Have you ever had the experience of sitting in church and feeling like the message is aimed directly at you? It's surreal... let me just put it out there. Yesterday, I had such an experience - and I literally cried pretty much the entire way through the message.
When you think of a troubled time in your life... do you ever find the joy in that exact moment? Ummm... no... right? Your house flooded - yippee... is not usually the reaction, but in hind-sight sometimes you can get the distance you need from the situation and find the moments that you know that God was right there on your side helping you get through it.
Our message yesterday was directly about perseverance... which is defined as: believing in God for his results in the face of persecution, hardship, or adverse circumstances. This is the moment in time when you have to say to yourself: "Am I going to believe in God for a good result? or not?"
Kevin, our Pastor, said that he read somewhere that through perseverance - the snail reached the Arc.
In that moment yesterday, that silly anecdote hit the nail right on the head for me. Have I been walking around feeling blessed for the hardship of not being able to have my own children - possibly ever? No. Do I know that somewhere down the way - I will see in retrospect all of the blessings that were poured out to us in this time? Absolutely!
I know that God has a plan for us, and I know that distance and time only allow us to look back on things and realize exactly what those wonderful plans were - but when you are right in the middle of the storm or the trial in your life... MAN, is it hard to see the "silver lining."
I recently read, and this point was driven home to me yesterday... that God sometimes puts us in these hard situations to teach us something, bring us closer to him...and even sometimes to show us exactly how good he is. Does God want John and I to go through this for some purpose? He probably does.
The thing I struggled with this weekend through our reading was the idea that this might have been brought on my sin that we'd committed or possibly lack of faith on our part... as if we somehow were being punished for something. I don't believe that to be the case - I think that we've certainly done everything we could to bring about a pregnancy... but it just isn't to be for whatever reason.
I believe this is directly one of those times in our lives where God is shaping us toward the exact place he wants for us - to the exact baby or babies that we are needed to raise. He has this under control, and what my job is right now... is to pray for wisdom, peace, and to keep sharing my story of faith and endurance with you right here on this blog.
Maybe someday - this blog will be like one of the other incredibly famous blogs out there - telling an incredible story on how our family came to be... OR maybe it stays just the same with the same great readers. Whatever happens - anyone who reads it will know our journey right in step with God to go wherever he wants us to go. Doing exactly what he wants us to do.
This certainly has tested my faith, and I think that for the most part - this time around at least... this cycle... I have clung to my faith like never before. I don't know how I would have survived the last two weeks without this New Testament Challenge... and I am completely amazed that everyday, I find something in the reading for that day that speaks directly to how I am feeling. I find myself looking forward to the hour that I devote to reading the Bible, journaling, writing out my daily prayer... and spending that hour with God. I almost get upset when I have to miss it because of work - like today, but I will make it up - and maybe spend some extra time with him later in the week when I might need it more than I did today.
It won't always be easy, but will certainly will be better for it in the end. I will have learned to endure whatever God has for me... and I will be ready to parent the child that only he can provide. After all, Kevin told us, "the more you persevere, the stronger your faith." Amen. Those words sum it up completely.
I don't know what is in store for us or how long it will take... because those details are the things that I get caught up in and make me upset. Right now, for today, all I can do is trust in God to get me through it all... and know that he has provided the absolute most amazing support system I can imagine to assist me along the way.