always with us but sometimes we're more aware of his presence than others. And I really just felt like God and I were were gelling. We were working together. And then things just started to go wrong. And it was big things and little things. I went through a period where people that I prayed for seem to get worse, rather than better. I had a friend who had cancer and she passed away. My grandmother passed away. There were several others. We had friends who were struggling to get pregnant, and I was praying for their baby, they finally got pregnant, and then they lost the baby. There was just all these different things that really were kind of starting to shake my faith up a bit and kind of go, well wait, what's going on here? You know, I thought prayer was supposed to work. But you know, just all these things were piling on me. And I really felt discouraged. I also got pregnant again and I was having trouble adjusting to that, that pregnancy, that time, I was feeling a little grumpy about it and feeling, you know, like, my plate was already too full. And being in the military, we move a lot. And it was only a one year assignment. So I'm gonna have this baby, and then we're gonna move. And so I was really just struggling actually, with coming to terms with that. I love being a mom and I loved all my pregnancies but for whatever reason on that, that time, I was just really struggling, surrendering my life circumstances to God. It had been a couple of months, three months, I guess, into the pregnancy and I had finally kind of surrendered, I'd finally given it over to God and thought, He's got a plan. This is going to be okay and I started to get excited about this pregnancy. I went in for a checkup, and they couldn't find a heartbeat. And so I went for they said, Come back tomorrow, and we'll do an ultrasound. So I went for 24 hours, thinking that my baby might be dead. And I went in the next morning, and they did an ultrasound. And there he was alive and kicking around. And it was so exciting to me, so thrilling that I got to see him. And I just really was excited for the first time about this pregnancy and about this child and looking forward to that. So it was kind of a journey for me to get to that point. But that's where I was right, right before this happened.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And how many children did you have at this stage?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

So I had five, this was my my sixth pregnancy.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So you've got this big family already and you're having to move around as a military family and all these things, and then things start to go wrong and then there is that tragedy that I spoke of, and maybe you can talk us through that.

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

So it was Memorial Day weekend, and we had left where we were living in Alabama and gone out to Texas to visit family. I was in a bit of a funk. I was frustrated. I was feeling like God wasn't holding up his end of the bargain for me. Way, way back when when I had felt him tugging at my heart to trust him to plan our family. I felt that he had said to me it's through a song by Chris Tomlin called More Than Enough, because I felt so inadequate. And I felt like he said to me, I will be more than enough for you. But I was just in this discouraged place. And I thought, Man, God, you're not holding up your end of the bargain. You know, I'm trusting you with my family but this is overwhelming to me and you're not being  my more than enough, I cringe and it's heartbreaking now to confess this, but I said to him, you know, if you're not going to hold up your end of the bargain I want out of this deal and that night, I started spotting. And so I was up all night, you know, I prayed. And I was like, Oh, God, this is not what I meant. You know, I don't, I don't want to lose this child, I've finally just accepted that. I want this child. You know, I love this, this baby. So I stayed up praying all night and I thought to myself, I prayed kind of three things. I said, Lord, not this, you know, I don't want to lose my baby. And then I said, you know, it has to be this just not here. Let me get back home. You know, we were on vacation, we were away from home. And then I prayed, you know, if it has to be here, then the not now, not today, because I was going to see a bunch of my cousins that I hadn't seen in forever, and I was really looking forward to spending time with them again, I'm like, this is like the worst day to have to deal with tragedy. And God answered all three of my prayers with a resounding no. Early in the morning, I woke up. And I told my husband what had been going on, you know, I've been cramping all night, and he put his hand on my belly, and he prayed for our child and his final words of the ending of the prayer of our Lord, we surrender this child to you and at that point, my water broke and I ran to the bathroom and my son was born in into my hands there he was just fits the palm of my hand. I was 14 weeks along. So I passed, you know, the three month mark, where we have this concept that Oh, after you get through three months, you're safe. Which that's, that's not true. But I can't describe I cannot adequately describe that moment. You know, holding this lifeless body of my tiny son. It was then that I realized he was a boy. He was too young to tell on ultrasound yet, but that was the first thing I said was it's a boy. And then I just remember sobbing, wailing uncontrollably like it. It didn't even sound or feel like it was coming from me. So that was the the tragedy that just started this long journey of depression and doubt in God and just wrestling with my faith. I was I was crushed on every side and I really struggled for many years.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And this young boy that you held in your hands. You decided to name him. Tell me about that.

