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Monday, January 21, 2013

Are You There?

I have not felt like writing in so long. I feel like such a Debbie Downer lately, and I don't want to ruin anyone's day, but I figured it was a good time for a purge. Let me preface all of this by saying I'm 38 weeks pregnant, so I fully understand that some of my perspective is skewed by hormones and exhaustion. Forgive me that.

Have you ever read Mother Theresa's story? She was obviously this saintly woman who loved and served God her entire life, but did you know that for about 40 years of her life, she suffered through what is sometimes called "the dark night of the soul." It's a period where a follower of God does not feel or hear His presence, doubts His existence, and generally just struggles. I don't mean, at all, to compare myself to Mother Theresa, but boy do I get it. I find it weirdly encouraging that someone like her could go through a period like that for SO LONG, and still keep pressing on in serving Him, choosing belief even when it doesn't make sense, and she couldn't see the bigger picture or know the purpose. 

I guess that's where I'm at right now. The past, almost 2 years, we have lived with my parents. The first year was planned. We had to rent out our townhouse for a year in order to be able to buy another place. This second year... well, basically nothing has gone as planned. In March, we started house hunting and getting all our preapprovals and things together. In June, we put an offer in on a short sale. In June, we also found out we were pregnant! Exciting! We'd be moving into a new house and then having a new baby! We prayed over that house every single day. We drove by it 1000 times, and had our children pray over it. As the months dragged on with no response from the bank, we began to pray more urgently, "God, please let us hear something this week." I think I have prayed that specific prayer 1,000,000,000 times. Unfortunately, the answer was always a no. When November rolled around with still no response and no end in sight, we began to get desperate. By this point, I was about 6 months pregnant, really hoping for a homebirth in our own home, and really wanting to be moved and settled before this baby's arrival. Believe me, I have prayed all those things 1,000,000,000 times as well. Finally, we withdrew the offer on the first home and placed another offer on a foreclosure. It's not in our ideal location, but the house/lot itself will work much better for us, and it's a foreclosure, so "theoretically," we should be able to close quickly. Well, it's just been snag after snag. It's nothing major, and nothing that should be holding us up, but here I am, two weeks from my due date without a closing date on the books. So that homebirth I've been praying for? Not gonna happen. It's okay. I'm thankful for the birth center and my midwife friend, and most importantly that she loves Jesus, knows me and my struggle intimately, and is on my side in all of this... but it's still hard. 

In the meantime, I was super excited to get hired for this new teaching job, and seeing some sort of light at the end of the tunnel in that area of our life... but unfortunately, circumstances beyond everyone's control have sort of put that on the backburner as well. But God, it felt like such a sure thing one day, and then the rug was pulled from under me the next?. I don't get it. (And person who I know feels responsible and is bending over backward for me in this circumstance, PLEASE know I do not blame you or hold you responsible in any way. I know that you are 100% on my side and doing everything you can to make it work. We are all put in situations beyond our control at times, and I KNOW that's where you are at right now. I just need to purge. Please forgive.) 

This is a hard season for me. I feel like every specific prayer I've asked of God is met with a no. I do not get it, at all. I have prayed for the past year, "God, please show me your purpose and your plan. Please show me the lesson. Please." And I am just as lost. I have no clue what the purpose is behind all of this waiting and disappointment. I am totally discouraged to ask anything of God right now. I've fallen back on cop-out prayers, and just asking God to do whatever His will is, because I am afraid of further disappointment. Fear is building about this impending birth and baby, and quite frankly, I'm afraid to pray for it. I don't want a "no" in that area. I don't want another tragedy on my hands. I know some people can look at me and my life (myself included) and see how ironic it is that when I lost a baby and went through a terrible circumstance, I could easily praise God, but now this "series of unfortunate events" has brought me to my knees. The difference? When we lost Ransom, I could see and feel God's presence and purpose SO clearly. For the past year, I'm choosing trust by an act of the will. This is so much harder. I don't understand why God seems to answer other people's prayers and not mine. It hurts. It's hard. I don't know if or when I'll ever have answers to the "whys" of this season. I don't know if or when this season will end. For Mother Theresa, it lasted 40 years. Who am I? 

Comparatively speaking, my life is good. I am blessed. I totally get that. Quite frankly, it only makes me feel worse that I can be the sort of person who feels better by seeing other people in terrible circumstances. Actually, it makes me more sad to know that there are so many people who have it so much harder than I do, with no relief or end in sight. I don't get that either. I'm full of questions. I'm wrestling. I'm choosing belief by an act of the will. It is hard. 

So, I don't really have some sort of happy wrap-up to this blog. I wish I did. I will leave you with the worship song that most accurately reflects my heart at this moment, and I'll ask you to pray for me. 

Small Enough - Nichole Nordeman

Oh Great God, be small enough to hear me now. 
There were times when I was crying from the dark of Daniel's den, 
And I have asked you once or twice if you would part the seas again. 
But tonight I do not need a fiery pillar in the sky, 
Just wanna know, you're gonna hold me if I start to cry. 

Oh Great God be small enough to hear me now..Oh Great God, be close enough to feel me now. 

There have been moments when I could not face Goliath on my own, 
And how could I forget we've marched around our share of Jerichos. 
But I will not be setting out a fleece for you tonight. 
I just want to know that everything will be alright. 

Oh Great God, be close enough to feel you now.
All praise and all the honor be to the God of ancient mysteries,
Whose every sign and wonder turned the pages of our history. 
But tonight my heart is heavy and I cannot keep from whispering this prayer...Are you there?

And I know you could leave writing on the wall thats just for me, 
Or send wisdom while I'm sleeping, like in Solomons sweet dreams. 
But I don't need the strength of Sampson, or a chariot in the end. 
Just wanna know that you still know how many hairs are on my head. 

Oh Great God, are you small enough? Be small enough to hear me now....