Finding God’s Peace Through a Painful Journey

Last month an online friend, Lois, traveled through our city, and I had the privilege and pleasure of meeting her in person. When she gifted me with her book, Infertility: Finding God’s Peace in the Journey, I had no idea how much it would impact me.

It was truly a God-nudge that prompted her to give it to me as she didn’t know that God planted my children in my heart, not in my belly.

Lois wrote of her painful journey through infertility and the Biblical truths that helped her to find God’s peace in the midst of it. I would recommend this book to anyone going through infertility. But not only to those, but to all who are struggling with losses, whatever they may be. The Biblical truths God binds upon her heart are relevant to any trials and struggles we have in life.

I was captivated already from the beginning when I identified with what God spoke to her heart:

“Do you trust Me to know what
I’m doing with your life?
When you want to do it your own way,
when you start doubting My faithfulness,
when you start comparing yourself to others…
do you trust Me?” (p 11)

I’m sharing just a few of the Biblically-based truths and advice I gleaned that are invaluable to remember in every struggle or loss we may have:

God cares about our feelings. He wants us to face them. He can handle any emotion we have. Even the writers of Scripture freely shared their feelings.

 A solid starting point in our journey is to see God as He is. He is in control of everything and His plan for our lives is good because He is good. When something bad happens in our lives, it doesn’t mean He is punishing us or doesn’t love us anymore.

Praying Christ’s prayer “opens the door for the peace of God” and lays the groundwork that will enable us to make the right choices.

“Father, if You are willing,
take this cup from Me;
yet not My will,
but Yours be done.”
Luke 22:42

Look for God-sightings, “those often-overlooked little events and moments that gently remind us that our heavenly Father still loves us and is still working.”

Remember God has a different story for each of us. He knows what growth plan is best for us. (The comparison trap is easy to fall into.)

“And my primary job, as the main character in my story,
is to focus on Jesus, not on anyone else.”
~ Lois Flowers ~

Express your anger to God above all and to someone you trust, so you don’t internalize it. Many people mean well by giving advice, opinions, or bits of spiritual wisdom, but others are simply insensitive and non-empathetic.

“But you can either turn yourself into a victim
who takes offense at every wrong word,
or you can allow your circumstances to
make you more assertive, more gracious,
or more patient with others.”
~ Lois Flowers ~

Obsession with a dream or desire can lead to idolatry, placing our relationship with Christ on the back burner.

Do what’s best for you and your emotional intelligence. It’s okay to stay away from places that trigger pain.

It’s not all about us. Beware of self-absorption.

God never turns His back on us.

“He didn’t turn His back on me when I was hurting,
but He didn’t let my tears change His mind
about what He had in store for me, either.
And somehow – only by His infinite
mercy and grace, I’m sure –
I was okay with that.”
~ Lois Flowers ~

Letting go of a dream and grieving what we miss does not mean we have a lack of faith or are weak.

Jesus always understands. He asked God three times for another way, but the answer was NO.

“We despised Him and rejected Him
—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief…
Yet it was our grief He bore,
our sorrows that weighed Him down.”
Isaiah 53: 3-4

Your Ways Are Higher Than Mine
by the Collingsworth Family

“It’s not what I prayed for
It’s not what I wanted
It’s not something I understand
My circumstances seem so confusing
I’m placing it all in Your hands

Your ways are higher than mine
I want mountains to move
You want me to climb
So I’m gonna trust Your work, Your will, and Your time
Your ways are higher than mine…”

When We Want to Live Our Lives Less Like a List and More Like a Lyric

“I will praise You
because I have been remarkably
and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
and I know this very well.”
Psalm 139:14 HCSB

Freed to Fly

“I just want to live my life
less like a list and more like a lyric.”
Emily Freeman

“What might it mean to live life like a lyric rather than a list?

Maybe it means releasing yourself to live as the person you most deeply are rather than who you think you should be.

It could mean embracing your smallness by bringing your ordinary work to Jesus, knowing He does miracles with little offerings.

It could also mean releasing the outcome of your interactions with people and the results of your work.

Would your shoulders relax? Would your jaw loosen up? Would your fists open up in your lap?”

Excerpt from Seven Little Ways to Live Art by Emily Freeman.

“As you learn to recognize, nurture, and protect your inner artist, you will be able to move beyond pain and creative constriction. You will learn ways to recognize and resolve fear, remove emotional scar tissue, and strengthen your confidence.” Julia Cameron in The Artist’s Way

The Garden
by Kari Jobe

“I had all
But given up
Desperate for it
A sign from love
Something good
Something kind
Bringing peace to every corner of my mind

Then I saw the garden
Hope had come to me
To sweep away the ashes
And wake me from my sleep

I realized
You never left
And for this moment
You planned ahead
That I would see
Your faithfulness in all of the green

I can see the ivy
Growing through the wall
‘Cause You will stop at nothing
To heal my broken soul

I can see the ivy
Reaching through the wall
‘Cause You will stop at nothing
To heal my broken soul…”

Taking One Step At a Time

Anxious, depleted, and overwhelmed, I decided to take a break in December. Lord, do I need to discontinue this blog? What direction do You want me to take?

As I spiraled downward with indecision, God finally answered my prayers. Not with a definitive “yes” or “no,” but with a gentle guidance as He whispered, “My child, just take one step at a time. Live more in the moment. Don’t obsess over what the moments or steps thereafter will be.” And peace spilled into my heart as He assured me He will light my way one step at a time. As He encouraged me to trust Him more to lead me. As He reminded me to “be” rather than always thinking I need to “do.”

It can be hard to keep grasping His proffered hand and to trust Him no matter what, can’t it? Even when we can’t feel His presence while our lives fall apart, our longings and prayers are unmet, and the future is unknown and scary-looking.

I need to trust that God is faithful. To trust His heart when I don’t understand where His hand is leading. When He says He is holding my hand, He is. He never goes back on His Word. When we stray and take our own way, He will redeem us and lead us to the right path. When we fall, He will lift us up again to take the next step.

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with My victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:10 NLT
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do,
    and He will show you which path to take.”
Proverbs 3:5-6 NLT
“For Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
    You rule throughout all generations.
The Lord always keeps His promises;

    He is gracious in all He does.
The Lord helps the fallen
    and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
The eyes of all look to You in hope;
    You give them their food as they need it.”
Psalm 145:13-15 NLT

“God won’t light your second step
until you have taken the first one.”
Woodrow Kroll

“As we trust God to give us
wisdom for today’s decisions,
He will lead us a step at a time
into what He wants us to be
doing in the future.”
Theodore Epp

“I will trust Him.
Whatever, wherever I am, I can never be thrown away.
If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
if I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow
may be necessary causes of some great end,
which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain.”
John Henry Newman

Trust His Heart
by Babbie Mason

“All things work for our good
Though sometimes we don’t see
How they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth

Our Father knows what’s best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just don’t see Him,
Remember you’re never alone

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don’t understand
When don’t see His plan
When you can’t trace His hand
Trust His Heart
Trust His Heart…”

May God help us to take
one step at a time in 2020
and trust Him to lead us!