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Yes, we we named him Timothy Isaac Meyers. So his initials are Tim. And we had picked that out as a boy's name already, we had like a boy's name and a girl's name. When we realized he was a boy, we already had the name ready. And interestingly, you know, Isaac means laughter. And I was like, This is not, there's nothing joyful about this.

 

Rodney Olsen 

As well as having to go through this, you've still already got five children that you're having to, to look after, how did that work out for you in in trying to keep a family together while you're going through your own dark night of the soul and through the doubts that you're facing,

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

it was really difficult, and I really struggled. So following his birth, I started hemorrhaging considerably. And we went to the ER at the local place. And I, you know, I took his body into the hospital there. So some of my bitterness afterwards was towards the medical people that we encountered because he was less than 20 weeks old, they didn't really consider him a human life. I really felt that in order to protect another woman's right to choose, I was denied my right to grieve my son who I loved. They called him the products of conception, they would not give me his body back to bury him. So I was not able to have any kind of funeral or memorial service or anything, because he's less than 20 weeks, and he weighed less than I don't remember what the number is, they wouldn't issue a death certificate. Because if you administered death certificate, then that means you have to admit that there was a life there that died. That really left a big emotional wound in me. And then with all the the bleeding, I wound up having to have surgery A week later, after we got back home, my husband rushed me to the ER because I was just hemorrhaging uncontrollably, and I had to have surgery to stop the bleeding and everything. So physically, I was very anemic and very weak. they opted not to do a blood transfusion, but I was kind of right on the borderline of where you would need one. And they told me it would take about three months to regrow my blood and to feel healthy and normal again. But three months came and went and I still felt horrible, you know, and I went to the doctor, and I'm like, something's not right. And they run their tests. And they're like, Oh, you know, your iron levels are fine, you're good. You know, you've just been through a traumatic thing. And I'm like, I really do not feel well. And they said, Well, you know, your body has to readjust to what's just happened. So if you still feel bad in a year, come back then and talk to us. It's like, oh, my goodness, and they're just, you know, I tried to get help early on, I think and I was just kind of pushed aside. You know, it's like one in four women experience this and yet, we never talk about it. It's just not brought up and our culture doesn't really know how to grieve a child who dies before they are born. We don't really know how to handle that, so that I really got stuck in this place of grief. And then add to that it was only a year assignment, we were halfway through it. And by the time I got back home from the trip, all the friends that I had had that knew I was pregnant, were gone, they had moved on to their next assignment. And we waited like a month, and then a whole new class came in and of new people, and trying to meet new people, when you're going through this kind of grief was so so difficult. You know, a lot of questions. The first question people ask when they're meeting it, well, how many kids do you have? And I could not answer that question. Because I felt like, you know, the obvious answer would be five, because that's how many living children I had there. But when I said that, I felt like I was denying Timothy's existence, which is just what I felt like the medical community had done to me, and I felt like that was dishonouring. My son. And so I wanted to say I have six, but but one just passed away. But you say that and people go, oh, and they kind of just move on. To sum up, I was physically weak and not doing well, I was emotionally stuck in this place of grief and without close friendships. At that point in my life. I've since thought, you know, we've been other assignments in other places. And I was like, if I, if this had happened to me, here, I would have had so much support. But I just because of the circumstances of my