Even When it Hurts

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Alan Rickman died early this year. I knew then that it would be a bad year, but I didn’t know it would be this bad.

I think I’ve written before about how I don’t handle disappointments well. This year has proved that to still be the case. I’m sorry I’ve been off the blogosphere for so long; the thing is, we were trying to foster. Trying.

We began the process in January of this year and went through 7 months of training, paperwork, background checks, references, home-studies, personal essays, support group meetings, prayers, and just general angst. And in the end, I was denied, because of my history of depression and self-harm.

In retrospect, I should have expected it, but I was so full of hope and so certain that something as noble as fostering had to be God’s will for us and therefore He would make a way. Well, you know what they say about assumptions.

I’ve always wanted to adopt so this news hit me and hit me hard. I’ve always wanted to be a mom period and after two years of trying to conceive, fostering really did seem like the path we were meant to take. Now it’s looking increasing like motherhood is not what God has for me. Trouble is, I never planned for anything else… so if not motherhood, then what is the point of me?

I got my first clue when I received some difficult news. I have several siblings and I get along better with some than with others. Well, one of the sisters I’m not particularly close too (as in we fight each time we talk) just became pregnant with her first child. And she’s due on my wedding anniversary. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as betrayed as I felt by God the moment I got this news.

I didn’t know what to do with myself. At first, I tried to pretend I was fine and went along with my business, determined not to break down. Then I decided it would be ok to cry a little; after all, who would see? Then I had a funny thought…

Why don’t you praise God for this?

Well, I knew that wasn’t going to happen. I’ve heard testimonies of mighty men and women of faith who could praise Him in trying circumstances but I know my heart, and there was no way I was spiritual enough for that.

Try anyway.

I didn’t want to. It was the last thing I wanted to do. I felt like God had forsaken me and turned His favor on someone who had hurt me and those I loved countless times. It’s not fair. What was there to thank Him for?

Just try.

So I did. I hit my knees, I raised my hands, and God met me there, instantly. It was messy, sloppy praise – ugly-cry type praise – but it was so rich, so unnaturally joyful, exuberant and victorious. For a solid hour of my existence, I was overjoyed with my King and His love for me. For a solid hour, circumstances didn’t matter, and He was enough. I think that must be what heaven is like.

I’ve heard it put this way: “Praise is the most meaningful, when it’s the most painful.” I can now attest to that. And it’s given me a clue as to my ‘point.’

I may not be called to be a mother, but I am called to be a daughter. His daughter. And I’m called to love that. I’m called to revel in and rejoice in that. I’m called to love my Daddy, even when I’m hurting. I’m called to be His daughter and to let that be enough. And sometimes, that’s really hard.

But that only makes it more beautiful, more meaningful. It struck me just this morning what an honor it is that the Lord would let me hurt, let me struggle. He could answer my prayers the way I want Him to. He could give me a baby, fellowship, fulfillment, and many of the other things I’ve been prayer for and longing for this year. He could have saved me so much disappointment.

Instead, He chose to trust me with the disappointment. He’s given me the assignment of praising Him in the storm, of singing to Him when it’s the more unnatural thing to do. He’s trusting me to show the world that He is good simply because of who He is, not only what He gives. He’s trusting me to show that He is enough by letting Him be enough in my life.

I get to be His daughter, first and foremost, and I get to praise Him even when it hurts.

And I feel so blessed.

Though He slay me,
I will hope in Him.

Job 13:15

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About Leah Ness

I am a self-professed story addict. Ever since I was little, I've had an overactive imagination and a passion for a well-spun yarn. When I grew up, I was blessed with a passion for God as well. It was then that I noticed a relative shortage of unique Christian fiction, the kind that can both captivate you and glorify God. So, despite the hurdles of things like commas and homonyms, I am endeavoring to write some of my own. Check out my Books page for updates on current and future books. View all posts by Leah Ness

14 responses to “Even When it Hurts

  • Anonymous

    That was a profound post! Found myself teary eyed.Thanks…its a wonderful reminder on how we can still connect with Him when, at times, He seems so far away.

  • Susan Irene Fox

    Leah, I know. And when we praise Him through the hurt and get to the other side, we are able to see the wonderful – sometimes monumental – path He already has planned for us.

    Love you. ❤

    • Leah Ness

      You’re right: it will all be worth it on the other side. And meanwhile, I’m beginning to view praise almost as a coping mechanism. Thank you for reading =) Love you, too!

  • mastersamwise23

    Just because you were denied the right to adopt doesn’t mean God does have many children out there waiting for you to be a mother to them. In the end it isn’t about what the state says you are fit to have. Its about what God entrust to you. I’ll be praying for you and yours!

    Blessings! And great post btw!

    • Leah Ness

      Thank you =) I’m still hoping and praying for kiddos… I’m even going on the Paleo diet to try and get some of my health issues worked out. So I’m far from giving up! At the same time, I really want to be able to surrender this desire to the Lord fully, ready and eager to love Him whether He gives me children or not. But I would definitely prefer the kids so I certainly covet your prayers! Thank you!

  • ashleydfarmer

    I’m going to start calling you braveheart. ❤ Sweet friend, that was so well written and so genuine. Such a hard lesson that many don't handle graciously (myself included), but it seems that you are headed in the path of freedom. Love you and praying for you.

    • Leah Ness

      Thank you so much! I do hope I’m on the right path, though I tend to stray from time to time (or rather minute to minute). I definitely need your prayers so thank you so, so much! Love you too!

  • Tapestry Treasures

    Leah:
    …”and a child shall lead them”….what a wonderful opportunity as this new little member joins your family. I will be praying for you. Blessings, Zoey ~

  • Linda Samaritoni, writing as Linda Sammaritan

    For a first post after a long hiatus, this was magnificent. I’m so glad you see the hope through the pain.

  • Secrets From Heaven

    What a deeply inspiring post. Through your words I could feel God lifting you from the depths of despair into His joyful presence–all in a glorious, what only God could do, instant. You put a beautiful focus on suffering in the right perspective. I hope you will come to know what a wonderful blessing you are. Praying for you. Ps 37:4, Luke 1:37, Mark 11:24.

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