Tuesday, February 19, 2013

walking through the trial of hormones

baby #5: 5 weeks, 16 weeks.... oh, what a journey the first trimester is!
In the last few weeks, I've been feeling the truth of this verse:
Psalm 126:5
Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!
It seems like joy is so much sweeter after the tears.

I can tell you this: I don't have anything that would ever qualify as a great trial in my life. But being pregnant with four little kids and a husband was pretty rough for a few weeks in the beginning.

I felt terrible. From about the sixth to tenth weeks of my pregnancy, I was just longing for each day to be over. I felt so sick, but not sick enough to be on the couch all day. I didn't want to eat, I didn't want to move, I didn't want to lay down, and I didn't even want to read anything on the computer {that was the worst one!}. 

I remember somewhere around the 5th week, I realized I was starting to feel like a crazy person. Within 10 minutes time, I felt anxious, angry, and felt like hopelessly crying all at one time. It was such a drastic change from the week before when I felt normal, and I seriously couldn't take it. 

I cried into my husband's shoulder and told him that I felt really awful, and I was sorry I was so hormonal, and I was afraid it would be like this for a long time. Of course he was a sweetheart and told me that it would be okay because I was making him a little baby. Oh, that man. :)

I knew it was all because of the hormones, but it didn't matter: I still burst into tears again and laid on my bed and just cried. I prayed and begged God to tell me why in the world was pregnancy so hard if it was what He wanted me to do? Why would He make it harder on me if He wanted me to have this baby?

And why did He give women these hormones that felt like death and made you feel like a crazy person anyway? How does that help anything? What purpose do they serve? They just make me impatient with my family, cause me to answer in haste with anger and sharp words, and make me feel miserable all the time.

The answer came back quietly to my heart: 

Hormones only amplify what's already inside of you.

Oh my goodness. Aggghhhhhh. 

If there was no sin nature in my heart, the hormones wouldn't be able to make me sin. 

Which just made me cry all the more.

I was feeling so good before I got pregnant- I felt so joyful, growing closer to God, and things were going well. And then I felt like we were obedient to the Holy Spirit's leading to have more children, and then all of the sudden it felt like God wrecked me.

I just felt so confused. I knew He wouldn't give up on me- I knew He was still there, and that He wanted me here, but I felt so bad physically and mentally that I felt like I had nothing left to give Him.

Over and over I prayed for Him not to let me fall away from Him- to hold me close to Him, because I knew without a doubt that He would.

I knew that He wouldn't forsake me, no matter how I felt, or what I did, or how well I did or didn't pray. And I cried and cried and cried to Him. I was so upset.

I knew this was a trial that I had to walk through- it sounds silly, but for me, these hormones were a very real trial. 

I knew God was working on me- He was showing me what would come out so easily when I was pushed. He broke me over and over again. I felt like such a wimp. Oh, I was so very bad at it. 

It was such a hard time for me- I felt alone and tired sometimes, and sometimes He came close and gave me strength when I asked for it. He was never far, and I knew it. I didn't doubt He would give me the strength, but I didn't always ask for it, unfortunately. I was too tired, too upset.

It was so hard to walk through, but He didn't let me go. I don't know what His purposes are {and I still wish we didn't have to deal with hormones}, but I know for sure that God showed me more about myself when I was down like that, and that He was sanctifying me in that type of suffering.

He showed me even more just how much I needed Him and how hard life would be without Him.

He brought out all kinds of ugly dirt inside and then washed it clean.

And even better than that, He gave me back even greater joy after those terrible weeks were over.

It doesn't make sense, but joy feels so much sweeter after you have been through the sorrow.

It seems true of people who are walking through terrible pain and loss- that God supernaturally comforts you like He did my sister-in-law who lost her son two weeks ago today. It's like Spurgeon says: God comforts you in trials in such a way you could have never experienced if you hadn't gone through it

Seeing Christy's loss, and walking through those weeks of sickness and hormones, it's never been more true for me that His ways are not our ways. I don't think there's any way in the world we'd choose suffering to bring us closer to God.

But His plan is so much better than ours. And He doesn't leave us in our suffering- He sanctifies and cleanses us in it and then brings us closer to Him.

And while we can only experience part of His joy now, one day we will experience His glory in full. He is taking us through all of this, making us more like Jesus now, so that we can experience His full joy on that day when He returns.

Through these trials, it's like we are dying to ourselves- to our sin- to our desires, so that we can lose our life completely in Jesus. We've got nothing left of ourselves after they're over.

3For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is youra life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:3-4

And in losing ourselves like that, though it sounds impossible to our human minds, we have joy because we are His, and He will bring us comfort and will show us His glory in our trials:

But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.  1 Peter 4:13

For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too. 2 Corinthians 1:5
Of course, my little trial was hardly one of great suffering compared to the trials of others, but God used it to open my eyes and draw me closer to Him- to show me how much I need Him and nothing else.

I just want to encourage you- if you are walking through hard things right now, He will not forsake you. Don't stop trusting Him. He is good, and everything He gives you is for a purpose, and for your good and His glory. You may not understand it now {you might even feel terrible}, but He will not leave you alone.

It's a promise, friend, and I've seen it happen in my life. 

Not only does joy come in the morning, this joy He gives you comes back sweeter than you'd ever imagine. He is that good to us. :)

Have you seen God redeem something that was awful and make it for your good? It's so good to hear testimonies of His faithfulness- especially when you are walking through it.

Have hormones been a very real trial at times for you too?

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