life, I didn't at that time, physically and emotionally, mentally, I just fell into really, really negative thinking about everything. And spiritually, I started to doubt everything that I believed. So your original question was asking about, you know, keeping the family going during this time, it was hard, because I couldn't keep myself going, I might, how am I supposed to, to serve, and minister to my kids, when I'm barely functioning. And the difficulty that I had was, I felt, you know, in order to kind of heal and move on mentally and emotionally, I needed to get up and re engage in life and, you know, invest myself in the children that I have here on Earth. But in order to heal and recover physically, I really needed to rest and recover. I had been through my traumatic event physically. And my body was having trouble recovering from that. So I had this constant pull of these two things, and I wasn't sure how to handle that. And then my period of doubt, in faith, and God, I remember thinking, you know, Lord, if this is how you treat your friends, I don't want to be counted among them. And I didn't really voice my doubt aloud to many people, to a lot of Christians who you know, are solid and in what they believe to, for somebody to express doubt is kind of unsettling to them. And they're like, Oh, no, you know, you can't you can't question God. And so I clammed up about that, you know, I tried to get help, physically, and the doctors kind of pushed me aside, I kind of tried to find someone who I could express my doubts with. And I was unable to find an outlet for that. So I kind of just struggled alone and gradually, sort of pulled away from God, I felt like He had abandoned me. I felt like He had betrayed me. And my trust. The day that we left the hospital, and I had to leave his body there with a hospital that wouldn't acknowledge that he was even a child, that was the hardest day of my life. And we went over to the little Memorial Garden where they would, they told me they would cremate him and spread his ashes in this little garden. And so we went over there, and it was a cloudy, overcast day. And in Texas, and off in the distance it wasn't raining yet, but in the distance, I heard the rumble of thunder and I just kind of felt in my spirit that God said, I am with you and that there was that brief moment of comfort. And then I did not hear from God for years, he went radio silent. And as much as I pled and begged and cried out and said, help me change me helped me overcome this. And I just felt like all I got was silence. And that was crushing to me. During this time, I'm struggling with all these doubts and things on the inside, but I didn't I continue to teach my children, the biblical faith that I had. I had known and studied for years. And I continued on and that somewhere in the back of my mind, I was thinking I was aware of the fact that I'm going through a hard time right now. And I'm not really fully convinced that God is real and that his Word is true right now, but in the back of my mind, I'm like, I think I'm probably wrong. And I don't want to confuse my kids. So I, I kept kind of going through the motions, you know, we kept going to church all the time, and we, you know, outwardly I was still doing all the things but in Really, it just felt like emptiness. And, you know, it read in my Bible about these rosy promises of God or somebody would give a sermon on it. And I'm like, Yeah, that sounds great. But that that doesn't work for me. You know, it says, he'll protect you, you know, he won't let your foot slip, the play will not come near your tent, you don't need to be afraid. And I just felt like all of those were not true in my case. So I wondered, is God angry with me? Is he upset? Have I sinned? You know, I just went through everything. And I really just wrestled with that whole concept that everybody has wrestled with probably at some point and is the age old thing of how can a good, all powerful God allow this depth of suffering? And it was not just my own. But even as I look around to other people around me, or even, you know, things you hear on the news, and I just got very discouraged about how can Gods step back and let these things happen?

 

Rodney Olsen 

You mentioned there that you continued to teach your faith to the children. I'm wondering also, how did you talk to them about their brother, Timothy, how did you talk to them about this brother that they had lost?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

