Saturday, June 20, 2009

More of Him and Less of Me

You know after I wrote the last post and then read the replies I have to admit that I had a sense of guilt set in on me. I felt, honestly, as if I had been insensitive to those of you who are still struggling so hard to have a child.

I apologize if my post hurt you in any way.

I know too that none of you meant to make me feel guilty.

It's just another one of those horrible things about infertility.

In a sense, I feel like the peace that I have, hurts others the same way it would had I been with child. No one means to be hurt when they hear the news but somehow its hard to find that true joy when your own pain is still so very real.

I just wanted to elaborate more on the peace that I feel. Please don't be hurt or offended. Please don't allow the enemy to turn my words around and use them to accuse you of NOT doing something that I have done. Nor, to convince you that somehow, not having peace is like infertility and its your fault that you haven't received it.

That was one of my biggest battles. Believing it was my fault that I couldn't receive. That is was my fault I couldn't conceive. That it was unrepented sin, or that I wasn't righteous enough.

You know what I speak of. I've read many of your blogs and know that the Lord has revealed to most of us that its not our fault. He isn't punishing us either.

Peace was a process.

And I'm quite sure that each of our processes are and will be quite different.

It was nothing of me, it was ALL from Him.

I prayed for a long time for that peace and for that longing for another child to ease. To stop consuming me, my every thought, my every action. It began with the realization that I was more focused on me. I was in fact SO focused on me that I was angry when I didn't get what I wanted, or what I thought I deserved.

All of those questions I asked of the Lord, "Why her Father and not me? Am I not a good enough mother? Do you not hear my prayers? Do you not love me?"

The answers He gave to me were hard to hear at first. Actually to be VERY honest with you, the Lord had been trying to answer me for a long time BUT I couldn't hear it, I wouldn't listen, because I KNEW the Lord was not saying what I wanted to hear. The fear would knot up in my stomach as the thoughts of never being pregnant again came to my mind and I would want to vomit.

I went through the process where I prayed constantly, I begged and I pleaded with God like somehow I thought I could change His mind. My heart wasn't for God or for His will, even though I would pray those words, "Your will be done" or "If it's Your will Lord."

My heart was saying I want what *I* want. I know what I want isn't wrong, it is VERY right and I can give You scripture to prove it. You give it to everyone around me, even those who don't want it, so why, why would you withhold the one thing I want so desperately from me?

I went through a phase that I wondered, "could I still love and serve God if He said no?" Was my desire so strong that I would remain angry with God?

I was angry with God.

I had to tell Him, so I did. I cried out to Him and I confessed all of the horrible, ugly thoughts I was thinking and I asked Him to forgive me.

"Don't let me go, Father, whatever You do, do NOT let me go. Do NOT allow me to push You away."

I began to force myself to be thankful for what I had. To look around me and imagine it all gone, lost in a moment, and me left standing alone....with nothing. I began to praise God and thank him for every moment, every thing, every person, every face, every day that He had given me.

The Lord asked me, "Jennifer, how much do you love Me?"

"Oh Lord," I replied, "I love You so much."

"Do you?" the Lord said.

When the Lord asked this of Peter and and Peter said, "Yes Lord." The Lord replied, "Feed My sheep." In fact, He replied this three times. FEED MY SHEEP.

I started thinking about love and what love is and I realized that my love had cracks in it.

I looked around me at my family and realized that my happiness was dependent upon things like having a good day. I was happy when things went my way. To talk to me, I'd tell you that I had the perfect life, short of being able to conceive, and that I was the most blessed and happiest woman in the world. But if you had asked my children or my husband, they would have told you the exact opposite. They would have told you that I was angry and full of rage. I was depressed and extremely unhappy. I was short tempered and cruel with my words. That they didn't, they couldn't make me happy and that I had made them feel like they weren't enough.

In my pain, I had hurt them so deeply.

I looked at my husband and the children I have and I realized that when I was angry with them or when they done things to make me unhappy, I withheld my love from them.

I handle pain by lashing out.

I have since I was a child. I've always been a fighter.

I just never showed the love and happiness I truly did feel for them because my pain consumed me.

In turn, I had also, in my anger towards the Lord, withheld my love from Him. I suppose in a way I was trying to hurt Him because I blamed Him and I felt like He was hurting me.

