the One Thing you can Trust

Discouragement is a thug.  It creeps up on you, punches you in the gut, and then slithers away laughing.  Discouragement breaks your heart, and leaves you in that painful place where sadness dwells.

Disappointment is a thief.  It robs you of the things you were hopeful would come to pass.  It steals, if only for a moment, your sense of the world, and where you belong in it.

Anger, oh anger.  It is a hard one to figure out.  On the one hand, anger can be your best friend, your self-defense, and your motivator to get out and do what needs to be done.  On the other, it can be your worst enemy.  It blindfolds, spins you around until you are dizzily confused, then spits you out.

Rejection.  Rejection is fear.  Rejection is walking onto a path, and losing your footing.  Rejection pulls the rug out from you, knocks the wind out of your lungs, and revisits all of your self-prescribed deficiencies.  Rejection also educates you…even if in the most unfortunate of ways.

The past few days, discouragement, disappointment, anger, and rejection have all been sitting side-by-side with me.  I’ve been able to displace them for a bit, but the moment I’m alone, they come tip-toeing back to me.

Last night, I had the responsibility of training future foster parents.  I knew I had to fake it through the night.  I had to pretend that my heart wasn’t in pain, my mind wasn’t a thousand miles away, and anger was not my friend.  I had to put on a good show, and never give away the fact that I was reliving the day over and over again in my head.

The truth is I’ve gotten pretty good at putting on shows.  Last night was no different. As the class ended and I made my way to my car, I began to exhale the vile thoughts I had kept in.  I turned on the ignition, put the car in gear, and pulled away from the church that I had been teaching in.  In that moment, I looked up and saw this:

Trust Image

There He was.  There, right in front of me, was the visual reminder of the only truth that matters.  The One Thing that I can trust.

Perhaps fear is what overtook me throughout the day.  Fear of rejection, fear of inadequacy, fear of not being good enough, fear of distrust, fear of the unknown, fear of feeling useless, and fear of no longer being significant.  

The future is not known.  Dreams and plans are not always fulfilled.  Even the notion of what appears to be fair and right are not always followed through on.  It should not come as a surprise that man disappoints, discourages, stirs up anger, and rejects time and time again.

The Lord though, He does not reject.  He does not disappoint.  He does not discourage.  Instead, He says, “You, my child, you are significant.  Your work does not go unnoticed.  You are not a disappointment.  Your anger will only visit you for a short time.  You are not a reject.  You are not inadequate.  You are not useless.  You are better than good enough.  You are MY child.”

I woke up this morning still feeling the left-overs of emotions from the day before. Still yet, my thoughts kept returning to the sign that caught my eye.

“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” -Corrie Ten Boom

Dear friends, the next time you feel the sadness of discouragement, the victimization of disappointment, the vision-stealing darkness of anger, and the overwhelming fear of rejection, remember Who holds your future.

Remember Who appoints your successes, and comforts your failures.  Remember Who finds you worthy.  Remember Who values your work, cherishes your talents, and Who you have nothing to prove.

Remember, your future may be unknown to you, but to your Father in Heaven it is mightily known.  Now, that is One Thing you can Trust.

Dear Infertility

Dear Infertility,

Hello, it’s me again. You know…the little girl you once made to feel inadequate, the teenager you once strived to isolate, and the adult you almost accomplished stealing joy from. Well, I’m here to tell you what you cannot do.

You cannot diminish moments of laughter that echo in my mind for days following. You won’t determine my capacity to love other people and children. You no longer make me feel less of a female or parent or anything else you once tried to convince me of.

You don’t stalk me like you used to. I don’t think of you when I see babies anymore. I actually enjoy going to baby showers now. You used to tag along uninvited just to make me feel uncomfortable.  You are not invited, anymore.

You no longer cause a wedge between me and the loving Father I believe in. You used to do that, you know. I used you as an excuse to not listen to Him. He is bigger than you will ever be.  He reminds me what His plans are for my life, not yours.

You cannot take away forgiveness. You do not replace hope. You obviously offer very little grace, but I do not look to you for it anyway.

For the most part, you were one of my darkest secrets. I hid you away for so long.  Funny thing now is that I’m exposing you to the world. You have become my motivation to write, to reach out, and to love.

At one time, I was incomplete. You filled an ever-growing void with even more sorrow, but not anymore. I will never use you again as a way to justify my lack of purpose or meaning in this life.

Dear infertility…this is not goodbye. I can still use you to be a more passionate person. I can still reminisce of you as a reminder to try and love my children more each day than I did the day before. I see you trying to pull others down and I recognize you right away. I use this as motivation for being a more genuine and empathetic listener. The tears I cry now are not for me, but for those of whom you are trying to take over.

Dear infertility…you have not stolen my ability to have a bountiful life. I have a full, rich life that involves children despite your attempt at taking that away. My life is no longer barren. You did not create a wasteland in me. Oh, I won’t forget you. How can I really? You have traveled with me the vast majority of my life, but you are not my life. Ironically, you have caused me to view life as being precious.

Dear infertility…this is not goodbye. This is me saying hello to all the things that you will never be.