Our stories are ours to share, though we aren't the Authors. We have a role, decisions to make, sure, but at times there are things that happen in our lives in which we have little or no control.
Carrying a child always awakens my heart to this reality. Here is this life, that I have forming inside of me, and there is very little I can do to write the story just how I see it should go. Though I'd love each of my pregnancy and delivery's story lines to look something like this: our little one grows and thrives easily in my womb, a beautiful natural delivery brings a healthy, chubby full-term baby, everything is in perfect working order for baby, an uncomplicated healing process and hospital stay for us, followed up by a smooth transition into feeding and sleeping and life at home....ummm....I can say that pretty much all of these things have not played out so smoothly. How many of us can say they have? I know I am not alone. So our stories are not as we would write them, but they are written by One we can trust. Why the dips and valleys in our storyline?
Here's what I do know: I have needed, desperately needed, to know how very weak I am. I can like all too much to be a "pull-yourself-up by-your-bootstraps" kinda girl. Whatever may come, I can handle it, don't worry about me. Sounds nice. Sounds strong. But it's wrong. I can't always handle it and I need help. He graciously tries to show me again and again, my great need for Him, and for others, for that matter. But this need for Him....I'm getting it more and more. Well, He won't let me get away from it really. He keeps writing my story and highlighting this fact. Bed rest=weakness; Miscarriages=weakness; Raising 3 toddlers with one on the way=weakness. But where is my heart in the midst of all this weakness? It's like when God and Paul interact as Paul asks God why he doesn't take away the weakness he has consistently struggled with (his "thorn in his flesh, messenger of Satan"...whatever it was, a weakness or a hardship). Their exchange goes like this: (God speaking to Paul)
"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'"
And Paul concludes this:
"Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Cor. 12: 9,10)
Strength coming from weakness? Sounds all wrong. But, it's so right. We can easily be lulled to sleep, thinking we have what it takes when the picture is so rosy. But hardships, unexpected turns, change our perspective. We can see more clearly. Because we are not God, but we desperately need him. We need him more than our next breath.
Now on the other side of some of these seasons, I see the beautiful things He works inside us, as well as, through these pains that I would never know if everything was just as I would script it. Would I have embraced my calling of motherhood so whole-hearted without these trials? Would I have ever stopped to marvel at air filling my children's lungs? Would I have known the degree in which I don't have what it takes and how great my need is for Him? Would I have longed, truly longed, to meet Jesus in Heaven as I have with the loss of 2 children? In His sweet mercy, He has scripted my story. And though at times I have a hard time swallowing the reality, I'm grateful He is the Author, and I am not.