Today was Christian’s FIRST EVER day at church (at least outside of my womb).
And the message this morning was beautiful. We had a guest speaker at Community Bible Church: Emma Faye who is deaf and a huge advocate for the deaf community. Emma’s message this morning left me all choked up. No kidding but it literally felt like I was the only person at church and like God was speaking to me directly through Emma.
“God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle.”
You guys. This is probably one of my least favorite sayings in the history of the world. (I’m being dramatic but you get the point). Throughout my life, whenever I’ve gone through something extremely difficult, this is the phrase people would tell me most. And while these people meant well by telling me this, I would cringe on the inside. The loss of my dear friend, John Christian Mills (who Christian is named after), or the diagnosis of Christian’s cleft were two times in my life I heard this phrase the most. And while some of you may disagree with me (and that’s perfectly okay), I 100% do not believe God “gives us” these types of things. Honestly, no God of mine would give a child a birth defect or let someone die to achieve a purpose.
So no, I don’t think God gave Christian a cleft. But I 100% do believe that he can take a terrible or unfair situation and make something beautiful out of it. Chris and I have this fantasy that Christian will one day grow up to be a craniofacial surgeon who will repair cleft lips and palates. Wouldn’t that be a great way He makes something beautiful out of a difficult situation? So far, one of the main ways it seems God is turning Christian’s cleft into something purposeful and beautiful is by letting me advocate for her and share her story with y’all. Whether your child has been diagnosed with a cleft or you’re going through something difficult, I truly believe God can make it worth something. This negative thing doesn’t have to just be negative. Let God make something beautiful out of it.
If you read my last post, “It’s a ‘God thing'”, I mentioned that I’ve struggled in the past with hearing God. But I’ve come to realize that when we put ourselves in a position to hear God, we’re going to start hearing Him a lot more. Reading His word and going to church are going to put us in a position to connect with him. And I heard Him loud and clear today. And I feel like I should pass on what he spoke to me.
One of the things Emma spoke about was being fake vs. being real. When you see someone and they ask you how you’re doing, what is your typical reply? Mine is usually, “I’m doing great. How about you?” But what if we actually gave an honest response?
Let me drop some honesty on y’all, and you can let me know if any of this sounds familiar?
“I got in a fight with my husband this morning because we’re both sleep deprived and short-tempered.”
“I feel like I’m doing this whole ‘parenting’ thing wrong.”
“I feel like I have no life because I’m constantly changing diapers, pumping, feeding my daughter, doing laundry, etc.”
“I had to put my daughter in her crib and listen to her cry because I felt like I was about to lose it.”
“I feel like the moms around me and on social media are doing everything so much better than me.”
“I’m jealous of other women and their babies because they don’t have clefts and they (hopefully) won’t have to send their baby’s into an operating room.”
Let’s use our hardships to create relationships
You know what happens when we put ourselves out there instead of just putting up a front? We allow other people to help us, to pray for us, to love on us, to listen to us. So if God can make something good out of something bad, at the very least we can let our tough situation speak to other people and let them know they’re not alone.
I’m not saying you need to put all of your personal business on social media. But I am encouraging you to open up to someone, such as your spouse, your family, your friends, or maybe even social media! By doing so, your truth may speak to someone else and let them know, “Hey, you’re not alone. I feel this way too sometimes.” By being real about our experiences, we can form real relationships. This is one of the main ways I feel God can bring some purpose and good to a negative situation. By opening up about Christian’s hardships, people have in turn opened up to me about hard things they’re going through. And now we can support each other and love each other. The same can apply to anything in your life, such as marriage problems or personal issues.
There are tons of messages from God throughout the bible (obviously), but the one message I’ve always heard loud and clear is to love one another. So let’s make it easier to love on each other by being real with one another.
I’m not saying you should stop sharing the good stuff from your life. I’ll still post perfect pictures of my family and share the positive things about our life. But maybe we could start doing a little bit of both? Let’s show each other that we’re human. And let’s show each other we’re not alone in our feelings and insecurities. By doing so, we can take the hard stuff we’re all experiencing and put it to good use — turning hardships into relationships.