Today's Friendly Friday post is a midwesty gal like myself: Jennifer at Midwest MOMments. I'm kind of new to her blog, but she's a mom blogger who isn't afraid to share what she's really thinking. She does some fiction writing with The Red Dress Club meme, as well, so she's got a variety of content to offer.
So here she is! Be sure to pop over to Midwest MOMments to show her some love there, as well!
I really believe that God doesn't give you more than you can handle. Though I've had my share of tough times, I feel I've been luckier than average when it comes down to it. One of my best friends, let's call her Sue, has not had the same kind of life story. Sue is one of the most committed Christians I know. And she has been through the wringer. Her mother had lung cancer and passed away when we were in our early 20's - after Sue was married, but before her girls were born. I can't imagine not having my mom around to help with advice and assistance with our kids. Then a few years later, Sue's husband cheated on her (with his step-sister), and the couple I thought would NEVER get divorced, did. She has found a wonderful new husband, but he has a lot of health problems, so they struggle with the medical bills every month. But she is still so thankful and devoted. And I'm in awe of her. Because I think I might be pretty angry with God for putting me through so much.
In fact, if I'm totally honest with myself, I keep God at arm's length at times simply because I don't want Him to think I'm strong enough to handle that level of struggle.
During my post-college, single years, I thought if I could just find the right guy and get married, it would be so much easier to be "good" because there wouldn't be so much temptation. The grass is always greener, right? There's plenty of temptation on this side of the fence, just different kinds. Plus now I feel like it's even harder for me to wholly put my trust in the Lord - I have so much more to lose.
In my pre-marriage days, I lived in an apartment with my best friend, and barely made enough money to make ends meet. But I was at the pinnacle of my walk with Christ. One month things were particularly tight, but I put my faith in God and tithed my full 10%, even though I knew that meant I would be about $200 short for rent. I had no idea what I was going to do. My roommate didn't make any more than I did, so she couldn't cover me. I prayed and truly felt a peace about it. I was concerned, of course, but I wasn't worried. For once I was able to embody Matthew 6:34, "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Two days before rent was due, I got a check in the mail. It was a dividends check from my life insurance. You know the kind your parents buy when you're a baby and is worth practically nothing, but you don't bother to stop it until you get married and have a family and get REAL life insurance? Yeah, that. I had never before gotten a dividend check from them, and I never have since. It was for $200. Such an incredible validation of faith! I was confident in my faith on my own, but to have this as a testimony was amazing.
Now that I'm married to a man who is not as strong in his faith (and thinks it's fine to tithe, just not ten percent!), I don't feel I can make that kind of commitment, because it's not just my money. It's my husband's. It's my family's.
Still you would think having an experience like that in the past that I would be all about trusting God since I know, I KNOW, he loves me and will take care of me. But since that incredible God-thing happened, over time, I gradually strayed. I still said my bedtime prayers, and occasionally Grace, but I didn't really have a relationship with Him anymore. I got married, moved away from my church, got busy with earthly life, always intending to keep up on my Bible study and prayer time, but slowly letting it slip away. I told myself it was temporary, and once I had my babies, I would make time to regain that close relationship with Him because I want them to be raised with a strong Christian influence.
But because I had lost that intimacy, the devil—disguised as fear—took over.
I didn't want to have a strong reliance on Him. If I really make Him number one in my life and turn away from earthly things, that means my babies are up for grabs. And nothing scares me more than something happening to my girls. I know it's illogical. I know I should be like Abraham and be willing to sacrifice my baby to God to show my obedience. But I'm just not. I am struggling to develop that deep connection again. I know I need to just take the plunge. I'm hoping that having found a new church will help get me back on track. Because the devil's pull is strong, and I need reinforcements to help this poor excuse for a Christian to get back on the right path.