Happy Belated Valentine's Day! Dave and I had quite a low-key evening. He made a delicious steak salad for me and then we watched a couple of very emotional episodes of "Friday Night Lights." So, it was a good night for us. I feel like blogs look better with a photo, so even though this is from the fall, and has nothing to do with Valentine's Day, I thought I'd include it anyway. We're at TPAC in this photo to see the ballet's performance of "Cinderella."
It was just a few days ago that I wrote about trust in the midst of difficult trials. And if I remember correctly I wrote about how we are made so much stronger through our life struggles and we can become better people. Well, this theme has come up several more times in the past few days!
We received a very kind email from David's grandmother who sent us these encouraging verses.
1 Peter 1: 3-7
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed."
I'm beginning to feel very convicted that in the trials we have experienced I have gone to a place of self-pity instead of a place of true acceptance of suffering as part of the building of my faith. Last night as Dave and I were reading these verses together it was as if a light bulb went off that said- DON'T WASTE YOUR TRIALS! Of course, it's ok to be sad and cry about whatever loss you may be experiencing. But, we are praying that we will not forget that suffering can lead to the greater good of the strengthening of our faith. Of course, if I had it my way I'd prefer to lose the trials, but where does that leave me? I would be quite a shallow person if I never truly experienced suffering and had to trust God's goodness despite bad news and having to be patient. Sometimes I also think I prefer to just be stubborn and angry at God until He moves in the way I'd like Him to do. But, seriously? Where did I learn that what I want is more important than trusting God!?
I'm having some pretty serious moments like this...
....feeling my failure in response to suffering. And I'm realizing that God's true plan for my life doesn't have to do with healing the physical, but instead of healing the spiritual. This is something I have always KNOWN in my head, but I'm hoping that this truth is starting to go deep into my heart.
Does this mean I will never cry and feel sad over the loss of biological children? No. Or the loss of things not going how I want them to? No. Does it mean that I won't be jealous of friends that are able to have pregnancies and babies so easily? No. Does it mean that when significant dates pass (like birthdays and Christmas) where I anticipated that we would have already brought our child home that I won't feel sad and mournful? No. Does it mean that we no longer need the support and outreach from friends and family? No. Does this mean that I will ALWAYS remember this truth and that it will always remain fresh in my heart? Unfortunately, no. (Sorry, that's a lot of no's!)
But, what I hope this DOES mean is that I (am trying to) trust that:
1. This suffering is done for our greater good and for the strengthening of our faith (which we desire to be of greater worth than GOLD!) and we accept it as part of our life journey and journey to parenthood.
2. Our suffering doesn't come near to comparing to the suffering of Christ on the cross and His sacrifice for us. So, the least I can do is trust Him in His love and mercy for us as appreciation for His great sacrifice!
3. Even when we fail and our faith seems to be so small, we will offer to God that small faith and ask him to make that mustard seed into a mountain!
Seeing God's confirmation that this is what we're supposed to be learning is good. Dave and I have been praying for a specific verse for God to give us. I wish it were the verse, "And God will grant you all the desires of your heart." But alas, no, He has provided us with verses about suffering and the strengthening of our faith, so we better hold on tight. It looks like this might be a bumpy ride!
I found this quote on another blog today, confirming what we're learning-
“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”
― Elisabeth Kübler-Ross