It was difficult, they were also young. And so I wasn't sure how much to share. And I didn't really know how much they would understand. So the morning it happened, you know, we gathered all the kids together, and we told them that we had lost the baby and that we had named him Timothy, the kids were always kind of included in the pregnancies, you know, when we talked about the baby, and mommy's belly and all that. So they they knew all that was going on. At that time, it was only our oldest son, he was eight, he cried a little and seemed sad. The others didn't really seem to get it. And so they kind of appeared to move on. But late after we left that assignment, and move to the next place, my daughter, who was six, when it happened, began to struggle with it a little bit. And she, at that time, you know, in the years to follow, she was really the only one that kind of appeared to be going through a grieving process as well. She didn't tell me about it, she told her Sunday School teacher at church, and the Sunday School teacher kind of pulled me aside, and this was, you know, we were at a brand new church, we just moved there. So I was I felt a little bit like I had dropped the ball, that she wouldn't come to me, but that she went to this person that we don't know very well. But I was grateful that this teacher, she felt safe with this teacher and the teacher was very compassionate and very tender with both of us. And, you know, I think it was just one of those God moments where God puts just the right person in your path at just the right time. But you know, the next youngest one down was four. So he, you know, it just didn't make a big impact on them that our youngest was like, 18 months at the time. So she was kind of oblivious to all of that. But over the years, we have talked to them about it, you know, they're aware of where Timothy falls in the lineup, we went on to have three more rainbow babies after him. So you know, they know that Timothy's for these younger ones is their older brother that they've never met.

 

Rodney Olsen 

You mentioned that the medical authorities would not say that Timothy was actually a human, that he had never actually become a baby and yet we know that that's not the case. I'm wondering if you encounter that outside and also, there's this thought for some people that if you have children, after you've lost a baby, well, they're a replacement and I'm sure that must hurt as well. Have you come up against that attitude?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Yes. And there's a there's a lot of misunderstandings about losing a child during pregnancy. And not every woman responds to it the same way. You know, I've talked to women who have had early miscarriages and there, they didn't go through the level of grief that I did. So there's certainly freedom for everybody to respond to a situation in their own way. But I think it's healthy for us to honor different people's reactions to things, whether they're reacting the way we would or not, I felt in my heart, in my experience, you know, I bond with the child immediately. And I felt the same as if I had lost any of my other children. To me, there was no difference, except that I didn't have any happy memories to hang on to with this child. I had no pictures, I have one little fuzzy ultrasound picture of that one day, I was so grateful after the fact that they had not heard his heartbeat so that they made me come back and take an ultrasound. And I saw him. That's the only time I saw him alive. And I have a little fuzzy picture of that. That's all I have. And I'm so grateful for that. You know, I don't have memories of him. Nobody else has memories of him. When a loved one passes away, it's comforting to hear other people say that name or talk about what they liked about that person or happy memories that they have. I have none of that. It's just me. I'm the only one that remembers Timothy. So that's really hard. And then to kind of be dismissed by some people, you know, they say, Oh, just have another one. Like you said like that would replace it. Or people who will say oh, well, it's good thing. You weren't further along or there's this This concept that the younger the child is before pregnancy, the less you grieve, if they pass away, we don't have that concept after birth. If you lose a three year old child, nobody says to you, well, at least your child wasn't five years old. But we do that in pregnancy. It's like, for some reason, if you had a child, and if you miscarried, or had a stillbirth later than somehow, in our mind, that's worse than if it happened earlier. You know, everybody's situation, again, is different. I think a lot of times how these things happen, as I've spoken with other women who have had similar experiences is they go to the doctor, and there's no heartbeat. And that's where their tragic moment is, the way that mine happened was very trauma inducing to me that he was actually born, you know, that I held him. And so I think that just seared a lot more on my emotions, and I could not process them, I had no way. You know, like I said, there was no burial, there was no memorial service, the chaplain at the hospital told me that they would spread his ashes in the garden, and that I could come back for this service that they did once a quarter. So I called back later, I was going to drive back out to Texas to go to this memorial service. And they said, Oh, we've we've already done that. We don't allow parents to come because there's just too many diverse religious expectations to cover. So it's just the the nurses and the doctors that were a part of that pregnancy, they come in honor of that. And I was thinking I didn't have a doctor that was, you know, responsible for me and my son or that cares, anything. But I came in from out of town into the ER, so they cremated my son and spread his ashes in this garden, and nobody was there to represent him. I didn't even know what day they did it. They didn't notify me. I there was just I had no no thing that I could do, to process, the grief. Nobody that I felt that I could talk to. I did reach out to one woman who had I knew she had lost a baby full term. And so I told her what happened expecting to have some sort of bond and understanding from her. And she said to me even she's like, yeah, I had an early miscarriage and stillbirth, she goes there, nothing the same. It's not even she she even dismissed me know what you experienced, this is nothing, just move on. I would often replay in my head that day. And I would kind of come to and realize, I don't know what just happened to the last few minutes or hour of my life because I was reliving my past. So I just really struggled with the fact that nobody would validate or acknowledge my grief. And it was so overwhelming. And everybody kept telling me, you just need to move on. You're overreacting. And I just couldn't accept that. And then the one place where I felt like I should be able to go is to God. And I felt like he was being silent. And he was turning his back on me too. So I just really got stuck. For five years, I was stuck in this place of depression. And I wasn't seeking any treatment for it at the time. Because early on, I had gone to the doctor and they're like, you're fine. So I gave up asking for help. I just withdrew into myself. And I quit trying to find a solution.

