Friday, June 7, 2013

Strength to Strength

A woman who lost her son to stillbirth about one month ago posed a question to me yesterday, "When I get pregnant again, how will I not drive myself crazy with worry every single day!?"  

A loved one recently expressed to me some feelings of discontentment with current life circumstances   

I personally find myself worrying so much about my future - what exactly does God want our family to look like?  The waiting and wondering and unknown scares me to death.  

The answer to all of these: 

Blessed is the man whose strength is in you, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.  They go from strength to strength ... each one appearing before God.  Psalm 84:5, 7

From strength to strength.  

One step at a time.  

One moment at a time.  

Training your mind to not wander into the distant, uncontrollable future, but rather, to focus on what God has for you in that very present moment.  

Easier said then done, but key, key to surviving this life with any amount of sanity.

From Jesus Calling, by Sarah Young:

The world is too much with you, my child.  Your mind leaps from problem to problem to problem, tangling your thoughts in anxious knots.  When you think like that, you leave Me out of your world-view and your mind becomes darkened.   

and more ...

Let the Holy Spirit guide you step by step, protecting you from unnecessary trials and equipping you to get through whatever must be endured.

One of my most favorite thoughts of all time, from a small devotional entitled Everyday Blessings, by Max Lucado:

[God] promises a lamp unto our feet, not a crystal ball into the future.  We do not need to know what will happen tomorrow.  We only need to know He leads us and "we will find grace to help us when we need it" (Hebrews 4:16).

Finally, from One Thousand Gifts:

Time is a relentless river.  It rages on, a respecter of no one.  And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time's swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of all of me here.  I can slow the torrent by being all here.  I only live the full life when I live fully in the moment.

All too often I find myself wishing, desperately wishing for the remote control to my life so I can grab hold and hit the fast forward button until I pass the unpleasant moment, see the future, live in a happier, more carefree time.  But alas.  And the lesson is in the journey.  I see God, learn more about Him while on the journey.  Wishing it away means I am skipping the parts that will make me the vessel I am supposed to be.  He is the potter, I am the clay.  Creating a beautiful piece of pottery - all the forming and painting and firing in the kiln - takes time.  And to survive the process I must go from strength to strength.

This frame of mind, this idea of living very present in each moment, is quite honestly the only thing that kept me sane during the four months I carried Evie after learning of her diagnosis.  These two thoughts, given to me via my husband, no doubt through divine inspiration, were my saving grace: 1. Right now, Evie is with me.  She is safe and she is happy and she is with me.  and 2. God already has her story written.  I must thank Him for what He has already planned.  No amount of worry or anxiety will change the outcome.

And here I sit, seven months later having to relearn that lesson.  I want to fast forward my life, to when Josh graduates, to when life feels "normal" again, to when I (Lord willing) have a healthy infant in my arms.  But the impossible remains so, no matter how much I wish it.  There is no remote control to my life to project me into the hopefully sunny future, only onward and through.

Strength to strength, friends.  Strength to strength.

ps ... Inspired by this post, I have moved all the items that used to call my sidebar their home to the very bottom of this blog.  Still there, just rearranged.  The new, clean look suits me :)


  1. No more cute quotes from Micah?!! :(

    I think everyone during their hardships has wished to fast forward to happiness. It's hard being in the monotony and feeling almost "stuck" where you are in life. I don't have any good advice or words of wisdom to add. Just an "I love you" and I understand wanting to fast forward life to sunshine again.

    I hope you have a good day doing whatever small thing you can this day to make it good - whether it's Chick-Fil-A, watching Netflix, little boy cuddles, or peeing by yourself - I hope you have it :). Love you, Sarah

  2. Marcus and I had a very similar conversation yesterday...there's something each week that makes me exceptionally anxious, and Marcus said to me "it's easier to live assuming the bad things WON'T happen, than to assume they will and live in fear." I often tell Marcus that I want to fast-forward past things, but he reminds me that day by day, God will get me through.
    Thank you for sharing.