Having a baby is such a wonderful blessed event. Even if one's life circumstances aren't ideal, I truly believe that having a baby can still be a wonderful blessed event...this isn't coming out the right way, but hopefully you know what I mean. It is amazing how a baby can bring so much joy and can change your life. I believe that our babies/children have changed me for the better. For one, I'm not nearly as selfish as I used to be! Or at least, I finally realize how selfish I really am.
Women often long and dream of having babies for years. And when getting pregnant proves to be difficult, or miscarriage occurs, babies often become coveted dreams to us. So, if having a baby is such a blessing, as the scripture assures us it is, why would I title this post "Despair"?
Having babies, bringing home those cherished bundles, and raising them, is HARD! The reality is, it really is hard- at least at times. This I'm sure in part is due to the fall of mankind and sin. However, I also think it is part of God's great plan. Some of the greatest blessings and good brought about in our lives are only wrought through the most difficult and painful trials.
So we had our fourth baby. We brought home a beautiful healthy little girl. Our family is now a family of six. This was my fourth c-section. Tyson and I were both prepared (from experience) for many of the difficulties that we would face due to my recovery, the other children adjusting, and our own adjusting to life with a newborn. This was a benefit to us in many ways, but there were still many hard moments. Pain, lack of sleep, and overwhelming hormones have a way a quickly sending a new mother, even an experienced mother, into despair and depression. I tried to remind myself at those times that I was just overtired and things REALLY weren't as bad as they seemed. I kept quoting an Andy Gullahorn song in my head, "Give it time, give it time, you have to wait through the winter cold for the spring sunshine..." I tried to fill my mind with the hope found in the Living Word of our Great God.
Then, one night, Tyson set up his computer so that it would play this live concert on our TV, so we could all watch and hear. The artist: Andrew Peterson, another one of our favorites. Honestly, I wasn't nearly as into it as Tyson was. I was also trying to help out with the kids as much as I could so that he could enjoy this well deserved treat. Then, Andrew said something that totally grabbed my attention. I can't remember exactly how he said it, or which new song he was setting up when he said it, but it was something like this:
"When we despair, we are assuming that
we know how the end will go."
Whoa, did I ever need to hear that! Back I went to my Bible to read more about despair and hope. I read through Romans 8, and Hebrews 6 and some other scattered verses. Then I came to Psalm 77. In this Psalm, the author is crying out to the Lord in desperation during a "day of trouble". The first part of the Psalm is filled with hopelessness, despair, and utter distress. Then, in verse 11, the author turns around and says, "I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old. I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds." From then on, his focus shifts from despair to renewed hope at the remembrance of God's greatness and goodness. This is what I too needed to do.
Psalm 27: 13-14 NASB
I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.So many times, we find ourselves overwhelmed by our circumstances...all we see are the huge trees blocking our way, and we forget that the Lord sees the forest in spite of the trees.
I encourage you to remember God's promises, his "exceedingly great and precious promises" 2 Peter 1:4 NKJV. Remember that, "No matter how many promises God has made, they are "YES" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God. 2 Cor. 1:20.
God's promises are great. They come from a great God.
Psalm 145:3 Great is the Lord; his greatness, no one can fathom."
Jeremiah 32:27 "I am the Lord, is anything to hard for me?"
The promises are great because they cover the great issues: fear, doubt, despair...
The promises are great because they give us great comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3-11
The promises are great because they lead to a great life.
His promises are greater than human wisdom.
God's promises are greater than white-knuckled obedience. There's a restfulness and a confidence that allows us to go on.
God's promises are greater than wallowing in self-pity.
His promises are the BEST thing! They will get you through the darkest night, the longest day, the deepest valley. God made some promises, hold onto them.
Here are some of His promises:
1) God is always with me
Hebrews 13:5b-6, Deuteronomy 31:6
2)God is in Control
3)God is always good.
Psalm 27:13, Jeremiah 29:11, Romans 8:28
4) God is always watching.
Isaiah 43:2, 1 Corinthians 10:13, Titus 1:1-2
5)God is always victorious.
Isaiah 54:17, 2 Corinthians 1:20, Romans 16:20
Taken from James MacDonald, Walk in the Word Ministries, series "Always True"
Now, I don't want anyone to worry. We are doing just fine! We had the expected struggles, but overall are adjusting very well. I'm feeling better and better everyday...and hoping that will continue. Selah is a great baby! She is making things so easy for us. The older kids love their new little sister! We are so thankful for all the Lord has done in our lives, even during the difficulties of the last few weeks. I'm especially thankful for how near the Lord is during those hard times. Despite how we may feel, God is never so near to us as when we are struggling. I'm so thankful for His presence in those times and how He is always right there to show me and teach me again of His great love for me.
May you feel His great love for you today!