God's will

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's been a while since I've done a post on faith, I think.

Two passages that have stood out to me lately are

Mark 1:40-45

Psalm 40

In the first, a infertile leper goes up to Jesus and says, "If You will it, You can heal me." And whaddya know, Jesus surely does want to heal him, so kapoof, all of a sudden the leper is healed!

In the second, after seeing another negative test being in a pit, David talks about how great God is, how he has put his foot on a rock and revealed His wonderful plans.

So here is what I have been pondering. First of all, I never thought I would envy a leper. But obviously they are closer to Jesus' heart than infertiles, or at least me, because Lord knows I have prayed this prayer a zillion times and apparently it is not God's will to heal me! After the first half of last year, I struggled with praying with "expectant faith" because isn't this just setting ourselves up for disappointment? How many of us pray to be healed every night and still wake up to bizarre bleeding or a perfect cycle ended with a negative or a worrisome adoption situation?

I think what the "right" answer is that we have to pray to be "healed" in a bigger-picture way. Like, please heal me of my endless broken dying heart and show me what I should devote my life to instead. Or something.

And I agree that this would probably be the mature prayer, opposed to some of my foot stomping tantrums in the past. But I think it is pretty unfair that those who long for children are "called" to shoulder an additional burden (aside from having an empty home) by learning to pray with the wisdom of monks instead of how the rest of the fertile population prays (please let me find time to vacuum my minivan today).

From my perspective, it seems that alot of people who turn from trying to conceive to adoption appear to be healed. (And obviously those who are able to all of a sudden conceive on their own or with the help of technology.) Which is all fine and good, except as I've recently noted, we have received a total of ZERO directions on how to build our family.

We are trying to be faithful. We are trying to seek out what God would have us do. We are trying to live this year outside of the awful infertility box.

Which brings me to the second passage.

How nice that God gives some people turn by turn directions and leaves the rest of us off the email. I am so happy that God lifted David out of the pit and gave him a song in his heart and put his feet on solid ground. All of those things would be great right about now for us! But we are left to fend for ourselves.

Every passage we read seems to "say" something different. When we think we are going confidently in one direction, a huge boulder comes crashing to rest in our path.

It is hard to hear people say, just seek the path that God would have for you. It is hard to hear people say, maybe you should stop trying to play God with how your family will expand.

Maybe if I could tell where He's leading us, I wouldn't have to claw around in the dark and just pick what seems the best. Maybe I would be just as joyful as David was if I could feel solid ground underneath my feet.

Sometimes I think that God is trying to tell me to quit my job and change my life to become a sherpa or something. We have always enjoyed backpacking! Or sometimes I worry that the reason I'm not getting pregnant is that either or both of me and Mr. A are going to be awfully injured or killed in some crazy car accident.

It stinks to have no clue what God's will is. So many other people seem to know exactly what it is, and glory be that His plans include a perfect life for them. Even the granting of the leper's request was part of God's will. Why isn't mine?


Melody said...

You might check out my blog at www.knowing-gods-will.com. It's new as am I at blogging, but, it might give you some different perspective. If you'd like, e.mail me and we can talk.

Hillary said...

Um, yes. I was seriously just thinking about all of this last night and I can't believe how many similar thoughts I've had, and what a similar place we're at. I, too, which he would give some clear direction.

I feel like I am trusting God in my head - and know deep down he will be faithful - but my heart is crying out and asking if God really hears me? Does he really see each tear that falls?


mrskateski said...

So amazing that you just posted this. I'm in the middle of writing my own blog about faith and God. Must be a running theme this week. I hear you loud and clear on all of your points. Very well written!

Bridget said...

This is so true and I think everyone who is going through infertility struggles with asking God "why?!" You're not alone!

RMCarter said...

I've been there. :( I actually don't think anyone really "knows" what God's plan is. If they did, they wouldn't ever need to have faith. I don't know what God's plan is for me, but I trust that He has one. It's a different thing.

At least that's how I feel today! Check back in a week. It's a day-to-day struggle.


Becky said...

I can relate to what you are saying. The one time I thought I knew what God was doing, I ended up miscarrying (ultimately I do believe God brought good out of this circumstance, though it was one of the most painful experiences of my life). I think we have to be careful - God's thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways are not our ways - so often we think we know, but we don't. There are things in this life we may never fully understand. But I do know He is good and completely worthy of our trust.

A couple thoughts: Maybe it is a matter of timing. In Acts 3 Peter heals a crippled beggar. It says that the man was crippled from birth and was carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where "he was put every day." This particular gate was the favorite entrance to the temple court and he was there everyday. This means that Jesus had to have seen this man. This means that for reasons we may not understand Jesus chose not to heal him during His time on earth. Instead this man had to wait and was healed by Jesus through Peter and John at a later time.

