Sunday, July 2, 2017

My Song

In Christ alone, my hope is found...

The lyrics echoed off my shower tiles this morning and quieted my aching heart.

In Christ alone.
He is my light, my strength, my song...

There have been a lot of feelings of defeat lately.
A lot of... "do more, be more, do this, do that, can you...". A lot of feelings of inadequacies, of never being enough, of rarely doing things "right". There's always something new to figure out, something to fix, something I didn't communicate well enough, something I need to apologize for. The list drags on.

In Christ alone, my hope is found...

To top it off, there have been these moments where my heart continues to wonder, "Do I want them? And, even if I do, can I have them?" My desire doesn't just make it magically happen.

Part of my job is to meet people. Meet all the people. See how they're doing, how their week is, how we can improve, what they love, etc. Inevitably, part of meeting people also means a bit of introduction and small talk. Names, occupations, family.

The other day, a woman... a mom... asked the question I've grown to dread: "Do you guys have kids?"

I don't hate saying no.
That's not what I hate.
What I hate is the reaction that immediately follows, because I think the expectation is that my answer will be an easy "yes" and that we'll go on chatting and laughing about our silly, wonderful kids. There's often an awkwardness that's there in the wake of my "no" and the gap between our similarities immediately widens. I generally try to recover in one of two ways. A quick deflection to the next talking point OR, I proceed to share where my husband and I are at in this journey. Because... why not? If I write a blog about it, and if I work at a Christian camp, and if I honestly believe that the Lord is good in this- can't I just proclaim that, even with total strangers?

Usually I choose to do the latter.
Usually, I explain it all to the poor soul standing opposite of me. No, not only do we not have kids, but we've actually been trying for two and a half years... and while, no, we haven't really done anything about it beyond just... you know... we are content. We see the Lord's goodness and faithfulness in this and continue to feel really blessed in our marriage and in our ministry.

And usually, there's this fear that by this point I've offended the mom because I've probably also said something along the lines of how I love that I get to do full-time ministry and how I'm not even actually sure I want kids and...

**deep sigh**
In Christ alone, my hope is found...

Lately, this too has brought about a deep inadequacy in me.
We hold this future possibility of ours loosely, not really knowing if children will ever be on the table. And it's still okay. 

I wish I could explain it to people in such a way that didn't cause them to look at me differently or to pity me or to remind me of Hannah. I wish I could do it in such a way that doesn't elicit a need for them to try to fix it- offering solutions or empty platitudes. I wish I could do it in five minutes and somehow bridge the gap that has suddenly come between us.... a woman with three kids standing next to a woman with none. We are different. And maybe I feel it more than she does...but we're both searching for another avenue in which to connect. In an instant, it's easy for me to feel less than...

In Christ alone, my hope is found...

And then I'm reminded of this resounding, necessary truth that is screaming its way through my veins and trying to get into my heart and into my head. Listen!

In Christ alone

Not in my job.
Not in my marriage.
Not in my ability or inability to have children.
Not in my relationships and friendships.
Not in my family.
Not in my perfection (or lack thereof).

Because sometimes you just need a slap in the face. 
The reminder that this world isn't it. 
The reminder that my only hope must be rested in the One who is unchanging, the One who has saved me, the One who has conquered death, the One who repeatedly takes this unfaithful child back time and time again. The One who sees all of me, in all time, and still loves me just the same. 

The aching subsides. 
This too shall pass. 
My life, my story, my song, is His. Not mine. 

In Christ alone, my hope is found... 

In Christ alone, my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love
What depths of peace
When fears are stilled
When strivings cease

My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life
No fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me

From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

I found my strength, I found my hope
I found my help in Christ alone
When fear has set, when dark has fall
I found my peace in Christ alone

I give my life, I give my all
I sing my song to Christ alone
The King of kings, the Lord I love
All heaven signs to Christ alone

To Christ alone
To Christ alone

Til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand
Here in the power of Christ we stand

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