My mom always says giving birth to a child is tough but once the baby comes out, you forget the pain. This post is not about childbirth, but about the brilliant analogy this process provides for so many real life circumstances. And I thought I'd share a personal moment I had one Sunday in February in my friend's car...
"After a very long and tiring week, and an even longer month, I was on my way to church, when I had the option of just going home to rest. I got to church early and parked at a shopping center waiting and Facetimed my sister. 15 minutes to church starting, I try to start my car to make it in time, and my car won't start. I walk to church in the freezing cold with no jacket for half a mile. And on my way, as the cold wind is blowing against me, I fight back tears. After church a friend of mine tries to give me a jump-start and it won't work. And here I am sitting in the backseat, feeble! Then I'm reminded of the scripture:
He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you My loving-kindness and My mercy are more than enough—always available—regardless of the situation; for My power is being perfected and is completed and shows itself most effectively in your weakness.” Therefore, I will all the more gladly boast in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may completely enfold me and may dwell in me. 2 Corinthians 12:9
I realize it's in moments like these that we can really feel God's strength; just when we have none left. I had a few minutes to myself in my friend's car as I waited for the tow truck to come. And I could not hold the tears any longer. Sometimes it feels good to just let it out. But I know I can't stay there; wallowing in self-pity and despair. It's hard. When one thing happens, to people it's like it's just a car problem big deal. It's just a tow, it's not that serious. What they don't understand is it's been a long period of the big deals and the not so big deals. But it's not even important for people to understand. What's important is...
Don't look back
When you start thinking about all the things that have gone wrong, trust me, it will seem like it'll never get better. And that couldn't be further from the truth.
Don't think its your fault
No, you're not getting punished for what you've done. We've been saved by grace.
For it is by grace God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ that you have been saved actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life through faith. And this salvation is not of yourselves not through your own effort, but it is the undeserved, gracious gift of Go. Ephesians 2:8
Embrace God's love
Know that He still loves you, yes, even in these times.
And appreciate all the other things that are going right. Coz I can bet you, no matter how bad things are, there are some things that are still going right. It may sound clichee but sometimes it is comforting to just be able to think, I have a husband who loves me and he is going to hold me close, I have family who love and support me, I'm healthy and even though I haven't had health insurance all this while, I haven't had to go to the hospital, and most importantly I have a God who will not abandon me.
Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble in dread before them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not fail you or abandon you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
Don't dwell on the issue. Even if you don't know how it's going to get sorted out, believe that it will get sorted out one way or another. Have something to look forward to. Imagine what life will be like when its all over and hold on to that. God has good plans for you.
For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.Jeremiah 29:11"
In case it wasn't obvious, with the use of a weird mix of present tense and present continuous, I wrote all of this from my friend's backseat on Sunday February 26, 2017 at 2:55pm. I had do idea when this phase would be over and how it would happen. But I can tell you now it is over. And like childbirth the pain is gone and has been replaced with a joy that makes me smile like a fool randomly throughout the day, when I think of how far God has brought me.
A woman, when she is in labor, has pain because her time [to give birth] has come; but when she has given birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of her joy that a child has come into the world. John 16:21