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Inglesia Cristo WELS Internacional congregation

My wordless groans

Julie Straseske (pictured above with her family) shares how her struggles with anxiety following the birth of her third child led her to take refuge in God's arms and to appreciate the Holy Spirit's intercession on her behalf.

Nestled among the many comforting promises in Scripture is one of my favorites: “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26).

When a new mother hears the wails of her baby, she cares for and comforts her little one. The helpless child, so precious to the mother, can only groan and cry. In the same way, new mothers sometimes do not know exactly what to ask God or possess the words to express what they feel. They cry out to their loving Father, who understands their wordless groans. He knows their emotions and needs far better than they do. With all wisdom and love, God nurtures them.

What a comfort this picture is, as new mothers cope with a wide range of emotions, extreme exhaustion, and major transitions. When they pray, the Holy Spirit intercedes between their disheartened groans and their loving Father’s listening ears. As the Spirit passes their cares on to the Father, he also reminds them of God’s promises. He points them back to Jesus. He works through a family member who texts a poignant psalm, the grade school memory work that resurfaces at just the right moment, or a Scripture notecard displayed by the kitchen sink.

After I had my third baby, I felt the Holy Spirit providing the words I needed—during the joyful moments and particularly during the trying times.

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Growing up, I remember asking my mother, “What do you want for your birthday?” Her answer was the same every time: “That all of my children remain close to their Savior." It was a frustrating answer because I still didn’t know what to get Mom for her birthday! As . . .

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On March 24, WELS Board for Home Missions approved the first new missions and enhancements for the synodwide “100 missions in 10 years” initiative. “Our God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine,” says Mark Gabb, chairman of WELS Board for Home Missions. “So how . . .

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