Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Devotional from today

Today I had the honor of giving the devotional at our MOMS group at church. I don’t normally do things like that but it was a very encouraging thing for me to do and hopefully my random thoughts encouraged someone. But a friend asked what I shared, so I thought why not just put it here. Because I prefer to write things down I took this up and basically read it word for word with some added fodder and attempted to look up so as not to seem like a horrible public speaker.

So here you go:

My husband and I, after 2 years of marriage, began to think that starting a family would be a good thing. But we didn’t end up having our daughter until our 6th year of marriage so it took us awhile. And the waiting was hard. And something I really struggled with was letting go of the idea of being a parent. I had a fear that we would be childless, or more broadly, that my vision for the future would not be as I imagined. And I had to face that fear.

Our story was kind of unique in that my husband, while he wanted children, he could also could imagine our future without them. And that really scared me. Because I had always wanted to be a mother. In fact, all through college I struggled to find something comparable. Something I’d do until I had children. I remember telling my dad at one point, “but dad I just want to be a mom and be on the PTA.”

But God had a different plan for us. And while we waited I steeped myself in the word and wrestled through the promises and sought to know who God said He was and what that meant for me.

And I found that God is all we need. God is a giver of all good things. God is incredibly good and no evil resides within him. God is not withholding something I want because he is mean, he’s withholding because he has something better. God is our refuge; we can joyfully abide under his wings. God is for us, all the time.

And I sat in Psalm 62 and 63.

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God, he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times.” Psalm 62:5-8

“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands” Psalm 63:2-4

And after waiting for 3 ½ years we got pregnant twice and those babies are now at the feet of Jesus. No better place for them to be I’ve come to discern. And soon after those losses, He gave us our Elizabeth. I had realized through the waiting, through the Word, through the tears and unknowns, and through the losses that God was more than enough for everything I was walking through.

More than Enough.

He kept me, encouraged me, held me, loved me, helped me, cared for me, provided what I needed in His word, gave me wisdom from the pulpit to feed my soul, and then He gave us our daughter when we least expected it.

I can still remember the day, after taking a break from medical intervention, when my husband shared that he felt it was time to go back. We were on a year long sabbatical from trying for babies, discerning what the Lord had for us in the future, figuring out how to move forward. And the Lord had just brought me to a place that I knew I would be okay, in Him, if we never had children. My dream, my fear had been surrendered at the feet of Jesus, knowing that whatever He had in store for us was good and better than parenthood. I stood on the ground that God was more than enough and just a few months later He gave us Elizabeth.

It seems when we our given a gift we never even thought possible, the gift has far greater meaning. Like the cross and forgiveness through the blood of Jesus. We call Elizabeth tangible grace when we speak of the Lord’s goodness to us. She’s undeserved favor that we can enjoy with our own two hands.

And we’ve all been given good gifts from the Lord. I’ll assume if you’re here you probably have children. And our children are incredible blessings from the Lord, gifts given, tangible grace. And all good gifts are meant to be enjoyed for our joy and for His glory. It is good to delight in our children.

From a spirit of fear that our future would not be as I thought it would, to fully believing that God was enough even if we never had that dream fulfilled, has given me such freedom to enjoy the gift He has given us in our daughter and helped me in the days and hours when parenting is really hard work.

God, everyday in our parenting, in the struggles, in the pain, in the rejoicing, in the waiting for salvation, in the moments we want to pull our hair out. He is always enough, well more than enough for us.

We can find rest in Him because He alone is our ever present help in time of need, our refuge, our mighty rock. He alone is better than life and He is more than enough for everything that comes our way.

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