Contentment

Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mother‘s womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things. Ecclesiastes 11:5

I had the best weekend ever. Starting Friday I enjoyed an easy drive down to Falls Creek with my good friends, a delicious meal, and hard-hitting testimonies by women I love and respect; I listened to a room full of beautiful voices sing songs that gave me chill bumps; I stayed up late and watched my friends embarrass themselves during a game of charades. I got to sleep on the top bunk. I went hiking with my best friend to some formerly scandalous place called “The Devil’s Bathtub”, and I had the privilege of listening to our women’s retreat guest speaker deliver a powerful and touching message.

I ate fried pie. I saw how cute downtown Pauls Valley was. Checked out some country back roads and marveled at some particularly majestic-looking horses in the mist. My house was clean when I got home. Caleb did more laundry in a 12-hour period than I think about doing in an entire week. A delicious stew was in the crock-pot. The kids were delighted to see me. Caleb let me take a nap.

I. Am. Blessed.

And then I spent last night in the emergency room, crying and waiting and clutching my tummy and hoping and praying that my little baby was alright.

Not again, God.

I still have a back ache. I still feel sick. I still don’t have all the answers that science should provide.

For now, the little punk baby is fine. But I will not lie–I am scared. The thought of a threatened miscarriage–another lost baby–was enough to send me over the edge.

But I didn’t go there. Maybe it’s because I’m coming straight off the serenity of a spirit-filled Saturday. Maybe it’s because of the fervent prayers of our friends or maybe it’s because my husband insisted I listen to the Angel Armies song on the drive back home. I am at peace.

My body is not failing me. God is not failing me. I’m no less of a mother or a woman if this baby doesn’t make it. And my baby is not lost.

I don’t take this lightly, but I know that whatever happens, it will be okay. I want to share some notes I took at the women’s retreat I went on this Saturday that seemed so well-timed and appropriate; forgive me if I straight crib from our guest speaker’s lecture.

Happiness vs. Contentment

God does not guarantee us happiness. The bible tells us that there is a season for everything; there’s a time to cry and a time to laugh. We will be happy and we will have sad times. There’s a huge difference between being happy and being content; happiness hinges on our circumstances. I was sooooooo happy when I found out I was pregnant. I gave so much thanks to God, that He was probably all “Enough already with the thanks!”

I was so happy.

Contentment, however, is found in every circumstance, and it is tied to God. Circumstances change, but God never changes.

I might not be happy right now, but I am ok.

Philippians 4:13 says this: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Mia calls it the Bethany Hamilton verse, and it is inspiring. We seldom pay attention to the verses that precede it and this is what they say:

Philippians 4:11: “Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or a little.

For I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Even find contentment in times of suffering?

Yes.

I’m not guaranteed happiness and I’m certainly not entitled to it. I be a sinnin’ fool just like everybody else and what I deserve? Is to die. But God has blessed me so graciously, with so much–including this beautiful baby’s life, whether he or she is with me for just a few weeks longer, or whether he or she lives to the ripe old age of 102.

I don’t ever want to let any of my children go–I almost cannot bear the thought of losing another baby. It’s physically and emotionally painful, and it’s hard, and sad. But God gave up His only son for me.

I don’t deserve everything that God has given me. I am so very grateful. I might not always be happy, but I am going to try to be content no matter my circumstances.

If I miscarry, then God will use our family to show His healing and His strength.  If this baby stays with us, what a blessing! And what a testimony to the power of prayer and the importance of the family of believers that God gives us.

For the calls and the texts and the prayers and our emergency room visitors, our entire family thanks you and is thankful for you. We are going to lay low today and just love on each other and recover from a long night.

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About Toni

Mom. Wife. Artist. I take care of the kids and pretend to clean sometimes. I can cook spagetti and I have never been arrested. View all posts by Toni

2 responses to “Contentment

  • Jeralyn

    Dear Toni,
    I will keep you in my prayers and thoughts. I think about you and your family lots and even more since you are going through this stressful time. Keep your chin up and continue to write…you do it so beautifully
    Love,
    Jeralyn

  • Joell

    My daddy says…It’s alright. And even it ain’t alright, it’s still alright. Because Jesus is still on the throne and He is altogether lovely. And he loves you in an awesome way…(And THAT is a direct quote from my preacher Daddy. And he is right.) I am praying for you. How awesome that God saw fit to have you at that retreat at just the right time! He is so cool like that. HUGS!

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