I was at a super sweet party on Monday night. There were a whole bunch of ladies that I rarely get to see and I got the time to catch up and chat with several of them. It was a great evening!
It has been rare in the last several months that someone would start a conversation by a question that I have to think about in order to answer. I really really appreciate those questions, and I so wish that I had the tact and the ability to start a conversation digging in deep. Anyway, a friend started a conversation by asking what I wanted Jesus to teach me during the upcoming year and what I felt like I needed to learn. I think I let her sit there for literally five minutes so that I could think of something. I knew what my heart was like, and honestly I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be vulnerable. At first I said, “I need to be more patient with my kids.” Totally lame answer. ALL of us need to be more patient with our kids. I don’t know of one parent who doesn’t pray for patience and wisdom with their children. Instead, I decided to go for the plunge. I decided to be vulnerable and to share something that Mike, my husband, had been talking to me about for a couple of weeks.
He had noticed in my previous posts that I would say that when something bad happens in the future that I would want Jesus to be my all. Almost like I’m preparing for something to happen. Like I want it to in order to be able to say that Jesus is all I need. I struggle with the uncertainty of the future. I’ve struggle with fear from the time I was a kid. Fear of being kidnapped. Fear of not having friends. Fear of not fitting in. Fear of not getting married. Fear of something happening to my husband. Fear of being alone. Fear of blah, blah blah….the pathetic list goes on and on.
Let me explain a little bit. In February of 2005, Mike’s mom was diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer. We went and visited her a couple of times over the next couple of months, and in May, Mike’s sister called and told us to get to Montana quickly. On May 13, 2005, Mike’s mom passed away. We had a crazy month ahead of us with renters moving into our apartment and Mike being away on business a couple of times that month. On June 13, 2005, Tullie was born. Her diagnosis was a shock to us, she was a 31 week preemie and she was in the hospital for six weeks. While we’re still trying to recover from her diagnosis, dealing with her being on oxygen, doctor’s appointments etc., I was pregnant again. I was convinced that I was going to be an easy patient this time. Have a full term baby and everything was going to be perfect. On April 10, 2006, I was put on bed rest, because I was 5 cm dilated. I was 22 weeks pregnant. This was not good. Mike and the kids moved in with a family from church, while I moved in to the hospital. It was the most stressful three weeks of our life. Eli was born April 25, and passed away the following day because of an infection. We’re in the midst of grieving and our world is spinning, and we have a house to sell. We move into our rental, spruce up our house, have the worst summer of our lives and then find out we’re pregnant again. I was a mess. We left town for six weeks. The pregnancy with Ellison was really hard on us. We made it nine months. She was perfect, but I was afraid that something would happen to her those first three months. Almost like it’s been so bad for two years that nothing good could possibly happen….
My point is this, during those two years, I came to a point where I expected bad. I didn’t expect any good. Everything that happened was going to be bad. It was like a bad dream for two years. We made it. We made it through. Jesus saw us through, but it was HARD. I look back and it seems so surreal to me. I can’t believe we walked through all of that. Now that we’ve made it through, it’s hard for me to look forward without fear of the unknown.
While I was explaining this to my friend, I realized something. Jesus was enough before those dark hours. He was enough during those dark hours. And He’s enough now. So, why wouldn’t He be enough later. Why do I think that I don’t think that He will be? Of course He will! He’s the same. He doesn’t change. His love for us doesn’t change because of our circumstances.
Everything that happens in this world has passed through Jesus. He doesn’t allow anything that hasn’t already passed through His hands. He is constant. I have nothing to fear, because He is all.
This is a real struggle for me. I hold onto my loved ones loosely, yet tightly. I don’t want to suffer. I want it easy. I’m fearful of the future, but I have nothing to fear. This is a constant battle in my head. I’m grateful for my husband who listens to my freak outs and then says, “Why are you even thinking about that?” and brings me back to reality. The here and now.
Because I tend to fear the future, I miss out on some of the present. This coming year I want to rest in the fact that Jesus is sovereign. He knows the future. He has my family in His hands. He loves us. He does not promise a life without suffering, but He does promise grace, mercy, love, faithfulness, sanctification and so much more.
Thanks friend for that talk….you helped me sort it out. Now relationships? That’s a whole other post…… 😀