Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Day 14 :: How my skinny jeans, boots, & a black sweater taught me to bless God

Sometime between my first and third pregnancies skinny jeans became popular.  It took awhile for me to appreciate this look, but eventually I liked it.  However,  I was pregnant for five Christmases in a row and there was no way I was going to try this trend with the extra pounds that came from all of my babies.

Last winter was my time.  And I was ready to brave the new 'me'.  My mom had given me some boots and a black sweater that actually made me feel not quite so post-partum.  I bought some skinny jeans and was all set to make my debut to the annual ladies' event at church.

I put on the jeans and boots and was feeling pretty good.  Then, the sweater.  I could barely get my arms in the sleeves.  While I had been sick in bed with a stomach bug my husband had graciously done the laundry, but he put my favorite sweater in the dryer and it shrunk.  It was ruined.

And I came undone.

He found me upstairs, face down on the floor, crying hysterically.

I tried not to be angry at my husband, he was just being helpful.   He didn't realize this sweater was supposed to hang dry.   

As the tears fell and I hit the ground in my child-like temper tantrum, I began to realize I wasn't crying over the sweater.  I was crying because nothing, not even something as simple as picking out a cute outfit could go smoothly. 

 And for the first time I cried to God what had been simmering in my soul for months: "Why are you making things so hard for me?  Can't just ONE thing go right?  Isn't it  enough that Mason has Down Syndrome?  Wasn't it enough that Jennavieve was in the hospital for two weeks?  Isn't it enough that David died?  I don't want anymore of this!  Can't You just make ONE THING go the way I want!?"

The weeping continued, but a door had opened in my heart.  I had finally expressed my deepest hurts to the One who could have made things different, but hadn't.  And in those moments of desperate crying out to the Lord, He whispered into my heart, "Am I enough?"

I began to realize that my life wasn't going to get easier.  Not now. Maybe not ever.  And God didn't have to make it easier.  He wasn't required to give me easy things.  He wanted Himself to be enough.

Would I accept and believe that He was enough?  Could I really enjoy Him?  Not because He made things happen on my timetable, kept us all healthy and safe, caused all the details of life to remain as I picture and allowed my clothes to fit.  But could I find joy in Jesus?  Could I bless God just because He was God, not because He gave me what I thought were good things?

A work began in my heart.  A work to believe, and feel, that Jesus is enough.  Just knowing Him, expressing my heart to Him, being in His presence, depending on Him--this is enough.  

Nancy Guthrie says, "When Jesus offers himself to us in the midst of our pain, most of us think, That's it?  That's the best you can do?  I was hoping for more.  The truth is, we're often more interested in getting what God's got, not getting more of God.  We've put in our order for a miracle of healing or relief, and the miracle of his presence to us seems like the consolation prize." 

I'm learning that Jesus is the best prize and His very presence is healing, comforting, reassuring, life-giving, hope-filled and joyful.

I thought I knew what was best for me and my family.  Doesn't it seem reasonable to want 'best case scenarios' in every circumstance of life?  That's what I would choose.  But for me, those things that I thought would be the perfect path for my life were becoming too precious to me.  I was clinging to my desire for ease and comfort.  Removing them was painful, but necessary. 

A.W. Tozer, in The Pursuit of God, said this, "To rip through the dear and tender stuff of which life is made can never be anything but deeply painful.  Yet that is what the cross did to Jesus and it is what the cross would do to every man to set him free."

There is great freedom in releasing that which we hold so dearly.  And when we release those things, we are able to bless God for who He is.  We can praise and worship Him even when nothing in life goes as we want, because we know that He is enough.  

This is Day 14 of a series:  Made to Pour, living a life of blessing

Linking up with:


  1. Love this, my favorite so far. Much food for thought. Love those two quotes too.

  2. Beautiful post. Truth right here --> "We can praise and worship Him even when nothing in life goes as we want, because we know that He is enough." Grateful to read this today!

  3. Hi Lauren! This post is my first visit to your page - and I just have to say: I RELATE to this SO much!! Over the past 5 years I have found myself saying (um, more than once!) - seriously?! More? Isn't this enough already? None of our other friends or anyone I've ever met have gone through things like this!! I have started to see though how we can use it all for His glory - and for that, I am very thankful! In my humanness though, I'm sure I just might say again something like - "can we just get a break already?" I think I need to pin these words of yours to reference then ;)

    1. I still struggle with this, especially when I compare to others' lives. Yes, all can be used for His glory and we need this reminder daily!

  4. This is such a powerful post - so full of truth and beauty and yes, hard realities that so often we want easy or safe or just plainly our own way... but we grow the most and need Him the most when things are harder and risky and, well, more in line with His way. We are neighbors over at Holley's today and I am so glad that I stopped by!

  5. This is so good- and I can so relate- Thanks so much. Glad I stopped by from Holley's place :)

  6. Thank you for sharing that moment and revelation! Amazing how the pain can finally break and light can come back in!

  7. Beautiful! Need to take some time and let this one sink in. God should be enough for us, no matter what life has dealt us. I'm definitely learning this one right now - learning to let go of my vision of 'perfect' for my life and live into God's 'enough', because his enough is better than my visions.

    1. Yes, His enough is better, and I have to constantly remind myself of this!

  8. Thank you so much for the inspiring post!

  9. Lauren,
    Wow...this question: "Could I bless God just because He was God, not because He gave me what I thought were good things?" Thank you for sharing your hard-won wisdom...and although my trials have been different, I've learned the sweetness of God's Presence is the prize, like you said :)


I would love to get your feedback on any post! Comments make my day, and I will do my best to get back with you as soon as I can. Thanks!