Struggling With Sovereignty

If you have been reading along these past few months, you know we have been dealing with the pain and despair that comes from infertility.

Thankfully, God is so faithful. I have been pouring myself into His word these days. Like obsessively, if you can actually become obsessive reading His word. And it's been such a cool thing!

trust in the Lord, even when your heart is hurting.

When you let the fruits of the spirit root into your soul, amazing things begin to happen.

When the insanity of life comes flying right at your face, you have the patience and the skill to navigate the daily bombs and grenades like a mighty ninja in a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon movie.

The world can easily spin out of control for us. Most days, in fact.

When we root ourselves in God's word. Trust in His promises. Commit His word to our hearts. Even when things are spiraling out of control, we can trust there is a greater purpose.

I've been grappling with God's sovereignty alot over the past couple years.

Like, not grappling theologically, I am solid there. But grappling practically.

It's easy to say you trust in a Lord who is sovereign when your world is stable most days.

But when your whole world, your hopes and your dreams and the desire of your heart to build a beautiful family together with your amazing husband, come crashing to an end. It sucks.

When your theology hits you smack dab in the face, it is time to really learn how to trust in Him. To lean into His word and remember that nothing happens outside of His allowance or control.

It's a bitter pill to swallow sometimes.

God doesn't want us to have flesh and blood kids? How can that be? Does He hate me? Hate my hubby? Think we are unworthy? Or incapable of keeping kids alive when we struggle some days just taking care of our crazy, high maintenance cat? Do we not have enough patience? Or enough love stored up in our hearts?

What's the deal God???? Seriously??? How can this be in line with your sovereign will for my life? How can this possibly be better than the plans I had to create life and raise a child to know You?

UGH.

When your theology smacks you right dab in the face. And you don't get what you want.  Especially when it's a good thing and it seems to line up with God's will. Let's just say that's a tough place to be.

But when God's word and the fruits of the spirit are rooted in your heart, you have yourself a little temper tantrum and throw a big pity party, you cry yourself silly until the well of tears run dry. You even break down hysterically in front of people regularly. Embarrassingly regularly. And then you get yourself back up.

You throw yourself back into God's word. Walk back into your church sanctuary after being incognito for many months. And you worship. And trust. And still cry your eyes out.  And if necessary, you have a big hysterical hissy fit in the middle of worship service that has everyone and their uncle in a mile radius of your sobs feeling horribly uncomfortable and wondering if they should reserve a straight jacket.

Then you take a deep breath. And you pray. And you remember that God is sovereign. And while you might not have the answers this side of heaven, it is all under His control. And it's gotta be all good, even when it seems all bad.

Is there a time in your life that you've wrestled with His sovereignty? Throw yourself into His word and commit His promises to your heart. Cling tightly to those promises, sweet sister in Christ. And grab yourself a huge box of Kleenex.

Let Jesus comfort you through all the pain that is ripping into the very depths of your heart and soul.

Hearts heal. God loves. We must trust.

 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
  In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths." Proverbs 3: 5-6


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40 comments:

  1. We experienced secondary infertility - and it was such a challenging time - but in the challenge, I reached to the Father. Sometimes I think that God was preparing me for the answer to my prayer. My first born wrote a paper in the 6th grade where he had to tell a story about every year of his life (with photo). In the 6th year section, he talked about how he had prayed and prayed and prayed for a baby brother since he was 3. He warned in his paragraph to be careful what you pray for because when God answers your prayer, he answers it abundantly. He said, "I now have 3 baby brothers." Well, now he has four - LOL! That time with God, on my knees, learning to come to Him, learning more about what it is to be His child - it prepared me for the answer. I love your heart! I love how you are reaching, reaching, reaching to the Father. The hardest, but most important part, is the living faith in the wait of a prayer sent out! Praying for you!!!
    ~Maryleigth

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  2. This is such a powerful piece of writing. I was greatly blessed by it. I have also wrestled with God and His sovereignty - especially when pain and suffering arrives. It's all too easy to wonder if He cares when we know He can do something and He demurs.

    You're so right - leaning into His Word is the only comfort. And though we may never get answers, we can rely on His promises and echo the sentiments of the disciples: "Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life."



    There is no other place but Him, and no other peace but His.


    GOD BLESS.


