It seems like "surrender" has been the theme of my life over the past couple of months.
In December, the shock of finding out that we were expecting a baby, at this late stage of our parenting journey, rocked my world. With shaking knees, I knelt in the bathroom and put my head in my hands over that pregnancy test. Oh God. The thought of being 45 years old and hanging out with young mamas at the park who would think I was my child's grandma horrified me.
But even before those pink lines in the test kit started fading, my heart began to melt at the realization that I was getting another chance to love a baby of my very own, another chance to raise a child in our family. And seeing the beauty of our older children, how they have become amazing people, made me get excited about the tiny fingers and toes that were already forming inside me.
I surrendered. To this gift that we were being given. To God's incredible plan. I floated with anticipation.
When the spotting started, I did not allow myself to worry. This is perfectly normal, I told myself. I laid on the couch for a couple of days until I could see the doctor, and thought of baby names. I envisioned our living room, now spotless, as it would be soon: strewn with toys and baby things, and smiled. Those days had passed quickly the first time, and I knew I would treasure it again. Surely, God wouldn't allow this to be taken from me.
"I'm so sorry," the doctor said the following Monday, as he looked at the sonogram on the screen. Tears started rolling down my cheeks, but even then, I decided that there was some mistake. This wasn't really happening, because I'd already surrendered to the Lord's goodness and generosity. I'd already figured out how we could start paying for the delivery costs. We'd started a list of names. We knew where the crib would go.
But as the reality has sunk in during the past weeks, and I've gone through the pain of losing this baby, I've felt shattered. Like my hope had been twisted and broken into a million pieces. I'd have been perfectly fine to have never become pregnant in the first place. To never have started falling in love with a baby and rearranging my life. It was like a beautiful gift had been dangled in front of me and then snatched cruelly away just as I reached for it.
And yet. There's been comfort in the middle of everything. Notes and emails, friends who brought food, the love of my family, and the support of my Company Girls.
And the Psalms. Oh, I'm so thankful that the writers of the Psalms weren't so spiritual that they couldn't be honest about their despair. David, in particular, didn't spare any words about how he felt as he faced his struggles.
Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;
my eyes grow weak with sorrow,
my soul and my body with grief.
My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak....I have become like broken pottery.
David knew what it was like to be shattered.
In Psalm 31, he cries out to God in his distress and recounts the many ways he is in need of a refuge. Sick, attacked by enemies, lied about, accused, afraid, abandoned and anguished, David's hope is crushed.
But right in the middle of his despair, there is a short verse (v. 14) that leaps off the page of the Bible.
But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, "You are my God."
Several days ago, there was a moment in the midst of my own anguish that I heard God speak to me. It wasn't a word of comfort or cheer, but it was a question that pierced my soul. It happened as I was driving along our country road, at a spot where the road dips down into a low "pit," as we call it. It's a short stretch that descends through the dark woods and over a creek before rising up out of the trees and into an open space.
"Do you trust Me?" The words shot through my miserable thoughts.
In a split-second, I was exposed and humbled. Honest and ashamed. I could not pretend.
No. I don't trust You. I don't trust that You'll take care of me, that You are working in my life for Your glory OR my good. I don't trust that this valley could ever be part of Your plan.
And in that same second, I knew that I did not trust Him because I had not remembered WHO He is. I did not consider that He is the Everlasting, the Creator and Savior, the God of Truth, my Defender and Champion. That He hears my cry and knows the very depths of my soul. That He is trustworthy and strong, abundant in grace and mercy. That He is able to redeem even the worst circumstance into something beautiful. He is my Rock and Refuge, the One who rescues and the One who preserves. He saves me in my distress and comforts my spirit within me. He is my Peace, my Provider and my Protector.
I had forgotten just how big He is.
My hands gripped the steering wheel as the old Explorer shifted gears to climb out of the pit. I could barely see the road through my tears.
When I begin to recount, like David in his Psalm, the character and name of the Lord, something new starts happening. I've realized that when my concept of God is small, trusting Him, surrendering to Him, is hard. I fight Him tooth and nail for the right to rule my life. Especially in the dark times.
But when I say, "You are my God," and recall everything that is contained in His name, my perspective changes.
Trust becomes easy.
Surrender is a relief.
He IS a strong and mighty tower that we can run to. He is a rock and refuge, when everything around us is shifting and confusing. He has a storehouse of goodness prepared for those who honor Him.
He is big enough to take this heartache and create something good. I can't see it now, but I know He will.
I trust in You, O Lord.
Today's Small Thing is to print off Psalm 31:14-15. Download Psalm 31.14 I've added part of verse 15 because it reminds me that He is in control of my future. I counted almost 50 attributes of God in Psalm 31...can you find them, too?
I put together a small playlist of songs that have been a blessing to me over the past weeks, and I hope maybe you'll have some time to let them play and listen to the words. (Just pause the playlist that is in my sidebar.) Meditate on the greatness of God and let Him reveal Himself to you through His word. Psalm 31 is a perfect place to start.
The more we know Him, the more we can willingly surrender to Him. We can trust Him, even when we don't understand the circumstances, because we know His character.
We can say with confidence, "You are our God."
POINTS: 40 for putting Psalm 31:13-15 somewhere where you can see it.