Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV
In my younger years trust was a difficult concept for me to grasp when it came to God.
I knew I trusted my parents but I could see and touch them. Plus, they knew me when I was little, or young (most people would say I’m still little). I can’t remember a time when I couldn’t trust my parents. They were always there for me.
What I wasn’t sure about was how to put my trust in something I couldn’t see or touch.
Looking back I now know it wasn’t difficult because I couldn’t see or touch God. It was difficult because I wasn’t mature in the faith.
As my faith-walk changed and deepened, my concept of faith and trust changed.
Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
I think my first real tragedy came when I was 28 years old.
Up until that time I’d pray, ask, and receive. When I was 28 I was expecting my fourth child (I know that’s a little crazy by today’s standards). I’d not had any issues with my other pregnancies, and I expected this pregnancy to be the same.
Every time I got pregnant I had a dream. I saw the baby or child in the dream and I knew their name. After I conceived the fourth time I dreamed I had a girl and her name was Angela.
Because I had a dream and I saw the child I was sure everything would be fine.
That wasn’t the case.
When I was in my 9th week I started having bleeding problems. The same OB/GYN had delivered all my children and he knew they were all born a year and a half apart. He also knew they were all young. I was admitted to the hospital and was put on complete bed rest. On the afternoon of the third day the bleeding stopped.
I was uncomfortable but since the bleeding had stopped I wasn’t too concerned. Late in the afternoon, I miscarried.
Honestly, I couldn’t believe it happened.
What about the dream? Why did I have a dream where I saw the blond headed girl?
How could this be?
For a long time I continued to wonder why I had the dream and I miscarried the baby.
After the miscarriage I asked the doctor if I could carry another child to term. He said in his opinion my body was tired and I needed to rest. He advised taking a year to heal.
That’s exactly what I did.
Some time after that year I conceived again. Nine months later I had a boy.
I still didn’t understand why i had the dream about the girl named Angela. But I knew God had a reason and this boy was supposed to be part of our tribe.
Forty years later I believe God knew I would not be able to have a fifth C-Section to have that boy.
I believe I have a daughter in heaven. I believe someday I will see her and (we) will be with her for eternity.
I’ve had other tragedies that I didn’t understand but in time (through prayer) I resolved them. Someday I will understand everything…but not today.
The miscarriage helped me to understand (a little) what it’s like to lose a child and grieve. I know women who have had miscarriage after miscarriage who eventually had a child or children. I’ve known a few women who miscarried multiple times and they were not able to carry a child to term.
I would tell them they have many children in heaven and one day they will be with them forever. I don’t think that will comfort them now but my prayer is that they will hold their child (or children) again.
In 2007 I had another life-changing event. It wasn’t a death or a tragedy, but it did change the whole course of my life. After being a pastor’s wife for a little over 30 years, God called me to go to Seminary. I was in my early 50’s. I thought it was a crazy idea and I told God it was crazy.
God pressed on…hard.
I eventually gave in and applied hoping my application would be rejected.
I really prayed.
My application was accepted within hours.
I did not understand why God would call an older woman to Seminary.
That didn’t matter.
Through each tragedy and life event, my faith grew and God taught me He was trustworthy. God gave me the ability to trust Him through each tragedy and event…even Seminary. I was working a full time secular job, I was a full time student, and because I majored in leadership I was required to lead a ministry team while I was in Seminary. I completed my 144 hours required for an M.Div. the year I turned sixty.
It was a long journey and it was hard (especially Hebrew) but it was one of the top ten greatest blessings of my life.
Through it all, God was faithful to me. I have learned a little bit about trusting God.
I’m absolutely certain God’s not finished with me yet. I know I still have a lot to learn.
Together we press on.
Today’s Spiritual Practice is: Consider Trust
Consider what you’ve learned about God’s faithfulness and what you know now about trusting God that you didn’t know when you were younger.
In God, Deborah