Every time I start craving a piece of chocolate, or feel a slight twinge of nausea, or have a bizarre dream (I read that’s a symptom in my 478th google search)…I would become obsessed with the idea of wondering if it was finally the month, the cycle, the week that my dream would come true. I count how many days until I can test. Month after long month, I stand in the bathroom, sweaty palms, pounding heart, and a constant “I will still trust You…but please” coursing though my mind as I wait the longest five minutes of my life. You know, except for the month before that. And before that. And you get the picture.
After I finally work up the courage to peek, already telling myself it’ll be negative just so I don’t get my hopes up because I already know the result in my heart…I do.
All I see is all I’ve ever seen: one measly little line.
While crying, but not too loudly because I don’t want anyone to hear me, I throw those stupid sticks away with nothing but a broken heart, a desire to drown my sorrows in a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, and a resolve to trust a good God even when His goodness is blurry.
I’ve had this post stored up in my drafts for the past month. I was reading an article this morning on Blog Posts You Need to Write or some intense title like that, and the first idea was to post the one you’re afraid to post. So, here goes. I’ve written this section too many times to count from many different perspectives. From the apologetic, sorry-for-taking-up-your-time-with-my-struggles standpoint, to the “for those of you who know me in real life, please don’t think I’m a freak” standpoint — to what I’m about to write.
I desire authenticity. This is real life. This is where I am, down to the depths of my internal self. These are my struggles. These are the lessons I’m learning. Welcome.
This post is going to be really real, and really vulnerable. The idea tripped me up because I know people I know in real life read my blog, but…I’m over it. Hi, I’m Jordan, and I’m a real person. We’re all on different paths, facing different struggles, encountering different trials…but if you’re a Christian, then we’re both holding onto the same God through it all. I don’t expect my story to look exactly like yours, but my point and my prayer is that by me opening up and being real, it would encourage you to press further into the arms of Christ, to trust Him explicitly, and to realize you’re not alone in whatever you’re going through.
When You Want…
A new car. A new house. A new job. A spouse. A baby.
And God says no. Or wait. Or anything other than “Sure! Coming right up!”
Anyone else ever encounter this, or is it just me? I don’t know where you’re at in your life, but I’m 98% positive that something just popped into your mind. For me?
It’s motherhood. Babies. Diapers. Giggles. Tears (from both mom & baby). Messy house. Messy kisses. An excuse to drink even more coffee and wear cute t-shirts that say “Raising Tiny Disciples”.
I want it. And month after month, God keeps telling me no.
I’ve been so broken and confused, unsure of how to even approach God in prayer. On one hand, I’m reminded of when Jacob wrestled all night long for God to bless him, and scripture says that children are a blessing, so am I to wrestle with God until He blesses? But on the other hand, I’m reminded of Jesus, of how on the night before He was killed, after He plead with God so hard He was sweating blood, He simply resigned and said “not my will but Thine.” Am I to wrestle, or am I to submit?
After pouring my heart out to some of my closest people, I’ve reached my conclusion: both.
I remember being a young teenager (you know, soooooo long ago), and sitting in a conference geared towards girls my age, and hearing the speakers talk about delighting in the Lord so that He will give you the desires of your heart. I went back to my small group, and all the girls on my team were making plans of how they were going to delight in God…”I’m going to read 7 chapters of my Bible a day!” or “I’m going to witness every time I leave my house!”…so that He will give them their greatest heart’s desire. Don’t get me wrong. Those spiritual disciplines are fantastic, imperative, and wonderful things to set goals for in our daily lives, but it’s dangerous to have that motive. We’ve confused delighting in the Lord with “setting extra time out of my day to do Godly things for my selfish gain”. Why?
It’s because the entire concept is misunderstood. Have you ever taken the time to not only read the context, but just the two surrounding verses? Psalm 37:3-5 (ESV) —
Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act.
Trust is the missing link. Trust isn’t always a “AH! God is so good!” easy emotional choice. Sometimes, you feel as if you’re trapped in the dark and can’t find your way out, and you have to purposefully remind yourself of who God is. Sometimes it’s “You said You were good, so I will choose to trust You.” Life is full of both mountain tops, and some of the darkest valleys. Do you only trust God on the mountain?
God sees the big picture when we only see today. God knew your great-grandchild’s name as He was laying the foundations of the world. This goes back to trust — trusting A.) He’s got you B.) He loves you and C.) He only wants what’s best for you. So, when He says no, when you don’t get that job promotion, when you see yet another engagement announcement on Facebook, when you only see one line on a pregnancy test… we have to make a conscious decision to trust Him. It’s wrestling and sumbitting. It’s saying “God, I want this, and I’m going to keep bringing this before you, but You see the big picture. You see the entire span of my life when I can’t even see tomorrow, and I choose to trust You.” It’s seeking Him for who He is, not what He gives.
Just in case your trial or current circumstance has caused you to forget — He’s worthy to be trusted. Has He ever failed? Not once. Will He ever start? Never. Remind yourself of that. Go blast some worship music. Go write your heart out before God in a journal. Be real with Him about where you’re at and what you’re feeling — not because He doesn’t know, but for your sake. Remind yourself of who He is, and what He’s promised. Keep trusting in the One who holds your heart. This post was exactly that for me, so thank you for reading.
Cheering you on,