Is he enough?


"Do not fear, for I am with you."  -Isaiah 41:10

I grew up with a faulty belief that's followed me well into my twenties. I believed a dirty version of the 'gospel' that said that if God was here, then so would be his (as I defined them) blessings. "Don't fear Brittany, you'll get with you want. God's with you."

Its an easy thing to support really. Born middle-class to parents who delight in giving good gifts to their children. A safe town filled with Jesus-familiar people. A family of believers-my dads side with 40 plus that align themselves to the faith. Its almost unreal. All of which, at least as appearances would suggest, are "blessed" by my standards. So, I formulated the "good news of jesus" meant the following: a=b=c.

 Good God=Good gifts=Pain Free.

The first substantial can't-talk-my-way-out-of-it blow to this delusion was the several years my mom dealt with excruciating, often debilitating back pain. Oh. how. I. raged.

The second blow was the marriage struggles we worked tirelessly through the first, second, and even now third year of our marriage. 

The third blow was our miscarriage.  Where I heard the voice in my spirit  there in the ER room "I'm here." 

I found my journal today of the writings I wrote on July 29th, just a few days later after finding out. Looking back, the raging of the pages all boil down to this: 

"So God, does me following you mean I'm not delivered from the sting of sin and death? Whats the point of the cross then? You make your kids go through pain all for your 'glory'? You kill off your childrens babies? I don't know how to deal with that. Who does that make you?"

There is  a sweet surprise I'm finding in the season as my faulty beliefs are crumbling. When goodness (as I define it) isn't guaranteed, there's far less objects to worship and its much easier to get to the good stuff. There's a whole mother load of freedom when all you got to bank on is the creator of the universe. If I base God's goodness on my hopes realized and on my circumstances I'm in deep trouble. So many prayers are 'no'. If my faith decides the outlook of my circumstances however, with joy evidences to support who I know he already is, its a whole different conclusion.

What if we miscarry again? What if we never have another baby? 
What if we have to keep struggling in our marriage some more like we did before?
What if Eowyn grows to not serve the Lord? What if I can't protect her from harm?
What if we move to a place where I feel isolated and alone? What if our financial goals flounder and we're in over our heads?

The more I've moved slowly past my conditions of loving Him into just plain wanting to know him, I'm finding a sweet comfort.  

If we miscarry again? He'll be there. If we just get Eowyn? She's enough-and He's there showing me how to raise our girl. If our marriage struggles (as it most certainly will) He's going to work in Ben's and my heart just like he did last time to bring us to repentance and back into fellowship. If Eowyn grows to not serve the Lord? Oh the heartbreak. He feels it deeper. What if I can't protect her? God is faithful to heal. What if we move to a place where I'm isolated? He is everywhere-where can I go that he won't be there? Financial ruin? God works all things to good.

I know these answers seem trite, like a small bandaid to a missing limb, but facing my worst fears and allowing myself to see the ultimate possible outcome means one thing. There's a lot of bad things that could happen-heart wrenching things-but there still is one unchanging factor. God's presence is the constant. And he says its enough for me not to fear. 

When I first stumbled upon this obvious reality I had one question that lingered.

Is that really enough? If all goes to proverbial hell and all I get out of this is his presence, is it enough?

In honesty, when I heard him in the ER room, my response to his voice was curse words under my breath. Then, I didn't feel it was enough. It meant no baby, just him.

When I felt God telling me to let him do his work in Ben and my heart  (aka : "stop manipulating, Brittany") and trust him to work good in our marriage, I felt hopeless. What if he didn't do as I hoped?  And as months passed and the slow work progressed there were days of desperation. Then it certainly didn't feel like enough.  But he was there, he was working (perhaps more in my heart than any one else's.)

I see who I am on this side of pain, grief and disappointment. I see the softness of forgiveness in our marriage. Had we not needed to be restored, would this humility towards each other exist? Would my spirit ache with others when before it condemned? I know now how easy it is to sin against each other, with each other.  How quickly we crave forgiveness now!  Had we not lost, would we treasure so deeply? How much we delight in celebrating life! God is faithful in remaining, and he is not stagnant, he's always working. 

I'm slowly becoming more and more convinced He's enough. His presence is sufficient. He's not gonna ditch the scene. Despite having to face fears and unknowns-I am surrounded by obvious. His presence is the only thing worth anything. I'm starting to actually understand that James isn't tricking me when he says "consider it pure joy." 

It wasn't until the heartache of marriage did I crave a place where relationships would be without thorns. it wasn't until tasting death that I craved the place where death is conquered. Pain and struggle is often God's way of turning things into glory. 

All that to say, We're finding a lot of peace this season, come what may. I am most convinced he's not going to leave and nothing is too big or too bad. Out of it he will bring good. The lies creep up again and again, but slowly the cement of truth is solidifying. With his presence, I truly need not fear. 

As always, Thanks for reading.

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