Be Strong & Courageous

It's been a full year since I wrote THIS post about our struggle with losing our sweet little baby last year, and how I felt for some reason that October 14th was meant to be the day that he was supposed to be born. I'm good at making myself busy and pretending that the hurt isn't there, but the Lord has ways of getting you to remember. I don't think He means for it to be a bad memory, but just a memory nonetheless. A memory of His grace & goodness, a memory that even in the darkest of shadows, He will be there. It's a point to look back on and see His fingerprints on the plans, His loving hands carrying us through. 

This morning a dear friend of mine felt called to read a passage in our group chat from the book of Joshua about being Strong and Courageous. And then I heard it.

“Have I not commanded you? Be Strong & Courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
— Joshua 1:9

 "Have I NOT COMMANDED YOU?" Oh Lord. I hear you. Yes, you have commanded me, you have made promises, you're instructing me to REST, be Still, and to trust in your Name. I hear you. But as we hit the 19th month mark of trying for more children, and I start to question the promises. Oh Lord, you feel silent to me, and I need to feel you moving, because Lord, I am moving. I am going to all the doctors and trying to figure this out on my own and I'm starting to feel stupid. I'm questioning your goodness, I'm asking where you are, and I'm getting angry that I CAN'T FIX THIS on my own. I feel like You've forgotten these promises, and I get frustrated that you are giving the thing my heart desires to what feels like every one else. You're giving this blessing to people who don't even realize how much of a gift it is, and would rather dispose of your Gift. Lord, I would cherish that child as long as I have breath in my lungs, and they throw it away like yesterday's trash. Please, help me to understand your ways, because I just really need Your grace. 

And then, you show up. On a day, when I NEEDED you to show up, you SHOW UP. On a day, where last year I wrote about how my heart will never be whole again, and You tell me to be Strong and Courageous. You ask me to keep going, be BRAVE, be STRONG, NEVER LOSE HOPE. 

You open my eyes to behold the beautiful little boy you have already given me. You've instructed me to slow down, to rest, you've helped me to see that on days that I'm taking walks to the park, picking out colored leaves, listening to good music and singing in the car with this beautiful miniature blessing, that THOSE DAYS, they fill me up way more than any project I could be working on, or any wedding I could photograph. While I'm over here glorifying this notion of busy and successful, you're changing my heart for something bigger. Because being a mama, is all about strength and courage, and waiting on future babies, man, that is ALL ABOUT STRENGTH & COURAGE. 

So Lord, I hear you. And I'm sorry for doubting you.

My beautiful friend didn't even know or understand the gravity of those words she spoke to us this morning. She simply knew we needed to hear them and that was enough. Which is so beautiful to me, because the Lord speaks through people ALL. THE. TIME! But sometimes we are just not in the right state of mind to receive His words.

When I played that message this morning, I was hurrying to get ready, and I thought, yes, I need to be Strong and Courageous. Thank you, what a great message to head into this work day. And then hours later, as I laid down next to my little boy in hopes of getting him to fall asleep for his nap, I heard those words again. Jonathan slowly drifted off to sleep, as hot tears streamed down my cheeks. I realized those words meant something entirely different to me today, because I actually feel weak & broken. I feel sad and defeated. With each passing month, I feel this crushing blow to my heart, because last year when I wrote that post, I thought, God is going to redeem Himself. He is going to show up so big, and hopefully next year, I can talk about how we have another baby, and see, Look at How Good and Big and GLORIOUS our God is. And just yesterday, I sat there wondered Where IS GOD? Where is this child He promised us? 12 whole months and we are not any closer to expanding our family. As I read post after post of all these other people talking about baby #2 for their family, and I'm still here with nothing to show for it. 

But friends, I'm here to tell you, HE IS HERE. In all this mess, HE IS HERE. Just be STRONG & Courageous, keep pushing through and slowly His plans will be revealed. Day by Day, his plans will become clearer, and If NOT, HE IS STILL GOOD. Because ultimately, He knows better of the needs of our hearts, better THAN WE DO! Just listen to His Voice and hear His Commands! And Please know that if you need prayers, do not be afraid to ask for them!

Posted on October 14, 2016 and filed under Personal.