On the way from the living room to my baby’s room to lay my sleeping beauty in her crib I looked around my toy covered house, while stepping over blocks as if they were land mines, and just became overwhelmed…with gratitude! I am so thankful for my messy home because that means quite a few amazing things:
1. I have a home
2. I have a husband who works hard to make sure we have a roof over our heads
3. I have a baby – an amazing baby – who is full of joy and smiles more than anyone I’ve ever seen
4. We have the means to provide the things that our baby needs…and some things she doesn’t 🙂
5. God has heard and answered many of my heart cries (desire fulfilled IS a tree of life! Proverbs 13:12)
Yes, all this went through my mind in the 3 seconds it took to walk from one room to another in our small – but cozy – apartment. I am so thankful. That definitely does not mean everything in my life is picture perfect; there are still trials, lessons, challenges, hurts, needs, fears, questions, etc. However, I need to be intentional about choosing to focus on my God’s faithfulness and what He has provided, not on what is lacking. For there have been a couple hard seasons in my life where I felt so incredibly alone – some of those times I felt God’s presence the strongest I have in my life, others, I felt like He just left me to myself (though He didn’t). I realized through those seasons however that God will always be the one that I need the most.
At one point in my life, I was a newly single girl with a broken heart desperately longing to have a family of my own. I thought I was just going to be that perpetually single girl who every New Years Eve people would say to her “maybe this is THE year,” to which I would cynically reply “or maybe not.” I watched as friends got married, celebrated wedding anniversaries, and had babies, and I wondered if that could possibly ever be me. God constantly whispered to my aching heart, “wait and trust.” In that season of my life, I was having to learn how to balance my very natural desires to be married and have children with knowing that even if I never had those desires fulfilled, I could trust the Lord.
Something I often said during that season was that I want to be as content in the waiting period as I am when/if i receive what I long for, for that is where true faith- and trust – lies. Faith. Faith is what pleases the Lord (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is what amazes the Lord (Matthew 8:10). This is definitely not easy, but know that it is possible with the help of the Spirit! Proverbs 13:12 accurately declares that Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. In the hurt, as well as in the fulfillment, faith is essential.
The moral of this story isn’t necessarily that you will always get what you ask God for (though you may), or that we can only be fulfilled when we have a family of our own (though it is a true blessing), or even that God knows us, knows our hearts, and our hearts really do matter to Him (though that is very true). The bigger truth is that when He does give us something we desire, it is because He has a plan in which that desire is a part. God sees the bigger picture, we need to trust. I do believe God gave me my husband and sweet baby girl because He loves me, absolutely, but on an even larger scale than that, He has a purpose for His kingdom through us as a family. I am glad that there is more to it than just me and my needs/desires.
Whatever season you find yourself in, I pray that you find comfort and encouragement in knowing that Jesus truly does have a plan in where He has you right now, and you can trust His ability to fulfill His purpose for you (Psalm 138:8). For those who have much, do not forsake or place to the side the one who has so generously provided for you. For those whose hearts are longing, lean all the weight of your confidence on the only one who can bear it and deserves it. In every season remember to abound in thanksgiving (Colossians 2:6). There truly is power and freedom in thanksgiving.
Thank you Lord for the answered prayer of my messy home!