At church yesterday we listened to a sermon about Discourse. Our Pastor is currently in the middle of a series called 'Every Square Inch' recognising and highlighting that God is in every part of our lives. To illustrate how God is present in the discourse of our lives, the sermon included interviews with some church members who are or have been recently unemployed; finding intimacy with God even as life is not what we expect or think we deserve.
This sermon was a really emotional time for me. As Richard introduced the topic, my thoughts immediately went to my own story. My struggle with anxiety seemed to steal multiple months, even years of my adolescence and young adulthood. It limited the life I lived, and in some ways still has a hold on my life in a way that feels inescapable. I am aware of my own inability to control my body, and my health and can only rest in the truth that I discovered in the darkest nights. God is with me. And He can sustain me. In my weakness He is strong, and he can lead me and guide me to amazing adventures beyond my own imagination.
After that season, I moved on to yet another chapter where life was not how I imagined it would be. I was single for a long time and struggled to find God's plan in my singleness, I wanted him to be close and I desired to know him as the role of husband as I waited. He was faithful to meet me even in the darkest days, of which there were many as I struggles with the loneliness and fear of living life without a partner.
Most recently, our miscarriages and struggle with fertility has been another place that God's love and grace has overwhelmed us. Our losses were heartbreaking. Impossible to overcome in my own strength. Impossible to find strength to try again, impossible to hope without the hope that only faith in Jesus can bring. And now the blessing of a pregnancy...beyond anything we were able to do in our own strength.
I have a testimony of finding God in the discourse. His faithful presence found through loyal and loving community, encouragement from scripture and the constant prayers of my brothers and sisters in Christ. God has taken from me, things which I never thought I could lie without, but in doing so I have found intimacy with Him that would have been impossible without the losses. The wounds that cut the deepest led to the deepest. In Him will I am blessed beyond what I could arrange for myself.
Life can be hard. It can be full of expectations not met, unfulfilled dreams, unimaginable loss and yet always the possibility of deeper intimacy with our maker.
As I prayed this morning for friends who are in the midst of the heartache of the discourse in their lives I wept. I realised that my heart was not resting in the love and intimacy of Jesus. Instead it was fighting resentment that this pregnancy is not how I imagined it would be.
I'm nauseous, I'm fatigued, my anxiety is rearing it's head way more than I expected, I am uncomfortable, the pain in my behind makes turning over in bed a 20 minute adventure, and a very painful one at that. This is not what I signed up for.
I expected God's peace to carry me and instead every cramp, twinge and unknown sensation brings blind panic to my very core. I expected to enjoy every moment, we waited SO long for this. And disappointment is a dangerous emotion to hold inside. It can steal joy. It's certainly been stealing mine. I am disappointed. I want to feel less pain and more peace. Finding God's hand amidst this miracle pregnancy is not difficult, I have instead focussed on all that is not what I believe I deserve. And I certainly have not been digging in to let God wipe my tears, hear my heart cries and forgive my unbelief and my ungrateful heart. Is this God's plan? Is it lies of the enemy? Is this another season on true discourse and opportunity for intimacy?
Lord, forgive my heart. It's been hardened. Thank you for this gift. Thank you for the lessons I have learned about you grace and love that have prepared me for what life throws my way. Help my to know you more in the midst of this pregnancy; whether embracing unmet, undeserved expectations or calling out the enemy on his crap and living into the beauty I find beneath. I want to know you more. I once again surrender this pregnancy to you. This child is yours. Please bless this time as our baby grows inside me, keep them safe and healthy. Draw me closer to you through it all.