“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing. “ -James 1:2-4
There is an old song that my PawPaw used to play often, it says,
“When we all get to heaven what a day of rejoicing that will be, when we ALL see Jesus, we’ll sing and shout for victory!”
When I was younger, I loved these words, but yet they always seemed so far away, somewhat foreign even.
My day fills up quickly with phone calls, emails, school assignments, everyday hiccups like a skinned knee or chipped tooth, and social media, if I am honest. It is when I am here and CAUGHT UP instead of slowing down to SIT at Jesus’s feet…it is HERE in these moments when I ALWAYS fall on my face.
There she is…She works full time at a job she loves and is overall a happy person. She is the friend that throws everyone’s baby shower and has lots of ideas. She’s the first to bring a meal to someone in need, and she always coordinates weekly lunches with your group of friends.
Yup, that was me.
My friends were always SO surprised to learn that I was the one struggling with infertility….
My husband often day dreams about being a basketball star. I know this because he…
Hi. My name is Shannon Walker. I am three years clean today. No judgmental thoughts, comparing methods, or self-righteously questioning others’ parental decisions today. No holding myself at a higher regard or looking down on other moms. Nope, those are LONG gone for me.
My three-year-old daughter often tells me “Mommy, I wuv you just the way you awr,” and she really does too. She is a HUGE mommy’s girl! It does not matter if I just disciplined her, expressed disappointment to her, or held her because she was sad. She always exclaims, “I want Momma!!” in ALL of these instances. Sometimes it confuses me, because it would make sense for her to cry for someone else especially after she is disciplined by me, (and Daddy would especially appreciate this). But, it is always the same, “I want Momma!!” Sometimes, this expression even comes with pointing at me until she feels my embrace.
Around that time and about 18 months into trying, I went to the doctor to have tests done. The doctor listened to me tell her how my period had never been normal, how I didn’t always ovulate, etc. Then, she gave me some very disheartening news. She said it would be nearly impossible for me to get pregnant since I don’t always ovulate. The reason was that this usually means your eggs aren’t “healthy” or “whole”, so she wanted to run more tests. This really broke my heart. I always wanted babies, and it NEVER occurred to me that I COULDN’T have them. I could not give the man I loved a baby of his own.. what kind of woman was I?
It was as I sat in that quiet, lonely ICU room that I started thinking, “How long does faith stay strong while suffering through hopeless trials? How long would MY faith stay strong?” A few days, a couple of weeks, several months, years, more than a decade? If I am honest with myself, my faith started to shake shortly after the news of my dad. The news just seemed extremely overwhelming and honestly just too much to bare. The fears of my youngest kids never remembering their Pepaw, the possibility that I may have spoken to my dad for the last time, words I should have said, things I should have thanked him for all flooded my mind at once. As I recently walked through those days of helplessly watching my dad suffer and striving to patiently wait for God’s timing and purpose, I discovered that my faith only became stronger but NOT in my power.
If the kingdom of heaven belongs to children, why is our culture so quick to silence them? While I can’t change the culture, I know I want to be different. I want to be a mom who listens to what my children have to say and to how God is working in their hearts and lives. I would rather be on a rooftop shouting how God is working in their lives and looking like a WEIRDO, than to silence His work and “fit in” with this world. Isn’t that what God has called us to do? We are supposed to look, act, and live differently for His glory alone. Cultivating a life of praise with our children starts with us.