Sarah Rieke » Living. Loving. Pressing on.


This post comes from a very raw place – a place in my soul that has just been freshly scraped of self and is starting to heal over with Christ.  I write this a little blindly, not knowing exactly where it will lead and not knowing all the answers, but I wanted to share nonetheless.  

You may have noticed that I have been reading the book, Anything, by Jennie Allen, as part of my church’s ladies’ summer book club.  The book centers on a prayer she and her husband prayed, that they would give God anything He asked of them – their home, ministry, finances, lives – anything.  It was an amazing transformation for them, realizing they needed to start fully living for the invisible world instead of the mediocrity of a material life.  It’s a wonderful book and I highly recommend it.

Ok, so back to my soul issue.  Remember this post?  The one where I shared how, once again, the Lord chose not bless us with a baby this month?  Well, the real life side of that post was that I took it really hard.  Like, really hard.  And reacted poorly.  Short nerves, a snippy attitude, lots of tears, angry questions at God, you name it.  Luckily a very grounding conversation with my husband set me back on track (thank goodness for husbands), but my heart was still hurting.  Didn’t the Lord know how much I wanted another baby and how much it would help heal my heart?  I didn’t understand what He was doing.  

Enter the book, Anything.  A day or two after my very revealing emotional episodes I read these words:

Theologian Tim Keller says if you love anything more than God, even if you believe in God, if there is anything in your life that is more important to your own identity or significance than God, then that is a false god and it has a power in your life.  
And you can usually tell that something here has become an idol because you have an extreme reaction when it is threatened.  

Extreme reaction, you say?  You mean like, angry tears and mind-screaming at God why He wasn’t giving me what I wanted?  Oh … yeah.  I may have done that.  

The Lord starting chasing me with that thought.  What was it in my life that felt so threatened that I was willing to hurl darts of poison at Almighty God?

The answer: my dream at motherhood.  More specifically, my dream at easily attained and abundant motherhood.  

A couple of weeks ago my mother-in-law gave me a quick synopsis of the book, Anything.  She told me that Evie was my anything.  I nodded in agreement.  But now I know that Evie was only part of my anything.  Because even when I was pregnant with Evie, I would console myself with this thought: It’s alright. God will bless you with more children and everything will be ok.  But, on what grounds could I assure myself that I would indeed be blessed with more babies?  Certainly not solid ground.  More like the sinking sand kind where you feel sort of stable but the first sign of something going wrong has you crashing down.  Hard.  

So I realized my forever dream of easily attained and abundant motherhood was my idol.  What now?

A couple days later, I read this as part of my “reading through the Bible” journey:

… for I will not offer to the Lord that which costs me nothing … 1 Chronicles 21:24

This was it, then.  The thing the Lord was requiring of me.  And so I surrendered my dream of easily attained and abundant motherhood.  I didn’t want that to be an idol in between me and the Lord anymore.  Nothing, not even a life-long dream, was worth stooping to levels of doubting God’s goodness and good purpose for my life and hindering my relationship with Him.  

I fully realize I am already a mother.  And I also realize it hasn’t been that long with unsuccessful pregnancy attempts.  But, my current state of motherhood is not the one I always envisioned, the one I thought God would be giving me.  And so I had to surrender that expectation.  I had to go from, I’m ok with my current life circumstances because I know God will bless me with another baby to, I’m ok with my current life circumstances even if God doesn’t choose to give me another baby.  The addition of just those few words made all the difference.

What does this mean, exactly?  I don’t know.  But whatever God has planned for our family that might look different from what I always expected, I’m ok with it.  Whatever it is meant to be.

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