Thursday, September 23, 2010

Moving dirt.... (and eating it)

Like I have said before, the Lord is continually teaching Sonny and I about Himself and us through our little boy. Today was not a life altering illustration but it sure was a nice reminder of why God calls us not to worry or be anxious....

Lately Asher has LOVED going for walks. There was one day last week where I think we went on 3 walks in one day. I am not complaining at all- I love them too! I love being outside, I love this nicer weather, and I LOVE that walking is supposed to bring on labor (though I still have a few more weeks of walking ahead of me before she comes).

We usually walk to a small park very close to our house then play for a few minutes before walking home. It is so fun to watch a 15 month old "play"- the things that intrigue him are so interesting to me. Well today Asher decided that he wanted to move dirt and wood chips from the playground area to the sidewalk that surround the playground. Not exaggerating- he spent about 15 minutes DILIGENTLY moving the dirt from one place to another. At first, this was not something that made me stop and think but then I felt like the Lord was trying to teach me something. Not that I want to ruin Asher's fun but from my perspective what he was doing would only last a short while before it would not matter how much diligence he had put into his task. I felt like God was trying to teach me His perspective on our lives. There really is no reason to get stressed or worried about things in this life. Like Ecclesiastes says, life is a vapor and it is all going to go away soon. I am not trying to be "Debbie Downer," I do believe that we are supposed to enjoy life- that is also what Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 5:18,

"Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one's labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward."

How crazy would it have been from my point of view for Asher to get upset and angry that the dirt was not staying in place or that it was not exactly how he wanted it. I know that by the end of the day all of the dirt he moved will most likely be gone anyways. But Asher enjoyed what he was doing- even though it was only temporary. I really want to learn from this. I do not want to waste time getting upset when things do not go my way- I want to enjoy the life that the Lord has given me knowing that it is only for a short time.

On the flip side, we also need to remember that what really matters is not if things in this life go well. What matters is that we have a growing relationship with Christ and that we live for His kingdom and not this world. All else is just "dirt" and will soon be gone. I think we need to have a healthy balance between enjoying the things here but remembering that eternity is what we are really living for.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Enduring hardship for the glory of God...

I am reading through the book of John right now, and I feel like the Lord is reminding me of a season that He took us through. When reading about the blind man (John 9) and Lazarus (John 11), I am reminded of the difficult season that Sonny and I went through before Asher was born.

Anyone who knew me growing up knows that I love kids and always have. Even when I went to my brother's baseball games from about ages 8-15, I would always find the person with the baby and try to offer help with the little one. All through highschool when people would ask me what I wanted to be when I "grew up" I would simply say, "a wife and a mom."

When Sonny and I got married, we were 19 years old and he said that we were going to wait to have kids. I knew that I was called to honor him and I also knew that I did not want to pressure him into having kids- so I was going to wait until the Lord told Sonny it was time to have kids. I was sure that it would only take a year or two for Sonny to hear from the Lord about this but such was not the case! We were married almost 5 years before Sonny felt like it was time. That was such a hard waiting period for me but such a great season of growth in Sonny and I's marriage and in my relationship with the Lord. I learned to continually be submitting my life to Christ and to wait for His timing.

When we finally did start trying to have a baby, we got pregnant right away. I had just assumed that it would not take us a long time and I was right. Then something happened. When I was about 5 weeks pregnant, I lost the baby. It was horrible. Even though I was "barely pregnant," I had already given so much of my heart to this little baby growing inside me. I was devastated and so was Sonny. I had just assumed that my 5 years of waiting on the Lord would be rewarded by an instant pregnancy that would be easy and perfect. I really did not understand what the Lord was doing. Then, less than 2 months later, I got pregnant again. Surely this would be the one. The first pregnancy was just a test, right?- to see if I was still trusting the Lord. Then, 5 weeks into that pregnancy, I lost our second baby. This again was so tough for Sonny and I. From January until July of 2008, I had 5 miscarriages- losing all of the babies at around 5 weeks. I was heartbroken....

This brings me to John 9 and 11. When the disciples ask Jesus in John 9:2 , "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?" Jesus answers something remarkable "It was neither that this man sinner, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him." The same kind of statement is made of Lazarus in chapter 11:4 "But when Jesus heard this (Lazarus' death), He said 'This sickness is not to end in death, but for the glory of God, so that the Son of Man might be glorified by it.'"

Looking back, I can say with confidence that this was what the Lord was doing with us. That season of loss and heartache was not without a purpose. The Lord used that time for His glory in so many ways. That season drew Sonny and I so much closer together and drew us closer to the Lord. There were times when I was so spiritually and emotionally weak and Sonny was such a representation of Christ to me. He spoke truth to me and comforted me with the love of Christ. He represented Ephesians 5:25-26 to me in such a tangible and wonderful way. I also learned that I had some idolatry in my life. I had idolized the thought of being a mom and the Lord had to show me that I could not love anything, even my children, more than Him.

Finally, in September of 2008, we got pregnant again, but this time the doctors had found out that I had low progesterone that was causing me to miscarry. I got on progesterone and we had Asher 9 months later.

Even now I can still see how the Lord used our hard time for His glory. I have had a few friends that have been through miscarriages and it has been such a blessing to be able to comfort them as I was comforted during my time of hurting. I have been so grateful to be able to use our hard time to try and strengthen the body of Christ.

Sonny reminds me often of the full implications of Romans 8:28
"And we know that God causes ALL things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purposes."

Even our seasons of sorrow can be used for God's glory.