I have been wrestling hard with whether or not I truly believe in the goodness of God. I believe in his ability. I know that He can do whatever He wants. This I do not question. And, honestly, I never would have said out loud that I questioned His goodness until I started to examine what I was willing to ask Him for. If I don’t ask for much, then I protect myself from the crisis of faith situation if He says, “No.” And He does. He says, “No.” But also, He says, “Yes.” I never assume that He will. I am always surprised when He does.
Our old pastor friend sat on our couch. As he talked about his life, his family, his congregation, I reflected on his goodness – on what a truly good man and pastor he is. I felt grateful for our time under the leadership of him and his wonderful wife. He talked about God’s blessings and what He’s capable of – what He WANTS to do for us. He said something along these lines:
“We walk in faithful obedience to what God has asked us to do and we pray earnestly for the desires of our hearts. Then, when God gives us exactly what we asked for, exactly what we needed, we are amazed and bewildered. Why is that? He says that He will open the floodgates of heaven. He challenges us to test His faithfulness. And still we are shocked when He does what He said He would do!”
And that has been rolling around in my head ever since. Somewhere around that time, I shared with my friend Ashley that I haven’t really even been able to pray about Jude’s arrival. It terrifies me, to be honest. God’s going to do what He’s going to do. He’s going to allow what He’s going to allow. Why should I ask Him for a beautiful, redeeming, incredible birth experience? These are her beautiful words of advice that helped me get over the hump and just start asking God for different:
Do you have a birth plan? Like a general idea of what you want? That helped ease some anxiety. You are going into it with two hard past experiences. You know what bad looks like. What would be the best experience? Then plan and commit that to prayer…You can’t let Satan steal away the joy that only you will know of bringing your babies into the world. Even in the chaos. No one else will ever have that with them.
So, I began the next morning – humbly asking God for exactly what I want, what my heart yearns for. I want you to know that my attitude, my fears, my doubts didn’t change automatically. But as I woke morning after morning and set my simple requests before Him, something began to happen – I began [really am just beginning] to lean into His goodness, to rest against His kindness, to snuggle into His generosity.
In less than ten days, who knows how many less, I will give birth to another baby. A little boy. Jude – the praised one. He is already so very loved, and I am desperate for his birth to be sweet and simple and intimate – to be an experience that leaves praise upon my lips, the kind that I do not have to choose but come to because only God himself could open floodgates like these.
Things may be a little quiet around here for the next few months. I am going to be doing some reading and journaling and living and praying. I am going to be looking for the goodness of God – expecting it in my everyday – and therefore, hopefully, allowing Jesus to facilitate a deeper, more genuine belief in His sweet goodness. I’ll still be keeping you updated on all things family and Colorado over at the family blog, but this space – my soul space – is going to be practicing some quiet seeking for a little while.
Also, I’ll be caring for a newborn and moving and stuff – logistically, somethings gotta give!
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