Emily – Ontario, Canada
As a type A child I always had a plan. Pretty much everything I did was planned out to the last detail and the only person who was really allowed to change the plan was me. I knew exactly what I wanted my life to look like and I was determined to make that happen. So when I would hear “the Lord will provide” I always assumed it meant that He would provide exactly what I thought I needed and what I had decided I wanted.
I got married young to an amazing, extremely intelligent man and was heading off to teachers college. My life was turning out exactly as I had planned and I expected things to continue to go “my way”. Then a string of trials hit me all at once that would challenge my idols of control and being a mom.
Being diagnosed with Crohn’s disease 2 months before my wedding was a bit of a shock but I didn’t realize how much it would affect my life. My schooling was pushed back a year and, although I am very thankful for the medication that I am now on and the healing that I have experienced, I still fight symptoms on a regular basis that there is really no “cure” for.
Facing depression was another trial that I was not expecting. I have always been intense (as a type A personality) but no matter what the situation I could always pull up my bootstraps and keep going. Being in a pit so deep that getting up out of bed in the morning each day, eating, reading the Bible, prayer, choosing to have faith, and literally putting one foot in front of the other would be a constant fight was not easy, and something I never expected to deal with. Although things are easier now, this is still something that God has not taken from me.
My husband is pursuing his PhD, and given how amazing he is at his job (research) I support him 100% and look forward to how his research will one day impact the world. However, we decided this meant we would have to wait for children, which was not part of my original plan.
3 years ago I would have thought that God providing for me would mean instant healing and having children before 25. People would try to encourage me by telling me that God would provide complete healing or more finances to allow for children. This was actually painful counsel when I remained in a season of trial and drought, while others around me were experiencing the blessings I so desired.
I have since learned that God’s greatest provision is Himself, which actually meets my deepest need. I can now cling to the truth that “God will provide” even in the midst of a season of trial because He is drawing me to Himself and transforming my heart so that I look more and more like Him.
God has provided by healing my Crohn’s. He provides strength to do my job well after a week of constant nausea when I am still expected to function as if I am completely healthy. He provides joy in Him and delight in obedience in certain seasons. He provides truth to fight the lies of the enemy when depression overwhelms my heart. He provides a joy and excitement when women share news of pregnancies. He provides comfort on Mother’s Day and at baby showers when I am reminded that one of the strongest desires of my heart has yet to be fulfilled. He provides by using trials to expose the wickedness of my own heart so that I am drawn to Him in repentance and faith.
The Lord provides, both in times of blessing and in times of pain. I am learning that I do not get to choose which type of provision I receive. God is in control and I am not. He knows what He is doing and His plan is always for my good, even if it more painful than words. He has changed my goal. It is no longer to have my “plan” work out perfectly, but instead to know Him more. The Lord has provided by removing the worthless idols from my clenched fist and teaching me to welcome the trials that draw me closer to His side.