Monday, February 2, 2015

Why I Am Thankful For Trials

I saw a comment this morning that made me stop and ponder: "I prayed desperately for a baby and God answered my prayer. He gave a child who will always be a baby in some way."

You can take that as a sarcastic comment or as an answer to prayer. Most people wouldn't choose to have a child who will "remain a child" but oftentimes God answers our prayers in ways we never would have imagined. 

I was feeling very unmotivated this morning, when I suddenly got the notion to visit a friend of mine who just got a foster baby. Since I remember how nice it was to get meals after a new placement I whipped up some cookies and grilled burgers. My reward was getting to hold a squirming, bundle of sweetness for an hour.

The other day I mentioned that I will be writing a post on why I am thankful for the things we experienced, here they are:

1. God is much more real to me. As the Sunday School Superintendent said yesterday, "How would you know God has got your back if you never went through trials?" 

2. I learned not to judge other's parenting skills. When I see a mom chasing her middle school child around the grocery store, I am much more inclined to wonder what hidden disability the child has than to think, she should make rules and enforce them.

3. When someone is nasty or rude, I feel sorry for them rather than being tempted to return the attitude. (Most times)

4. God gives us more than we can handle so we rely on his strength and not our own. I used to be a fan of the quote, "God never gives you more than you can handle." Now I know he gives strength and grace to bear whatever befalls me.

5. When life is hard, you find joy in the small things. A child's smile, flowers, sunshine, dirty dishes which means your family has food to eat....

6. We need to let our light shine in this dark world. I always knew that but when we were working at adopting Lia, one man told Dean, "I am amazed at how transparent you are." Dean told him he has nothing to hide and the man was amazed. The man who did our forensic parenting evaluations said he didn't know there were people who consistently told the truth even if that truth would be used against them. 

7. I learned the power of prayer. God has answered many prayers over the years but when prayer was all we had left, God moved and we stood in awe of a God who loved us enough to care about what was happening to our family.

For years I struggled to trust God, I viewed him as someone who is holding a stick over my head, just waiting to bring it down on me. It was a deep set belief of mine, one I tried to work through many times. Just ask my dear, patient husband! :) I even tried counseling because I knew "my thinking" was wrong but nothing helped. Then God brought hard trials into my life, God stretched me in ways that really hurt sometimes but oh, the joy and peace that I can now call mine!

*The battle is by no means won but with Jesus by my side, I need not fear.....then why am I trembling, wondering what form of testing is coming my way since I so boldly said all this? :) Yes, I am still 100% human! 

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