We all have preferences. I prefer breakfast blend coffee while my husband prefers Italian roast. I also prefer creamer and sweetner, but my husband prefers his coffee black. I prefer stress free days where my little ones always get along. I prefer no back pain from carrying children around. I prefer leather and heated seats in my car. I prefer junk food to thinking about healthy eating. I prefer easy – who wouldn’t?
But easy, is not always what we are called to. I remember being in the middle of the adoption process, getting news that we didn’t understand, and wondering why did God call us to do this hard thing? Wasn’t there an easier way to start your family? Why do great things from God come at such high costs? Maybe not financial costs but emotional costs, the things that make you search your heart and reveal what is there – the good and the bad. The good gets better while God picks at the bad.
It’s not fun to realize your lack of faith, to realize of course, it’s easy to believe in God when life is good. But what about when it’s hard? It’s not fun to see the depths of your selfishness and wish that the constant barrage on your time would take a hike. It’s not fun to realize you will never be enough and you will never get it all right. You will make mistakes and you will need help. You cannot do life alone. You have to stop trying to do life without God.
“What then in response shall we say to these things? If God is for us who can be against us?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 31, 37-39)
I used to read this verse and think, “Of course things can be against, plenty of things.” But I think the point I missed, is that those things don’t matter when compared to God and Christ Jesus our Lord. Those things – selfishness, lack of faith, lack of self worth, desire for control – won’t win.When we live our lives in relationship with God, we will be more than conquerors. We will get through the hard times, the confusing times, the doubting times. We will persevere, and we will come out better for it.
If I persevere, I will have a better heart towards my children. I will begin to see people as God does instead of only from my point of view. I will begin to see the hurt and sadness and fear behind the words, and though it doesn’t take the sting away, it does help me see a way through. It keeps me from dwelling in my sorrow and pitying myself.
So wherever you are in your life, whatever is frustrating you, confusing you, hurting you, scaring you do you believe God can help? Or would you rather stay where you are and never find our where he wants to take you?
*God took me to Vietnam, but it’s not about a place (and the learning didn’t end there). It’s about what I learned about myself at that time and continue to learn about myself as I learn my role as mom and wife. It’s about letting go of my expectations, my preferences and trusting in where God is leading me – even when I don’t know if there’s a happy ending.