I haven’t written in a while. I’ve had so many ideas swirling through my mind, but I just haven’t had the time to put them down, to make sense of them. To be honest, it’s been a trying time for our family. Our struggles have been magnified; our journey just a bit more complicated.
If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you may have read this post about our son. If you did, you saw where we were last month; you saw the pain, the raw hurt, the struggles that come with a vaccine injury.
Yes, it was a challenging time, but there’s something you didn’t see. You didn’t see the hope.
For you see as a Christian, my hope and faith is in Him, who is greater, and each day, despite the storm, I am filled with a peace that far surpasses all understanding. There’s a joy in my heart that oftentimes shouldn’t be there, but it overwhelms me with a love unlike anything I have ever experienced.
Too often, we are fed a false picture of Christianity, one that promises material riches and success if we just “believed” and did all that we could to “achieve our dreams.” We’re told that “we are enough” and we should “be all that we can be” in our own strength. And then, we are promised anything we ask for if we just call on His name. Too often, we are led to believe that faith is akin to having a genie in a bottle.
But what happens when we pray and our prayers are not answered in the way we would like? What happens during the hardships and struggles of our day–when things just don’t turn out the way we had hoped? What do we do when we find ourselves on the losing side of justice or a victim of betrayal? How do we get up? How do we move forward?
Are we really enough?
And that’s where I seemed to have wandered this past month–walking in a valley of disappointment, longing for the land of “milk and honey” just beyond the horizon.
But somewhere in that walk, I found Him. . .
Or rather, He found me.
And I saw that faith is so much more than getting what I want. It’s a total surrender to Him and trusting in His perfect will for my life. It is the complete opposite of the worldly teachings of our day; it calls us to give our all in order to receive so much more. (Luke 6:38) It calls us to be last in order to be first. (Matthew 20:16) It tells us that He is enough, and we are to live for His glory–not our own. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
It makes no sense in our culture and yet, I have found nothing that makes as much sense in my soul. It is truth. And truth never wavers.
I don’t know why we’re in this place, why these things happened, or why we can’t make it to the “other side” exactly how we would like. But I have been so blessed, Friends. So very blessed.
As my prayers have gone forth, I have been surrounded by the love of my Father in a way that I had never understood before. He has uplifted me with the gentle words of my husband and the caring support of my family. He has embraced me with His living, breathing church– the women, who have been “intentionally intrusive” in order to reach out to me and share their words of encouragement and wisdom. (John 13:35)
The blessings have been far richer than anything I had ever expected. In Him, I have found love, joy, and peace despite the storm. (Galatians 5:22-23) There is a calm in my soul that cannot be broken. . . as long as I keep my eyes on Him–and not on me or the storm. (Matthew 14:22-23)
I want to encourage you, Friends. If you are in the midst of a storm, walking through the darkness of the valley, there is hope, but it won’t come from within. We were never meant to be enough in and of ourselves. We were never meant to walk this journey alone. (John 15:5)
As we have sought to be “good,” to understand our place in this great big world, He has simply called us to lay it all at His feet and trust in Him. (Romans 3:10; Proverbs 3:5-6) He has called us to repentance, to holiness, to life abundant. (John 3:16-21; John 10:10)
And this is where I am right now– completely humbled, utterly grateful, and in total awe.
I don’t know if the upcoming days will get easier. I don’t know where this road will lead, but I do know that He is in control, and I can rest in His grace. (Proverbs 19:21; Romans 8:28)
And so, Friends, I will be resting this holiday season. I will be focusing on my husband, our children, our home. I will be fighting my battles with prayer and serving those God places in my path. I will be celebrating the birth of my King and embracing His truths evermore.
And I can only hope that through it all, through the walk and the journey, all that I do points back to Him.