Just Praise Him

I was going about what would be considered "normal" in current world events, just working from home and trying to have somewhat of a routine. That's all we've been able to do, really, work and repeat. Despite the drastic uncertainty going on around the world, in my own life things have been rather quiet. My husband and I are holed up in our condo with nowhere to go until our "shelter in place" enforcement has ends. We really are feeling the cabin fever, that's for sure. It didn't start affecting us until after the first two to three weeks, and I remember both of us at different times experiencing this unexplained emotional struggle of frustration and sadness. The only way we broke out of it was to realize that we needed to get out. We found that you can still "social distance" while also enjoying some much needed sun. It didn't solve the cabin fever entirely, but getting out of the same work routine for a hour break to take a long walk did give our souls refreshed.

Staying at home so much and trying to get your work done has this tendency of taking away the "urgency" you find yourself having at the office. There were days where it was literally a challenge to just complete one task because we felt so "cooped up." After all, God didn't make human beings to be isolated from each other for long periods of time! I am thankful I can isolate with my partner; I can't imagine how lonely it would be to have to be by yourself all the time. Even as an introvert, we "felt" the absence of our normal lives.

Another thing that tends to be a struggle right now for myself is how much time I have to think. Before pandemic life, I was able to keep myself at least busy enough to be distracted. But now, so many options are off the table, that sometimes the only thing I can do is look inward. It's a blessing and a curse at the same time. While I've had productive self-reflection, the bad has come with it. So much space for over reacting and over analyzing every little thing came to be a somewhat normal routine I had to fight away from my mind. I can relate to all of the videos and memes of people feeling crazy while they are stuck inside!

Last night, my husband and I spent two hours in front of the TV using Chromecast to blast worship music in the living room. We were utterly engaged in each song, singing from the top of our lungs, and there was just this natural kind of atmosphere going on as each song that seemed to flow right after the first. In that moment, it was just us and God, not our troubles, and no cabin fever. In those times of over thinking, a lot of what arrested my mind was family planning.

Would I be pregnant this month? Or next month? When am I ovulating? Is it time to try again? All I could hear from God through the restlessness of my thoughts was "let go, let go, let go..." but I tuned it out. Week after week, I tuned Him out, and turned to what I thought was my way of making my dreams come true. By tracking my period, my ovulation schedule, and by making sure to be ready when that "5 day window" would show up. I learned the hard way after trying to control my future that God is the only one who has power over life, and he doesn't share that with anyone. I "did everything right" for two months straight in my family planning ritual only to come back both times with a negative pregnancy test.

But back to my husband and I jamming, right? Well the purpose of bringing that up was talk about how God was using his time with me in this place of unknown, lack of control, in this place of quietness. I was discouraged with the same thoughts I have been dragging along since January. I felt this yearning in my heart to call out to God about what was bothering me, but my flesh wanted to continue to stew in the pain. After a while, I gave in, and found myself having a momentarily miraculous time of freedom in worship. This was special; something that I hadn't experienced before.

I always turn to God in my suffering, but with all of the losses I've had over the last two years, letting go this time around was more painful and I was stubborn. In that time of worship reflecting on who He is, His goodness, how worthy He is to be praised--something powerful happened within me. God did what He always does! He works out the impossible.

I came to this spiritual connecting point with my Savior to understand that this is the way He wanted it to be. When I understood that, my cares and wants seemed suddenly unimportant in comparison to the desire I had to ultimately please Him.

God is worthy to be praised, simply, because of who He is. He is the Creator of the heavens and the earth! He is the reason you have breath in your lungs and why you wake up each day. His Son is the reason we have been given eternal life, He alone provided a way for our salvation. If that isn't enough to convince you of his worthiness, then I don't know what would be!

In our discouragement, we can easily let the enemy win and steal the promises of peace and joy that God provides for us. It may seem like you're going through the motions at first, but just like exercising it gets easier as you go on. That was me last night, trying to be the master of my own future, when I wasn't in control in the first place! By giving into my negative thinking, I was missing what God was trying to show me all along.

What he showed me wasn't some conclusive master plan about what my future held. No, it really wasn't anything conclusive in terms of a practical way to approach life. What God showed me in that moment of worship was my need for Him, and reminded me why I trusted Him in the first place. I was able to clearly see how foolish I was to fight for control of something I had no understanding about, and how ungrateful I was for the present blessings He had already given me. My storm was quieted, and I was able to return to my Savior in surrender. Some day I do believe that my husband and I will have a child, but when it happens isn't up to me, and nothing I do will hurry it along either. But that's okay! He took me back to why I follow him in the first place; it was for Him! Not for babies, not for work success, just to live my life serving and knowing Christ.

As I wait for God's timing to build my family, I choose to step deeper into the unknown. I choose to follow him into the deepest depths of uncertainty, and I choose to accept that I am right where he wants me to be. I accept that I have many questions left unanswered, like why did my former pregnancies fail? Or why did we lose our son at 17 weeks?

The intricacies of pregnancy are mysterious and still today confound even the brightest of medical minds, so is the mystery of who God is and what He understands at a higher perspective about this world than we ourselves (Isaiah 55:8-9). I choose to praise Him even when I have ugly thoughts and emotions because it's not about me. This life I have was given to me by God, and it is for his pleasure that I have each day I live. Until Christ returns, I may question many hard lessons I have to encounter in this complicated thing we call life. But, one thing I know I don't need to question, is the fact that even if I don't get "why," I can still trust Him because he always works everything out for his own (Romans 8:28).

"Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God." Psalm 43:5

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