Hopes & Dreams
Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
You can lean your weight into that one. Until I delighted in the Lord my hopes and dreams were always just out of my reach. The desires of my heart were to be a wife and mother.
But at the heart of those desires was something more, a desire to be loved and to belong. I am so thankful that He redirected my steps so that I found myself at His feet. God has to come first. Only He can fill the places in our hearts that we try to fill up with other things. I will probably repeat this many times because we are continually drifting another direction. After finding God's love, my heart was then satisfied. But you know what, after giving Him my heart, he brought Dewey into my life that same year.
After two years of being friends and growing in the Lord, we were married. I got to be a wife. It has not always been easy, in fact, the Lord has mended our relationship many times. But he did give me that desire of my heart and I am forever thankful.
A year or so after being married, we decided to start a family. But this desire of my heart did not come easy and I found myself on my knees once again. After a year went by and no baby, my heart was seeking God for answers. We were in a small group and everyone was praying for us. At the same time, my Dad was very sick. It was a tough time for us as newly weds. Imagine the joy, the elation, when after a year of trying, we discover we are having a baby. Our friends rejoiced with us. Now imagine as well, the devastation of losing that baby just days after the announcement. I was hurt and confused since I had believed God had answered our prayers. But one has to press on. I realize as I am writing, that many of you have walked this same path. I grieved that loss and not only that loss but the empty arms I had. I felt God had put the desire in my heart but this was not going as I had planned. Everyone at church was praying. We were a close group and I don't know how we would have made it through that time without the body of Christ loving and surrounding us. It was probably one of the hardest times of my life. But on the other side of things, God was pouring out His Spirit in our little fellowship. We would eat, pray, and share each other's burdens every week. In my grief I kept pressing in to God like never before.
If I did my math right, our baby would have been due around September of 1989. That happened to be the month my Daddy passed away. As I write this, I realize that this month marks 30 years since that miscarriage.
A year went by and I still grieved. I was so happy when I became pregnant the next summer. Dewey was a part of the worship team and so we went to a worship conference with the Christ Fellowship worship team to St. Louis. It was a conference to learn and grow in the knowledge of experiencing God and leading others to the throne room in worship. I had been to this conference before and it was a great experience. But on this trip and for the second time, I miscarried. As everyone around me was enjoying the conference and the worship, I sat on the pew broken.
I want to share this because I wonder how many people have sat on pews with broken hearts. It happens. We have got to be the church that is a safe place for hurting people, a safe place for people to share and be vulnerable and not be afraid to share pain. For me, I have to be where people can be real and share their joys and their sorrows and not feel out of place.
All the questions came. Why is this happening? I returned from that trip to experience the pain of miscarriage both physically and emotionally. It was after this second loss that I had an epiphany. In my prayer I said... God, I can't make a baby and I can't make one live. It was out of my hands. I let it go. God is the author of Life. But more importantly, I came to see that my dream of being a mommy, though good, had come to mean more to me than anything. It was then and there that I remembered I had been here before. At a time when I was desperate, God found me and I found His love and that was all I needed. I had moved away from Him being enough. He is enough. I had lost my babies, lost my Daddy, but I forever have my Heavenly Father. I said, God you are enough.
While I believe that God is Sovereign over all, I don't believe that Death is His plan. In Revelation it says that Death will be defeated. Death is the enemy. That's why it never feels right. God is the giver of every good and perfect gift. Death is not his will. He is the Life giver. If you delight in Him, He will give you the desire of your heart. It doesn't mean that you always get everything you want. But, if He is your desire you can rest in the fact that He will take care of you, His child. If your hopes are in something outside of His keeping, there is no assurance. In His hands we can place our hopes and dreams. I understand its easy to say this on this side of things. And I know there are those walking through this right now.
This is our life, a life of walking in faith with our Heavenly Father. He sees and He knows but He waits too. What if a relationship and spending time with you is His dream? You may say, well He's God and He can have anything He wants. Can He? Does He have our hearts, completely? So God waits patiently.
God salvages our pain. None of it is wasted. I love to go to salvage stores and see old things repurposed and beautiful again. I think God walks through the places in my heart and repurposes every bit of the pain. I have a special place in my heart for women who have and are walking this journey. My part is to pray, listen, point them to Him and believe for them when they can't muster up the faith to do so. We have a loving Father who loves us and He has a plan for our lives that may not look like anyone else's and perhaps not the one we had envisioned. But if we can trust Him, even a little. Start there. And wait. You will see. He will take care of you. And in doing so you will reap a relationship with the Living God and a confident assurance of His love. Something the world can not offer. And don't forget, the story isn't over.
Coming up next blog: The rest of my story.