The worst pains

“The worst pains we experience are not those of the suffering itself but of our stubborn resistance to it, our resolute insistance on our independence.” [page 51]

This was me, you guys! As those months started adding up and it was becoming clear that we were in the midst of a trial of infertility, I remember crying in agony to my husband, “I don’t want this to be our story!” My heart just kept thinking, No no no no no — this cannot be happening! 

I was so resistant to accept what was happening, it took months to start really growing from it. Looking back, I wish I could appear to myself back then. I can clearly see those times of lying on my bed weeping for the grief and dread of what was going on: we were meeting barrenness. We were not going to be pregnant “on time” (according to our plans, that is). The Lord was going to do something different. I wish I could put my own hand on my shoulder and say, “This is a good story! God is doing good things! Don’t miss it because you’re stubborn about the story you think you want!”

The quote is from Elisabeth Elliot’s book Keep a Quiet Heart.

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This day is better

Better is this day in the Lord’s plan — even a painful, brokenhearted plan — than a 1,000 days in any plan different than this — even a picture-perfect, no troubles, all-I-ever-wanted plan.

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If Elisabeth Elliot were writing this blog… (Part 2)

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If Elisabeth Elliot were writing this blog…

Wise words from a wise woman.
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What Job said in the valley

From Job 23

Do you have this confidence in the Lord these days?

 “Behold, I go forward, but he is not there,

and backward, but I do not perceive him;

on the left hand when he is working, I do not behold him;

he turns to the right hand, but I do not see him.

But he knows the way that I take;

when he has tried me, I shall come out as gold.”

I love those verses! What confidence we have — we may not see Him or get what He’s doing, but we can be sure that He sees us, and will use this for our good.

And is your testimony like this, in your darkest moments?

“My foot has held fast to his steps;

I have kept his way and have not turned aside.

I have not departed from the commandment of his lips;

I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my portion of food.”

Earlier is this chapter, Job was imagining how it would be to go face-to-face with God and plead his case. Haven’t we all been there? But by the end of these verses, he is brought back to the reality of who God is and who Job is. Have you lost sight of your place and God’s place?

“But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back?

What he desires, that he does.

For he will complete what he appoints for me,

and many such things are in his mind.”

That’s a lot to think about, from just a handful of verses! I’ll leave you those to contemplate today. Please comment with any thoughts. 

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I Want the Better Plan

This is a note I wrote my sister last year, when she was in the midst of looooong struggle with infertility. She is now pregnant, by the way.

I’ve been thinking of you extra today. There’s always so much I want to say, but I know it’s not really the kind of stuff you want to hear. But I’m really praying you can find peace in this great struggle you’re facing, and a light in this dark cloud you’re in. And that you can find peace in believing that even when God’s plan is different than ours, His plan is surely better. And even if it’s painful at times along the way — even if it’s gut-wrenchingly awful — we want the better plan in the end. This is something I remind myself of when I don’t get the first (or second, or tenth) plan I want… “Even if it’s painful, I want the better plan.” I hope you can find peace and believe this, even in this really horrible time for you. I love you!

When I wrote that, I was also beginning my trial, but I wasn’t ready to tell her that. As the months started racking up for me, that became my repeated mantra, “I want the better plan. I want the better plan. I want the better plan.” You’re welcome to borrow it the next time you see that dreaded one line. “Even if it’s painful, I want the better plan.”

what God has ready
1 Corinthians 2:9