My focus was SO wrong. I didn't have a heart after God's heart. I didn't have the deepest desire in the world to share His gospel, His truth. I didn't have the deepest desire to see lost souls saved.

I had fallen over into a pit of doubt and unbelief. I had questioned everything that I had claimed to believe.

It was at this point that the Lord began to show me again what love really was. He reminded me of how He created the world and Adam and Eve sinned but He still loved them. How He had sent His son to die on the old rugged cross to save mankind from hell. To bring us out from under the law into His grace. How He longed and desired to be enough for me, to make me happy. How He still loved me perfectly and wholly just as much as He loves everyone else.

He took me through scriptures like 1 Corinthians chapter 13 reminding what love REALLY is. He whispered the words UNCONDITIONAL LOVE in my ear over and over and over and over until I began to grasp what that meant. (I still try each day to grasp a little more of it.) I realized it was a love I could never offer with out HIM.

I began to empty myself out to Him. Everyday I would empty myself out to Him. I asked Him to change me, to help me, to teach me and to strengthen me.

Without Him, there is no good thing in me.

Over time, in little steps, in little things, my love for my desires grew smaller while my love for my Savior grew bigger.

I focused on my husband and our relationship. I focused on how to show him my happiness and to love him just as Christ loves me. I started GIVING as much as I could give to him and the Lord blessed our relationship by strengthening it and drawing us closer together than ever.

I began to focus on my children and how to show them my love for them and how pleased and happy I was with them. I started GIVING them more than I had before. I began to show them love even when I was upset with them. This made such a difference!

I began to focus on my friends and my family, even people that the Lord would put in my path and I began to love them, I began to GIVE myself and the Lord slowly drew my desire out of me as I was obeying Him and His word.

No idle hands, no idle times.

I realized one day that I felt so full of peace I could bust. As I thought about having another child I realized the desire was almost completely gone. Trying to imagine myself swelled with life didn't bring the same satisfaction.

Instead I was having visions of missions trips and helping people in ways that I never had before. I began to realize that there were things inside of me that I wanted to do and if I were to have another child those things would be put on hold for a long long time. They weren't things *I* had wanted to do, they were NEW desires, the things God wants me to do.

My season had changed.

I realized also, that the Lord had answered one of my prayers and it wasn't the one that I had wanted Him to answer. It was actually the one that I had feared the most. But He is my Father, and He alone knows what is best for me, He alone knows what HE has in store for me, He alone knows the details of the purpose He has planned for me, He alone knows the call I have yet to fulfill.

It is up to me to trust that. Trust HIM.

Wholly and completely.

I was saddened by all the time I had wasted being miserable because I didn't have what I had thought I wanted more than anything in the world. I was sad by the pain I had caused others. I was ashamed that I had been ungrateful and that I hadn't loved or trusted my Father. I felt that I had been selfish, I had been you know, very selfish. That doesn't mean my selfishness wasn't understandable but even so, that didn't make it something other than what it was.

I had coveted.

I had not been content.

I had not been serving God.

Now, today, I am not perfect and I do not live a perfect life. I still have days that I struggle. Some days I fall. I choose to get up and I choose to refocus my eyes on Christ, I ask Him to help me carry my cross and to use me, and that somehow, someway I might be a help to someone else in need.

So that is my prayer for each one of you, that the Lord would bring you peace and show you the purpose that He has set before you. May He consume you. May your lives be filled with More of Him and less of you.

May there be no room for pain.

In the name of Jesus Christ.

Amen.

3 comments:

Alicia said...

What a beautiful post, oh the tears reading it. I love your faith and I love what the Lord has done for you, beautiful. You are swelling with love,joy, and contentment and thats more important that being pregnant. Thank you for being so honest its such an encouragement. You are so sweet!

allyouwhohope said...

Wow. Once in a while a post really speaks to me and this was one for sure.

There is so much I could comment on. I, too, am afraid that the Lord is going to answer the prayer I fear the most - my prayer for peace if his plan is for me to never conceive. Ahh, I tear up just typing that! And I now realize I'm holding back when I pray that because it scares me to death.

I also needed to hear what you wrote about being mean and hurtful to others. I think I use infertility as an excuse to lash out at the world. As a matter of fact I yelled at my husband for talking to me while I was trying to read this post!

I could go on and on. I am so glad you found this peace and thank you for sharing your journey to finding it with us. I'm going to go back and read it again and reflect on it more!

sue said...
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