Last year this time, I was on a bus ride home.
Psalm 40:1 – I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.
James 5:7-8 – My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.
Romans 12:12 – Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.
Romans 15:4-5 – For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope. Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus.
Colossians 3:12-13 – Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Lord, give me a heart of forgiveness. Father, help me to be patient, Help me to see how others see the world and, no matter how backwards, be filled with a patience and a hope and an expectation that You will change their perceptions. Lord, let me not be dismayed by what I see in the present, but instead may my eyes be ever fixed on the future that I know You can create/ Father, may every tear and thought be given unto You as an offering and a request that Your will be brought into fruition, that Your plan be made a reality and that present emotions be burnt as a sacrifice. Lord, as You tell me in Hebrews 11:1, faith is the evidence of things hoped for, the substance of things not seen. Father, again, help me look beyond what I see now. Bring Your truth, the truth of what You would have be in existence be all that I can see. Give me eyes for the future. Give me eyes for the glory that You will bring into my life. Blind me to present circumstances. Harden my spirit against ignorance and pride, and soften my heart toward those with such emotions. Father, fill my heart with a love for those in transition. Yes, Lord, in transition. For I am believing that such emotional states are plastic, not static. Because Father, You reign sovereign over every heart and mind and spirit. Lord, You crafted each one, Hallelujah! And You can bring each one into submission unto You. Father, reign in all Your glory in the hearts of men and women. Reign in all your truth. Usher Your truth into the hearts, minds, and souls of each man, woman, and child. Lord, open the eyes of their hearts. Give them Your eyes. Burden them for every thought, action, and emotion that is not in You. For if not in You, then it is impure and unjust and in need of Your purging. Lord, purge gently and fill me with a patience, hope, and expectancy as You bring them through a process of holy enlightenment. Father, may You ways be the ways of Your children. Father, they are Yours, so I pray for You to speak to them. Speak to them the words that will get through to them. Holy Spirit, stir within and only let your peace reign in their hearts when Your truth exists there also. Draw them near, and draw them gently. Let your assurance reign sovereign above any carnal fear. God, I know what You are capable of. I know what You desire for us. Lord, unity is Your love. Unity is your desire. Unity is what is most pleasing in Your eyes. Father, if anything, may we be united as brothers and sisters in Christ. May we be able to look beyond color and culture and nationality and see Your Spirit within each other, and therefore, see ourselves. Father, unity. Unity, I pray for most of all. Not civility, but brotherhood and love. In You.
God, may ye be praised, truly & most genuinely praise, in the hearts of Your children.
This is the question of the year for me. For the past 8 months, I have been in a dating relationship with my best male friend. We are wonderful together. Because we have 3 years of a strong friendship preceding this relationship, we were blessed to have a strong foundation of communication and familiarity before making the transition. We often joke that on paper, we are a relationship disaster: asian vs. black/native; canadian vs. american; doesn’t like to dance vs. loves to & can dance; harry potter/star wars geek vs. normal person (haha, I tease). And yet, for all of our differences, in real life there exists a connection between us that makes me wonder if this relationship is something orchestrated by God. He is my best friend and a great Christian brother to me. He inspires me to believe in myself and see myself as God sees me. Being in a relationship with him has brought me closer to God and encouraged me to seek Him in new, deeper ways. Through these last months of getting to know him more intentionally, he has become a role model to me for patience, steadiness, and logical thinking, all things that I often lack. And most importantly, being with him makes me happy. I don’t know what else a girl could ask for.
It is because of all the reasons listed above, because of the connection I feel with him that I am finally allowing myself to bring before God’s feet the one difference between us that has caused much division and angst, to question the one thing that I have sought to exercise control over through self-deduction and rational consideration: to have kids or not to have kids.
I have never asked myself whether I want children because I have It is the one topic that I have been afraid to weigh in with my emotions because I recognize that emotions are fickle and kids are permanent. I have always rationalized to myself, “Why base such a decision with long-lasting consequences on something that can change (->emotions<-)?” It has been my fear that my emotions would change, as I have seen with many mothers, and I would regret having kids. How unfair would that be to them, I would think to myself. But after being in a relationship for these past months, I am realizing that we possess levels of emotions. When my boyfriend has upset me or when we have had intense moments, I felt overwhelmed and wanted out of the situation, but didn’t want out of the relationship. In those times, I knew deep down that I still wanted to be with him, just perhaps not at that particular moment. This is something that my mom has tried to explain to me, but I haven’t been able to fully grasp until now. She has explained that despite the difficult times, the stress, the anxiety, she has not ever regretted having us and has always been thankful for us, her “blessings.” Now that’s unconditional love, eh?
