Monday, September 19, 2011

Good Enough?

I am happy to report our church now has a Nursing Mothers Room fully equipped, not only with rocking chairs and a changing table, but also with SOUND! 

You can tend to baby and hear the sermon without interrupting anyone and best of all, without anyone interrupting you! (Which may or may not have happened to me on, ahem, more than one occasion by teenage boys. Not sure who was more or them?)   

Many hands went into putting that room together, but it was The Engineer (and I am now told a friend, too) who crawled through the rafters and ran the wire. The Engineer did the calculations and saved the church a chunk of change by wiring a volume knob into the speakers. He was the brains behind the sound. And he didn't just run wire to the Nursing Mothers' Room, he ran it to the nursery and installed speakers there, too. Many said it could not be done. He has done it. Boo-ya. (Is that bad?) And I am thrilled and hope it will be a blessing to all those mamas tending their babies! Now he's been asked to wire for sound in the narthex...

Mama gave Little Man two giant metal dump trucks for Christmas a few years ago. Both have stood the test of time. The children like to play "wheel chair" in the big yellow truck. 

Which is awesome. And then someone decides to tie a rope to the back of the dump truck. This is awesome, too. But then that someone got a little over zealous and in their excitement and attempt at making a turn, slung Little Bit right out and across the driveway. A little scratch on her cheek and a big bruise on her forehead and lots and lots of tears later and she's good as new. 

No more ropes on the dump truck. Period.

When I was a little girl my grandmother (I think) gave me a record player for my birthday. I LOVED that record player. A few years ago I took it from my childhood home and brought it home to my children.

Can I just say books on record ROCK. The children listen while I make lunch. And the excitement of watching the record spin..wondering how the needle reads the record...laughing when we speed it up and the voices sound's quite captivating for all three children. I call that wonderful.

Since writing this post about a month ago, I've been hit head on with some hard stuff. I read this (by a friend) and it was like all of the sudden everything crystalized and I realized something. Something hard. Is this whole journey, this wanting for more children and having the Lord close the door again and again, month after month after He exposing something deep in my heart? Something I didn't know was there?

And how to put it into words...this is where I vomit my heart all over the blog. I have a plan. We have a plan. We want more children. In my mind I see how great it would be. I imagine what life would be like with another child and it is hard, but it is good. The Lord is clear in His word that children are a gift from Him and that they are a blessing.

He only gives good and perfect gifts. Why, why won't He give us more children? And I try to speak truth to myself. To remind my heart that is aching that God is good and what He does is good. 

I go to my favorite Psalm...Psalm 34...and I read, Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! Oh fear the Lord, you His saints, for those who fear the Lord lack no good thing. Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him! And my heart cries out. He is good, but I feel I am lacking. We are lacking a good thing. Our family feels something or rather, someone is missing.

And then deep in my soul I begin to see it. To realize. To ask the hard question. Is God still good when He doesn't give me what I want? When what I want He says is a blessing? A good thing? But still, He says no.

But more than that, do I really trust that He is working all things together for my good? (Romans 8:28) And even more than that, do I trust, am I resting in His plan being better than mine? Do I really believe that He is enough? That His plan is good enough?

Because I have my plan and it seems really, really good. When He isn't giving me what I want, what I think is best, can I submit and bow before Him believing that this, His will for us, is really the best? Better than anything I could ask or imagine?

And when I see baby legs kicking, pumping up and down, and I watch as an infant is baptized, when I smell that newborn smell on a four week old, and when I see my own baby almost as long as her crib, do I...can I resting in Him? Content?

Am I breathing in these days and living and embracing His perfectly sovereign will? Or am I whining that I want something different?

It is disbelief. I am struggling to swallow...struggling to swallow that He is enough. That His plan is more than sufficient. It is good. And it hurts. And I want to rejoice in His perfect sovereignty. In His goodness. In His will.

And does rejoicing mean I give up my hope? And why, when I've begged Him to change my desires has He not? No, the hope is still there, but to rejoice in His perfect plan while my heart aches...I can't do that. Not in my own strength. Isn't that where I cry out because I lack faith? Where the Holy Spirit gives the gift of faith? And brings my heart to a place where I can rest contented in the shadow of the Almighty?

I want to be in that place. That place of knowing deep in my bones, in my soul, with all my heart, that even when He doesn't give me what I want, He is still good. I want to be in that place where I love where we are, and I don't waste precious time wishing and wanting and thinking..."one day when..."

The last time I had to swallow something so hard was when my parents' divorce was finalized. Coming to grips with the fact that God, in His perfect sovereignty, could have changed hearts. He could have softened my father. And He chose not to. That realization was painful to swallow. Again, something I wanted so badly, and He said no. 

And so as all of this is dawning on me. And I am realizing that I have to stop and think before I can truthfully, with all my heart say that He is good and what He does is good. God doesn't change and His ways are not our ways.

And I look at my husband, my precious, precious husband, and I take in the faces of our three wonderful children and with tears, I ask, "is this enough?" Is God enough? Is what He gives enough? And choking back the sobs, I have to say "yes." Yes. My heart hurts and longs deeply. How do I reconcile a bleeding heart with the deep soul knowledge that God is enough? That His plan is good enough. Rich enough? That His grace is sufficient? That He is perfect and what He does is good. And I cling to the cross. I wrap my hands around its base and bow my face to the ground and I am weak and I am sinful. I remember Job 38 and God putting Job in his place, asking, "Who are you, oh man, to question Me?" And I pray and plead with God to give me the strength because I am unable, that His Spirit will enable me to speak, to pray with every fiber of my being, "even if it means three is it, not my will, but Yours be done." And my flesh and my spirit wrestle. 


