I've had moments in my life where it seemed as if God made his voice just a little bit louder (or my heart just a little bit quieter) and I knew without a doubt he'd put something in my heart to do. I love it when it happens because when the doubts assail and the letdowns and failures follow, my heart is resolved to stay the course. Though I often have to remind myself that this is something the Lord has given me to do.
Oftentimes when failures or setbacks come, we question ourselves. Surely the Lord didn't ask me to do this? Surely I was mistaken. Surely if this was his will it would be easier than it is. Surely the Lord would not put in my heart something to do knowing that difficulties and failures await? Surely.
There are so many verses that speak to this that it's hard to choose just one but the story that immediately came to mind as I thought about this was when Paul was determined to return to Jerusalem. This is what he says:
"And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me" (Acts 20:22-23).
My ESV commentary tells me what constrained means - it's the Greek word deo and it "indicates that the Holy Spirit was giving Paul an exceptionally strong sense of compulsion that he had to go quickly and directly to Jerusalem, even though he knew that imprisonment and afflictions awaited him there" (ESV Bible, p. 2129).
Again, there are countless stories in the Bible that testify to the fact that often when God calls a person, it's accompanied with hardship and setbacks and afflictions and even failures. And it requires great steadfastness of heart, endurance, perseverance, humility, and immovability.
"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain" (1st Corinthians 15:58).
This week it happened again. The Lord made his voice clear. He has given me something to do. I'm both excited and extremely hesitant. Hesitant because while I strive to walk in transparency, certain things are sacred. But I trust him. And I trust him to do with my words and story what only he can do.
So, beginning next week I am going to start a Series on Stillbirth.
I haven't nailed down all the details but every post in the series will be related to carrying a child who has been given little chance for life and/or walking the path of stillbirth. I hope that others find the space and safety to share their own story, particularly if it relates to that week's post. I've found that I've been greatly encouraged by others' stories, like Angie Smith's and Molly Piper's, and if the Lord should encourage just one person through my story, then it will be worth the pain that comes with baring my heart and soul and treading on sacred ground.
Thanks for walking this journey with me. Let's see what the Lord does.