So, last night as I was in bed, talking to God, I realized that I have not been spending enough time actually listening to God. So, this morning, after dropping Payton off at school, I came home, poured myself a big glass of "fat flush water" (see Monday's post) and grabbed my Jesus Calling and my Bible.
I opened my book and today's words slapped me in the face. Hard. The first line was "MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR LIFE." (p. 68). Now, everyone has problems or struggles. Some are big and some are small. Some are long-term and some may go away very quickly. I realize these things and hope that you do as well.
I heard a sermon a while back and the pastor literally put to shame the phrase "God only gives you what you can handle". I'm sure everyone has been guilty of using this phrase once or a thousand times in their life. I know I have. The truth is, God may give you more than you can handle and when he does, he wants you to lean on HIM for the support you need to get through it. It isn't about us being able to handle it, it's about trusting our heavenly Father, because he is sovereign. He is God! My devotional book this morning further resonated this with me. God will use all things for his glory and for good, and he tells us that in his Word. Even the problems and the struggles, no matter how big or small.
As you know, I have a new baby at home. Well, I will in no way say that she is a problem, but I will let you in on a secret. (Please don't judge me.) When I found out in May of last year that I was pregnant with my sweet baby, I was DEVASTATED. I sat down, on the floor after the pee stick read "pregnant" and bawled. I was a mess. I was done having children, I had literally just stopped breast feeding my second child in March, I was working on getting my body back, in the process of moving to a new state (where I knew no one), enjoying a beach vacation with my family and POW! The bomb got dropped. I literally hate being pregnant. I'm sick for at least the first 20 weeks and two out of the three pregnancies, I had gestational diabetes. The pregnancy where "I didn't have the GD," I had a 10 pound baby.
I struggled through this last pregnancy, badly struggled. I was freaking out about having a third child and was questioning God's sovereignty in it. Who am I to question Him? That question was constantly in my head. There was an overwhelming guilt that I was questioning God. There was also the guilt about not having the desire for this baby to be in our lives. There are people who cannot have children or have lost children and I am selfishly saying that this baby is not something I wanted. I'm sure for those desiring a child or who have lost one might want to slap me in the face right now. I remember going in for one of my prenatal appointments and my doctor listening to the heartbeat, she looked at me and said, "isn't that the greatest sound?" I was seriously thinking, "no". As I am writing this, the guilt is coming back and tears are filling up in my eyes, because God gave me this beautiful little baby in my belly, my Brooklyn Louise and I didn't want her. I wondered if when she was born and I held her in my arms for the first time, if I would feel. I prayed for the doubt to go away and for the love to come. Others were praying for me too.
Brooklyn was my first child who came on her own. I was induced with the other 2. I woke up the morning before my induction was scheduled at 4:30. My parents were flying in at noon that day to be here for her birth. Damien and I were discussing the things we needed to do that day when I felt a little gush. I went to the bathroom, and it wasn't much of anything, so I sat back down. Then I moved and there was another small gush. Hmmmm. I called the doctor at 8:00 and they told me to come in. I started having painful contractions at home. My friend's husband picked up my big girls around 9:00 and we were on our way to the hospital at 9:13 (because that's the time I posted on Facebook). Brooklyn arrived at 10:13 am. She does what she wants. I held her in my arms for the first time and I loved her.
A couple days after she was born, I received a card in the mail from my Great Aunt Norma. She knew my struggles, my entire family did. Her words were so sweet and needed and they brought tears to my eyes. Enclosed were two cards with Scripture on them. One read, "As for God, His way is perfect.All the Lord's promises prove true." (Psalm 18:30) The other was, "Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Talk about things I needed to read. What a blessing that was.
My Jesus Calling book further explained that we are God's masterpiece. WOW! I am a masterpiece. The world may not see me as anything special. I may not be the best at anything or the prettiest, but my Creator, he thinks I am a masterpiece. Every problem or struggle works to shape us into who he wants us to be. Whatever my doubts were during my pregnancy, God still loves me and those things are part of me now, part of His masterpiece.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. I hope that when you struggle or face problems, you will remember to turn to God.
I will leave you with some pictures of my Brooklyn. My youngest baby girl, whom I love.
If you need a new devotional book, you can order Jesus Calling here