The pastor of our church Sovereign Grace Church, asked me if I would consider writing a post for his guest Friday’s, so I chose to write on my due date, which I am so thankful that God provided this opportunity for me.  The theme is Suffering for the Gospel.  This being the week that I would have given birth to my daughter has been hard yet good to have something else to focus on, God has continued to give our story purpose and he continues to bring me through new realizations of who He is and how he is going to us it…

And once again, I look forward to seeing my baby girl in Heaven.



What is your first thought when you think of suffering for the gospel?


Today is the day, March 7th (or some time around it) that I would have given birth to my little girl, Nola Grace Shropshire…. But God knew otherwise, and readied my friends and family to minister to my physical and emotional body.

October 22nd 2013, I gave birth to Nola too early.  I know that God loves Nola more deeply than even I can understand, and did not desire for Nola to die, but he has allowed it.  He has redeemed her death for life. She, without having even taken a breath, has affected more people here than I can count or even imagine.

I found out at my 20 week ultra sound that my baby didn’t have a heartbeat, nor was she moving at all.


When you think of suffering for the gospel, the first thing you think of is being persecuted, stoned, shipwrecked, imprisoned, beaten or killed all for the sake of spreading the gospel in dark places.  God has asked me to suffer for his sake, but not in the way I would expect.


Through my family’s pain and suffering God has healed hearts of those he loves, ministered to the needy, and has revealed himself to us.  In one weeks time the Lord allowed TJ and I to know God’s heart in a new and profound way.

2 Corinthians 1:3b-4 “the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.”


He has given us faith that moves mountains, trust that does not waver and a love for him that goes deep.  My desire is not to boast in ourselves, but to tell you that we can boast in these things because the Holy Spirit in our time of need met us in our place of desperation.  He became these things for us, when we couldn’t.  And now WE have the opportunity to share Christ with others, that we are desperate for him, and in need of him constantly.


Where would we be without suffering for Christ?  We would be the same people with the same level of faith that we had before, but instead God has changed us… grown us… THROUGH suffering.  And so today as I grieve the loss of my baby I am beyond sad she is not here, BUT I am thankful that God gave us the opportunity to allow others to know him more through our suffering.


1Peter 1:6-7

“In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”


As I look back on the several months of working through the loss of our daughter and how it has brought glory to God in such a magnificent way, I can see that no matter what we’re suffering through, big things OR little things, there is always an opportunity for it to further the gospel and to glorify God.  It comes down to OUR choice in how we respond to our circumstances.  We can suffer and wallow in self pity, or we can choose to trust God THROUGH our suffering, that he will give us the strength, the faith, and the endurance to glorify him through our circumstances.

We all have daily opportunities to suffer for the gospel.

Pastor Tim Merwin’s Gospel blog