I think also that God's will is most clearly revealed in Scripture and where He has given guidance in Scripture there may not be other signs indicating His will in a circumstance. In our case, we had a desire to adopt and felt a peace about doing so. Even though I never experienced a specific calling or sign from God telling us to adopt, I felt confident in moving forward with adoption because God's heart for the fatherless is already clear in Scripture. After we began the process, He did redirect our path and I have seen His hand throughout this process. Anyway, I hope I am making some sense and sorry for the long comment.

the misfit said...

These thoughts (sherpa, crazy car accident) cross my mind all the time. And while I don't think that God owes me a sudden, miraculous, legendary healing of my infertility (and, let's face it, plenty of other issues), it can be seriously aggravating to hear people citing the scriptural stories of miraculous intervention as reasons I should have faith in the benificence of God's plan for MY life. I would be full of hope and crying from the rooftops if I had just been miraculously healed in person by Jesus, too. But when my days are spent wondering how rapidly my endo is getting worse and how many surgeries I'll have to schedule in before menopause (to say nothing of trying to read the tea leaves to figure out what kind of livestock God is wanting me to start herding), I don't have as much energy left to heave myself up onto the roof.


AL said...

I have had so many of these same thoughts. I find it interesting when people say we're trying to play God when seeking a doctor's help, but if you pray for a new job, you don't just wait for the phone to ring and do nothing. you network, you apply for jobs and pray that you will be led in the right direction. How is building a family so different from that or being healed from any other disease?

Sending hugs.

Barbara said...

This rips out my heart..because in my night of terror..... (is my husband going to die???) you were there for me.....which was key to my strength at that point...we are all Gods hands/hearts/voices here on earth....often the only way we can feel his hug is via another human....so please....call me!! (Day or night!) Lean on your hubby...and share your pain with all ... for while others may not know your exact pain, there is war, cancer, abuse and myriad other reasons for needing to feel God's presence in a concrete way!

Trisha said...

Maybe He is leading but He just wants you to be still for now. God has 3 answers, yes, no and not yet. I also don't think I'll ever be "healed" from infertility because we are adopting. I think it makes it easier to look at things but those same pains are still there. I know God has something great in store for you! Don't close doors, you never know where He may be leading you!

Katie said...

I love Trisha's response, and couldn't have written it better myself. Thinking of you. Just know that you are not alone.

Johanna said...

The most valuable piece of advice I received when God seems silent is to just do the next thing. For most of us, that is the mundane stuff: going to work, taking care of the house, our husbands, etc. but the idea is to keep doing what HAS been revealed to us as His plan and, in His time and in His way, He will reveal the next step. Does that make sense?

I know that it is very hard to wait and it's easy to think that everyone else gets clear guidance and/or exactly what they want; that they go about their perfect lives while you are hurting. But there are a lot of people that hurt in many ways even if their life seems worry-free to an outside observer. Some might think that I no longer struggle with infertility because I now have a child but that's not true. I still struggle with "why ME of all people" (but since have learned why not me because according to Job 2:10...Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?”) and I still cringe when someone announces a pregnancy. God has removed most of the bitterness about it from my heart but there will always be scars.

Praying for you during this tough time...

TeeJay said...

Boy, haven't we all been there? I'm so sorry you are feeling lost right now. And it makes no sense that others seem to get a road map and while you are contsantly hearing "recalculating" on your GPS.

I don't know that I have anything of value to say that will make you feel better. Just know that God does love you and He does have a plan for you. None of us are sure what that plan is, but it will reveal itself. Once it does, you will be driven and unstoppable in your quest to parenthood.

Stay strong and keep your faith. I know you will because you are a very strong woman. Always thinking of you.

Jess said...

I was just having this conversation with my husband last night. I asked why he thought God allows for so many women to experience infertility. And beyond that, miscarriage.

The answer is, we just don't know. We can't know. Not on earth. Not until Heaven, I think, will we know the reason for suffering. Until then, we have His promise that if we believe, we will join Him someday in Paradise. He loves us and never puts us through anything we cannot handle.

Great post. A lot to think about.


Rambler said...

Amazing post, I found myself nodding to a huge amount of what you wrote and laughing at some too. Powerful post that reminds me I am not alone in questioning God and being frustrated. Thank you,

Alena said...

I hear your pain, and understand because it is my pain, too. I don't have answers, only thoughts... For myself, I believe 2011 needs to be about my relationship with God, and my relationship with my husband, more than it is about becoming a mother. Three and a half years of waiting for a baby, now, and it's time to rest, and wait on God to make Himself known to me. I'm learning, in my own walk, that crying out to God with our heart's desires is a good thing, but more important is seeking His face and will in general - how can I serve Him? It's not an easy switch, but it is possible. Perhaps he says "wait" because you, like me, need time to embrace Him despite or even because of your struggles? I know I do. *hugs*