Saturday, October 09, 2010

Trusting and Understanding God

Those, for me, are two of the hardest things I can do. I think a lot of people can find that same struggle.
For me it is fear based. Like I can trust myself to take care of me better then the God of the universe! God is so big that I don't think we will ever be able to understand Him. I think to some small points we get the glimpses of Him. Like how much He loves us. Sure I can see a bit of it but it is actually SO much more then that.

I am reading a book called "I Will Carry You" by Angie Smith. Angie talks about her struggles with God during a time when she has to give birth to her dying child. This book is a hard read for me. As I am sure it would be most people. I would have done the same thing that she did though. Even though the outcome was grim for her daughter she chose to carry her until the time GOD decided to take her home.

As most of you know I have had three early losses. I am telling people that I am fine with only having one child. I am fine that after two and a half years we have not been able to conceive or bring a child to full term and get to love them. I am blessed to have my beautiful 4 year old.
As I watch at a distance I see a family going through the struggle of losing their 4 year old. Watching her die slowly. Then I find myself asking God WHY.

Pregnancy announcements are hard for me. Three in the past two days. Yeah I realize it may sound pathetic to still feel this way but this is me and it DOES matter because it hurts me. It is making me realize that the reason it hurts is because I haven't grieved my babies and the loss of the dreams of a future. But how do I do that?
This morning I found myself just laying in bed crying out to God. Giving Him my hurt, my pain and my tears. Letting my guard down and letting HIM in. He cried with me, He held me and stroked my hair as I fell asleep amongst the tears.

Then when I woke up I could still feel His powerful presence. I went back to the book by Angie Smith. I read a bit then came to the verse that is at the end of her chapter I was on.

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

I have read this verse before. I have sat and thought about it before. This morning it struck me. "Lean not on your own understanding", hmmm funny because I don't understand why I feel hurt and sorrow and pain. I don't understand WHY we lost three babies. And to us they ARE babies even though the losses were early. I can't wrap my head around the WHY of it all. This morning I am realizing that I am not meant to understand it. I am meant to just trust in Him. That even though my babies went to heaven I will see them one day. That God is good and He has so much more in store for me.
My heart breaks in to a million pieces when I hear about lost pregnancies. Pregnancies that went home too soon. Before we were ready. Children that went home, or are going home, before WE are ready. God is ready for these children, these babies. He holds His hands out to receive them. Knowing that He is with my babies gives me a slight sense of peace. Yes God does "give and take away" but the beauty of it is that even though something is being taken away there is even more beauty that will arise out of the situation.

If I didn't lose my babies, if I didn't end up in the psych ward because of the mental breakdown after the third loss, there is no way I would be on the journey I am on now. I know that I need to let God in and I know that He is waiting for me to open that door, "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock." Revelation 3:20. I will sometimes let that door peek open just a crack and test the waters so to speak. But He doesn't push past me to get in. I slam the door shut and He raises His hand again to knock. He doesn't get tired of knocking. He doesn't get tired of waiting. He is gentle and loving. He is a gentleman in every sense of the word.

So as I find myself spinning in the dark, stuck in a valley I can see His light ahead. I feel His hand slip in to my own and guide me out, making the trek to the hilltop again. There is pain along the way but as the bible once again says, "For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin." So we have someone who can relate to us in every way because He is GOD. He made us, He loves us and hurts with us. So given that we "can approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in our time of need." (Hebrews 4:15-16)
Notice what it says there. We may receive MERCY and find GRACE. It doesn't say that we will receive understanding as to WHY these things are happening. But we will be given the grace to accept it. As long as we just put our faith and trust in God.

Trusting God can be hard and it is just a matter of walking it out in faith. The world comes and tries to take over. Our own minds wanting answers get caught up in it all and then we just put ourselves in a spiral.
Although I don't understand WHY today I am going to choose to trust Him. That He really does have good planned for my life and will walk me in all the paths I go down. Guiding me and helping me to go straight. I don't understand. My head knows that this happened for a reason and things continue to happen for a reason but my prayer today is that I can get it in my HEART to understand. I will never be able to fully understand God or His reasons but I can learn to understand that He loves me and has the best intentions for me in the pain of this world. I can learn to trust Him. He walks me down this path. It is bumpy and has smooth moments, tear filled moments and anger moments but He stops with me. He sits with me as I stomp my feet in frustration. As I bang my fists on the ground He doesn't stop me from the emotions but He sits with me patiently understanding as I go through them. As I allow myself to experience the emotions and be weak. He cries with me because I am sad. He hurts with me. I will understand that. In all my weakness my Daddy is holding me and I trust that.

Monday, October 04, 2010


It stinks. No one wants to touch it or go near it. It sticks to your shoe. No one wants that on there. Manure is crap. Plain and simple. Crap. No one likes it.

Why am I gone forever and then come back and write about manure?

Because I heard a good point in our sermon yesterday.

"Fruit grows in manure".

Stop and think about that for a second. Farmers use manure to help fruit and other life giving substances to grow. Even cow corn is life giving, for the cows. The manure helps it to grow. Does the food taste like shit? No. It has a wonderful taste. The fruit just bursts with wonderful texture and taste.

Now think about it figuratively.
We all go through shit in our lives. We don't like it. It is hard. It stinks. It is sticky and discouraging. It is a low part and it makes you feel stuck.

As we continue to go through the manure that we are in we grow. We learn to turn to Jesus. The Farmer that will help us grow and strengthen us through the crap. We come out of the other side ripe.

Crap stinks. I, like many others, have been through crap. But I can sit and look at it after and see how God has pulled me through the stink. He pulled me and pruned me and helped me to grow through the situation and got me to the point where I was fruitful to share about Him. It being only Him that could pull me through I can share my experience and show how God works in my life. Through the good, the bad and the ugly.

Life stinks sometimes but God is there. He is pruning us through the crap and walking along side us, stinking along with us so that we grow to be beautiful in Him when it is done.

Keep heart. Even though you are in the middle of the manure God is working. He will help you walk through it and grow. You will come out victorious and beautiful, bursting with the fruit of Him. You WILL come through the growing season, no matter how bleak it is.

So if you are caught in the manure keep walking. Fruit does come from manure.