Tuesday, 15 March 2016
Being a mother to three gives me (very) few moments for quiet reflection in my day, but I’ve been reading a brief devotional called Jesus Calling for a few weeks now and it’s proven to be just right. (Before that, Don’t Make Me Come Up There was also lovely, funny and affirming.) I read the day’s meditation and scripture while Benjamin has his morning bottle in my lap, and then I try to reflect and pray for the next (hopefully) five minutes during at least one interruption per minute from each kid.
And God is faithful to speak to me in the loudness.
The other day, the devotion was on being continually in God’s presence by trusting him. Trust has been a contentious topic in my relationship with God for 10 years, and I know the day when it started: The day my dad died, at age 50, suddenly and without warning except an ominous family history of heart disease that also took his own dad young.
I had a thousand questions for my heavenly father. How could you? rang the loudest. Suddenly, I couldn’t trust him anymore to have my best interest at heart. How could he when something like this happens?
And though it shook my faith to its core, God held onto me even then. I couldn’t walk away from him. But still, a lingering resentment remained, with an underlying fear that God couldn’t be trusted. Not really.
10 long years have gone by, and up until a couple years ago I didn’t feel like much had changed with God and me. Then, after giving me time to heal and forgive, his spirit started wooing me back. He pointed out, through sweet friends, challenging books and prayer, just how deep my mistrust went. Just how much fear I was living under. Just how much it robbed me of the life he had for me. For the first time in a long time, I wanted — really wanted — to trust him again.
Then I went to Uganda. And I’d never heard God more clearly or felt his presence more strongly. Except it wasn’t a “mountaintop” experience. It felt like God was showing me how he intended our relationship to look, every single day, for the rest of my life. Over and over and over, he proved himself trustworthy, and not because our process was fairly smooth. Because he showed me that no matter what, he was in it with me. He was enough, even when everything felt like it would fall apart.
So when I was reflecting on trust during my chaotic devotional time, the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to remember what trust looks like to me today versus just a few years ago. Tears suddenly sprang to my eyes as I realized: I really do trust him again. And not because I tried harder or prayed more or did anything on my own. It’s because I came to a place where he could reveal his character to me.
So for the last few months, waiting for our other adoption has been wildly different than before. No longer am I trying to control anything or stalk blogs for the tiniest update or make something happen (though I have a few fleeting moments when I consider it). And it’s not because I’m trying to feel that way. It’s because I trust him. And trusting him doesn’t mean that I believe we’ll have a positive result — in fact, with recent news in Rwanda I have little hope (but it’s in him) that we’ll actually be able to complete an adoption there. But, I trust him to carry us through whatever happens.
Trusting him for the big things is a beautiful way to live, and so much easier than trusting myself to make something happen. Now, I’m hoping that as that trust and love keeps growing, I’ll remember to look to him for the little things — like strength, mercy and grace for each day, each hour, even when it feels like I’m falling apart under the pressure of everyday struggles. Remind me, Jesus, of your unfailing love and your unending trustworthiness. Let me lean on you when I’m weary, drawing from your strength.
I’m praying that God reveals some of his sweet character to you today, of his wild love for you, and of his faithfulness.