Thursday, August 26, 2010

God Will Not Forget...

So I spent the entire day (and night) yesterday trying to go through and organize our office. The goal was to shred some old, unneeded paperwork and backup our computers. What finally kicked me into gear was the fact that I have absolutely no (!) space left on my laptop. That new camera creates such large pictures files that I've eaten it up completely. Plus, with the upcoming move, I knew I had better get in gear and get rid of old documents that we don't need anymore and organize that which we do need to keep.

Well...while going through our files, I ran across some notes from an old Bible study. Why they were in the mix among utility bills and insurance documents, I don't know. Nevertheless, the theme to the Bible study was very fitting when comparing it to our on-going struggle. Two of the titles were, "God Will Not Forget" (Isaiah 49:15) and "He Is At Your Right Hand" (Psalm 16:8) -- based off of the Experiencing God devotional book written by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby.

Skimming through these old notes brought back memories, as I thoroughly remember going through this study in the summer of 2008. While James was attending Armor School (at Ft. Knox, KY), I was still in Indy finishing up school and preparing for the move. During that time, I was invited by our church's military support group to attend a week-long Bible study for women associated with the military. It was hosted by another local church, but brought in people from all over the community. It was a great way for military wives, moms, and others to get together and study the Word, gain encouragement, and build friendships among one another. Not to mention, it focused on topics throughout the week that really hit home...

While reading through my notes, I realized our struggles back then haven't really changed from what they are now. Where it lists my current battles, I had written, "The big move/selling the house/trying again." Alright, so we sold the house -- thank GOD for that!!!! But, the other two battles? Ironically, we're getting ready for another big move, and yeah...unfortunately, we're still left where we were in 2008...struggling with the issue of trying again. Hum...you would think that the struggles in our lives would change from year to year, yet for us, they just remain the same. Sure, we were successful in 2009 and had a baby girl, but we ended up having to bury her in the same year. So much for that...

As I continued on through the notes from our study, I saw where we had talked about the fact that during these battles, the truth about God can help us through it. That we can go to Him, focus on Him, and everything will work out. He will give us the strength we need to endure such battles, and that He's calling on us to trust in Him. We should lean on Him and trust that, in the end, everything will work out. Stressing about it right now will not do any good, but through Him, you can face hard situations with the right attitude.

Hum...that sounds like an easy one to swallow, right? Sure, until you actually face those hard situations in life. Obviously, the things that we focus on determine the direction of our life...but when such tragedy hits, it's hard not to focus on it. It's hard not to want the one thing you've been yearning for, for so many years. Plus, the whole trust issue has been getting me lately. I felt like we leaned on Him pretty well when we lost our first two and when we tried for Livy. In fact, I drew closer to Him after both Jake's death and Jordan's death. At that time, I knew there was still hope, and that He would give me strength through it all. Then after trying to get pregnant a 3rd time, we both felt like it had paid off when we found out we were having Liv. Everything was going so well, and we felt like this was IT. However, December 10, 2009 changed all of that when we found out Olivia's heart had stopped for no reason. Since then, it has been a constant struggle to continue on this path. There are more doubts and more hesitation to even bother in putting all of my trust there. Why should I? Is it only going to lead to more heartache? Deep down, I know the answer to these questions, but that little devil on my shoulder keeps telling me otherwise...

I always hear people say that God will only give you what you can handle. In fact, after the first two losses (and other various trials), I would repeat that to myself over and over and OVER. It wasn't until about a month after Liv died that I heard an old friend tell me that she thinks that's total BS. That saying that is basically like saying God thinks you're such a strong person that He's really going to screw with you, so rejoice in it! I laughed when she said that, but I must admit...I'm starting to agree. You see all of these people having one kid after the next without issue, but yet you face trial after trial just trying to get to the same finish line. Are they weaker than us, and that's why God doesn't mess with them? Are we really THAT strong that He thinks we can handle all of this -- and in the midst of it all, still rejoice and praise Him? I know that's what we're supposed to do, but it's been a real struggle and a lot of bitterness has risen through it all.

Several verses come to mind when talking about all of this...

Philippians 4:4 reminds us to always rejoice. Even in times of trouble, we should delight in the Lord. It depends on my good days vs. bad as to whether or not this happens...

James 1:2-4 tells us to consider it pure joy when we face many trials, as the testing of our faith produces endurance. The same goes for this one...there are days where it's hard to carry on and persevere in spite of the hardships we've experienced. Ultimately, I think I'm losing patience, as I wonder what's next...

Romans 5:3-4 elaborates on the relationship between suffering, endurance, and hope -- there is a domino effect that occurs as suffering develops endurance, which strengthens our character, which then strengthens our hope. Hope...I suppose I still have hope in Christ's return, but outside of that...it's dwindling away...

Proverbs 3:1-12 tells us to trust in Him and to NOT become bitter, but anymore, I'm having a really hard time following that. I do try to constantly remind myself of it, though. In fact, that whole section is highlighted in my Bible...

With all of that being said, I also realize that God anticipates every cry for help. I know that according to Isaiah 65:24, He will hear our prayers and answer them before we even call out to Him. In addition to that, Isaiah 49:13-15 reminds us of the fact that He will never forget us or our pain. Furthermore, He will have compassion towards us and comfort us. That's reassuring, right?

I know all of this, yet it has still been such a struggle over the last 8 1/2 months. At times, I wonder...what's the point? It's times like these -- surrounded by suffering and doubt -- when we should hold close to Him, lean on Him, and trust in Him knowing that He loves us and that things will work out in the end. It sure is hard though...

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your honesty, Priscilla.

    It does so annoy me when people misquote the Bible into a Hallmark card. There's no comfort or hope in that.

    I believe it says you will not be tempted beyond what you can bear, not tested, or suffer....

    I remember many times as a nurse working with dying patients who were in tremendous pain and hearing my co-workers say things like, "Have a good night. You'll feel better in the morning." Or prior to a procedure, "Honey, after all you've been through this isn't going to hurt at all!" And for some reason they spoke these words annoyingly loud as though the person couldn't hear them.

    Really? Every nerve in this person's body is raw, they are no longer sensitive to the pain medication, they can barely utter a word, they are tired and scared and alone and the night had just begun.... Those nurses were only trying to comfort themselves.

    I don't know how God is going to use this time in the life of your family, but I do know He is a Rock. And even when you are in a free fall, you are not going to fall forever or land in the water and drown. You are going to land on a Rock that can't be shaken. And you'll stand up again.

    Know that we are continually praying for you and James.

    ReplyDelete