Can I Trust God with My Happiness?

I don’t know how to trust God with my joy.

That’s been the disjointed song of my heart for the past several years. When I saw those two pink lines for the first time, I just laughed on the bathroom floor. And I loved how God was with me in it. Following that initial burst of wonder came intense fear. Is this real? Is there a heartbeat? Is a baby truly in there? I remember talking to my sister-in-law when our boy was only about 6 weeks gestation. “I don’t know how to trust God with joy. I know how to trust Him with my grief, but not this.” The words were barely spoken above a whisper as her children played around and mine grew within me.

For me the journey of motherhood has been largely beautiful with positive birth and breastfeeding experiences, and no typical identity crisis, or feelings of “not being enough.” (I worked through a lot of these big issues during infertility.) Motherhood has been far from perfect, but the joy has been so huge. The sweetness so poignant it hurts. My favorite stories grow–they crawl, and run, say first words, and laugh. Time is woven into the garden with great strokes of a past in bloom and a present bursting with happiness.

But I have struggled holding this happiness.

No doubt my fixation on death at 16, my long history in chronic pain, my years of infertility has played its hand like a balled fist punching relentlessly and leaving its internal wounds behind. So that when I, a barren woman, am ushered into a garden on Mother’s Day, then a year+ later find myself in the bathroom holding two pink lines (finally), or find myself in a springtime lasting years, then holding Spring itself–it is not surprising I have felt so vulnerable and struggled so intensely in this season of learning to trust God again. . .

Learning to not be afraid of sudden loss and death. Learning to run headlong into happiness. Learning to hold my blessings with open hands and a peaceful, settled mind.

Joy is as vulnerable as grief.

As a woman, my life seasons have changed many times over the years, but learning to trust God daily and more deeply has been the thread tying each one together. I know I am safe with God in seasons of grief, and I am now learning I am also safe with Him in seasons of joy. I am safe in Him all the time. God’s Presence is everything. What a friend we have in Jesus, truly! The truth of God’s Word has rescued me from the depths on so very many occasions. The internal wounds of life in a broken body, broken mind, broken world never get the final say. So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. (2 Corinthians 4:16). I am not overcome. Amen!

These days when I find myself afraid, I recall my life verse–Philippians 4:8.

Finally (Sierra), whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8, ESV, personalized)

I rarely get past the first two whatsoever’s, because inevitably my fixation and fear is not true in this present day. What is true? A season of joy, blessing, loud life in the garden, and everything good bursting at the seams. The thread weaves on, and I will trust God. The patchwork of today is fast and wild and colorful, and so, so happy. I am allowed to hold it.

And I rest knowing I’m Held in the holding.

it’s good to live in
good news,
to live free in your blessings
to smell the roses,
this happy thing,
each burst of joy,
each blooming thing
of beauty
is not some rose-colored
theory, but you living
in the goodness of
cast the weight of the world to
so you can cradle
your children
with your heart
whole in it,
not going half
out of your mind,
buried in evey grave
not yours.
oh, don’t you know?
your home is in the garden!
yes, thorns,
but also

-S.V.F. (Cradle)

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