Talking with a friend the other day about how we often feel the desire to go deeper with God and feel grounded in our faith because we fear the trials that may come along. Nor just to have a solid foundation if the bottom were to fall out of our world, but perhaps with the hope that we'd avoid the 'bad' things happening in the first place. Through trials we learn that you grow closer to God, but could we skip the trials if we scored an 'A' on our knowing God test?
As I pondered this out loud I realised that actually the whole thing is almost counter-intuitive. I feel that presently my life is segregated into 2 categories. Fertility and then everything else. Our journey with fertility has been going on for almost a year, even though we didn't know it, or plan for it, about a year ago we were getting pregnant for the first time. We were so naive about the journey and heartache we were about to encounter. From dreaming of babies, to pregnancies and loss. Four times over; with blood tests and scans and ultrasounds, "try this drug" and "take these vitamins" thrown in for good measure. This time last year we imagined it would be so simple, and the only question we needed to decide was, "when do we want to have a baby?"
Through all the hope and all the tears of the last year, I have felt the peace deep, deep inside me that us having babies was in God's hands. Not that I heard a promise, and not that peace was always easy to find in the moment, but I truly knew God had us in his hands. Holding us together and giving us strength and love and grace to carry us through, and make us stronger together.
It has been through these times I feel the safest, the most protected. I feel the prayers that have surrounded us and I see the way God has used even the words in this blog to offer encouragement to others in a similar situation.
So then I look to the other pile of life, the places that the world can look at and say, "that part is going right". The areas where I know I am blessed. I have a wonderful husband, a man who is committed to me and our life together. We have a home that we love and in which we enjoy practicing hospitality. We are warm and clothed. We have the resources that I can be in school and getting an education.
In all truth we are very blessed and we are thankful. However, it is in these places of plenty that I feel discouraged. It is in having much that I feel more isolated from God.
In my struggle to find balance, to make my days count I feel like I fail more than I succeed and it's because in these areas of life I am trying to do it alone.
In this life any sense of control is really an illusion. Yes, we can make plans and head towards a goal, but ultimately our lives are in God's hands. He asks us to be faithful and willing to follow him, trusting our lives to His care. In our journey to have a baby we understand our total reliance on God. We can do all the right things, but even in the most scientific procedures there is only so much that we as humans we can do. God makes babies. In this areas of our life, we are fully submitted to God's will, we totally acknowledge that we can do nothing in our own strength to make this happen. We can pray, and follow God's leading trusting that however he builds our family is the best for us.
In the other areas of my life, I hold tighter to my sense of control. It is in these areas of my life it is harder to find peace. They are the areas of discomfort. They are the areas that weigh heavily on my spirit.
So in my processing I realise that it is in the trials of life that I feel closer to God. In my humanity I sin and I fail. I can find God in the other areas of my life if I remember to look, but in the hard times my eyes are fixed hard to Jesus - without effort. I see that I need the trials. To refine me, to shape me. I pray that as I am transformed I will be a better reflection of Christ in the areas of life where I am trying to do it in my own strength.
Lord continue to be with me, opening my eyes each day to your power and sovereignty. Help me come with hands lifted and open offering you all of me. I am yours.