I quietly knelt by the bed, bringing my forehead to the floor. I intentionally muffled my cries, careful to not wake up Sophia, in the nearby crib, or Brian, deep asleep on the bed. I started to plead, but first… ask for forgiveness.
“I know, God. I know You tell us to walk by faith and not by sight, but I need something. Please forgive me for not just trusting You. You’ve shown Yourself faithful. I know. I know. I just… I just need something. I need to know that I heard you right…”
I’m not saying you can or can’t ask God to throw you a confirmation bone, but I knew in that moment, that He had already confirmed it in my spirit. More than once. God had already given me plenty of confirmation that when I began work that following month, I would not have the worry of Sophia choking on her nasal feeding tube. I knew exactly what He meant. It would completely be gone.
We had already spent five weeks in one of the top feeding clinics and, although we did make progress, we still were no where near getting rid of that feeding tube. It provided a means of nutrition for Sophia, keeping her growing… keeping her alive. Oh, but how I hated it. I hated that the tape covered, and would often rip skin off, her sweet little face. I hated that it made her choke constantly. I hated that it made her vomit most days. I hated that it brought looks of sympathy from onlookers. I hated that it got clogged. I hated that it was a leash to abnormal. I hated it. Yet, it was keeping her alive.
That night, God gave me the confirmation that I so desperately pleaded for. He also left me with some other insight.
You think it’ll be enough, but you’ll just start focusing on the next thing just as desperately.
Sure enough, the next month, four days before I started working again, Sophia’s feeding tube came out for the last time. Even with all the confirmation, I still struggled on whether to keep it out or not. I look back and wonder how I could possibly question it. It’s so different when you’re in it though, and the enemy is tackling you with fear, trying so hard to keep you from confidence in God’s promises.
It stayed out. Permanently.
I started work not having to worry about Sophia choking or vomiting from her feeding tube, exactly how God had revealed it to me. Sure enough, after I felt a little more confident about the feeding tube being out for good, I found myself whining about the next thing I “needed God to do.” I would later learn that God had already did it, everything I could possibly ask for Sophia’s health, and it wasn’t for me to beg, but for me to believe.
It will ALWAYS be something, if you let it. Your joy is in Him. Seriously. Wherever you are, whatever you might think you need for it to be better, you are wrong. He is what you need more of. Finding joy in your journey is what will free you from the “I’ll be happy when” syndrome.
Do you dream big? Good. Now, dream bigger. Blow that ceiling off of what your mind thinks is “possible” in this life…. but do not, I repeat, do NOT, let your joy live there. Your joy is here and now… during your financial struggle, during your troubled marriage, during your bout of depression, during your child on a ventilator… wherever you’re at. There is joy there because God is there.
Yes, hard moments or seasons can be challenging. That is absolutely okay to acknowledge that but don’t let your eyes rest there. Raise them up to who God is and what He says He has for you; who He says He is even IN the storm.
When I start to be plagued with any “I’ll be happy when…” thoughts, I interrupt with gratitude, listing the things that the enemy has so sneakily steered my eyes away from.
“Thank you, Lord, for _________… and _________…. and _________…. and _________…”
Then, focus on His word. It doesn’t have to be all the scriptures. Just take one or two. Google “scripture on ________.”
“Lord, Your Word says ____________…. and Your Word is truth. It doesn’t matter how it feels or how it looks. It only matters what You say and I believe it. Thank you that You promise ________…. I will keep that at the forefront of my mind, crushing all lies from the enemy.”
We have SO much power living inside of us and total access to our Holy Father, the Creator of this world. May we dare to unleash that in all of our situations, no matter the forecast.
Philippians 4:11-14 (NIV)
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through Him who gives me strength.”