    (I'm your neighbor over at UNITE)

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  3. Oh yes, there is absolutely a time (many times actually) that I've wrestled with this. Just like you said, "Especially when it's a good thing." How can God not want good things for us? I often try to reason it out. But you are right, He is faithful, and His words are true. Lean not on our own understanding. Thank you for this powerful message today:)

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  4. Maryleigh, I am glad that the Lord answered your prayers in the way you had hoped, and more abundantly than you had imagined! Our God is so mighty! And what a great testimony that your son has too. That's awesome! :) But, the reality is, it doesn't always turn out as beautifully as your story and I think for those of us on the other side of things, we just have to continue to trust that the Lord has a plan, even if we won't see it (or our babies) this side of heaven. The reality is that we all have baggage of some sort, we all our broken, our lives are messy and we ALL need to desperately cling to Jesus! Thank you for your kind thoughts. Let us all continue to keep reaching, reaching, reaching to the Father! Blessings to you! xoxo

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  5. Yes, Sharon, you are spot on, there is no other place but Him and no other peace but His. Thank you for that beautiful reminder today! xoxo (and thank you for your kind words!)

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  6. I think the reality is we all wrestle Kristine, just not all of us are open enough about it to admit it...maybe because we feel it will make us seem weaker to others, when I think it does the opposite, in our authenticity comes a powerful testimony! Praying you can be true to your story and share with others in your own life today and continue to lean on the One who has all the answers. Blessings! (and thank you for your kind words!)

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  7. We dealt with infertility for two years and I honestly have no words for you. It just sucks. My heart hurts with you. I understand. I'm with you. I'm giving you a virtual hug right now. All I can tell you is....hold on sweet child, hold fast, cling to the Rock, you are doing GOOD.

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  8. Nicki, I am giving you a warm hug and I wish I could open up my bible with you and pray together about this heartache. You are such an inspiring woman of Christ and He loves you and your husband to the cross and eternity. You are both perfect in Him! Your heart for the Lord strengthens me in my own walk! Thank you for sharing your love! :-)

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  9. Oh my goodness, yes! It took hitting rock bottom to finally realize it was time to give up control to God. It was akin to what I imagine basic training is like, where a soldier is broken down and then built back up to be what he needs to be. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger. But you know that better than most people, Nicki. Lots of love and prayers for you. Your words are always a blessing to read.

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  10. Nicki, I'm so sorry for your loss. I, too, have wrestled with God though in different circumstances. But in those moments of wrestling, I'm comforted by the thought that He is big enough to handle even my doubts and my questions, and He loves me all the same. And you, too. Praying for you in this season (and doubly blessed to be your neighbor at both the messy marriage link up and #tellHistStory).

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  11. The loss of a child is something no one should go through. I am so very, very sorry.

    There are things I have seen in the world that have made me question God's sovereignty...things I will forbear to describe, but know that I worked as a paramilitary contractor in some places you might prefer to avoid, and I would not want to revisit.

    It seemed that some things could never be good, and I was furious with God.until I realized that He wept with me.

    It seems to me that He created a world in which free will had to be operative to allow us to grow into fit citizens of eternity...not mindless automata whom he moved around a cosmic chess-board. Boring for Him, pointless for us.

    But allowing free will brought with it all of those dark things...cruelty, hate, disease, fear...that impinge on us in our exercise of that facility.

    In other words...God created a world in which those things had, perforce, to exist, but He doesn't assign them to us. He helps us deal with them, by bolstering faith and courage (if we allow it, as you pointed out so well!).

    We may overcome, or we may die. But we will not be alone unless that ultimate loneliness is our choice.

    And I am with you from Wedded Wednesday.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2015/03/my-in-laws-hate-me-wedded-wednesday.html

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  12. You are so very sweet Nikki, thanks! We are doing just fine, it's been a few bumpy years with our hearts, but we know God is good ALL THE TIME, even when our hearts are shattered into a thousand pieces, HE IS GOOD. (I'm sorry you also endured the infertility road for a bit, but look where you are now and how awesome is that!) :)

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  13. You are such a fresh sweet voice Ruth. Thank you for your kindness. God is with YOU in YOUR trial right now too, and no trial is too big or too small for our God to work miracles in. Hang tight to that truth today. :) Also can I just say that I love this "He loves you and your husband to the cross and eternity." Reminds me of Buzz Light Year: to infinity and beyond! ;-)

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  14. I think that is a great analogy Jenni! We do get broken down and beaten up, the good news for that soldier is that you only do basic training once (at least I think so) and the bad news for us is that we have seasons in life where we go thru this, but God is always with us and He is always good. So we can endure. We just hopefully realize we need to hang on to Him first and foremost more every time we go thru it. :) And I don't think I know this better than most people, sweet girl. We ALL have struggles and pains to endure. Nothing is more or less significant to our God. When our heart breaks, He's always there! xoxo

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  15. Yes Yes Yes! He is way big enough to handle our doubts, fears, questions and hurts girlfriend. Spot on!

