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.
Deepen and inspire your prayers with the Pray Deep Prayer Cards!
Get your FREE set of printable prayer cards outlining 16 different ways to pray today!
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
[email protected] says
Thank God that He rescues us when we truly believe that we’re going under! It’s at those times when we finally get it … we so desperately need Him.
Thanks, Kathryn, for sharing your heart-story with us …
Sweet blessings to you!
[email protected] says
I’m over at creeksideministries.blogspot.com
Thanks for stopping by, Linda, and thanks for your sweet words of encouragement!
I keep thinking one of these days I won’t wait until I’m drowning to ask God for help. One of these days I will stop trying to do everything on my own.
So true that sometimes we have to sink first.
I keep thinking the same thing – even as I’ve been writing and studying this material for a year! It’s so hard in the moment to switch our focus from the storm to God. I was reminded this weekend that sometimes we need others around us to help remind us to ask for that help. I was in an utter panic having gotten separated from my kids at a park and this wonderful woman stopped to help me look for them – and asked if she could pray as we walked. In my panic, I’d forgotten to ask God for help, but He sent this angel to help and she led the way. I did have to sink a little to remember just how much I need Him. (thankfully we did locate the kids safe and sound)
Julie Lefebure says
Yes, “sometimes we have to sink in order to grow closer to God.” Thank you for this, Kathryn! What a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness! So glad you shared it! Great post!
Thanks, Julie! Wish I could keep from sinking so often, but I do think it’s part of the learning process. Each time I grow my faith a little bit more.
lisha epperson says
“Some of which will not be resolved this side of heaven”. This little nugget rings true for me on so many levels Kathyrn and was a clear turning point in my walk of faith. We may not get the answers we want but if we have faith, He will make all well. I learned to have faith. Good word/work. Thanks for sharing.
It used to scare me that God might answer our prayers in a way other than what we wanted – like when I prayed for my grandmother to be healed and instead He healed her cancer in heaven. But, I’m learning that He has a different, larger view than we do – and His ways are indeed better. We just have to have faith in His ways and His timelines.