Testimony Tuesday {God’s Rightful Place in My Heart}

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I know suffering.  Most of the seasons in my adult life have been a season of suffering.  From the emotional and sexual abuse I experienced to my early miscarriage.  However, none of these forced me to truly dig deeper in my relationship with God than the death of my daughter, Chloe.  She was stillborn in May of 2016 and it shook me in a way that nothing else has.

 

I did something after my daughter’s death that I really hadn’t done after my other sufferings:  I pursued God.  Really pursued Him.  I wanted to feel His comfort, know I wasn’t being punished, be assured of my daughter’s presence in heaven, and understand the point of this seemingly pointless life.  He held all the answers.

 

Despite my struggles with God and His plans for my life, my relationship with Him grew stronger.  I love how our God is willing to meet us where we are at.  I didn’t have to sort out all of my doubts and questions before drawing near to Him.  I could do it at that moment, in the midst of my grief, anger, and confusion.

 

I wrongly believed that God wasn’t good and that He didn’t have my back.  That it was my responsible to take control of my own life, because He obviously wasn’t doing a very good job thus far.  However, attempting to take control of a life I have no business being in charge of brought about intense anxiety.  Anxiety has been an unfortunate side effect that has followed each of my sufferings.  The result of always seeking that control.

 

Shortly after the death of my daughter, I decided that enough was enough.  I was through with anxiety and began praying that God would take it away.  However, I already knew the cause: my attempts at control.  I even told a friend I knew that if I was able to fully submit to God and His will for my life, I would experience the peace and joy I had been longing for.  But I wasn’t ready.  I wasn’t sure if I trusted this God.  This God that allowed me to bury my perfect baby in the ground.  This God that seemed to keep pummeling me with suffering, one after another, without reprieve.

 

So I wrestled.  For a solid week, submission to God’s will and His authority was the only thing I thought and prayed about.  I read everything I could get my hands on and talked to my close friends about it.  I dug in so deep, deeper than ever before.  Over this week I realized that I struggled to submit to Scripture and didn’t actually believe what His Word said.  And I struggled to submit to God because I didn’t trust in His character or believe that He is good in spite of circumstances.

 

I processed and thought even more and by the grace of God was presented with this question—this question that would change my life forever:

 

“What is more important: knowing God or not suffering?”

 

This question plagued my mind and I could think of nothing else.  I knew I needed to be honest with myself and with God about this answer or else I wouldn’t be able to fully submit to Him.

 

In my journey with suffering, I know one thing to be true:  suffering did in fact allow me to know God better.  I look back on the girl I once was.  She was innocent, naive, “surfacy,” foolish, weak, and not encouraging.

 

I’m not that girl anymore and I know it’s because God has used my sufferings.  He has taught me more about Himself and His love than I could ever grasp in a perfect life.  He has brought me to incredible depths—places that were not possible without my sufferings.

 

That part was true.  Without suffering, I couldn’t fully know God.  The next part was harder.  Did I truly believe that knowing Him was better than a perfect, carefree life?  Was knowing Him really more important than having my daughter alive on this earth?

 

It took an intense several days, but I finally came to the conclusion that God deserved His rightful place in my life.  He deserved to be more important than anyone and anything.  He was my God.  No one else deserved that place: not my husband, not my children, not myself.  Although I didn’t understand His ways or His thoughts, I was determined to believe Scripture when it says His ways and thoughts are better (Isaiah 55:8).  I didn’t need to understand the reason for my suffering in order to submit to the authority of my God who allowed them to happen.

 

However, I also realized that if knowing God was more important than having my child live, then I needed to know this God a whole lot more.  The depths of my relationship with God were nowhere near what they needed to be if He truly was better.

 

I pray daily that He would maintain His rightful place in my heart as the most important thing this world has to offer me.  It’s such a beautiful concept when a naive person says they believe this to be true.  It’s an entirely different (perhaps, more believable) reality, when a tested and challenged disciple of God can bury her baby in the ground and still say that knowing God is better.

 

I’m on a journey to know Him more.  And in knowing Him more, I have found peace and joy, despite my circumstances.

– Christy

Hope Mom to Baby #1 and Chloe

 

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Christy is a follower of Jesus Christ and a wife of 6 years. She has a bachelor’s in Psychology and a master’s in Counseling. She is the co-founder of Pregnancy Loss Journey (www.pregnancylossjourney.com) and is passionate about sharing others’ stories. She loves to write, hike, read, and loves anything healthy.

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