(originally written July 30, 2016)
If you have a Facebook account, you’ve probably noticed from time to time that Facebook will remind you of memories from years past of what you posted on any given day. I don’t usually give them much notice, but this morning the memory Facebook popped up with was one that brought back many emotions along with it.
A year ago today, I shared a picture of the whiteboard on our fridge. Rob had written lyrics on it from a song called “Sovereign Over Us” by Michael W Smith. I wrote in my post about how these lyrics were such an encouragement to me; a reminder that God is in control even when it doesn’t necessarily feel like it at times. I wrote about how this song had been playing on repeat in my car and home for the past week.
What I didn’t say in my post was that the reason this song meant so much to me was that we had been trying for several months to get pregnant, with no success. With each month that passed, I felt like more of a failure. I felt like something was wrong with me. I had already been nervous about my ability to get pregnant because of my history with anorexia, and it felt like each month that fear was becoming more of a reality, no matter how hard I tried to trust God and have faith.
Rob introduced me to this song somewhere around that time, and it quickly became my lifeline, my reminder that God was with me. I literally played it on repeat over and over again in my car during every tough day, and wrote the lyrics in my journal many times. I listened to it on my trail runs, and sung it, through tears sometimes, while I cooked dinner.
One weekend we went to a wedding where it seemed like every woman around me was pregnant. It felt as if everywhere I turned there was a reminder of the ache in my heart that had yet to be satisfied. I felt pretty defeated by the end of the night, despite my best efforts to keep a smile on my face. However, the next day at church, this same song came on the screen during our worship and I had tears of hope running down my cheekse as I sung the very familiar lines:
“There is strength within the sorrow
There is beauty in our tears
And You meet us in our mourning
With a love that casts out fear
You are working in our waiting
You’re sanctifying us
When beyond our understanding
You’re teaching us to trust”
I like to think sometimes that I am in control of my life. I love making lists, planning out my day (and my month, if I’m being honest) being organized, and feeling confident of how “the plan” is going to go. Needless to say, I approached our efforts to conceive with my usual Type A mindset: if I do XYZ, I should be able to guarantee ____ outcome.
When one month after another passed by with no sign of a baby, I was forced to admit that I really wasn’t in control. This is one of the many lessons I was reminded of again and again during those months of doubt and fear. It felt as if the Lord was gently whispering, “Let go of your need for control. Stop exhausting yourself with this struggle. Surrender. I know what’s best for you and I have good things in store for you. Trust Me.”
It’s a lesson that I’m still learning to this day. I don’t think I’ll ever be done with it. It’s a continuous endeavor, and some days and weeks are better than others. I still struggle to let go of my desire for control. I still try (often) to hold the reigns to my life, but God gently reminds me again and again that I can trust and rest in Him. Surrender is not a dramatic one-time event, but rather a journey of many little steps, just one foot in front of the other. And I’m trying to make those small, moment-by-moment choices to have faith in His sovereign plan. He has good things in store for me, and for you. You can trust Him, friend.
“Your plans are still to prosper
You have not forgotten us
You’re with us in the fire and the flood
You’re faithful forever
Perfect in love
You are sovereign over us”
–Sovereign Over Us by Michael W. Smith