Chapter Seven: Where Believing=Crazytown
When do you stop believing? When do you give up, and make the choice to stop making yourself crazy, and to instead go on with the business of living?
Today was a day that reeled with pinball poignancy between moments: scary despair where I wanted a drug to make myself feel normal, manic spurts of activity to drown out my own mental noise, and finally…blubbery relief when I knew I was going to be okay. Tears accompanied all, turning my face into a splotchy red snotty mess. It wasn’t pretty.
It started with another negative test, which was dumb of me in the first place, because I’m six days out, and even though the box says “As Early as Six Days Before the Day of Your Missed Period,” you have to wonder how accurate that stuff is. Plus, wasn’t it just a month or so ago that I had relinquished my control issues to God? No more ovulation predictors. No more pregnancy tests until well after that friend fails to show up. And here I am—desperate for validation because I might be feeling just a little bit nauseous.
So much for that Grand Gesture.
I was on my knees beside the dryer, at the end of a rope I hadn’t realized I’d frayed with my own lack of faith and conviction. The laundry basket, half-full of clothes and towels warm from the dryer, was right before me. I sank my hands down into it up to the elbows and prayed aloud to an empty house.
“God, I need you to talk to me. I’m going to fold this laundry first because I really don’t want it to wrinkle and then I’m going to sit down with Priscilla and I really just need to understand what is going on here. I’m still taking my Topamax and I’m getting fat, Father! I feel sick to my stomach. I’m seeing all these signs all over the place, God, like that HVE F8H license plate and the parable and that totally random verse about Sarah and I just don’t understand how I’m not pregnant, Lord! I feel pregnant! And my face is covered in zits, God, and I just can’t take zits on top of everything else.
Father, you’ve made all of these amazing promises to me in Your Word. I know I’m being impatient…I’m sorry, Lord. I trust You. I just really need to hear Your voice, and know Your will. Please speak to me, God. That’s all.”
With an effort, I pulled myself as together as I was going to get, and finished folding the laundry. Then I made my way to my corner of the couch to begin my Bible study. It was a Priscilla Shirer study called, appropriately enough, He Speaks To Me.
I had already completed the first two days of the study, so I opened up to Day Three and set to work. It was a simple lesson, one I’ve studied in general terms before, no doubt, but never during so critical a context as my current situation. The lesson spoke of how it is impossible to please God without faith, and how He rewards those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). It was interesting, though, because Shirer led from this point to the story of Moses in Numbers 20: 8-12 to demonstrate what disobedience and a lack of faith can do to those rewards. In these verses, God gave Moses and Aaron specific instructions: to take up the rod, gather the congregation, and speak to the rock. He told Moses that the rock would then yield water. Moses followed his instructions but with one exception: he struck the rock with the rod. God allowed the rock to yield water, but because Moses did not obey the letter of the Lord’s directive, He refused to allow Moses to bring the people into the Promised Land at this time.
This was an eye-opening reminder for me. In my haste to take a test this morning, I forgot about my promise to God to relinquish control of things that were clearly out of my control. I remember confessing my need to let go. I released my control of the situation, promising no more ovulation predictor tests, and no more taking five pregnancy tests because I didn’t believe the first two. That was me, letting go. One.clenched.finger.at.a.time.perhaps. But still.
Yeah. I messed up. Moses-style.
The wonderful thing about this lesson, though, was that Shirer reiterated how much God wanted to reward those who were faithful. My lack of faith wasn’t the end of the world, just as Moses’s disobedience wasn’t the end of his story. Despite the fact that we have been messing up since the days of Adam, Matthew 21:22 tells us how richly God is prepared to reward us for our faith in Him. Whatever we ask for in earnest prayer, believing, he shall provide. In other words, HVE F8H.