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  16. I've been grappling with God's sovereignty lately too, Nicki, in one particular area. Just the other day during my prayer time I admitted (finally) that I don't trust God's judgment in this area. Yikes! That was hard to admit, because in so many other areas I accept His will and ways. But because He hasn't given me what I "want" in this particular area, I feel impatient, I feel ignored, I feel irritated that He doesn't see it my way! Crazy to think that way, but I know if I don't identify the lies I'm embracing, I'll continue to struggle to trust Him fully. I laid that desire down, but I know that every day is a battle not to try and pick it back up! I have had you on my daily prayer list for quite a while--but maybe it's time for some "eye-squinting prayers" on your behalf my friend! I hate that you still hurt. And I'm sure that God does too. We're weeping with you and He hears your cries. Hugs and love to you!

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  17. I love this, Nicki! Not that you are struggling with infertility, of course, but that you are wrestling through what God's sovereignty and goodness have to do with it in such an honest way. I've been where you are, and I well remember how exhausting it is in every way possible. But you are so right ... God's Word is an anchor, the foundation that holds solid no matter the outcome. Keep praying, keep trusting and keep sharing your story ... your life is an encouragement!

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  18. I like your train of thought here - a bad haircut on a whim is really a great analogy for the way we can give in to the sin that sneaks up on us sometimes. It sometimes helps when I remind myself that the pleasures of sin are fleeting. No matter what "feel-good high" sin happens to be offering in that moment, it likely won't last beyond that moment, and could bear lasting consequences. It's never, ever worth it! I'm glad you liked up with us at Grace & Truth! :)

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  19. As you "pour yourself into His Word," may you find He is pouring His comfort and grace into you! Glad to have met you this morning at Beloved Brews.

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  20. It's hard sometimes, isn't it Beth? But I think you are spot on about the things we often believe when we don't get what we want: they are lies. From a very sneaky enemy who is waiting to attack the moment we let our guard down. I am sorry you are struggling too, know that Jesus cares, and I do too! Thank you for praying! I am really ok. Jesus is King and God's in control! Being in the word regularly helps so much, doesn't it? At least for this girl! xoxo

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  21. Thanks for the sweet words of encouragement Lois! "God's word is an anchor, the foundation that holds solid no matter the outcome." Love that! xoxo

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  22. Love that imagery Michele! Blessings to you :)

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  23. I love how you are honest with God about it all. It's the best way to be, to go ahead and wrestle and not try to deny your doubts, but to deal with them instead. I also have wrestled with God's sovereignty; it's hard to understand his ways! :) But thankfully we can trust he will be good, even when we don't see it or even agree with it. Praying for your journey, Nicki. It's an authentic one.

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  24. I so understand the grappling with Gods sovereignty practically. When our desires line up with His word yet He doesn't give us those desires in the physical it does just suck. We had a still born daughter (26 weeks gestation) 4 years ago and although it didn't turn me from God (He was definitely our comforter) I did ask Him numerous times why He took her from us, and it was mainly based on my being a good enough mother. The only thing we can rest on is that His ways are perfect and He loves us so much and He allows things to happen to us for His perfect will and our good. This good is so hard to see at times and sometimes Proverbs 3 is our only guide. We just need to trust in Him with all our heart. Thank you so much for so openly sharing your journey with us, may you be blessed.

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  25. It sure is hard to understand His ways Lisa. But His ways are always right and always best. I just wish our tiny human minds could comprehend sometimes, but then again, if we could always understand, where would faith fall into the equation, right? God is good ALL THE TIME. All the time He is good. Blessings to you! xoxo

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  26. You are so right Terri, His ways are perfect, even when our hearts are shattered and breaking, He is always good. Thank you for your warm, kind thoughts. Blessings to you. And I am so very sorry for your loss. I will rejoice with you that one day you and your sweet daughter will meet again! And you both will be able to dance with Jesus! :)

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  27. I do the hair stuff too. My poor hubby!!! I love this analogy and love your writing style. So glad to have found you through Grace and Truth!

