I’ve got this habit of trying to assign deeper meaning to everything. At this point it’s almost subconscious. Maybe it’s because I’m a creative, because I’m a writer, because I am a sucker for a good plot. Or maybe it’s because I’m in a constant state of trying to put my two cents in. Either way, it’s a thing.
I would take the time to list the horde of ultra-embarrassing things I’ve taken as a “sign from God,” but I’m still relatively new in this town and trying to make friends. And keep them.
I’d hate to throw a wrench in things.
Anyway, true to the norm, I caught myself doing this recently. But this time it was one of those big-deal things and this time it got real.
I was coasting down the 5 south on the way to work, processing stuff and listening to worship music (here’s a great playlist for you) when I started thinking about the crazy things that have gone down in the last year and, naturally, got really fired up. So I started praying and thanking God for the ways He’s shown up and specifically for preserving my fertility yet again (in “perfect timing” they said) through this last surgery. I even thanked Him in advance, “I know You’re going to heal me. I know I’m going to get to feel a baby kick one day.”
But then things got quiet in my head and that feeling came. The one you get when you realize you’ve accidentally dug up the very thing you’ve been patting dirt over for years.
And Jesus goes, “Yeah, let’s talk about that.
And you try to fake a phone call, “Sorry, it’s my mom. Another time?”
The best thing is there’s really no backpedaling in these situations. Once you’re rolling, you’re rolling. And so there I was caught in the middle of an “oh boy” moment and Jesus went and wrecked shop in the best way possible.
I began to realize I’d been holding on to this idea of how I thought my life should turn out. It’s ridiculous, I know. This whole time I’ve been saying I’m happy I don’t know what’s around the corner because God is creative and good and trustworthy and He has better things planned for me than I could ever imagine, and so on. Which is all true…
…if it goes a certain way.
In that moment, it became so unmistakably clear to me the asterisk I had stamped at the end of “I trust You, God” these last couple years. Maybe even my whole life. God, no matter what I face, I promise to trust You…if You eventually take this from me. I will stop writing my own story and let You take the pen, but only if You bring me a husband.
God, You’re a good Father, so long as You let me be a mother one day.
That was the kicker. That one made my eyes sting. We had arrived at the heart of it–my deepest fear barefaced and found out.
And then a familiar voice:
“Am I Enough?”
I’ll be honest with you. I hesitated. Those words rocked me to the core. I’ve heard them a thousand times growing up in a Christian home, going to Christian schools, always being a part of a church. But this time they struck me. And I mean struck me. Almost immediately a question posed by an old friend returned to me.
“Who are we to decide what our healing will look like?”
These words had shot straight to my gut a year ago when I heard them during a rehearsal for the Good Friday service at my home church in Orange County. My endometriosis had caused an unexpected pain spike that morning between doses of pain medication and I could barely keep standing during the run-through. I was to the point of tears. It was my last service with this church family I so loved and I was desperate to be rid of this disease. And now one year later, half way to work, sucking back tears and still impacted by that question.
“Who are we to decide what our healing will look like?
On cue, picture upon picture rolled like film in my head. God speaking my language. His tactful orchestration in moving me from a good story into a better one. His drawing me out of fear after fear and loving me radically and leading me to a new home and letting purpose run rampant in my soul.
My God, I love you.
Who am I to strap contingencies on the goodness of the Ruler of the Galaxy? He’s leveled mountains in my life and I’m saying, only if? What a conditional existence. What a petty boundary to wish upon the limitless creativity of a boundless God.
For the first time in my life, I’m no longer afraid. I mean it. Healing might not turn out how I pictured. It might not look like being 100% pain free. It might not look like finding the love of my life in the cheese aisle at Trader Joe’s (that’s a real dream of mine–laugh about it). I may never see my husband’s face light up when he feels our baby kick for the first time. But if my life isn’t hanging on that, if my joy isn’t contingent upon those details, if my heart really rests in the hands of the Creator of the Universe, then my purpose will never be uprooted and my hope will never be snuffed out.
And not just that. Because His plan is 100% more creative than mine 100% percent of the time, I know anything He leads me into is guaranteed to be good. I know I’ll be floored and I know I’ll be singing, “thank You.” In Him we don’t just survive, we thrive.
We serve a God who made death bow down. We serve a God who tells the sea to be still. And He’s calling us out of the boat.
“Am I Enough?”