Surrender of the Story

I read something today that immediately captured my attention:
“Most people would probably be honored to be called an influence, to change people’s lives and to inspire. Most people would be honored to be called brave. Others would be excited and would want to share more.
Well, not me. Not today. Not under these circumstances.”
It caught my attention because I can relate. Perhaps you can too.

These past 4 weeks have been some of the most difficult I’ve faced in quite a while. I won’t say this isn’t my year because it has just begun and I’m holding out hope for improvement, but it’s fairly safe to say this wasn’t my month.

Throughout this time, I’ve had several people comment to me that I am an inspiration to them and am making an impact on their lives. The words “brave” and “selfless” have been thrown around.
As sweet and thoughtful as it has been of people to say such things, I’m very aware that this isn’t coming from something I have said or done.
It is because of what I’m dealing with.
It is because I can’t have babies.
My circumstances dictate the way I am perceived.
How inspirational would I seem to someone I didn’t know who only saw me as a pastor’s wife and part-time teacher assistant in kindergarten? What sets me apart? What makes me “special” or “brave?”
My empty womb and empty arms.
That’s it.
And guys, sometimes, I hate it.

Don’t get me wrong.
I am so incredibly grateful to serve and belong to a God who can take such wretchedness and heartache and disappointment and turn it into a trophy of grace.
It’s amazing how He can take good things and use them for His glory. How much more amazing that He can salvage the wounded and broken parts of our lives and create a beautiful masterpiece!

But honestly, some days, I would trade being an influence on someone else in a heartbeat to be able to have a baby in my arms.
Some days, I cringe when someone says they admire me.
Some days, deep in my heart, I despise being told I am an inspiration.
I hate it…because I hate the reason.

I feel hypocritical when I’m told I’m selfless because they can’t see the constant internal struggle between happiness for others and sadness for myself.
I question how I could possibly be brave when it takes every ounce of strength to get up, walk out the door and face people.
I don’t want to make an impression on someone else simply because I live with an overwhelming, yet unfulfilled desire for children.
I just want the children.

It isn’t always in the middle of these days, sometimes it comes while looking back on them, but at some point, I’m always reminded that I’m not the one writing my story.
Jesus is.
I surrendered the pen of my life to Him long ago for Him to script it as He saw fit, and I have no regrets.
I didn’t know then the pain and brokeness that would echo throughout many chapters, but I do know the Author knows what He is doing and is telling a much more beautiful tale than I could ever imagine.

I am not defined by my childlessness.
My empty womb and empty arms do not make me special.
I am special because I belong to Jesus.
He defines me.
If anything good comes from my mess, it is because He caused it to be so.
When people look at me and see strength, it is not my strength they see. It’s His.
If I am making an impact on lives, it isn’t me. It’s Christ in me.
I belong to Him and He belongs to me and who is to say what He has in store for the next chapter?
My story is not over. It will not be over until the Author has finished the last chapter and lays the pen down.

There will undoubtedly be more days when I don’t like the direction the story is going. I’ll think that the Author has it wrong and should change some things…and I will have to throw my hands up and surrender all over again. When this happens, as He always does, He will sweetly remind me that He is God, and I am not.
Until the story is complete, I will sit back and trust the God who knows the end from the beginning and I’ll worship Him for who He is and what He is doing in and through my life.
When the last chapter is over, He will once again have made every bitter thing sweet. ♡

“I have to learn to love from this spot, today. I have to learn to trust, even when His will seems frightening or untrustworthy. I have to follow Him, even when it feels like I am walking into emptiness. It is right here, right today, that I must decide where my faith is. If serving God does not work from right here, in the middle of my pain and mourning, it won’t work from anywhere.”
~from “Pain Redeemed” by Natasha Metzler

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