Saturday, July 13, 2013

Anything


This post comes from a very raw place - a place in my soul that has just been freshly scraped of self and is starting to heal over with Christ.  I write this a little blindly, not knowing exactly where it will lead and not knowing all the answers, but I wanted to share nonetheless.  

You may have noticed that I have been reading the book, Anything, by Jennie Allen, as part of my church's ladies' summer book club.  The book centers on a prayer she and her husband prayed, that they would give God anything He asked of them - their home, ministry, finances, lives - anything.  It was an amazing transformation for them, realizing they needed to start fully living for the invisible world instead of the mediocrity of a material life.  It's a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.

Ok, so back to my soul issue.  Remember this post?  The one where I shared how, once again, the Lord chose not bless us with a baby this month?  Well, the real life side of that post was that I took it really hard.  Like, really hard.  And reacted poorly.  Short nerves, a snippy attitude, lots of tears, angry questions at God, you name it.  Luckily a very grounding conversation with my husband set me back on track (thank goodness for husbands), but my heart was still hurting.  Didn't the Lord know how much I wanted another baby and how much it would help heal my heart?  I didn't understand what He was doing.  

Enter the book, Anything.  A day or two after my very revealing emotional episodes I read these words:

Theologian Tim Keller says if you love anything more than God, even if you believe in God, if there is anything in your life that is more important to your own identity or significance than God, then that is a false god and it has a power in your life.  
And you can usually tell that something here has become an idol because you have an extreme reaction when it is threatened.  

Extreme reaction, you say?  You mean like, angry tears and mind-screaming at God why He wasn't giving me what I wanted?  Oh ... yeah.  I may have done that.  

The Lord starting chasing me with that thought.  What was it in my life that felt so threatened that I was willing to hurl darts of poison at Almighty God?

The answer: my dream at motherhood.  More specifically, my dream at easily attained and abundant motherhood.  

A couple of weeks ago my mother-in-law gave me a quick synopsis of the book, Anything.  She told me that Evie was my anything.  I nodded in agreement.  But now I know that Evie was only part of my anything.  Because even when I was pregnant with Evie, I would console myself with this thought: It's alright. God will bless you with more children and everything will be ok.  But, on what grounds could I assure myself that I would indeed be blessed with more babies?  Certainly not solid ground.  More like the sinking sand kind where you feel sort of stable but the first sign of something going wrong has you crashing down.  Hard.  

So I realized my forever dream of easily attained and abundant motherhood was my idol.  What now?

A couple days later, I read this as part of my "reading through the Bible" journey:

... for I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing ... 1 Chronicles 21:24

This was it, then.  The thing the Lord was requiring of me.  And so I surrendered my dream of easily attained and abundant motherhood.  I didn't want that to be an idol in between me and the Lord anymore.  Nothing, not even a life-long dream, was worth stooping to levels of doubting God's goodness and good purpose for my life and hindering my relationship with Him.  

I fully realize I am already a mother.  And I also realize it hasn't been that long with unsuccessful pregnancy attempts.  But, my current state of motherhood is not the one I always envisioned, the one I thought God would be giving me.  And so I had to surrender that expectation.  I had to go from, I'm ok with my current life circumstances because I know God will bless me with another baby to, I'm ok with my current life circumstances even if God doesn't choose to give me another baby.  The addition of just those few words made all the difference.

What does this mean, exactly?  I don't know.  But whatever God has planned for our family that might look different from what I always expected, I'm ok with it.  Whatever it is meant to be.



10 comments:

  1. Love, love, love this post. Such an encouragement to see you being vulnerable and honest. Thank-you for sharing your journey with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Fawne ... and the same thanks to you, for your vulnerability and honesty in the words you share.

      Delete
  2. Great thoughts again, Sarah. (And communicated so colorfully.)

    "I suddenly knew with every fibre of my being that these twenty years had been worthwhile, very, very worthwhile, utterly worthwhile, with no room left for regrets or recrimination.” "I have looked back and tried 'to count the cost,' but I find it all swallowed up in privilege. The cost suddenly seems very small and transient in the greatness and permanence of the privilege." (Helen Rosevere)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Such an amazing quote, especially considering the depth of her sufferings.

      Delete
  3. Sometimes I wish that God wouldn't demand that we give up everything for Him - because I so want to hold onto things!! But I'm discovering like you are, that when we do give up dreams and desires, and are left with Him, He is actually enough. He'll get us through.
    Praying for you <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me too! But not here ... one day ...

      Delete
  4. Sarah, in reading this post I felt like I was reading the words of my very own heart from a few months ago. I had to go through that same process of surrender, which now that I am pregnant again that surrender has helped guide me through the fear that comes with pregnancy after a loss. I often struggle to believe that god has answered my prayer for another child to raise on earth , and I don't know if I will until I am holding that baby in my arms. It is a continual and daily process of surrender for me. I admire your desire to be so real with God. You are determined not to shy away from the hard things He may ask of us, and I believe He will bless you because of that. You hit the nail right on the head when you said that your dream was easily attained and abundant motherhood. That is my dream exactly and my idol as well, and we have had them shaken to the core. I am cheering you on for continuing to press on toward the goal, and girl, you are running with so much perseverance and endurance. Just like the marathon you ran in honor your sweet little Evie. Tears are in my eyes as I think of her and Ezra up in heaven together. I am always so comforted when I remember that Evie is in heaven with Ezra. It makes it feel more real to me. Love to you dear friend! I will not stop praying! These verses brought me much comfort during the trying to conceive months. Lamentations 3;25-26, Job 36:5,11,15, Isaiah 42:16. May they bring you peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Emma. I will certainly look into those Scriptures.

      Delete