Oh, You of Little Faith {big things can come from small beginnings}

It was just a stick with a few leaves (and that may be generous to say) when my husband planted what he called a “tree” in the ground.  I laughed at it.  I said, “That stick is not a tree!”  My husband watered it, spoke of high aspirations for it, and tried to convince me that with time, and once the roots have dug in, that little stick would become a tree.

This was several years ago, and indeed, that little stick with just a few leaves grew into a healthy, and vibrant tree.  My husband likes to remind me of how little faith I had in that tree to ever settle roots and grow into something of beauty.

When I look upon it, I often think about our own lives, and how we sometimes possess little faith that anything of substance will grow out of measly beginnings. When we look at people or situations that seem deprived of any hope, it is quite hard to imagine how powerful, beautiful, or strong that person or situation just might turn out to be.

I also think about the necessity of nurturing roots. This necessity does not just stop with plant and tree life.  It also is vital for the growth and development of human beings.  How many times have we all said, “That child will not grow up to be anything”, or “That person will not change”?  

How many children are trying to survive in soil that lacks nutrition? 

God’s Word says,

 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow.  And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them.  Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, but when the sun rose they were scorched.  And since they had no root, they withered away.  Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them.  Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.”

Matthew 13:3-9

Scripture not only instructs us on the importance of setting roots in good soil, it also speaks to us about the importance of faith.

He asked them, “Why are you afraid, you who have little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm.

Matthew 8:26

When facing difficult situations in life, it is important that we do not dwell on the beginning.  We should be encouraged to consider the future, but consider it with hope.  Something I have learned throughout my life, especially dealing with the trauma of my illness and subsequent barrenness, is that if we knew the outcome to every situation, or if we could know what happens in the future, faith would not be important.

Where would faith be in our lives?  Or, better yet, what would faith mean to us?

I suspect that our faith would become a secondary commitment, or more like a hobby, instead of a necessity.  I question if it would even exist.

When I look upon that tree that my husband planted many years ago (I can call it a tree now), the words, “Oh, you of little faith” tend to ring out in my ears.  I remember the planting of that nearly barren stick, my laughing at my husband’s hope for its growth, and how my husband tended to it.  And, I am reminded time and again, that from the most destitute, insignificant, broken, weak, small, and seemingly meaningless beginnings, people can grow into incredible creations.  Desperate circumstances can become turning-point moments in life, if we all just loved a little more, whispered aspiring dreams, and possessed a grounding of faith in them.20150714_172203

That little stick grew into a tree – a wonderful, pretty, and full of life tree.

Isn’t this what the Lord wants for all of us? 

I Had a Dream the Other Night {the wilderness}

I had a dream the other night. It was one of those types of dreams where you wake up with strong emotions. I even felt tears in the corners of my eyes.

The dream itself was rather confusing. I was at a conference, or something like that, and a woman started talking about her walk with infertility. I didn’t recognize this person at all. I could not pick her out if I had to, but her words were ones that stayed in my mind after I awoke.

She said, “I am not barren. I am infertile, but there is not a reason why. I don’t know what I am. I have feared this wilderness, but I have also possessed faith in it.”

I woke up remembering back to my own feelings, my own sense of confusion, and the wilderness to which I feared. Am I barren? Yes, for all intents and purposes, I am. Am I fertile? No. I do not have any organs that would make me fertile. Am I infertile? Well…no…I guess not…? How can I be infertile if I do not posses the organs that are fertile?

The morning after this dream I thought about all of the perplexing emotions and thoughts that plagued my life as an adolescent. After all, I entered into adolescence after a hysterectomy. Crazy, isn’t it?

I did not even know the wilderness that was set before me. I had no clue what the landscape of the years ahead would be like. In many ways, I feared it. I remembered wondering what my own definition really was.

My own life experiences were ones mixed with immense joy, and deep sorrow. In many ways, I feared the wilderness of childlessness so much, but in my imagination, dreams, and prayers, I also somehow managed to cling onto a little bit of faith through it all.

After thinking about the dream in the context of my own life, my thoughts then turned to so many who are now meandering their way through their own wilderness of confusion.

It is ugly, isn’t it?

It is confusing, isn’t it?

You may be wondering what your own definition is.

Friends, my heart sinks for you. I wish I had the perfect words to help you through all of the muck and mud of infertility. The truth is that there is not perfection in this journey you are on. It is going to be hard. It is going to feel like a vast pit of emptiness. It is going to make you angry, make you question God’s will for your life, and make you feel like the loneliest person on Earth.

However, you are not alone. There are so many others traversing the same path you are on. Find each other. Reach out to each other. Pray for each other. I didn’t have that growing up. I always wondered if there were other girls out there in the world like me, but I knew there wasn’t.

From this sojourner who has spent the majority of her life in the midst of barrenness, I want you to know that clinging onto that light you envision at the end of the tunnel is so important.

It is okay to fear the wilderness.

It is also more than okay to hold onto your faith in it as well.