Have you or someone you know ever endured a difficult circumstance, such as losing a loved one or walking through life altering news? It’s hard to just smile and nod, acting as if everything is “going to be okay”. Well, that’s how I felt anyway when I was told my youngest daughter was diagnosed with the same metabolic disorder my son had.
I fasted. I prayed. I believed. And this was the news I received!!
For as long as I could remember, my heart desired to be a mother. I pictured reading lots of books and giving lots of hugs and kisses. Sure, I knew there was more than that between diapers and feeding, but I imagined it to be one of the most joyous experiences of my life while I lived in New York near all of my family and friends. No where in that picture were circumstances that would change my countenance. But that’s what happened to me after moving to Dallas, where I barely began making friends, and received heartbreaking news which led to me spending numerous days in the hospital with my son. But my trust grew deeper in God and I knew He was with us, so I moved forward with acceptance and peace and finally, taking a leap of faith to have another child.
And then I received that dreaded call. I shut down for two days. I cried so much, I couldn’t cry anymore. My head hurt so badly, I couldn’t think coherently. I just felt .. forsaken.
This reminds me of Naomi, in the book of Ruth, and her story. She lived in her native Bethlehem with her husband Elimelech and their two sons. A not so perfect life began to rear its ugly head: They had to move to Moab due to famine, leaving behind all that was familiar. Her sons married Moabite women. The icing on the cake though was losing not only her husband, but also her sons. I guess you could say she was done when she made the trip back to her home and told others, “Call me not Naomi [pleasant, winsome, agreeable], call me Mara [bitter]: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the Lord hath brought me home again empty.” (Ruth 1:20-21) Her circumstances changed her countenance.
But her story didn’t end there. She was blessed with a daughter-in-law Ruth who loved her selflessly, was loyal to her, and humble to leave her homeland to follow Naomi wherever she went. Ruth humbly labored to support them and slowly, but surely we see Naomi’s bitterness vanishing. She saw the opportunity for Ruth to marry again, encouraged her, and was blessed with a loving son-in-law Boaz. Chapter 4 verses 14 and 15 tell us, “Praise be to the Lord, who this day has not left you … For your daughter-in-law, who loves you and is better to you than seven sons”. At the end of this book, Naomi is seen holding her grandbaby Obed! Indeed, God turned her mourning into dancing and her sorrow into joy (Psalm 30:11)
After those two days of mourning the news, prayers of loved ones lifted my head and my faith was renewed. I knew it wasn’t going to be an easy journey moving ahead, but I knew I wasn’t alone with God by my side. I absolutely love being a mom to my kiddos and the diagnosis for my baby hasn’t stopped her from being the most joyful of our 3!
We all walk through challenges my dear Friend, some which seem too hard to bare. But I am so grateful that nothing is too difficult for God to bare. Even in our darkest moments, He will never leave us nor forsake us. Will we allow our circumstances to change our countenance or will we say, “You give and take away. My heart will choose to say, ‘Lord, blessed be Your name.'” In my weakness, He is made strong (2 Corinthians 12:9) and the joy of the Lord is my strength (Nehemiah 8:10). Whatever it is you’re walking through, know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers today.