To be mended, we must first be shattered.
“And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.” Romans 8:28-30
From educational choices, chance encounters, life-threatening accidents, down to the tiniest of events, like a phone call, I can see where God has been preparing me. Way back my childhood, I can see how certain events have molded my mind and heart to form who I am today.
I am a believer that everything happens for a reason. Sometimes that reasoning is revealed to us over time, other times, it will remain beyond our understanding indefinitely.
Are you an answer seeker? Do you crave the facts behind the scenes at all times? Do you leave it up to God or the universe?
Whether you chose to chalk it up to the moon and stars or have total faith in Christ, coping with the unknown, especially in times of devastation and tragedies, is prudent to our ability to maintain happiness and continue growth in all aspects of our lives.
But what happens when we don’t cope “well” with the unknown? What if we don’t like the answers we are getting?
I started at young age designing my life. Preparing and planning a life that had not yet happened. “Oh so ignorant and oblivious, sigh.” Not that I was sheltered, I had seen many sides of this world and the variety of pain and suffering that was in it, but I used that as motivation and my future was always in the forefront of my mind. The brightest images in my dreams were those of my children; how many there would be, their names, how we would spend our Sundays together, the changes we would face as they grew and holidays we would spend together a large family. Never learning to be content; I was always striving for the next phase of life.
I met my husband while I was in high school. I resigned the dream of going to medical school in exchange for an education that would allow me to stay close to my family.
Life had not always been so kind, but I always managed to remain a faithful believer in Christ and in what “I thought” his intentions were for my life. I remained grateful for his grace and mercy even when circumstances around my life weren’t going as I had planned. But I never stopped fighting for what I wanted. In the end, it seemed that it always worked out in my favor. I faced many hurdles throughout my final years in school and then again in college, each time overcoming with great pride in all that I had accomplished.
Did My Pride Grow Too Greatly?
There are many biblical examples of pride and its consequences in the lives of individuals, and they offer valuable lessons for our own lives. Of the more notable examples from the Old Testament is that of Uzziah, who was a believer. When he became king of Judah at age sixteen, he set his heart to seek God and put himself under the spiritual mentorship of Zechariah. And “as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper” (2 Chron. 26:5). As a result, he acquired wealth and also became politically and militarily powerful. Then things changed. “His fame spread far, for he was marvelously helped, till he was strong. But when he was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction” (26:15–16).
What happened? There are hints in the text that at some point on the road to the top, he stopped seeking the Lord and the spiritual mentoring of Zechariah. This suggests a lessening dependence on God and a growing reliance on himself and his own strength and wisdom. History shows at every point how easy it is for pride to increase as we become stronger, more successful, more prosperous, and more recognized in our endeavors. In fact, anything, real or imagined, that elevates us above others can be a platform for pride. Ironically, this is true even when these things come as a result of God’s blessings.
As a result of all his blessings, Uzziah, rather than humbling himself in thanksgiving to God, began to think more highly of himself than he should have and developed an exaggerated sense of his own importance and abilities. He faced great consequences as a result of his prideful heart.
The stories of Haman (Esther 3–7) and Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 4) also offer valuable insights into pride and are well worth reading.
Are you struggling with pride? Could your sense of entitlement be destroying your ability to move forward in life? Click to read 30 Verses To Keep Your Pride In Check.
Looking back I’ve asked:
“Was God punishing me for something else I did wrong?”
“Did I become too prideful? Did I give God too little credit for my blessings?”
I was more focused on building my life than on building my relationship with God, but I was young and “I had plenty of time for that.” I had a desire to help others and be a contributing member of our church and community but “I’d have more time to devote to that once my kids were a little older.”
I truly felt like I had done everything I was supposed to do. I believed that I had been a faithful servant; being kind, helping people when I could, praising Him while sharing stories of my blessings. I knew I’d never really put my goals second to anyone else’s, but I’d never intentionally tried to hurt anyone to achieve my goals either.
I thought I was good enough.
I began to have this false sense of pride.
“I must be doing right because God always seems to answer our prayers.”
“If I work hard, be thankful for what I have and praise God for it, I’ll prosper.”
“I’ve been good, so God must love me.”
So many trials, overcome during such a short time. For each battled we faced and won, I feel like God was solidifying my “I’m doing right” way of thinking.
I nearly lost my dad in a work-related accident. I cared for him while working full-time, buying a home, and planning a wedding all during the same time. All of which brought along their own baggage for me to juggle. Eventually, each was checked off my list. A wipe of the brow, a sigh of relief and it was over. “We’d been blessed.”
Up until this point, the miscarriage my husband and I suffered after battling infertility was the most difficult thing I’d ever been through personally. But finally a few months later, I was pregnant with our first child. “Blessed again.”
In 2012, everything was coming together. I was married to a loving and devoted man, we had started a thriving business from nothing, we had a home, a savings, our health, and a beautiful, healthy son who was the light in our world. More prayers were answered that summer, as we were expecting our second son.
My life was moving along perfectly according to my plans. God was rewarding me for my hard work and diligence. I sang his praises, but let’s not forget, “I had busted my tail end for everything I had.”
The Fall before our second son was due, more devastation occurred. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer and in the same week, I received a call that our unborn son’s screening results had come back and the news wasn’t good. The bond and relationship I have with my mom, I’m unable to put into words, but she was my rock. She had been right at my side through everything and I couldn’t imagine raising my children without her in my life.
The fear and worry over the next couple of months can’t be explained. That is another story within itself. My husband and I talked about our plans for our unborn son. We discussed funeral arrangements and spoke with our pastor. All the while we and our oldest son, around 13 months old at the time, had been living out of boxes trying to finish up the purchase of our new home.
In December, our baby boy, we later named Kolt, had been cleared of all health issues, my mother had her final surgery and was deemed cancer free, and we finally moved into our big new dream home. “God was good and we were blessed.”
What a valley we had escaped. How quickly did all my plans and dreams go flying into the wind? As quickly as the phone can ring. In one moment, it could have all been different. Yet here we were again, blessed to have faced such tribulations and been shown such mercy. My mom was still living, we had our home and we would be adding a son to our family in a few short months. I was thankful; I liked the answers I was getting. It was going to be a year of new beginnings, a start to a beautiful life.
I had no reason to believe that so much of me would have to die before I could see this new beginning.
I had no reason to think that my pride would nearly cost me my life.
I can’t say with any certainty that God’s intention was to break my pride. I certainly don’t believe it was the only purpose of the events that were to come, but it certainly couldn’t hurt to teach me a lesson about humility.
Maybe he coddled me so because he knew once he built me up, he could more easily break me down.
Why would God want to do that?
Because he wants us to know how incapable we are without him. As humans and of the flesh we are filthy and worldly beings.
“I am the vine, ye are the branches: . . . for without Me ye can do nothing,” John 15:5.
To be of the Spirit we must understand how imperative his role has been in our salvation and how it continues throughout our lives.
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God,” Romans 3:23.
“For the wages of sin is death,” Romans 6:23.
“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered the world, and death by sin; And so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned,” Romans 5:12.
“The gift of God is eternal life,” Romans 6:23.
“Through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Romans 6:23.
“That whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved,” John 3:16, 17.
Just as a parent to a child, sometimes we must allow the child to make a mistake, fall or touch that hot stove so they will understand the value of our guidance.
Nonetheless, the past four years have humbled me greatly. I’m hard-headed and stubborn and I think God knew exactly what it would take to re-mold me.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
The Birth That Broke Me
Follow One Well Momma
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