I just listened to a sermon that hit me hard. We were so blessed having Pastor Craig Groeschel as our pastor in Oklahoma, and now that we are living in Ohio I am very thankful to still listen to him through the Life.Church app. I was listening to one of his sermons lately on Hope in the Dark. It was one of those messages that felt like he knew my story; even though he’s never heard it. Pastor Craig was talking about Habakkuk’s story and how his name literally means “to embrace, to wrestle.” I don’t want to spill the whole sermon, because I strongly encourage you to listen to it. But, what stood out to me was despite Habakkuk believing in the Lord, he also wrestled with him. He wrestled out his doubts, his hurts, and his confusions through conversations with God.
Pastor Craig said, “I am convinced that God would rather have you yell at Him than walk away from Him. Let your doubts drive you to embrace even when you wrestle.” He said that with such boldness and emotion that I believed he does this in his own life, and I knew I needed to do the same. A lot of times when something is hard, seems unfair, or when I am flat out confused, I really don’t want to talk to God in that moment. I go into my shell, isolate from everyone and take a lot of time (probably too much time) to process what in the world just happened. After hearing how Habakkuk’s cycle of wrestling, embracing, wrestling and embracing led him to a profound relationship with the Lord, I knew I had to start my own cycle too.
I learned through this sermon that a committed believer can both wrestle with honest questions and embrace a genuine faith in God. Adoption right now has me wrestling and embracing all at the same time. At one point, I know without a doubt adoption is what Chase and I are called to. And then there are times where the process is so insane, the cost is ridiculous, the wait time is downright painful, and I am back to wrestling. There are times where I wake up in the morning having anxiety attacks, times when I even think of a potential match to a birth family I physically get nauseous, and times where I know the ONLY thing I can do is trust the Lord. We have been through deployment. We have been through having a four- pound baby. We were given the ultimatum of more pregnancies or kidney transplants. And I honestly think the process of adoption is harder than all of that. Of course, my personal opinion, but yeah… it’s hard.
I’m sure people have differing beliefs on Psalms 37:4 which says, “Take delight in the Lord and he will give you your heart’s desires.” For so long I read it as when I seek the Lord, he will give me whatever I am desiring. But through all of these experiences lately I really think I read it wrong all of this time. Now when I read that verse I read it as: 1. The Lord planted desires in my heart when he created me. 2. Seek him. 3. While seeking him he will show me the desires he gave me. 4. I will see those desires come to fruition as I take delight in him. My heart’s desires actually have nothing to do with me. They have everything to do with the One who created me. So even though I can’t wait to see this baby’s face that he has for us- He desires it even more than I do. HE gave this desire to us, and he will finish it. And in the waiting, he is growing me and molding me. Stripping away more of my flesh little by little.
I encourage you to begin your own consistent cycle of wrestling and embracing the Lord. Instead of isolating, self- destructing, and doing whatever it is your flesh naturally wants to do in a crappy situation-wrestle and embrace. Yell, pray, talk, write but do not walk away from him. I will be doing the same.