thanks to the wonderful mentors in my life, i’m learning how to close a chapter in my life and begin another.
ben and i have spent some time reflecting on the previous year. as i wrapped up my thoughts in my journal, my eyes were flooded in tears. i feel like i have to share my reflections because this year has been a rockstar of a stone for us.
i had to start working a lot more. i didn’t want to. at a job that i hated.
working with an emotionally abusive boss.
and it was exhausting. i was significantly grieving my infertility. we lost our puppy to cancer. we prayed for a new job for ben working at a wilderness center. a dream-like job that seemed to be made just for him. we thought this would be for him. he didn’t get it. we were devastated. i wasn’t sure what to think of our circumstances. i thought at the time that i just needed to be “content” or surrender to the difficulty we were experiencing.
as i look back i can see clearly what God was teaching us.
this past year, in the midst of one of the most painful seasons, God taught me something that will change my life forever.
the lesson started for me when reading through the Lord’s prayer. Jesus was teaching his disciples to pray.
he told them to call out to God as Father.
and that is where i stopped.
God is our Father. and he’s perfect.
he’s the perfect Dad.
God challenged me with that.
i, an imperfect parent, would never desire sickness upon emri because it would be “good” for her.
i never saw Jesus reject someone who came to him because the Father “had” sickness for them.
again, this challenged the paradigm i grew up with.
i had surrendered to my infertility. i thought this was just what God “had” for me. God had some kind of plan in it. please don’t misunderstand. i think this is true, and although i think he uses all things in a very, creative, redemptive way… and that no pain will be lost, that all is beautifully orchestrated and woven into an incredible tapestry that points to a kingdom that is nearer than we know…and that he is sovereign over all things…
but God’s will for us to be sick? for cancer and diseases? for any form of brokenness?
i think i surrendered to sickness and death in a way that i refuse to anymore.
what if we fought for the life that Jesus promised to bring forth?
what if we picked ourselves out of the dust and fought a battle?
like the battles in the old testament. where you fight blood, sweat, and tears for the territory that God has given you?
why do we sit back? why do we surrender? why do we live a life of fatalism sometimes?
is that the life Jesus taught?
in 2012 God taught me something new.
ben and i were compelled by the voice of God to brush the dust off our feet. we started to cry out to God, our Father.
we became a joint force. we recounted the faithfulness of God that we had experienced together. we cried out to the Lord, and stripped our souls bare before him. exposing our pain, our fears, and our doubt.
infertility was painful in a way i can’t explain.
its grieving the loss of a child that you have never felt in your womb, much less hold in your arms, and watch grow into a child.
infertility feels like death. like a part of your soul has been taken from you. and its ongoing. never-ending.
i don’t believe my Father in heaven, causes this. i believe sin, brokenness, and our very real enemy does.
no, certainly not our Father in heaven.
and that is when we started to believe again that God wanted to heal my womb.
we prayed together. and we prayed believing.
our pastor, jon shirley, spoke in 2012 on the tension that we live in today. the tension between what is and what will be.
the Kingdom of God is coming, and has YET to come.
we have the privilege as Jesus followers to usher in the kingdom of God together. in his kingdom, there is no sickness. no tears. no pain. and we get to live in the reality of the Kingdom now. we can sense when the Kingdom of God is surrounding us. you know those moments. moments when their is justice. moments when an orphan is taken into a family. when a marriage is restored. when someone’s health is restored. when peace surrounds you. when relationships comfort you. when the peace of God settles in your heart in a way nothing else can. its when the world feels right. but then there is the not yet. the “what will be”. we exist in this tension right now. and as his ambassadors, we groan and grieve the not yet. like a woman in labor (romans 8).
ben and i carried this groaning in 2012 but we stood up in our grief and started to hope.
in 2012, heaven heard our cries.
the kingdom broke through and God with his passionate, redemptive hand formed a baby boy in my womb named samuel.
ben and i got to shift from the not yet to the now.
we also prayed for a new vocation for ben. one that would provide for our family better.
in 2010 God had spoken to Ben about moving into full time ministry while doing some creative work with his hands on the side.
we prayed for these as well.
in 2012 our Church asked Ben to lead the leadership training program.
in 2012, ben began to sew leather believing God was calling him to be a “tent maker” by means of upholstering leather. but leather is expensive. and we did not have any.
two months later, a man donated 675 hydes of leather to ben. what???
our Father in heaven taught us that he is our “Father”
good Father’s provide.
and good Father’s who can heal, do heal.
and will continue to.
our road hasn’t been easy. each mile marker has been met in our groaning. Jesus has intimately met us there. especially in our weakness. the kind of weakness that surfaces in difficulty. He has kissed our brokenness and has poured heaven into those places.
we still live in the tension of the “not yet”…
but we have enough of the kingdom of God invading our lives that we can’t look back.
we know he’ll provide.