 

Rodney Olsen 

How did you start to emerge from that you say that, that went on for about five years. You You didn't hear from God, you you didn't have anyone who could grieve alongside you? How did you start to emerge from that?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

So in the in that five years, when I struggled with depression, and during that time, as I said, we had three more children. And we did three more military moves. So life was just going along. And I you know, I was very busy. And I was a I guess you might call it a high functioning depressed person, I you know, I put a smile on on the outside, oh, I'm fine, everything's great. And I continue to just kind of go through the motions. But on the inside, it just felt like I was carrying this heavy, heavy burden. And I couldn't figure out how to set it down. People in general don't like to change, it's difficult, and we kind of like to stay in our little ruts. But I believe that people are motivated to change, when the pain of staying the way you are exceeds the pain that's required to make a change. And I got to that point in my life where I am. I just was fed up. I cannot do this anymore. I can't have this double life of being fine on the outside and struggling so hard on the inside. I could not figure out like what my root core problem was. I was like, Am I depressed because I'm so tired all the time that I'm you know, I can't get things done and I'm demotivated or am I exhausted because I'm depressed and that's a symptom of that. Or, you know, is there something physical going on in my body or is all of this just a big mess because I failed to trust God and this is the punishment I get or I couldn't figure out Where the root of the problem was. So I decided, you know what, I'm not going to waste any more time trying to figure out the root, I'm just going to attack this on all four fronts. That's how it worked out, you know, we're a military family. So I'm thinking I'm gonna attack this on four fronts. So spiritually, physically, mentally, emotionally, I took deliberate action on all four of those areas and nothing happened right away. There's no like, I mean, there's, there's the point where my life fell apart, there's not I cannot point to a point where it came back together. It was so gradual, you know, it was imperceptible from one day to the next. But gradually over time, it took about another five years, I think, God just led me through that and, and helped me heal in all of those ways. Briefly, you know, spiritually, I went to my pastor and his wife and I said, Hey, I'm depressed, and I'm having doubts about God, please pray for me. I got back into reading my Bible every morning. I kind of pulled away from that, because I'm like, yeah, God's not helping me anyway. But I just decided, you know what, I'm just, I'm going to dig in. And I'm going to read it as though God's Word is true. I had been, I had my filter flipped around, I had been filtering God's word through my life experiences and going, this doesn't match up. God's not real. I learned how to turn that filter over and I call it believe anyway, that's one of the chapters in my book, believe that God's Word is true, and filter your experiences through that. So I believe that God is real, I believe that he does love me and so how can I interpret what I'm going through with the knowledge that God does love me, rather than looking at my experience and saying, oh, God must not love me, because I'm hurting so bad. Physically, I went back to the doctor. But by this time, I, like I said that, and three more babies, and I found a doctor, she was a woman, she had had postpartum depression herself. She was very understanding, she listened to me. And so she helped me get on to a safe antidepressant that I could take while I was nursing. My youngest baby, I listen to so many sermons and suffer like a pill doesn't fix it. And that's true. But for me, taking that medication bumped me up just enough to where I had the ability to do all the other things I needed to do to heal my mind and my body and my emotions and to connect with God. One morning, soon after, just a few days after I started taking the present, I was playing with my toddler, she was in her high chair. And I was just kind of teasing her and you know, doing whatever. And I just suddenly had this realization, I'm like, I actually feel playful. I'm not faking it. And and that was a huge moment for me to realize that I had been faking it that much, you know, that I forgot what it felt like to feel joy and to feel happiness to feel playful. In my mind, I knew a good mother should play with her children. So I'm going through the motions, and I'm doing it, but I wasn't feeling it. And it was in that moment, that I realized how much I had lost by not pursuing healing sooner. You know, and I had tried early on, but I gave up too soon. I really try to encourage people, if you try to get help from a doctor, or a pastor or a counselor, anybody and they they don't listen, or they don't connect and keep trying. Unfortunately, sometimes we have to go through several people before we find the one that will help us. But so I got that help physically. And I started, I changed my diet somewhat. And I started exercising, which was huge for me. Exercising is great for depression and anxiety. But I needed that little boost to be able to get out of bed and go to the gym. I changed the way I think. I realized I don't have to accept every thought that pops into my head, I can consider some thoughts and go You know what, that's not actually true. So when the thought pops up of God doesn't care about you. I go, you know what, that's not true. God's word says that he does care about me. And to fight against those negative thoughts was huge for me. And then finally, with emotionally, just going through that process