From the outside looking in it seems that I’ve proved my faith in God.
First, there was the four-year-long boyfriend who I grew up with but in the end chose a gay lifestyle. I sobbed because I felt robbed – robbed of four years in the most precious time of life. How could this happen to me – the good girl? Things like this don’t happen to good girls, right? But in the end I praised God because the experience made cling to His hem with a fierce might that I didn’t even know was in me. I fell more in love with God that day.
Then the singleness continued. And continued. And continued. My identity was wrapped up in the desire to be a wife and mother. Who was I now? A girl who may never get married? I kept trudging along making lots of mistakes along the way, but never making the mistake of leaving the One I was in love with for life. Again, I squeezed tightly to His hem. I tried to be faithful.
After that my husband lay on the seventh floor of the ICU dying of heart failure. My heart wanted to die, too. This time I learned to surrender sooner. There wasn’t much kicking and screaming – only a little – and I told God that I trusted Him. His will be done. Faith seeped from my pores in a supernatural way – so much so that others thought I was in denial. They comforted me because they knew my husband was going to die. But he didn’t. I found peace in the middle of my faith – and my surrender.
I turn on the news this week and feel in the most minuscule way the heartache of the moms who lost their babies in the tornado in Oklahoma. Then I open Facebook and learn of another mom who tragically and suddenly lost her toddler-girl. She died in her sleep. They think it was pneumonia. I don’t even know these people, but I found myself on the floor sobbing like I had lost my own.
Last November I became a mom. A mom to a baby girl. Motherhood is cliché in its nature because no matter how hard I try to be original when I write about it, I can’t. It’s just that soul-wrenching. There’s no way to know the feeling until it’s in your own chest. My heart pounds for that child. I feel like I was born again last November.
Then I lose my faith.
I watch and listen and walk myself through the shoes of the moms who lost their babies in the best way I can, but the only question I ask myself over and over is, “How do they go on?” I don’t think I could.
The moment those words whisper through my mind I shiver. They reveal a secret in my soul.
Do I really believe in Jesus?
Yes, of course, I believe that Jesus is the Son of God. I know He died on the Cross for the painful sinner that I am. I know I am completely forgiven and redeemed by His blood. I know one day I will see Him and spend eternity with Him. I know all of that.
But do I believe He will take care of me even in the depths of despair I could face?
Having my heart crushed in two by a silly boy, I believed. Spending Sunday afternoons lonely and yearning for a family, I believed. Sitting in a chair in the ICU, I believed. But motherhood is different.
My security is to stand puffed up with how faithful I have been before, but motherhood shows me how far away I truly am.
My tendency is to squeeze hold of my baby girl a little tighter, protect her a little more, refuse to allow anything to happen to her. Or to beg over and over and over again, day-in and day-out, “Lord, please don’t take my baby!”. Then there is fear that I have a lesson to learn. After all, I know God cares more about my holiness than my happiness. What if taking her is the only way I can learn the lesson? The thoughts continue.
Motherhood makes me question my faith.
So my thoughts must move elsewhere – to His truth.
“Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Both riches and honor come from you, and you rule over all. In your hand are power and might, and in your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all.” 1 Chronicles 29:11-12
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:8
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28-29
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; and if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which you experience when you patiently endure the same sufferings that we suffer. Our hope for you is unshaken, for we know that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in our comfort.” 2 Corinthians 1:3-7
““For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant.” Job 14:7-9
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
Hidden in these words is my faith. Without them I have nothing. I might as well believe that I couldn’t go on – because I couldn’t. However, with them is my life.
How has motherhood changed your faith in God?