Some of you might not know this about Leo and I. Last year about this time we had a miscarriage. It was still early on, but it doesn't really matter how early you are. When you have been given a little one to care for and then it is gone, it's always painful. You have tons of questions that float around in your head and heart. Some of them feel like they are way in the back of your mind while others scream at you. Of course there is the boisterous "Why?" and of course all those questions that come along with... and then there are the lessons that seem so much softer. Some lessons that were learned. Funny how loud self can be and how gentle the voice of God is. How easy it is to listen to your own shouts.
So what are the things the Lord was showing? To not let our joy be taken from us. Sure we were unhappy, displeased, hurt.... but we still had joy. I was also asked about that time by his gentle voice: "Will you be willing to be Abraham?" Was I willing to give up my child to Him? Was my love for Him strong enough? Was I willing to give up the idea? Was I willing to lay my hurts on Jesus? It's a hard process- sacrificing. Never pleasant. And God calls us to lay down our Isaac's often I find. I imagine when Abraham got word about sacrificing his son. What was going through his head? It says he packed things up and headed out in search for a place to sacrifice at. I sometimes wonder how long they wondered until finally Abraham said "okay, let's just get this over with". I wonder how much he doddled to get things set up. I wonder how long you can humanly stall... of was Abraham quick to get things going because he was so obedient. I have a feeling he stalled-- He was human. Again, it's a had process- sacrificing. And on the flip side: Why? Why was God making him go through such accolades? Didn't He know his heart?
There's that human popping up again. The one with the poor me complex. The one that likes to stand around shouting "But why? It's so unfair, this is miserable, why?!"
The answer? Because He's drawing us closer to Him. Growing us. Stretching us. Because obedience and trust make us strong when we are weak. Such hard lessons to learn.
Since last year we've been blessed with another little one. This little one is still sitting pretty in my belly... still being knitted by my God I guess. We fully expect her to be healthy and here soon but I'm becoming impatient and nervous and battling anxiousness. I heard the other day a question quietly in my mind. The question was "why if I ask you to sacrifice this one too?" Gosh. That seems so hard. Will I still stand with joy? I don't think God is asking that of us, but the question does remain. Would I be willing to hold His joy because it's found in Him alone? What am I willing to sacrifice?
Strangly, Leo and I were praying last night about our due date. Today we go in for another appointment and get to make a decision about whether we should induce by Monday or wait. Such a hard decision. It's easy to become selfish. There are so many shouting voices in me right now. Which one do I listen to? As we were praying Leo said "God we give you this due date and place it on the alter like Abraham did with Isaac. This is your child and we will wait on you." Ugh. Sacrifice is hard but obedience and trusting makes us stronger... it grows us. Grows us closer to Him. My Joy will be in the Lord as He continues to grow us.