The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self- all your wishes and precautions- to Christ. – C.S. Lewis
Friendships, relationships, community. I am blessed with so many healthy and loving relationships- with family, friends, and church family.
I have a wonderful husband. Because of the years of infertility, and the tough times we’ve been through, our marriage is stronger than I could’ve imagined. He is the love of my life and my best friend.
I have several “soul-sisters”- those women that get me with all my quirks, and that love and connect on a deep heart level. They’ve seen me at my worst, heard the ugly, and still love with compassion and kindness, and point me to Jesus.
I’m surrounded by loving and supportive friends and family. We’re comfortable and relaxed, and love to spend time catching up on life and making memories together. A few weeks ago we were shocked by the gift of a money tree from a community of people that love us- what a huge blessing! I’ll admit I cried when it was given to us. Whoever all helped with it- thank you!!
I am going through an amazing book right now called “In The Wait”. It’s a book study on waiting by several authors of Holly Holt Design. (You can find it hear at http://www.hollyholtdesign.com/in-the-wait-study/) The chapter I’m currently working through is on community. As I studied, I kept thanking God that I’m so blessed to have the relationships in my life that I have. Near the end of the chapter the challenge was made to study your life and ask God to show you any relationships that needed to be mended. As I prayed, I saw the written prayer of the bottom of the page…”Father God, search my heart and help me to see if there is any bitterness within me. Heal my hurts Lord, and help me to trust in You always…Heal my hurts Lord, and help me to trust in you always…”
And it hit me- what about my relationship with my heavenly Father? The truth? I’ve let a wedge of bitterness be driven between me and God. I’ve allowed the hurts I’m feeling to cloud my view of Him. I was viewing Him as a far away tyrant who wants me to suffer because it’s good for me and that’s the only way I’ll learn life’s lessons.
And then I opened the Sunday school lesson that I will be teaching and my heart dropped. How am I supposed to teach on a compassionate woman who is given a miracle son? He died several years later, but is brought to life by Elisha- a happy ending to the story.
My hurting heart caustically remarks, Of course! What a beautiful miracle in someone else’s life. Miracles still happen, just not for you. You’ll always be stuck here, waiting, hurting, lonely. Look at your year. Do you really think God will come through for you? And I’m ashamed to admit that a part of me believes that. Pain does awful things to a person’s heart. It shakes a grounded faith, turns joy to bitterness, and cracks an impenetrable shield of trust.
Unrelenting pain is a tyrant. For years we’ve longed for a family. Years we have watched loved ones families grow and be blessed with child after child. For years it has been the two of us wanting to be Mom and Dad.
Foster parenting seemed like God’s miraculous answer. We embraced it, and loved it, and adored the little boys that came into our home.
And when God allowed our little guy to be taken and false accusations stuck on our names,and the fostering/adopting door shut, it was a reeling blow. Why?? Why give and then take away so soon?!
Fear is a terrible weapon Satan uses. I’m amazed at how many women I talk to, that fear or are anxious about something in their life. I fear so many things. I fear God asking us to live with no children of our own. I fear the false accusations being stuck on us for the rest of our lives. I fear court day. I fear a quiet house with just us, waiting for the non-existent family.
Combine pain and fear, and you have an ugly mix. Too often I succumb to the toxic mix and fall headfirst into the pit of bitterness and anger.
So what does the devotional on community and relationships have to do with all this? God very gently pointed out that my relationship with Him is broken. I’ve allowed pain and fear to taint my heart.
“God, why did this happen? Why did you not stop it? Why didn’t you answer my prayers? We easily find ourselves wallowing in the why and what if and forget that God has promised to keep us in perfect peace. He declares that He knows our future and will not fail us. If we really truly believe He is faithful, why is this promise so easy to forget?…Asking God why is perfectly normal, however, if this question pushes us further from Him rather than drawing us closer, it is the wrong question to dwell on.” -Holly Holt
And there it is. I’m focusing on my pain and allowing it to push me away from God instead of to Him. I pride myself on my open and honest friendships, but was allowing the most important one to be neglected.
In Genesis 50:14-21 Joseph is confronted by his brothers that did horrible wrongs against him. They were asking for forgiveness. Joseph wept. I like to think that they were bitter tears as he struggled to give up his anger and his will. I like to think that as he battled and then gave his heart to God, the tears turned to cleansing, healing tears; and he could turn to his brothers and say, “What you thought for evil, God meant it for good.” He comforted them, and spoke with kindness to them.
My bitter tears and anger are no match for God’s love. When I sit before Him and battle it out, He waits compassionately. And when I finally relent and lift up my heart and my will to Him, the peace is all consuming.
Heal my hurts Father. Clean out the bitterness and speak truth over the lies. Take away the fear and fill me with your Holy Spirit. What I think is evil, You mean for my good. Help me to continue to believe that! Thank you for Your sweet grace and amazing love.
This song by Lauren Daigle is my new favorite and speaks exactly what my heart is feeling- isn’t it beautiful? It calls me to worship every time I hear it. Enjoy!