Sunday, January 06, 2008

Part Two...The Good News

If you haven't read my post from Friday, The Hardest Stage, I hope you will read it before you start this one.
It may be that Friday's post left you with some sense of disappointment, of thinking, If the stage I'm in is always going to be the hardest one, how am I supposed to press on? In a way, that's the feeling I was hoping to evoke. Kind of a bad news/good news situation. As in, The bad news is - you're always going to be in the hardest stage. The good news is...Read on!

I was meeting with my mentor a few weeks ago, lamenting the morning I’d had with the boys. I told her I had asked God, “Why does this have to be so hard?”
This isn’t the first time I have asked God this question, and – honestly – it is a faith-filled question. I truly believe God is using motherhood to make me into the woman He wants me to be, and I do have tremendous HOPE as a result. So, in asking that question I am reminding myself God is up to something good.
But Jenni saw something more and asked me, “Where do you think God was in the middle of your struggle?” Of course He was with me. He always is. I thought I was acknowledging His presence by asking Him why this time in my life has to be so hard. So I told Jenni I knew God was right there with me in the midst of the chaos and we talked about living in the present moment, until our time together came to an end.

God, however, wasn’t finished with the conversation. He has been playing it over and expanding on it ever since I walked out Jenni’s door. It has been a part of some email exchanges. The idea has been rolling around in my head almost constantly for the past week or two. He even addressed it in the sermon at church today! I keep hearing that question, Where do you think God was in the middle of your struggle?
The conclusion I have come to as a result of contemplating this question has me so excited I can hardly stay in my skin!!! Are you ready?

God has shown me I can have HOPE in mothering because He is using my trials to refine me, just like a silversmith uses fire to refine silver. And HOPE is such a good thing. The Bible says we hope for that which we do not yet possess (Rom. 8:24-25) and I have realized this HOPE God has given me is for my future. I can endure the trials of my present, understanding God is using them for my future. So I have HOPE.

And I am thankful.

BUT, in considering Jenni’s question, I have been working at shifting my focus. By all means, I am still hoping in God and the work He is doing in me. However, when I am in the middle of a struggle, instead of asking Him, “Why does this have to be so hard?” I am recognizing His presence and thanking Him for being with me in it. I am asking for His eyes, that I might see my children as He does. I am thanking Him for loving my children. (One day I said to Him, I am so glad you love this child. Because right now I don’t think I can!) In short, I am trying to take my focus off the struggle and place it on my loving Heavenly Father. I am living in the present moment and seeing God in it.
And do you know what I have discovered happening in me as a result? Something is growing – even in the midst of the struggle – and the only word I can find to describe it is JOY.
My friends, this is HUGE for me – to have JOY in mothering. God has given me HOPE for the future, and JOY for the present. Even though – as I said in Friday’s post – I believe the present is the hardest stage in mothering, God is showing me the present is also where I can find JOY.

Heavenly Father, I can never thank You enough for the way You are revealing Yourself to me. Your perfect care for me is beyond my comprehension. I thank You for first giving me HOPE in mothering and for now showing me how I can truly have JOY. You are so good to me and I am so thankful. O Lord, my God, I will praise Your name forever!

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Char said...

Dear Karen

As always I loved popping over to your site and having a good read. And also, as a non-mom, I realized that in ALL circumstances HOPE can override any bad whatevers. You are finding joy in mothering - and I am learning to find joy in nto being a mom. Moms come to your site to get encouragement... and they find it. I come to your site to learn from you in a spiritual sense. And I find it. I praise God for you and for the anointing He has placed over you! Surely, He has wonderful plans for us, doesn't He? And look how far He's brought us! Yay! And every day that passes is one day less until we see Him face to face at the second coming, not so? c",)

Char said...

Woops - I just realized that something gobbledegooked my comment - I was trying to say "I am learning to find joy in being a NON-mom!" Woops. Bad glitch there. Sorry!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your honesty and being so open. It is so comforting to read.

Happyhome said...

Thanks for posting Karen. I'm rereading and mulling it all over.

Funny, but I asked the Lord the very same question last week! Thanks for sharing your JOY. There are more thoughts rolling around in my head, but I'm too tired for any of it to make sense. Will write more soon.

freetofly said...

As a woman, wife, mother - who is utterly and unashamedly dependant on Him...I am ever so grateful to have this aspect of our faith, that as we fix our eyes on Him, everything else seems to change in I read your post, when I got to the part about the silver...(which I completely concur, of course!) I thought right away of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego...He was right there with them, in the fire! I LOVE that, and they were set free in that fire, when they came out, they didn't even smell like fire! What JOY! He is with us in the fire!

So thank you for your gifts! Thank you for the inspiration!

Rachel said...

I just got back in town and am thrilled to have finally read the second part of this post. It is what I've needed to hear.
I've been asking God in my struggle, "Why can't I do this?" All the while implying and knowing He is with me I still complain that it is TOO HARD.
I'm trying to say "Yes" in submission to the Lord on this struggle, but I just keep failing. It's words like you have shared in this post that help me. Thanks, Karen!
Much love to you,
Rachel <><

JanMary said...

Just found your blog. Thanks for sharing - a real encouragement to me. a fellow christian mum of 3. I have subscribed, so I'll be back! :)