  1. two children in 13 years of marriage, 6 years apart, not my will but His. I know some of what you speak, and it is h.a.r.d to have faith and find comfort when the One who can give seeminly withholds. Even the parental divorce (44yrs of marriage was not enough), I do not understand but that apparently we are to believe all things work for good and we are to praise and give thanks in all things....we cannot understand, but we can continue to lean in and give thanks. Today I give thanks for your honesty and reaching out to a "sister"

  2. "Friend!!!" Wow! Your transparency is refreshing and although it is not a child I am longing for, I have been longing for a different situation for 7 years, praying desperately for God to change the circumstances and discontent and needed to read this tonight! Again, thanks for being vulnerable. God IS Good!! :)

  3. Tears tonight while reading your honest words because my own heart-thoughts and heart-struggles so closely resemble yours...

    I prayed for you this morning.

  4. Have you and your husband ever prayerfully considered adoption? From an outsider looking in (because I don't know you from Adam), based on what you have so bravely shared here about desiring more children and praying to either have more children or for God to change your desire, perhaps He is not saying "no" altogether, but rather "look beyond yourself"?

  5. Precious post Jennifer. How Great and Mighty our Wonderful LORD is!!! HE is teaching you MUCH and will be glorified in you as you surrender to His perfect will. Your story is not completely written yet...and HE is completely in control of it all. How hard it is to surrender our hopes and dreams and to really trust...but...HE gives the by day...moment by moment. Keep on looking to HIM my friend...

    I am praying for you........

    Much Love,
    Camille xo

    Psalm 138:8

  6. I know your thoughts, feelings and desires are hard to put into words. I've been dealing with a something along the same lines though for the complete opposite reason. I want to share my struggles with my readers as well, to be real but so far no words have come.
    Praying for you, really I mean that! The Lord is so good and He is always enough. I love His faithful ways of drawing us near. We can both trust Him, always trust Him. It's not easy and it doesn't come natural, but we know that HE is GOOD!

  7. the hard things are so good. and i say that because after my husband had an affiar, i realized this was true. there are things i could not have learned if i never walked through that painful mess. but i was closer to Jesus because of it. suffering brings us to the bottom and shows us or need for Christ.

    that may have not helped at all. but you are stronger than you think.

  8. Love you friend.....very timely. :) Still praying.

  9. This was so beautiful and so touching! It's so encouraging to remember Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane as he said his soul was “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” (Matt.26:38). He asked multiple times for God to grant his desire of avoiding the cross, and his desire wasn't granted. Like Jesus, you are showing true, godly grief by asking your desires to be conformed to His, even though you feel and desire differently in the meantime. That's TRUE submission, and that's TRUE sanctification at work, and I am in AWE of you, once again. You're showing Jesus through this blog! Bless you!

  10. Jenn-
    I have to tell you that I really admire you for being so open and honest with your faith struggles. I'm not good at putting my difficulties into words and sharing them, but oh, how God has used you and other blog friends to remind me that my troubles are but small, and He is Big. God loves us enough to not leave us as we are, sinful people, and He can use anything - anything - to teach us, and refine us. I am thankful for this, and yet I know the pain of this knowledge too. Please know that you and your precious family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  11. Oh, J, I hurt for you. I so wish things were different, and that your plan and His wonderful, almighty plan synched up perfectly. But I admire you so MUCH for submitting to His beautiful will for your life and striving for contentment, even when things are different than you had hoped or imagined. I will continue praying for you.

  12. My mother died suddenly when I was 25 years old. It broke my heart. And it took me a long time to get over it. A long time. But the Lord did show me that He was just as good on the day my mother died, and every day that my heart was so filled with grief, as he is on the best days of our lives. He is good all the time. And whatever His plan is, He is using this time right now to mold you and shape you and change you to be more of a reflection of Him. He is using all of this to make you more like Christ, possibly to prepare you for some other unknown down the road, and work in your marriage and family. He has a purpose. He is at work. And what He is doing is beautiful. One day, you will see. You will be able to look back and see what He did and why, and you will be so overwhelmed with His love!

  13. "To ask the hard question. Is God still good when He doesn't give me what I want?"

    That IS the question for all of us, dear friend, isn't it. Thank you for your transparency and insight. You blessed me today.

    Hugs to you.

  14. Jenn,
    Michael Card came and spoke for our chapels this week. He told us something that really made me think, and it applies to you, too, dear.
    He said that the Gospel (and just life itself) is all about getting something we don't deserve. And God says we should ask Him for those things which we don't deserve. We should ask Him for hope or strength or...more children. Just because it seems too good to be true doesn't mean that it isn't His will. Yes, there comes a point where we have to be satisfied. But this hunger in your heart for another child was placed there by Him. His answer may be yes or no or wait a while, but He still wants us to pray and ask: no matter what His answer will be. His goodness never fails. Pray, "Father, I don't deserve this, but I want it anyway because you've told me that it is good." And as you wait for an answer, do exactly what you've been doing: notice and appreciate and soak in every second of your day with the children you have. When we begin to appreciate what we have, God can trust and bless us with more.
    I love you, and I'm praying that God will give you what you want if it is best for you. And if He doesn't fulfill this desire, I pray that He will make your heart content. Love you!

  15. Thank you so much for honestly sharing your struggles. I am somehow strangely encouraged to realize that -I am not the only one that fully relies on God and yet still struggles.You will be in my prayers. On another note, I just want you to know that I am more than a little jealous of your life... your amazingly beautiful family, house and life!