of grieving, I went to a counselor, I got help with that professional help. I had resisted that for a long time, because I resented the idea of I have to pay someone to listen to me. But it was it was very helpful. And now I encourage everybody, I think everybody needs counseling, we all go through stuff. We all have issues, we're all broken, all in different ways. But I think it's more like the dentist where we just go in for a checkup every so often and kind of just help ribcage, our thinking. And so I was able to go through the process of grieving more with her and get validation for the feelings that I was having. And now that I was on this medication, I could process that a little better. So I attacked my problem on all four of those areas. And it was just very gradually baby steps at a time. I just continued to improve. And my counselor had told me because I had big ups and downs. I wasn't depressed all the time. And when I was not depressed, I'm like What was I so upset out said about? And then when I was depressed, I was like, why did I ever think that life was hopeful? So she told me to write a letter to my depressed self when I was not feeling depressed. So I started journaling during a quiet time in the morning, and I got about three quarters away through the first notebook. And I thought, I think I'm writing a book. And I decided in my mind, like, yeah, you know, everything that God has taught me, it's taken me, you know, almost 10 years to learn all this stuff. I'm like, I really want to give somebody else the shortcut. And if there's other people out there who feel alone, who feel like nobody's listening to them, or who maybe they have doubts about God, and they have nowhere to express that. Like, I don't want those people to feel as alone as I did in those years. I want to say, Hey, you know, this is okay. God's a big boy, he can handle our questions. You know, it's okay, if you're seeking and saying, I don't understand this, God. There's plenty of examples in the Bible where people did just that, and God embraced them, even in their doubt. So I thought, well, I'm gonna write a book to share this message with other people. And it's called Undefeated. From Trial to Trial, you know about living a victorious life, even in the midst of, of suffering and pain. There were so many times during the process of writing that book in those three years, where I was just literally in tears going, who am I, to write a book called Undefeated, when I feel so defeated some days, it's just very powerful to see how God uses us in our brokenness in our weakness. That's when He shines, you know, and then we don't get the credit for it, we don't get the glory for it, he gets the glory, because I'm no, it wasn't me. It was him working through me on my own, I was just a mess, and not helpful to anyone. Like I said earlier, God can redeem anything that we surrender to Him, and He can work that out for good.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Part of the spiritual key that you talk about there is being able to go to that pastor, and to say, I am doubting whether God even exists, or whether he cares for me. Do you think that sometimes in church circles, we're so busy talking about this victorious life, and that everything has to be great that we don't actually get to be real with others? And in turn, we don't get the opportunity to be real with ourselves?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Yes, yes, I think you you've hit that on the head, we do a disservice to ourselves, when we don't allow real authentic faith with that mixture of I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief. When we have this atmosphere of Oh, you have to believe everything just the way I do, or you're not a good Christian. That doesn't serve any of the people in the church. And it doesn't honor God. As you look through the Scriptures. He welcomed and invited people to ask questions, to wrestle with him over hard things to, to have a back and forth, we're supposed to have a two way conversation and relationship with God. And he is so much bigger than all of our doubts and questions and fears. And it's not blasphemous, to say, hey, God, I don't get this, this is not making sense to me. I eventually came to the point in my life, where I decided that I don't want a God that I can understand. I want a God that I can trust, even when I don't understand. Because if there was a god that was small enough for my little finite brain to understand, then he wouldn't be worthy of my worship. And he wouldn't be powerful enough to help me in my time of need. And so I have decided that these mysteries of God, the, the fact that we can't get to the bottom of every question, is a good thing. It means that God is bigger than our comprehension. But that also means that he can do more than our comprehension. I love that the verse in Ephesians chapter three that says he does immeasurably more than we can ask or even imagine. So we can't necessarily understand all the whys and the reasons in our pain and in the tragedy, but neither can we understand all the blessings, and the amazing things that he has planned for us that we can't comprehend. And we just have to trust. And I think that's what faith is, is trusting a God that we can't see. And that is bigger than our understanding. But trusting his character, trusting his heart, trusting his love for us. And ultimately, for me, you know, when I would still doubt, you know, is this true? Or does God really love me? Or does he care? All I have to do is look to the cross. It's if God was willing to sacrifice himself, his own son for us? Won't he give us everything else that we need? Won't he provide for us in every other way? And so when I have doubts now, I just I look to Jesus, and I go, God loves me because of what he did for me. For all of us.

