It has been a long while since I have posted a blog. Many times I have thought of topics to write about that are swirling in my head and heart–I just have not.
Life is full of different seasons. My thirties, to this point, have been about pain, struggle and immense growth in knowing Christ. An overarching sadness has plagued circumstances (see the history of this blog). Now, I am in a season of the joy of pregnancy–preparing to let go and preparing to embrace a huge new role and responsibility in life. Soon, (3 months and coming faster) I will be a Momma and Greg a Daddy.
God has been unbelievably gracious to me in the last few years to lead me through heartache and struggle while providing friends around me who have prayed deeply on my behalf. Even aquaintances and strangers have taken up the mantle of prayer. He now has me in a season of having the privilege of doing that for others.
I have NEVER experienced a season where so many around me are so heavy in pain and struggle–NEVER. He has traded my personal struggles with struggling with the body. My heart breaks for many around me who seem to be in the sadness and wrestling phase I had been in for so long. No, it is not about infertility for most of them, but it is the same concept. We, at one or many times in our lives, will find ourselves in situations and circumstances where we have NO CONTROL. We are hurt by others and ourselves. We see people moving toward utter destruction, and nothing we say can pull them back or change their hearts. Like infertility, we cannot make new life happen. We find ourselves at a crossroad of trusting ourselves and what we can make work of this life (good luck with that one!) or choosing to know and trust God in the midst.
I thank God that He is using everything I have struggled and learned in the midst of the last years to pour out to others (2 Corinthians 1). This is not that I can give people answers–cause I cannot. This is so that I might journey and struggle with others pointing them to the ONLY hope–Christ. Pointing others to Him that they might taste and see that He is good no matter what the circumstantial outcome.
He has given me opportunity to pray and hurt with others just as friends prayed for and hurt with me. There is nothing more comforting when you are in deep heartache than to know someone is faithfully praying for you. Many times when we hurt, we are exhausted and do not even know how to pray (let alone feel like we have the energy to pray). God is so gracious to give us opportunities to serve in the gracious ways we have been served.
We do not know when times of heartache and struggle will come into our lives–we just know they will. Though we war in every way against struggle, especially in our culture, without it, we wallow in shallow existence. We choose the lesser things every time. We choose to trust ourselves. We choose to try to control our lives. We choose worshipping the idols around us over the ONE true, beautiful, gracious, loving, just God. When we are broken, we finally can see Him and our need for Him clearly. Though my heart is breaking and my knees are bruised from prayer for those around me, I do not want to take the pain away. I know that pain and struggle are purposeful to bring us to deeper life in Him (Hebrews 12). My prayer is that that life in Him be embraced fully–that they learn and grow in waiting on Him for their strength to be renewed.
I also think about this little boy growing in me. So many times in the last month, I have already felt tugs in my heart to surrender him fully. I do not know what his personality will be like or what struggles he will have or what decisions he will make. I only know that he will struggle and I will not be able to protect him and heal him and shield him. But, I know the One who has his best interest at heart every time. My prayer is that I let the little one face struggle and adversity and know the ONE who is the only hope. I pray that I can let go and let him wrestle with hard questions and circumstances and know God in ways that a “safe,” “disinfected life” does not bring. It is not easy to say and pray now as I cannot imagine how hard it will be to follow through with.
I have to remember what has brought me true life and teach that to my child. Greg and I want to be truthful and point to where true life comes from. It’s a joke for me to think “I’ll deal with that when it comes.” May I prepare to speak the same truth to Jack that I do to my friends who are hurting and girls that I disciple. It all comes down to–do I really trust Him? May I remember that He is trustworthy now and He will be then. He calls me not to fear and to remember that ” He is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not grow faint or weary; His understanding is unsearchable.” Isaiah 40:28
Greg often says that the time to begin to talk about the Sovereignty of God in all things is not at the casket…it is now. I have been in a study of Isaiah in Precepts, and you cannot deny the complete Sovereignty of God studying that book or the Bible in general. What comfort there is in His character! I am wrestling with this truth over and over again as I pray for friends. I am resting in Him over and over again as I pray for friends and think about the future when troubles come my way. I do not have this life figured out, but I know the only place to go for Shelter and Refuge. My prayer is that I teach that to Jack and model that for Jack. John Benjamin is his name–meaning “God is gracious” and “son of my right hand (favor).” He is a gift that we did not earn or deserve and favor that we certainly did not deserve. May we be faithful to preach the word to Him in and out of season–to love Him and disciple Him and let Him go. I know I am going to royally screw up at times–may I continue to rely on God’s grace. When I do screw up, may I go to God and model trusting Jesus to Jack.
In all things, even in the pain of my friends, God is teaching me about His beautiful character and His redemptive hand and HOPE. I am blessed beyond measure, and I know this is not the end. It is certainly not the end of my learning of our Gracious Father in all circumstances–soon to be parenthood. I know it is not the end for my friends and family who are in pain. We have no control over His timing, but we are called to know Him in the midst. I cannot wait to rejoice in things He does that we have no clue about that will come from the midst of this pain now in their/our lives. Thanks be to God for who He is.