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When we focus too much on what we are wanting to hear we can miss what God is actually trying to say (3).jpg

The other day Jane Taylor was walking around the playroom with a pink blanket. She kept putting it over head, pretending to hide, and thinking it was wildly funny whenever she reappeared from under it’s cover. Like any fearless child, she took the game to a new level by putting the blanket over her head and instead of just sitting there, she began to walk. She did this over and over again, allowing herself to move blindly around the room without a worry of if she would bump into anything, or trip over something. She just went – trusting that I was there to guide her and move her along the way. Which, OF COURSE, I did. Her only job was to laugh.  

While she was walking around with no view of what was in front of her I found myself saying “I wish I could do that.” I wish I could walk forward not worrying about what I might run into up ahead. I wish I could do it with laughter instead of with fear. I wish I was as confident in the fact that someone is watching over me the same way I was watching over Jane Taylor in that particular moment.  

The thing is God calls us to do this very act every single day. He is always asking us to move forward, without being able to see what comes next. Not only is He asking us to move, He is asking us to trust Him along the way. To know that if we fall down, He will pick us back up. If we get hurt, He will heal our wounds. If something blocks our path, He will redirect us to another one. He wants us to take steps blindly, full of trust, in the direction He is calling us to go.

 In the book of Genesis, Noah is asked by God to grab his family, some animals, and to hop on an ark. Just get on an ark, float around for a while, and one day you will send out a bird, it wont return, then you can get off. Sounds pretty simple. Right? But what do you think Noah thought during that time? Do you think he had moments of fear? Do you think he ever worried when a week went by, it was still raining and they were still floating along? Or did he have so much faith and trust in God’s plan that he was able to sit back and not worry with each day that passed where he was surrounded by water?

 

My word for 2019 is trust. I want to be able to put my full trust in God and His plan for me. It is something I know I should do – but being a person who likes to be in control I’ve had a real hard time handing that job completely over to Him. Especially when God’s plan and mine don’t match up. He has never failed me and I know that He won’t. Knowing it, and believing it are two very different things.

My prayer is that we will all be able to walk confidently through each day knowing that the Lord is in control. That even the messy parts of His plan for us are perfect. That through the good and the bad He is shaping us to help be a light in His kingdom. That we are free to go forward, blanket over our head and all, because He will always guide us along.

“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” - Psalms 20:7 ESV

Listen

Outfit is old and from Lululemon - Similar Styles linked here:

Leggings: One, Two, Three: Mesh Tee: One, Two, Three - You can also shop the entire look HERE or by just clicking the picture above.

My daughter has a lot to say for her age. I love every single word that comes out of her mouth, even the “no, no, no” that usually follows whatever non-fruit item is placed on her dinner plate. But right now my favorite word that she says is “basketball”. It comes out more like “bask-et-ball”. I probably love it because we are in the middle of basketball season and I am 100% trying to train her brain into loving Duke basketball as much as I do. There is just something about this sport that I am drawn to, even though I am a T-E-R-R-I-B-L-E basketball player. I could watch basketball all day.

It is a good thing I love the game so much. There is a family next door to us who must have received a basketball goal and ball for Christmas, because ever since December 26 I have fallen asleep to the sound of the ball bouncing along the pavement, and continued to hear it throughout the day that follows. Clearly, it was a much desired present. Well done, Santa.

The sounds don’t bother me in the slightest. In a way I find it comforting. It is also interesting to hear the sounds and be able to picture what is happening. The ball bounces a certain speed when it is at the top of the court, slow but constant. As the ball dribbles down the court it gets a little stronger, maybe even a little faster. Pause. And then you either hear a loud, uncomfortable, bang of the ball missing the net. Or you hear nothing. Which could mean two things…airball… or the ever so silent swish of the ball perfectly going through the net. Loud - you missed. Soft - you scored the perfect shot. Isn’t it weird how the sound of a missed shot is louder than the sound of a successful one?

Life is in a way like basketball. When you miss - you know it. The sound of it is loud. The reaction is disappointment. And shaking it off isn’t always easy – you usually scramble to fix the problem rather than settle yourself to find a solution. When you succeed - the sound is simple. Its reassuring. It’s subtle.

