As I was trying to go back to bed, I thought about the day that just passed. I realized I forgot to ask my friend about the "Choose Joy" conference she spoke at, a conference about infertility. Mindy I still want to know how it went. I actually have those exact words above my bed. One, it is a cute print. Two, I think of them like a dream catcher that will be covering me while I sleep, and they are just fighting the negative thoughts that try to consume me throughout the day.
I sat with those words as insomnia continued to befriend me. I have another friend who struggled with infertility for years, and I remember many lunches where we both described our desires and the struggle we were experiencing with those desires being unanswered. We gave each other space to answer honestly about how you worship God in the midst of pain and unanswered prayers. We talked through the book, "One Thousand Gifts" and learned gratitude and choosing joy despite those unanswered desires. I remember the lunch we had when she told me she was pregnant, and I remember the tears that came streaming from both of us. Even though her prayers had been answered and mine had not, I had hope. Her story gave me hope. God gave me her story so I could remember to hope.
She gave birth to a healthy boy a couple weeks ago, and I was overwhelmed by the God I worship. My heart was full for my friend and her new little son. I don't always understand God's ways, but He is penning together beautiful stories.
I then started thinking about a couple weeks ago when I went to Fish Fest and just realized how crazy believers sound and behave. If I was looking in, I might think these people have definitely swallowed the Kool-Aid. I still have moments where I wonder how do I know my faith and my God are real? What if the world is right, and I am part of some made up religion trying to control me? I am then reminded of stories that I have heard from other believers that point to His existence, and I reflect back on my own story of redemption and grace. I am flooded with peace, and I know deep in my soul - I worship the one true God.
I have watched my brothers and sisters struggle through hard situations. I have watched prayers go unanswered. In the midst of it all, I have seen so many choose joy. Joy which comes from hope. Not to say there wasn't kicking and screaming before the joy, but God is gentle and patient with His children. He reminds us that He sees us and meets us even in those hard times. He has good planned for us.
The past couple of weeks I have struggled to create space for silence and solitude. I have prayed several times that God would see the desire I have to spend time with Him and that would translate to me actually creating space. Let's just say it hadn't happened. I just finished crying after realizing it took insomnia caused by nausea, caused by a full bladder for me to create some space.
God, you truly work in mysterious ways.