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  28. Great post! It is a marathon, the going does get tough - but we keep on going. I love how you convey this struggle so honestly, practically and openly. Cheering you on - your heart is big and God loves your willingness to seek him even when the storm rages Nicki. I love that you are an amazing part of the #RaRalinkup on Purposeful Faith.

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  29. 10 years ago our youngest child told us she didn't love us and walked away. Rejection had always been my greatest fear . . . words can't really describe it. I grabbed the lifeline of God's Word and read it from cover to cover in a little under three months. I still miss her will always pray for her to return, but I trust God's sovereignty. A few years ago I heard Him whisper . . . "You have no idea what I've protected you from."


    I'm praying for you sweet friend. I know the heart pain of infertility. He has a plan for you, of that I am confident. Blessings and hugs!

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  30. Dear Nicki,


    This is such a deep well of wonder that you are bridging us towards. Leading us to asking those questions, to wonder, to ponder, and to speculate on the amazing power of a truly Sovereign and amazing God.
    I have struggled with the whys and the what ifs. I have railed at Him, (yes, I have), when once again the pain of life circumstances are beyond my understanding. Wondering why, didn't really help me get past the pain, but trusting in the power of knowing He was trustworthy did. Pondering the what ifs only made me long for something that I was never destined to hold, but realizing that He is always faithful brought me to the affirmation that my God always provides for my needs in abundance. Speculating forced me to bring God onto my own level, making me transcend my place as His child, but finding His grace lifting me to a level of embrace that only a Father, my Abba, can extend healed the broken places in ways that even the hopes I thought were lost never could fulfill.
    I am so sorry for you pain, the loss you have known, the difficulties you have faced. I pray for the But God moments for you... the times where your testimony will touch eternity because He was trustworthy, faithful and full of grace in every circumstance that you wondered, pondered, and speculated His sovereignty.


    Bless you!
    Dawn

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  31. Thanks Kelly. I love how God also wired you to encourage others and share authentically what's on your heart. Xoxo

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  32. Oh Deb, my heart aches to know your daughter is out there somewhere missing the wonderfulness of knowing you. You are such a joy and a treasure. I pray that she someday hears that ache in her heart calling her back home to you and the Rev. Big hugs! Xoxo

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  33. Stopping by from Counting My Blessings... and I'n so glad I did! Thank you for your raw honesty (we SO need to hear that!) And yet even in your why's and cries, we see you still turning to the Lord... you KNOW He is there and loves and cares and has the very best for you, and at the end of the day He is your Rock. Blessings to you!

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  34. Isn't it great to know we have a great and mighty King who gives us all we need to know, when we need to know it? Blessings! xoxo

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  35. Love that reminder Mary, that God is always there to catch us. YES! xoxo

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  36. So true Jennifer, I think it's a struggle to remind us that the fleeting "high" we get, or the satisfaction, so to speak is NOTHING compared to the eternal high we get when we resist temptation and turn our eyes towards the prize: Jesus!

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  37. Yes, our poor dear hubbies! :) I'm glad I found you guys too. Good stuff. Blessings Arabah!

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  38. Oh Tarissa, it's so much easier to remind than to do sometimes, isn't it. That's why we need accountability and trust. Blessings!

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  39. Dawn bless your heart for the kind words. It's so easy to trust sometimes, intellectually, but so hard to put those words into action. Scripture is filled with countless stories of how trials can bring us closer to the Lord by leaning on Him during difficulty, and yet our human nature so often wants to get in there and say, hey God, I got this, I can handle it. NOT! :) I now look at my trials as a treasure, knowing that whatever happens, not only does "God got this" so to speak, but that He will have a prize waiting for me at the end of it. It makes it so much easier to hold tight and go along for the bumpy ride. I am so sorry you have felt such heartache and pain in your own life journey, but I think the good part in all of this is knowing we aren't alone, on this earth, or eternally. It's such a wonderful thing to know God places people in our lives to lift us up when we are down. I pray for many "But God" moments for you too! Blessings and big hugs! xoxo

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  40. Thanks for the sweet words Laura!

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