Remember when you were a kid, how you would go to your mom or dad and ask for something? Whether it be a cookie, or a toy, or permission to stay at a friend's house. "Mom, Dad, can I...?" Then you would hold your breath in anticipation for the answer. If it was yes, then we'd dance, cheer, throw our arms around them for giving us our heart's desire.
But if the answer was "No," our reaction was completely different. Remember? I remember whining, cajoling, bribing, crying, stamping my foot to get them to see things my way. As I got older, my methods changed. I would promise something in return, such as altered behavior, a clean room, extra chores, etc. Or I would logically point out all the reasons they should agree to my request. Sometimes it would work and they would change their minds. And then the celebration would begin.
And then sometimes, they would still say no.
Oh, how that would irk me! Especially when they couldn't give what I thought was a decent reason why. "Because I know better," or "Because I said so," just did not fly with me.
So, fast forward a few years, and I no longer have to ask my parents for the things I want. However, I find myself now relying on my Heavenly Father for things that are outside my power to control.
For example, there's this house that I have my eye on. In my mind, it's perfect. Not far from my parents' home. Nice and roomy for when family and friends come to visit. A barn for my horse. A fenced in yard for my dog. Everything I need and desire in a home. So, I pray about it and put in my request. "Lord, will you please make a way for me to get this house?"
To my surprise, God says no.
"But, God, this is the best time! I'm financially secure enough to afford the payments. It's so close to my family. I need this house!"
And He still says, "No."
"But, why???" I whine. "What possible reason could there be?"
And then that infuriating response. "Because I say so. And because I know what is best."
Excuse me while I "AAUURGH!!!!" (Oh, it's ok. God can totally take my tantrums.)
Ever been there? Whether it's a house, a job, a spouse, a child, a healing, or whatever your heart is fixed on at this point in time. Sometimes, God just says, "No. Not right now." And there's no words to fully express our frustration. But He understands. And He knows we're human and weak. But all He asks is that we continue to trust Him, and to put our future and heart's desires in His hands.
Even the Apostle Paul struggled with this. In 2 Corinthians 12:8, 9, it says "For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, 'My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
So, it's okay to not always understand it or even like it. We didn't always as kids, did we? But as we got older, we began to see why. And someday, we may understand why God said no. In the meantime, may we ever remember that His grace will be sufficient, and we are always...
In His Grip!
P.S. I hope you will be blessed by this song by the Akins. I know I was!
I recently read a couple posts by two separate friends on Facebook, expressing their struggle on this particular holiday. Both are happily married and enjoy good relationships with their mothers. But they have yet to experience the blessings of motherhood. Thus it makes this day rather bittersweet.
And I have to admit, I can relate. While I feel so fortunate that I can spend this day with my own wonderful mother, and appreciate so much that she is still here with me, I long for the time that I can actually celebrate being a mother myself.
I may not be in the place in my life where I am actually ready to start a family, like so many married couples who struggle with infertility. But that doesn't keep me from desiring children of my own. And it can be difficult to sit in a Mother's Day church service year after year where mothers are lauded as God's precious gifts to mankind and wonder why I haven't been given that privilege yet.
But, even in the midst of the longing, I have found peace. No, I'm not always happy with my situation, and no I don't skip about life without a care. I ache to hold my own baby. I envy every new mother. I have had to accept the fact that I will never win the "Youngest Mother" gift at my church. Or any mother's gift at all. I don't always feel peaceful. And sometimes I cry.
But always, I am reminded of how much God loves me. I may not understand His plan for my life, but I know that He has one. He hasn't forgotten me. And I also know that He is enough. As much as I long for a family of my own, I have come to the place that He is truly all I need. I have given my dreams and desires to Him, surrendered my will to His.
I used to wonder when people talked about "giving it to God." How does one go about doing that? How can someone suddenly stop wanting something and accept what God wants instead? Well, I guess the best way that I can explain it is that I have come to the place where I realized that nothing is going to fill my life and my heart the way Jesus can. Nothing is going to make me truly happy, save my relationship with the Lord. And while that desire may not ever go away completely, I am content to know that when I am feeling lonely or empty, God's grace will be sufficient. And I find that the more I surrender to Him, the more I give up my dreams and goals and plans, the more peace I have.
No, that's not to say that I have suddenly lost my desire to be a mother. Far from it. I still hope for it someday. But I have learned that for now, I can be content. I can rest in the knowledge that He is enough.
So, for all those ladies out there, married or single, that are still longing to be mothers, let me encourage you. God loves you. He feels your pain, and is willing to share it. And while this day may be difficult to get through, I hope you will be blessed in some way. And I hope that the desires of your heart will someday be fulfilled.
But I hope that you will also find your greatest source of comfort, joy, and peace in the arms of our Heavenly Father. Because we are always
In His Grip!
No matter how lonely you get or how many birth announcements you receive, the trick is not to get frightened. There's nothing wrong with being alone."