I strive to always be honest with myself, and to do so now, I would have to admit that I have purposefully not asked God for His opinion on whether I should or should not have children. I feel certain that I have done so in order to maintain control over my life and future. Instead, I have logically analyzed motherhood and time-after-time determined that the cons outweigh the pros. But in thinking about the prayers I pray to the Lord, prayers for His sovereignty in my life and for my complete surrender unto His will… I am realizing that it is more than a little hypocritical for me to try to control my decision to have children. By doing so, I am trying to limit His reign in my life, while professing words that directly contradict those actions. I am saying to Him through my close-mindedness that I know better than He does in this area. How foolishly rash and disrespectful! As if I could know better than Him. Ha! It is amazingly wrong and I certainly do not want to be the kind of Christian that only pays lip-service to God. I want to worship Him by living my life as He orchestrates it. I truly want His will to direct all of my steps.
That said, I have decided to begin a study on the Biblical vs. worldly reasons (not) to have children. It was a personal Biblical study that ultimately confirmed within me my desire to marry, a topic I used to logically reason through and control. Now, that said, I am not implying that I am hoping that from this study, I will want to have children. Rather, I am opening myself up for God’s call, be it toward motherhood or away from it. I only pray that my heart will follow where He leads.
I have to ask myself why God would allow me to enter into and feel such contentment and connection in a relationship with someone who wants children, given my own desires not to have them. Is this something He is trying to break me of? Is He using my boyfriend and his desire for a traditional family (husband, wife, + kids, not necessarily implying specific gender roles) to confront my desires and plans? God, what is Your will for me when it comes to children? How would You have me serve You? Because ultimately, that is my desire. To serve You as You would have me serve You. And Lord… this is a difficult thing for me to say and lay down before You, but if I am to follow you explicitly and unreservedly, then I must profess it in faith and commitment: I want Your will for my life, not my own. I lay down my perception of the future, of myself, of my capabilities, potential, and opportunities before You. You are the author of my life. Write my script as You see fit, for You and You alone are sovereign, almighty, and all-knowing. Your way is better than any way I could ever dream to design. So Father, be it Your will that I have children, then so be it because YOU have ordained it and therefore it is intended and blessed by You. I want only to always be under Your covering, under Your favor and nurturing, Lord. Draw and keep me near to You. In Your name I pray and trust.
It is very bizarre to hear someone’s voice after they have past on. A couple weeks after my dad’s passing, I found an old audio file of a conversation with him that I recorded last summer. Of all things, we were discussing his health. I wanted to record the conversation so that we would have a record of his health history and current health status. If I only knew. I remember listening to it when I first found it. His death was still pretty fresh and I couldn’t help but start crying. I could picture us in the room together, talking, him coughing (something his illness – sarcoidosis – made a persistent accessory to his speech). For some reason, I am drawn to listen to it now. I pulled it up a few days ago and listened to the whole thing – at lest 30 mins of talking. I didn’t cry this time, but was absolutely marveling at the bizarreness of it all. In that moment he was here – breathing, heart beating, synapses transmitting electrochemical signals – and now, he simply is not. Amazing! The future in this physical life is not promised to us, eh? I suppose it really is that simple, even though it feels so much more complex.
Maybe I’m not trying hard enough. Mom seems to think that I am not, that I am allowing myself to feel too much, to be distracted too easily, that I should be able to control these things. Is she right? Am I not trying hard enough? The thing is… I feel like I have tried to swim against the waves of emotion that crash in these days, only to be taken by the undercurrent. Am I not resisting “enough”? What would be considered “enough”? My therapist says to “be kind to myself,” “to take it easy,” that “I’ve gone through a significant experience and need time to process it” without undue self-pressure. But if I go that route, then is my mom right? Should I not allow myself to decompress if it adversely affects me emotionally, spiritually, academically, socially? Is it wrong to allow myself to experience this moment of weakness? I am so confused. I think I need to tune both of them out and listen to the one who always seems to have the answer – my Savior, my King. God, help me to silence the voices in my head that I may hear Your call. What am I supposed to think right now? I am so tired of failing…