In life we are trained to try to hear the BIG sound. We figure that the right way will be the loudest. But, like in basketball, the louder the sound doesn’t always mean the better the situation. When we focus too much on what we are wanting to hear we can miss what God is actually trying to say. His message can be simple and quiet. Not all next steps are spelled out in loud flashy lights. In Luke chapter 8 a woman told herself as long as she could just touch Jesus’s robe she would be healed. The quietest of all acts – a simple brush of her hand against His garment – but it had the loudest affect. She was healed and His power was made known.

As you enter into this new year I encourage you to add one small goal to your list – to listen. To hear Him through all the different areas in your life. And by saying to hear Him I don’t mean to audibly hear Him talking - maybe you hear Him through a book, or a podcast, or your children, or your neighbors, or a song. But just take a second, regain your focus, set your feet and gear up to listen. It’s more beautiful than the sound of the basketball swooshing through the net. Trust me.

“Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace” - Luke 8:48

Four

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If I could post this picture a hundreds times without the rest of the word thinking I was crazy, I would. It is without a doubt my favorite picture and probably will be for a long time. Yes, I love it because we all match perfectly for the holiday of July 4th. Yes, I love that it was taken in front of my best friend’s house and if you look closely you can see her sweet boy riding his bike in the background. Yes, I love Jane Taylor’s outfit. I stalked the internet for months trying to find the perfect look for our new neighborhood’s biggest day of celebration. But what I love the most is that in this picture there were four of us.

 

Four. We weren’t planning on becoming a family of four at the beginning of July. We weren’t planning on having a new baby arriving in March. We weren’t expecting to have two kids under two. It wasn’t in our plans. But in early July we were reminded that God is in charge and this was the greatest unexpected plan we could ever receive.

 

A couple weeks later I miscarried. An unexpected pregnancy turned into an unexpected loss. And it rocked my world. Hard.

The question “why”. Ugh. I hate that question. Has been at the forefront of my brain ever since. Why did God give us this baby only to take it away? I was just beginning to process the idea of this baby being born. What the nursery might look like. How to convert the stroller into a ride for two babies. What would it look like taking two kids into the grocery store. And as all of those exciting, nervous thoughts were coming into play – our baby returned to Jesus.

 

It was amazing how I could go from receiving the greatest news to the hardest news all in the same month. How quickly my days went from dreaming to heartbreak. No one told me my body would go through all the motions again like it did after giving birth to Jane Taylor. No one told me that my postpartum anxiety would come back. And boy did it – worse than ever before.

 

I was great around people because they were a wonderful distraction. A moment in time where my head wasn’t having to fight off the darkness that seemed all consuming. Alone was scary. Night time was the worst. Becoming a one in a statistic hit me harder than I thought it would.

 

Summer was hard. I would lay on the floor in a ball of tears wondering why. Why us. Why me. Why am I going through this season of darkness. What Lord do you want me to learn from this. What was the point of gifting us new life only to take it away. It brings me to tears just to even type it out.

 

I am not on the other side yet. I am closer. But I am different now. Pregnancy is different now. I see mothers differently now.

 

I also see God differently – in a very good way. See through all of this I have had to lean on Him more than ever before. I see His work. I see His kindness. He works so hard to remind little fragile me that He has got the strongest grip on my heart. He is in charge. He is fighting for me. And it is a beautiful gift. I wish it was a gift that I didn’t have to receive through a heartbreaking loss. But I am so grateful for the way my eyes see Him now.

October 15th is now a day that will have a bigger impact on our hearts. So will July 1st – the day we found out we were pregnant. July 10th – the day we lost our child. And March 5th – the day our baby was supposed to breathe his first breath in this world.

Apart of me will always long for the child we lost. These dates will be filled with a mix of emtions. But I pray that when these dates come and go that I will use them to remind me of how great our God is. His plan might not make a lot of sense but it is set into motion for a reason only He knows. Putting my trust in that fact is the best thing I can do. It is not always easy. Some days it is the hardest thing I have to do. But it’s all I can. I pray for the mother’s who have lost today and I pray that through the hard moments they can see how tightly God is holding on to them too.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” -Psalm 147:3