*I have lots of posts written and ready to publish, but I can’t work up the courage to put them out there. It is often hard for me to be vulnerable and it is scary to let so many people in. It is easy to get caught up in what people think. I wrote this post months ago, when I was in the thick of mourning. Not sure why it was hard to post, but I’m posting it now.
Matthew 14:22-33 Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go before Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” And Peter answered Him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord, save me.” Jesus immediately reached out His hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
This is probably one of my favorite stories from the Bible. Peter trusts Jesus enough to step out of the boat into the roaring sea and walks on water. Then, “when he saw the wind, he was afraid” and he began to sink. It’s when he took his eyes off of Christ and focused on the wind and the waves that he started to sink. I find myself constantly focusing on the waves in my life, crashing over me, and a lot of times I feel like I’m sinking. Only when I force myself to focus on God do I resurface. And the peace and courage that He gives me when I look to Him is as much a miracle as Peter walking on the water.
Isaiah 26:3-4 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
I have to bring my mind back to Him, over and over again. When I’m looking at Him my problems fade and His power overshadows them all. When I look at the pregnant ladies and wish it was me, I start to sink. When I allow the “what Lucy should be doing nows” to overtake my brain, I start to feel hopeless. When I think of all the pregnant women who can’t take care of their babies and I think it’s not fair, I start to drown in the self pity and the fear and the doubt. But God is standing there with His hand outstretched saying, “Come.” And then I trust Him again and He fills me with peace. He reminds me that I’m safe with Him and He’s all I need. And He asks, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” Why did I doubt? He has never failed me. Why did I doubt?
These are some practical things that have helped me keep my eyes on Him:
- Try to make time to be with Him every day, with no distractions. If I have time to be on Facebook or Twitter or whatever, I have time to be with Him.
- I find an encouraging book that I LIKE to read that draws me closer to God. If it’s dry or hard to read, I don’t waste my time on it (maybe I just don’t have enough self discipline.)
- Sometimes (a lot of times) I am so distraught that I can’t even read. I can’t even focus my mind on the words on the page. When this happens I try to listen to things that draw my focus back to Him. It takes no emotional effort to let the words float into my ears and settle in my mind. I listen to Podcasts of sermons whenever I have the chance- while I exercise, while I do the dishes or the laundry or my hair. I really like Timothy Keller, so I usually listen to him. I’ve also been listening to Rick Warren’s sermons about how he is surviving the death of his son and they have been so encouraging.
- I found some praise and worship music that I like and I try to have it playing in the background while I go about my day.
- I found verses that I love and that encourage me and I wrote them on notecards and put them up all over the house- on the bathroom mirror, above the kitchen sink, etc.
When I don’t do these things my mind wanders and, naturally, it wanders right back to my lost daughter. Without even realizing it, I can find myself reliving the entire birth experience or watching her little heart stop beating. I see myself telling my boys that they will have a baby sister and watching them jump up and down, screaming with joy. I imagine her perfect little body being cremated. I imagine my next baby dying in the same way. I relive some stupid comment that someone said nonchalantly (and completely without malice) that went straight to my heart like a spear. I can spiral so quickly down into the wind and the waves and then, before I know it, I’m drowning. The beautiful thing is that He’s always there, waiting with His hand reaching down for me. I love Him so much. Trust Him today to be enough. Be brave enough to step out into the raging sea with Him.
Isaiah 41:10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 34:5 Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
Psalm 25:15 My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only He will release my feet from the snare.