Confession: my last blog post was written back in September. There have been several times that I have had an inspirational idea for a blog post, or have had something I desperately felt needed to be shared. But, another confession: it has taken everything in me just to get through each day, that the blogging part of me has ceased to exist until now.
Let's back it up a little bit. I have been wanting to write about this journey for so long now, but have lacked the exact words and timing to say it. I feel like that time has finally come. The following is a very personal post, not about education, but about life, and a good God who hears us.
Last year, I wrote a few posts at the beginning of the year that regarded goal setting, what worked + what didn't work for me in the previous year, my "word" for the upcoming year, and so on. That practice of writing and reflecting was so imperative to my growth as a person, teacher, wife, friend, etc. at the time and I am so glad that I did it. As I think back on the year 2015, I can only really think of one major theme. This is a theme I have shared with a few people already, but I really do feel that 2015 was the year that I truly witnessed and believed, whole-heartedly, that our God is a God who HEARS.
God hears us. He hears our cries, our pleas, our hearts, our worries and fears, he hears about our hopes and dreams. He actually hears them when we don't even say them or acknowledge them out loud. Our great God, who knitted us together in our mother's womb, knows our desires, knows how we tick, knows our thoughts before they even enter our minds or mouths. This past year was such evidence that God is a God who hears us...and, who hears me.
For so long I have battled the feeling that God is not for me, and that he must be constantly disappointed in me. I have battled this unbelief, and have chosen more times than not to believe a lie, that God is against me and that when I sin or when I fall short, he is shaking his head in shame. Our God, if we are his children, does not do this, though. He does not see us through any other lens than the lens of the blood of Christ. He loves us. He does not get upset when we find joy in what he has given us. He does not get frustrated when we enjoy the life he has so graciously given us. I think that I was so scared to enjoy the little things in life, the small joys and celebrations, because I thought that I was enjoying those things more than I was enjoying him. But through this past year, God has shown me that this isn't true. That he is for me, and that his grace covers me like a blanket of white.
This lesson and understanding has largely come about due to the fact that God heard my prayers and knew my heart and gave me a child. Graciously. I did nothing to deserve being blessed with a child growing in my womb. I have done nothing to deserve that child growing healthily, strong, stable, beautifully. Yet he has given out of his abundant love and grace. Given after a sad, mournful season of dealing with heartbreak and loss after a confusing and disheartening miscarriage. Given after years of worry and doubt due to illnesses, issues, and misdiagnoses that I would have a difficult time conceiving a child. The past several years were marked by prayer for the future opening and blessing of my womb. And he gave. I walked so carefully through the past 5 months of pregnancy like I was walking on eggshells, thinking that at any moment, I could lose the little life that was inside of me, just as I had lost one before him. Yet God has heard us. He has heard our prayers, and has sustained this life within me, and for that I can only sing hallelujah and praise him.
Since I could remember, I wanted to love and be loved. I prayed ferociously and probably more than I ever prayed for anything to one day be married. I filled journals with pages of my heart's desires and longings. I wrote all about the kind of husband I desired to be my companion for life. And then, unexpectedly, Andrew arrived in my life. After six months of telling him we weren't meant for each other and that I wasn't interested in him, we began dating, and got married 15 months later. God heard me. He heard my prayers and answered them in a far more beautiful way that I ever could have contrived on my own.
God, all along, has heard me. He has listened. He has brought me to my knees lately as I have been recognizing how attentive he has been, and how well and intimately he knows me, because even when he has given me hardships and trials, they were specifically for me and my good, to learn and grow and be molded and shaped.
So really, this is a post of praise. Praise and glory to a good, good Father. I have been quite absent from the blogging world because I have deliberately taken several steps back from my professional life to enjoy the gifts and blessings that he has given me in my personal life. I have discovered more and more the delicate balance that exists in enjoying my teaching career and my vocation, and enjoying my husband, family, friendships, and now this new little baby inside of me. Who, although has brought several weeks of vomiting, nausea, sickness, pain, and occasional ER visits, is kicking and sucking his thumb and waving at me as I look at his little one-pound body on the sonogram machine. God has opened my eyes to the beauty and joy in life around me, and has shown me that even in the smallest of things, he listens and hears me. He hears the deepest longings and prayers of my heart. He hears the constant thoughts bouncing around in my mind. He hears. How comforting it is to know that the creator and holder of the universe hears us, his people, and loves us.