Wednesday, June 4, 2014

On why the storms before the rainbow comes matters....

During tornado season, when Jessi and I were little girls - and I'm talking pre-Loren and Will here - my dad would tell us to set our shoes by our bedside in case we needed to get up and head to a shelter in the middle of the night.

I don't ever remember needing to get up in the middle of the night, but I do remember that I slept hard and didn't worry because my dad would make sure we'd get to safety if a storm got close. There were nights that the wind was fierce and we lost trees. Nevertheless, I put my faith and trust into my dad and his decision making. I believed that he knew better for me. And I slept well and easy knowing that he knew what to do in case trouble came. 

Even now when a storm comes, I sleep harder and rest easy because of all those nights when I was a kid. 

I've mentioned before that I am struggling with seeing how God's plans for Lily and for Brandon and I are better than mine. 

There have been so many times in Brandon and I's relationship where things didn't work out the way we wanted. And we would complain and be pissed off for awhile about it. Each time our plans failed, we always lamented, "Just one time, I wish things would come easily to us!" 

And we have said it a hundred times this time with Lily too. 

But you know what else happened during those harder times? We were drawn closer to God and to one another. His ways were ALWAYS so much better than ours. 

I feel like the storm we are in right now has been brewing since last summer. 

Brandon moved to Arkansas for work and while Jessi was with me, my husband was not. We both had very busy lives during those six months and we talked as much as we could, but it just wasn't the same. We reverted back to being independent without one another. Listen, while I'm a strong advocate for strong women, one of the ways that the Lord has grown and stretched me is letting myself be vulnerable to Brandon. 

Before I met Brandon, I was Miss Independent personified. I needed no help from anyone.
After I met Brandon, I learned that it was okay to still be strong, but that it was okay to ask for help. 

There wasn't any shame in being human. 

Last fall seems like a cake walk in comparison to now. But right before we found out about Lily, Brandon and I had a knock down drag out that was ugly. I was reeling from not passing the bar, missing Michigan, and questioning whether or not Arkansas was the right place for me. When truthfully, I hadn't given it a legitimate shot. We also were going through an adjustment period after being apart for a period of time. Like I said, it was ugly. 

Two weeks later, we found out that our daughter was very sick and that if she survived birth, she would go to meet our Maker shortly thereafter.

And that argument seemed insignificant and petty.

I don't know how many of you are familiar with the story of Noah. But here is the gist of it: God told Noah to build an ark and make sure that two of every kind of animal was with him. He also got to take his family with him which included his wife and his sons and their wives. And Noah obeyed God. Here's the kicker - he did all of this before the storm ever came and even after he finished building the ark, the storm didn't come right away. The storm eventually came for forty days and for forty nights. Noah and his family were safe. When God finally destroyed the Earth and all who lived in it, He told Noah and his family to come out. He promised that He would never destroy the Earth in that way again and to show Noah, He meant it, God showed the first rainbow. 

(For a full version of events, see Genesis 6:9-8:22)

I kind of think there are two storms here. There's the obvious one when Noah and his family are at sea, but there was storm before that. I think that Noah was facing a mental storm while he was building the ark for God. I just imagine him to face a ton of ridicule for building a boat so big with no water to put it in and also he must have been wondering if what God had for him with all of this. And yet, he obeyed God and loved God whole-heartedly.

The second storm was just as hard because they lost all their friends and everything they knew to be normal. Their whole world would never be the same.

I so identify with that.

I hate that this is my story and that things aren't fun. Pregnancy is supposed to be a happy thing. But this just isn't. It's a whole lot of sad and trying desperately to find good when there really isn't any.

I've waited a long time to post weekly updates and now it just hurts to think about them. I know I'll want them some day, but being in the moment of things, it just makes me mad.

And I guess that's what I feel most: anger.

We have done so many things that we are supposed to do. We got married first. We got our education. And I know there isn't anything in the Bible about education, but we both wanted to bring children in this world with the best conditions we could. We felt like we could honor God with our family by having good jobs and working hard. It's two ways of being good stewards of the Earth. I'm not saying we are perfect by any means, but we made our best efforts to be obedient to God. We fight for our marriage and take it seriously.

Could we have done better? Yes, we could have. And maybe that's the lesson. I don't know. I know God is faithful to those who obey Him. And obedience is like self-control. It is a life long journey. I've learned that in the past three years of law school and two years of taking care of my health. Fighting to make good decisions is an every day battle. It's one that never ends.

I thought I was making headway on that fight.

Yet here we are in this storm. We got picked for some reason and I'm not sleeping well because there isn't anything I can do to protect my little girl from harm like my dad did.

The Bible tells us that God does not always protect us from trouble or storms, but He cares for us in spite of them. There are a lot of ways He has cared for us in all of this, but there are also ways that it doesn't seem like He has. I know that's because I can't see into the future and I haven't been to heaven to ask the hard questions. It makes me mad.

And I guess that's what part of this is about: I have to truly trust Him and His will for our lives. Not just where I am comfortable with letting go, but where I'm not comfortable letting go too.

I know we will come out stronger as a couple.
I know that we will be more in love with one another that we already are.
I know that there are some things in my own faith that could use some adjusting.
I know that we have made some decisions for Lily that are in obedience to God.
I know that we will be able to help bring people to His kingdom because of this story that others cannot.
I know that we will grow in our faith.
I know that some day I will know why God needed Lily more than I did.

I know that our rainbow will come some day. I just wish I didn't have to go through this awful storm first.

But, then again rainbows can't come without the storms happening first.

And His promises for our family can't come without trusting God completely to make them happen.

1 comment:

Linds said...

Catching up on your blog. I hate this for you, I really do.

Praying for you!

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Hi y'all! The name's Samantha. You can call me Sam if you like. I am a lover to a boy I met at Falls Creek in the summer of 2005, that is a student of Jesus, a Sooner born and Sooner bred and when I die I'll be Sooner dead, Democrat by party, blonde to the core, and oldies but goodies kind of girl.
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