Last week I shared a story about Doubting Thomas, and how I struggle with the issue of having faith. I also shared about my recent struggle with fear and doubt over my desire to have another baby.
This week, I would like to share the rest of that story, the part of the story that taught me the importance of abiding in God.
When I began to think and sense that I might be pregnant, I shared my heart with a close friend. I knew that my friend had been through a similar experience and would support me, encourage me, and pray for me no matter what happened next.
On a particularly difficult afternoon, I sent my friend a text message and shared with her my feelings of doubt and sadness. She responded: You shouldn’t be sad. You need to pray and wait!!! I’m afraid that if you aren’t pregnant you’re not going to be prepared.
The words of my friend went straight to my heart. I knew, in that moment, that I wasn’t prepared for the possible reality that I might not be pregnant. Quite the contrary, my heart had already embraced the idea of having another baby.
It seemed, at the time, that God was speaking to me, telling me that it was okay to want another baby, and I was trying my best to trust Him. Would I be able to except God’s answer, if it turned out to be “No”? Would I still be able to trust Him? How do you prepare your heart for the possibility of pain and disappointment?
As I considered the ways in which I could prepare my heart for the reality of not being pregnant, I realized that I had a choice to make. I could either begin to guard my heart from possible pain and disappointment or I could choose to abide in God.
Whenever we are waiting and praying for God to give an answer, for the desire of our hearts to come true, we are faced with this choice. It is easy in these moments to self-protect and guard our hearts from pain.
I do believe that God intends for us to guard our hearts from sin, but I don’t believe that He intends for us to guard our hearts from pain. Instead of guarding and protecting our hearts from pain and disappointment, I believe that God intends for us to bring our broken and hurting hearts to Him and allow Him to be the healing we need. I believe that he longs for us to find, and know, and trust that He is the only true healing there is.
The concern my friend expressed for my heart and my preparedness to deal with the possibility of not being pregnant was offered with the best of intentions, but instead of preparing my heart to face the possibility of pain and disappointment in a way that I could handle, I found myself choosing to prepare my heart to abide in God.
In the end, God showed me, that it was okay to embrace my hope and desire to have another baby with all of my heart, and He also showed me that it was okay to risk the hurt. Either way, He would be with me, in my hopes and in my hurts, if I would but choose to abide in Him.
Sometimes taking a leap of faith feels foolish. Allowing our hearts to embrace something that could very well end in pain, is just the sort of thing we like to guard against. But isn’t it okay to be foolish over God?
We think so often in terms of handling our hearts, but what can we do to protect our hearts from pain? What can we do to keep our hearts safe? What can we do to fix a broken heart, but trust that broken heart to God?
I’m learning that the best way, the only way, to protect my heart is to abide in Christ. I’m learning that faith may make me feel foolish, but it also makes me free. Free to hope, free to hurt, free to live in Him.