In 2012 I realized the full extent to which infertility and PCOS had on my life. It felt like I was in a chokehold. I was depressed, hopeless, and ready to tap out. But, as a fighter, I knew I couldn’t; and as a Christian, I knew I shouldn’t. I knew that even though my situation looked impossible, all things were possible (Matthew 19:26). I knew the promises of fruitfulness, healing, and restoration were available to me as a child of God. I learned about the numerous Bible stories of barren women who conceived supernaturally, and I knew that God did not show favoritism (Romans 2:11). Therefore, I knew what He did for Sarah, Hannah, Elisabeth, Rachel, and Rebekah He could do for me. I knew where to find the verses on healing and fertility. I knew that infertility and miscarriage were not from God, of God, or in God’s plan for my life. I knew it all, but I didn’t believe it all.
But I wanted to believe it. I wanted to confidently and boldly shout from the rooftop that I would be a joyful mother of children like Psalm 113:9 proclaimed. I wanted to believe that the fruit of my womb would be blessed abundantly as Deuteronomy 28:4 and Deuteronomy 28:11 promised. I wanted to believe the truth in Isaiah 53:5 that by His stripes, I AM healed, not will be, might be, or could be healed. I wanted to have a trusting relationship with my Papa God in which I could and would believe the truth of His word over anything else the doctors, statistics, or a Google search told me. I wanted to go from knowing to believing.
So, in the latter part of 2012, I began praying regularly, doing daily devotions, and attending every church service possible. But months later, despite my valiant “efforts” to go from knowing to believing, I still felt like I was in the same chokehold gasping for air. I still felt the weight of infertility. I always felt unfilled. I even battled with the same thoughts and feelings of despair and hopelessness over my situation. I still felt like I knew it all but didn’t believe it all. It had been months, and I was always ready to tap out, and my relationship with God was no different from before. Why?
I was seeking Him for His presents, not His presence.
My prayer time was all about my requests. My journal was filled with a list of my wants. My thoughts were all about what He could give me. It was all about me and less about Him. The gifts (and not the giver) were of most importance to me, and they had become idols in my heart.
Anything can be an idol if it distracts me from God.
I can’t imagine how God must have felt during those months I was asking Him to meet with me each morning just so that I could stick out my hand. Or what He must have been thinking each time I kept doing all of the talking–giving Him my grocery list of requests for the day. As human beings, we do not appreciate that certain people want to be our friends because we can give them something they want. Instead, we feel valued when we know people want to have a relationship with us simply because of who we are and because they like us–the same principle applies with our Papa God. He wanted me seeking after His face, not His hand. He wanted me to be His friend despite the benefits. He wanted me to come to Him each day not because of his presents but because of His presence.
As a daughter, I know that I need my parent’s presence more than I need their presents and the same holds true with being a daughter to my heavenly daddy. My heavenly daddy desperately wants to give me good gifts, but He knows that I need His presence more.
Recently, it’s been in His presence I have found all that I had been seeking and chasing after. It’s in His presence that I have found the fullness of joy amid my disappointing news, hope in my seemingly hopeless situation, and a strong belief in His word that has stretched far beyond just knowing. It’s been in His presence that I have discovered and keep discovering that faith is what sparks the explosive power of God because it believes something is real before it ever sees it manifested in reality. It’s been in His presence that I am continually released from the daily chokeholds of this life. The good ol’ Bible verse I have repeated since going to church in frilly dresses and shiny white shoes is real. When we seek God, who is the giver first, we will find all the things that we need and are searching for most in this life.
Are you seeking Papa God for His presents or His presence?
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. Matt. 6:33 (NIV)
“So above all, constantly chase after the realm of God’s kingdom and the righteousness that proceeds from him. Then all these less important things will be given to you abundantly.” Matt. 6:33 (Passion Translation)
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, not to be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and how he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met. Matt, 6:33 (Message Translation)
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