Thursday, October 03, 2013

Seasoning from a Storm

A few weeks ago I shared this painting that I have on my dining room wall by Grace for Grace, and hinted at its significance in my life.

Today I want to tell you the whole story. It has to do with facing the storm. 

There are two ways to look at a storm in your life; you can view it as a victimization or a transformation. 

We all know the people that choose the victim route... maybe it's even the way you deal with storms. These people take the "why me?" approach. Why is this happening to me?  Why would God let this happen? Nothing good will ever happen to me. My life and circumstances suck. 

I definitely do not consider myself a victim. To me, that actually seems like such a passive way to live, and I have been accused of many things but being passive is not one of them. 

But if we're really honest, we all have a little bit of victim in us. 

When I was in my darkest moments of infertility I allowed myself to creep into feelings of victimization. I remember vividly my frustration with feeling like God must be trying to teach be something, and if I could just figure it out, then He would certainly let me have my baby.  I remember crying out to God, begging Him for mercy. I remember yelling at my ceiling after our first failed IVF, asking God why in the world He wanted us to be babyless and broke, since we were so convinced that He had led us in that direction.  

I felt alone, helpless, betrayed. I was a victim of my sucky, infertile circumstances. 

I remembered a verse I had heard since childhood: "Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart." {Psalm 37:4} I loved God, so why wasn't He giving me a baby?

And then the Lord showed me that I was totally misunderstanding that verse. I wish I could remember where my epiphany came from.  I don't recall if I read it in one of my infertility books, or somewhere online, or if I heard it in a sermon... but somewhere I learned that this verse, Psalm 37:4, was actually one of the most misquoted verses in the bible. Often taken out of context. 

If your read further in that chapter, you see this: "Give your way over to the Lord. Trust in Him also. And He will do it... Rest in the Lord and be willing to wait for Him." {Psalm 37:5 & 7a, NLT}. 

What I came to realize was that the key to this verse is the "Delight yourself inthe Lord" part, not the "He will give you the desires of your heart" part. If you are truly delighting yourself in the Lord, the the desire of your heart is His will for your life... whatever that may be. 

This realization changed my life. I knew in that moment that I had a choice: I could either seek my will or God's will. I could accept that God's will was going to be the best plan for my life, even if that meant that I was never going to have another baby, or I could try to manipulate my circumstances to fulfill my plan no matter what the consequences would be. 

I was pretty convinced that if I released my tight grip on my life, and submitted to the Lord's will, then He would say "No baby for you!" {With an accent just like the Soup Nazi.}

I have to admit, this choice was not easy for me. Part of me wanted to turn my back on God and maintain control. But my faithful and merciful God, that had walked with me through many trials, spoke loudly enough for me to hear and made me see that if His plan didn't include another baby it was because His plan was even better. 

So I finally released my grip.  It was scary. Terrifying, actually. But I trusted God. Fully. I think really for the first time in my life. 

In that moment I decided to stop being victimized by my storm, and to start being transformed by it. 

Things didn't get magically better in that instant. I still had moments of fear, sadness, disappointment, frustration... but the difference was that I trusted God that He had a higher purpose for allowing these circumstances in my life, and I was willing to go through the storm to end up transformed. 

Sometimes we go through storms and realize that this side of heaven we will never see their specific purpose beyond the fact that we are being refined. But in my case, with this storm, I got to see the clouds clear up and the bright, blinding sunlight appear. The day I held Penelope in my arms for the first time I understood everything God had brought me through. And I was thankful. Thankful that I had been seasoned with faith, hope, and trust in our Jehovah Jirah... the God who sees and cares. 

If you are facing a storm, remember above all else that God loves you and you are not forgotten. He has an eternal purpose for allowing this storm. It will be hard. It may be scary. It might be sad. But if you allow it... it will transform you. 

1 comment:

  1. I just love your heart and I'm so thankful that you post about it! I understand and want to be the same way about our adoption, honest and real. Thank you! God bless you guys on this amazing journey to become a part of 5!