Friday, January 21, 2011

Dancing in the Minefields- Part 1

"Oh, this is harder than we dreamed, but I believe that's what the promise is for." ~Andrew Peterson: Dancing in the Minefields

In the past week, I have been thinking a lot about pain and suffering through hardships. So many of my blogger friends have endured various trials in their lives recently. A sweet friend suffered a miscarriage, one is quitting the world of infertility blogging because of sadness and negativity bringing her down, one had a failed adoption, and others grieved through failed IUIs, IVFs, and/or years of infertility. Life sure can seem like a 'minefield' to us at times.

The first question I have to ask is why? Why does a God who loves us allow us to experience all of these branches of pain and emotions that have such an effect on every aspect of our lives? And why did He choose me (or you) specifically to endure it?

I don't have the answer. I do want to hear what you think about this tough topic. I believe that we can't fully know on earth why He chose this path for us, but I do think we will know someday in Heaven. We will be able to connect the dots and see all the intricacies of the events He molded for us.

Although I can't give a black and white answer, I can turn to my Bible and see what God has to show me about suffering, faith, and restoration.

"Why is my pain unending and my wound grievous and incurable? Will you be to me like a deceptive brook, like a spring that fails?" ~Jeremiah 15:18Jeremiah asks these rhetorical questions to express his nagging doubts about himself, his mission, and God's faithfulness. It is so very easy to be consumed with negative thoughts relating to our wounds, be it physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. We develop doubts about ourselves and God's purpose for our lives. We question ourselves and we question God. We may even blame one or the other or both.

"Then I would still have this consolation--my joy in unrelenting pain--that I had not denied the words of the Holy One." ~Job 6:10
Job spoke this about having the joy of knowing he had remained true to God, even through the struggles on earth he was given. It can be difficult to keep faith in God when we experience letdown after letdown. After a while, we bear a burden of a lack of hope in a triumph ever occuring. But, if we can remain true to God, and hold onto our faith that He is in control and has a purpose, we can make it through anything. He never gives us more than we can handle. It's hard for us type A's to give up control, but we must surrender.

"Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed." ~1 Peter 4:12-13
Like the last, this is a tough verse to chew on....rejoicing in our sufferings...what does that look like? Sometimes I pray, "Lord, please let me get pregnant. I want so badly to give you glory over this." A lot of times, I have an "IF this...THEN I will be happy" attitude towards my trials. But, can we put 'ourselves' aside and rejoice in God THROUGH the trials? I think we can. I pray we will.

"He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." ~Revelation 21:4
Heaven...a picture of no tears and no pain. That is a promise from God. I like to picture Heaven based on the Bible, but also through a book I read, lyrics to "I Can Only Imagine" by Mercy Me, and the song "City On Our Knees" by TobyMac:
Tonight’s the night
For the sinners and the saints

Two worlds collide
In a glorious display
Cuz its all love tonight
When we step across the line
We can sail across the sea
To a city with one king
A city on our knees
A city on our knees
It make me happy thinking about Heaven as a place where we can worship our king and be at peace for eternity. Earth can be a seemingly unbearable place at times, but God gave us His Promise. And we can certainly rejoice in that.

"Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." ~Hebrews 11:1

To be continued.....


  1. Thank you, Jess, for the wisdom. I need to be in the Word more than I am, and your post just reminded me powerfully of that. *hugs* I hope you have a good night :)

  2. I love that last verse. Great post. I think God allows us to experience these things so that He can stretch our faith and fully learn to lean on Him. I know it's hard when you're in the thick of it but once you get through it and look back, you know He was right there all along.

  3. I think pain struggling and sufferring teaches us perseverance and while it tests our faith, it strengthens it. I think our Lord wants us to focus on what what we have and not what we don't have, because in heaven we will have no wants or needs unfufilled. However I dont know how to look past the now and see into the future. Perhaps thats what Faith is all about. trusting in Him.

  4. Such a beautiful post that I really needed to read. I've had such a difficult time these last few weeks, and I've really been struggling with my faith. I've even skipped church the last 2 weeks because I am angry with God. Thank you so much for this post because it has opened my eyes and given me a different perspective. Have an awesome weekend!

  5. I LOVE this song...thank for you for posting it and reminding me of it once again. The words are so true, aren't they? Your post is also so true as well. I think I really needed to hear it, so thank you for writing. xoxo It was especially good to hear during this difficult time....

  6. Thanks for this post, it is always such a good reminder. I love the verse you pointed out from Job especially.

    While I do believe that God is sovereign and in control of all things, I also think that He gave man free will - and we (Adam/Eve) screwed up, and through them sin and with it disease/death/dying entered the world. Therefore, we do live in a fallen world, and we are forced to live with the consequences of sin. This world is not the way that God intended for it to be, and so He doesn't intend to see us suffer. How awesome is it that He gives us His son, so that we have a way out of eternal suffering forever (Revelation 21:4)
    In addition to not intending for us to have to suffer with disease/infertility, God commanded us to 'be fruitful and multiply'. Those two things combined, and many other verses in the Bible, make me believe that God is greiving and suffering with us through this process. He is a compassionate God who hears our prayers and I am so thankful for that. One month, when I had just taken a negative pregnancy test (again) I was just sobbing and crying out to God in frustration. And then my husband reminded me of God's love and that he is crying with us about this, and I felt so comforted.
    Lately, a passage in Psalm 42 has been of such comfort to me:

    "Why, my soul, are you downcast?
    Why so disturbed within me?
    Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.

    My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
    from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
    Deep calls to deep
    in the roar of your waterfalls;
    all your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

    By day the LORD directs his love,
    at night his song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life."

    Psalm 42:5-8

  7. I loved reading all of these comments ladies. You have taught me so much! I think we could discuss this for days. Don't you think?

    I loved this passage from Psalm 42:5-8. Beautiful. "At night his song is with me...."