Sunday, July 11, 2010

Perplexed In My Pajamas

Today has been a pajama day. I woke up much too early and have found that I possessed very little motivation to get dressed and do much of anything. The weight of last week's events is heavy on my heart. Added to my feelings of grief is this perplexity - this Why?

Why does everything have to be so hard for me?

Why am I a widow?

Why am I childless?

Why can't I have my husband's babies?

Why does my job have to make me so unhappy?

What is your will for me, Lord?

Sounds like a big ole pity party doesn't it? Well, there might have been a little self pity going on, but more than that there is a sincere desire to understand.

That last question is a big one for me these days. I think any Christian living through a season of loss and/or difficulties must ask that question. When things are going well, I don't think we give it much thought. Things are good, so this must be what God wants for me. When things aren't going well, it's a question that's hard to avoid. Things are really, really bad. Is this what God wants for me right now, or am I experiencing these things so that I can be redirected to His will for me?

As much time as I've thought about all that, prayed about it, and so on, I still don't have an answer. There's a lot of Biblical teaching about all the blessings available to us because of what Christ did on the cross for us. I printed out six pages of scriptures pertaining to God's will for His people to be fruitful and multiple, about His love for children, about children being a blessing from God, and about women in the Bible who overcame infertility by God's provision - Sarah, Hannah, Rebekah, and Elizabeth. I meditated on those verses earlier today and I will continue to do so. I believe the supernatural can overcome the natural, although I can tell you from experience that it doesn't always work out that way and I don't know why. But I do know that God's ways are not my ways:

"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways," says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:8-9

But at the heart of all of this is that big question - What is God's will for my life?

I really want to know.

I can tell you what I've always wanted for my life. From the time I was in my late teens or early twenties I just wanted to get married and have a family. I wanted a big family, too. I was thinking four kids would be nice. I would never have imagined that I would have a career or an advanced degree, not that those are bad things. I just thought I'd be raising all those kids, managing a home, and caring for my husband. That desire has been so deeply rooted in my heart that quite honestly I've always felt like a fish out of water in my own life. This was not the way it was supposed to be - according to me, anyway.

Was there some other calling on my life that I just didn't pick up on?

Was there some other path I was supposed to take that I was too blind to see?

Ugh! I just don't know and I hate that. Thus the perplexity, and the hurt. There's a lot about my life that hasn't lived up to my expectations.

Anyway some of the things I'm clinging to today are:

1. I need to continue to put my trust in the Lord. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

2. I need to continue to seek Him instead of isolating myself from Him in my hurt and confusion. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33-34

3. God is good and He is the giver of all good things. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. Psalm 84:11

Now, I would really love to hear from those of you who have been walking with the Lord for a while. It would really bless me for you to share the wisdom you have gained in your relationship with Him. How do you seek and find God's will for your life? What verses in the Bible have given you direction, strength, and/or comfort when you're perplexed about life?


  1. I have always thought that the Lord's calling for me was adoption. I recently received assurance of this conviction through a wonderful Bible vers, :"He places the lonely in families."
    I would really encourage you to pursue adoption. There are so many lonely children out there. The need for families to step forward for African American or biracial infants is huge. Sometimes they are waiting at hospitals with nowhere to go, noone to hold them and care for them, not one single person. And do you know that AA adoption is much cheaper? So unfair! Honestly, you could be a parent in just a few weeks. The need is that great! Praying for the Lord to reveal his plan for you.

  2. Catherine, thank you for sharing and for being an advocate for adoption. I am a huge fan of adoption. I was once on that path, but since losing my husband it has become the desire of my heart to see him in our children. It's not so much about how to become a mother at this point.

    If this IVF fails, I will be open to dating again in time, and if I should be blessed with another marriage I would hope to adopt children.

  3. I can't answer any of those questions but I know from my life and challanges that I just keep my spirits up and try to work through the things that God lays in my path..
    I hope I do the right things..
    You know that I LOVE YOU BIG.
    and I feel that he will give you Michaels babies.. I just sooo hope that I am right.. I feel it and hope it comes true..
    BIG HUGS..

  4. Joannah,
    I am so sorry for the pain you are going through. I don't have any wisdom for you, but I found that sometimes single minded stubborness is the way to go.

    Keep going'll get to a better place!

  5. JoAnn, I've got single-minded stubborness in spades!


  6. Psalm 46:10 I wish I could give you a three-step plan to finding God's will, but after many years of seeking His plan for my life I've found His plan is simply for me to be his daughter and to accept and receive His love, one day, one step at a time. I still clutch my little to-do lists a little too tightly, though. Prayed for you today, my friend.

  7. Ferree said it best! One of my "pet peeves" as a Christian school teacher is the tendency to teach as if God has "one plan" for our lives, and that the "plan" is specific to a career or something along those lines. Rather, I believe His plan is simply for us to follow Him. He will bless whatever we are doing, as long as we do it to honor Him.

    Now, I will say that I cannot explain the desires He puts in our to why they are unfulfilled. Perhaps to make us empathetic, complex, more like Him? I am still trying to figure out this one as well!

  8. Joannah, I hope you are not tired of me relating parts of my journey with you. I will never say that I understand what you are personally going through b/c each person's journey is so unique, but I do "get" the feelings you are describing. I will share what eventually helped me. I remember it so clearly. It was about a year after Paul died and I could not understand why I was a 26 year old widow and all my dreams and plans were over. My best friend and lover was gone from this earth. I really longed to go to Heaven and be with Paul and with Jesus - where the glory would be mine. But, of course, I knew that it was not my time. I recall the day that I sat on a bench in the cemetery and in tears I literally cried aloud, "okay Lord, if you want me to go on, and if you really have a plan for me then I give up. I need your help. You need to help me." Before that I thought I had everything planned and that I was "doing" the things I needed to. (don't know if this is making any sense??) That day I really felt change. I stopped longing so desperately for Heaven and started trying to do more living here. This is not to say it was easy, but I knew that Jesus was helping me. He led me to grief counseling and to doctors who helped with my severe depression. He led me to friends that were not judgemental of how long I was grieving. I found comfort in Psalm 91:11 "for He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways." I repeated it over and over, esp. in times of loneliness. It gave me comfort to know that Paul was my special angel, commanded by God, to watch over and care for me. I also clung to Jeremiah 29:11 - believing that God had a plan for me. On May 1st it will be 20 years since Paul entered the glory of Heaven. I still question why at times. I still miss him. It changes, it is different, I have come to realize I will never know why until the day I enter Heaven. I do know that my life is so much better for having loved so deeply. For having married my best friend, I am such a better person for having him in my life. I feel like God chose to lend Paul to me, for the short time we did have, for me to fully be loved on earth and to experience a deeper faith than I had thought possible and to give up control, to give the reins of my life over to HIM! Anyway, I am rambling. Reading your posts cause my heart to know what you are saying. I just want to tell you that someone out there, "gets it." I never felt anyone understood. I think about and pray for you all the time. It should not be like this for you. It is NOT fair, it is not happy or desirable. My best advise is to embrace each feeling and to continue turning to the Lord. Your faith is amazing and there is a that is eternal and we can't understand. But I am certain of it - as I believe you are, too. It doesn't make you miss any less or hurt any less...I wish that your pain could be taken away. I hope something from this comment helps you, even a tiny bit. Hugs, Sarah

  9. Sarah, thank you for sharing all of that with me. This is what I was hoping for when I asked those questions at the end of my post. I will consider your words more than once.



Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Reading your comments is one of the rewarding aspects of blogging.