“When I have a car and can be more independent, I will be much happier.”
“If I buy these clothes and shoes, I will be happy.”
“When I am married and have kids, then I will be happy.”
I would dare say that all of us at some point in time have thought and said things of this nature. Why is it that we are always unhappy or impatient with our current situation in life? Looking ahead, we seem to assume that life will be “perfect” if indeed we achieve something or arrive somewhere significant. Somehow we have become convinced at times ( I know I have), of thinking it’s the destination, rather than the journey itself, which leads to happiness.
How many would agree with me that life is turning out to be quite different than what you had pictured in your mind? I have learned that saying the word “never”, as in “I will never serve a mission”, or “I will never live in Idaho”, always leads to the contrary. I am learning how to hope for things, and at the same time allow the unexpected to take place in my life while having Faith and Trust in our Heavenly Father. His plans for me are always FAR better than what I could have ever hoped for, but sometimes, it doesn’t always appear that way when I am in the middle of it playing out.
“How is hope & happiness possible when we can’t see the plans God has laid out for us?”
For the last 3 months, Heavenly Father’s plans for us have taught me a lot about what it means to have “Faith in the Middle”. Beginning with our miscarriage back in January, our hearts were broken of course and the future seemed uncertain when we thought about trying to have more children. I had a hard time when thinking of trying again. My emotions ranged from scared, frustrated, excited (to get prego again), guilty (for not wanting to try)…. I was all over the flippin’ map! Meanwhile, my ever patient and amazing husband just let his Faith override, and allowed the peace and comfort to fill his heart and mind. Knowing full well my faith was wavering a bit, together we decided we needed time in the Temple to pray and seek answers on when we should try again. The answers we individually received were similar, yet different, and full of so much love, peace and comfort it was almost tangible. Feeling so close to my Father in Heaven in his Holy house was exactly what I needed to fire my faith again despite the scary, unknown future I saw ahead of us. His answer to my plea was simply, “You should try when your body feels healthy again”. I felt peace with this answer, and thought this was right around the corner. However, my body continued to feel “not right” for about 5 weeks after the D&C. I had pain in my upper abdomen and felt awful when I ate food, when I tried to sleep, and basically I just felt sick all the time. My first thought was that I had an ulcer, but after going to the doctor and having an Ultrasound done, we found out I had what they thought was a large Polyp in my Gallbladder. Having a mother who was diagnosed with Colon Cancer when I was 11, and being told she needed to have the “Polyps” surgically removed, my mind naturally went directly to the worst case scenario. I couldn’t help but worry that I had the dreaded “C” word, CANCER. Sounds silly to most of you I’m sure, but I’m convinced worrying is a family trait, so I come by it honestly. As I met with my doctor to discuss the Ultrasound and my prognosis, he could tell I was a bit uneasy about everything. He simply asked, “What were you thinking? Cancer?”… “Whelp, ya, I was, and now I’m crying…thanks…” He then shared how cancer in the Gallbladder is almost unheard of, especially in people under the age of 60. Hearing this definitely diminished my fears quite a bit, and provided a great sigh of relief! I then learned I would need to have my Gallbladder removed because it was “sick” as he put it, and the polyp was partially covering the bile duct. I was experiencing some not so fun side-effects because of this, so I was all, “Sign me up! (insert hand raised high here) How soon can we do this?.” He then looked at me again and simply said, “Faith and fear cannot exist in the same place. It’s one or the other. We often want to have control of everything in our lives, and make sure everything goes according to OUR plan. All the while Heavenly Father is saying, ‘I already have plans for you, just TRUST in me.’ He will always take care of you because He loves you. Have faith in Him.” I honestly have the most amazing Doctor ever, and I couldn’t have been more grateful for the lesson he taught me that day.
Fear was paralyzing me, and consuming my every thought. Not only that, but I so painfully wanted to be pregnant and joyful, yet I was gearing up for my second surgery in under two months, and I was drowning in frustration and anger with my situation.
What I didn’t realize during the thick of it was the power I had to change the way I faced my personal trials. I needed to kick the fear, and focus on cultivating my faith, even though all my “what if’s” weren’t settled, and I couldn’t see the outcome of surgery.
Faith was the ticket! Sounds SO simple, doesn’t it? I needed to have Faith in the Middle, which, by the way, I would never consider to be found under the definition of “easy”. However, it’s all I could rely on for peace. Faith was essential to functioning through every day as a mom and wife. Faith while figuring out my health. Faith while waiting to have surgery. Faith that the surgery and recovery would go well. And the hardest for me… Faith and trust in my Heavenly Father and His timing for us to have more children. For what my human mind couldn’t fix, the Lord could, and I needed to live on the faith that Heavenly Father has me in His hands, and His ways are higher and better than my own.
Praying is my sanctuary. I find peace, strength, and answers when I turn to my Father in Heaven. As I offered up my heart to Him, my Faith in turn was added to, and it 100% carried me throughout this trial. Whenever my fear of the unknown tried to sneak in, my Faith would remind me of a Heavenly Father who loves me and a Savior, Jesus Christ, who walks with me through every. single. day. While fear gave me tunnel vision always leading straight to “worst case scenarios”, Faith on the other hand, gave me a peaceful perspective to walk in confidence with a constant reassurance of his love.
Jesus Christ is Joy. He is love. He is our strength. He is our source of peace & comfort. Joy doesn’t come from knowing and having a clear picture of the future right in front of us. It is feeling the presence and love of our Savior Jesus Christ as we are on our journey here in this life. He is always constant & sure in a world that is ever changing. It is the Atonement of our Savior which makes our “Faith in the Middle” possible.
“When you question or doubt more than a little, that’s when you are going to need faith in the middle”. – Hilary Weeks
Thank you Hilary Weeks for your wise words, and your beautiful song, “Faith in the Middle”, which echos my feelings exactly.
Love and hugs to all my beautiful friends and followers! I pray you too can have Faith while walking through hard things. I promise anything is possible with Faith. ❤