We have such dreams for our lives – graduate from college, marry our perfect match, move into that house with the white picket fence, give birth to perfectly healthy babies, land that dream job… Then reality hits… Sometimes it’s just one dream that feels out of reach and other times the broken dreams seem to pile up one on top of another.
Such was the place I found myself. Happily married and ready to start a family, but suddenly negotiating the world of infertility. My dream of a family was looking broken, not sure if or how we’d ever move from ‘couple’ to ‘family’. On top of that, I was traveling out of town every week for my job, working inhuman hours and I knew I had to change jobs – but to what? Not to mention I was working too much to have the time and energy to start a job search. Throw in a few more missed expectations and ideals I could never quite live up to and the stress of it all began to drag me under.
I was drowning. I was carrying such a weight of worry I could hardly breathe. I was starting to have panic attacks because I just couldn’t fix it all on my own. This was not the way I pictured this phase of my life playing out. This wasn’t the place I wanted to be.
Sometimes we have to sink in order to grow closer to God
Sink, I did! As we entered the first round of in vitro on our journey to start a family, I became convinced science had mastered life. Doctors and scientists could spark life in a test tube. This was our answer! Science would give us a family. Oh, and I’d make this job situation better and I’d somehow find a solution to all the other stresses. I thought if I just pushed hard enough, I could solve all my problems.
So, when none of those worked out – when we didn’t get pregnant, when the job opportunity fell through, when I couldn’t see a way through the other issues – I began to sink. If I couldn’t solve my problems, then who else could? I felt lost, overwhelmed, and alone. I had my eyes focused on the storms around me and I couldn’t keep afloat.
When we start drowning in our storms, we need God as our life-preserver
Life can be tough! There are no promises of an easy life in the Bible. Just believe in God, live according to the scriptures, give generously and your life will be full of blessings. No, no promises of any sort like that.
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33 NIV)
What we actually get from Jesus is a promise that life will be hard. We will face trials and hardships, some of which will not be resolved to our satisfaction on this side of heaven.
If we have faith, we can approach these changes with hope and peace, knowing Jesus is by our side. We may not see the resolution we desire in this life, but as believers we can rest in the hope that God is by our side throughout the journey.
“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (Matthew 10:29-30 NIV)
A Better Change isn’t about making our problems go away, but about improving our responses to them. This week and next week, we’re looking at the default response of ‘drowning’ to understand some of the ways we often respond to change. We first need to understand the nature of change and how we react, so then we can develop better strategies to improve our journey through those changes. Read part 2 of my ‘drowning’ story here.
Question: Do you experience ‘drowning’ as a response to your life’s trials? How do you keep from going all the way under?
This post is part of the “A Better Change” series. For more information on this series and to find related posts, click here: A Better Change Series – Overview