 

Rodney Olsen 

You mentioned before that you wrote the book, hoping that that would be a shortcut for some people. Yeah. I'm wondering what sort of feedback you've had from some of those people that have read the book, and it's been that shortcut for them. It's been that opportunity to start their own journey towards healing.

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Yeah, I always love hearing back from from readers and I feel like because I'm was, you know, very open. Especially in the first chapter about all these things I've shared with you, I was just this is where I was, this is how I was angry and hurt, I felt betrayed by God, then a lot of people are willing to write back to me and open up about their struggles. One of the stories that a reader shared with me that most touched my heart was about a year or so ago, the past couple of years, I've been going through some health challenges, I have some kind of autoimmune type thing that doctors can't figure out. So I've just been dealing with a lot of stuff. And there were several days where I was so exhausted, I just lay on the couch, and I would do nothing. And I'm, I've been trying to write my second book, I'm very close to, to getting that one finished, it talks about how to strengthen your life in in these areas that I talked about, I felt so discouraged, because I'm like, I'm supposed to be writing this book, and I can't get my body up off the couch. A lady who had been at a women's retreat, where I spoke on the topic of the book, wrote me several months later, and said, she had given the book to her grandmother, who was in a assisted living facility, and she had just lost her husband. And she had gone through several trips, you know, her health was bad. So she was just really in a tough spot. And she said, she read the book, and it encouraged her so much. And so she was this, like, 86 year old woman was just going around, praying with all the other people in her facility and ministering to them and sharing God with them. And she said, she felt like she had a renewed purpose in her life, that God wasn't done with her yet, that she could go around and tell other people how God could help them in the midst of their trial. And I was so moved by that, here I am laying on the couch, and I can't get up. And yet God is using the message that he had me write, and he's still working. Even when I can't get off the couch, God's not laying on the couch, he's still out there doing stuff. And that was just so encouraging to me that I don't have to be strong all the time. I don't have to feel well, all the time, or, you know, hit the ball out of the park all the time, I just need to be faithful in the little steps each day, and God does the rest, he takes care of all that.

 

Rodney Olsen 

A big part of your story is those people who have finished their time on a particular assignment, and they move on, and you have to make friends with the new people. And then you move on. And there's this real transients amongst the people that you're trying to connect with. And even within the church of not being able to share those doubts initially. And I'm wondering if that's why you've put so much effort into to your website, because you have created a place there, that for people just like yourself, who don't have someone to go to that they can actually interact directly with you there and, and be able to find that person to talk to?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Yes, that is huge. The tool that we have right now of the connectedness and the Internet, and all these tools that we have available, are so such a asset that we have to connect with others and to share God's message of hope with other people. At the point when I was writing the book, and I was trying to think, you know, what am I going to do and I realized I need to do something that is mobile in my husband has to move every few years because of his work. But work on the internet, I can keep doing no matter where I am, I can do it from my laptop at home, wherever home happens to be that particular day. I don't have to like keep starting over with a new set of people, the readers that I have in the the people who are on my email list that I chat with, they stayed the same. And it doesn't matter to them where I'm writing from.

 

Rodney Olsen 

I will definitely put some links to the website in the show notes at bleedingdaylight.net so that people can get in touch with you and see all the resources that you have there on your website but for those who are listening, where is the easiest place to get in touch with you.

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

So my website is just my name, elizabethmeyers.me. And on there, there is a contact page where you can just message me straight through there. Or you can just send an email direct to its hi@elizabethmeyers.me. And I do have a bunch of free downloadable resources that people can have there. And for podcast listeners in particular, I offer a free PDF version of my book that you can download and get the whole thing for free that way

 

Rodney Olsen 

When your time on earth finishes, and you get to see Timothy face to face. What do you think that's going to be like?

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

I have tried to imagine that so many times. And I you know, it's that song of like, I can only imagine I you know, I don't know. But I do know that heaven seems like a sweeter place because he's there to me beforehand before I lost him. You know, people would talk about eternity and heaven and I'm gonna just be honest with you. It sounded boring to me. I'm like, I've got things I want to do here on this earth but you know, I don't know them like eager to get to heaven. But after he passed away all that changed. I was not so enamored with this earth. I just saw tragedy everywhere I looked and I had a deep desire to be with my son which I can't fully explain it. wasn't necessarily that I wanted to be dead, but I just wanted to be where he was. And he was with Jesus. And I thought life would be much better with Jesus than it is here. So now there's this attraction, more so to heaven. For me, it doesn't seem like a boring place anymore. It seems, you know, a wonderful place where there's no crying where we're reunited with people, there's healing. We're whole, we're right there with Jesus, whatever questions we have have either been answered by God Himself, or they just no longer matter. And we just let them go and realize that we were focused on the wrong thing. I mean, first of all, we see Jesus face to face, like, I just can't even imagine that and then to get to, I don't know, do we hug and having to get to hug him and hold him? And you know, I don't know. But it is fun to imagine that and the confidence and the assurance that he is there and that he safe and that his life is better there than the one that I could have given him.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Elizabeth, it has been a delight to chat to you to hear some of your story, to hear about the story of Timothy in his life and the way that he is drawing people to Jesus through his story, and you're telling of it. So I want to say thank you for your time today.

 

Elizabeth Meyers 

Thank you for having me. Thank you for allowing me to share what's on my heart.

 

Emily Olsen

Thank you for listening to Bleeding Daylight. Please help us to shine more light into the darkness by sharing this episode with others. For further details and more episodes, please visit BleedingDaylight.net

 

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