So We Do Not Lose Heart.

One week ago today, I woke up a bundle of nerves.  I knew I couldn’t toss and turn in bed forever.   Rise I did, as rise I must!  We actually left right on time, factoring for traffic and morning bustle, 8:00 a.m. found “all aboard!” my gold Toyota.  Hwy 202, always unpredictable, played a lady, and I walked in the diabetes center at 8:40, twenty minutes before my appointment.  Unfamiliar territory, being early, but… I approached the waiting room confidently.   The receptionist looked over – puzzled.  Apparently, my appointment was for 9:30 and I was fifty minutes early.  I just had to laugh at this point, because I had been so jittery to get there on time that I had completely disregarded double-checking my open-faced day planner on the counter.  I can only endure so many pages of the rather sizable “spot the difference between these two pictures” book, so I just sat for remainder of my wait time staring forward.  The nurse, Eilene, wore a brown dress and short hair.  She looked rather friendly, and I appreciated the lack of scrubs or lab coat.  She ushered me back into the office and we sat down like friends chatting over coffee and a biscotti.  She asked a few preliminaries.  All good.  Then she mentioned that my other doctor said that the reason I wanted control was so I could conceive—“is that still the plan?” She asked.  At this point, I just lost it.  Dr. Jay’s words from a previous appointment gusted back into my wound like salt water.  He had said, “You’re never going to get pregnant like this!”  Jolted back into my current appointment, I caught her eyes I remembered the question, “is that still the plan?”  In my mind, I thought, it’s the plan… eventually, but it’s not the main point.  I couldn’t hold back tears.  “I wish that people would stop using that as a motivation.” I thought.  I’m not sure what actual words I said to her.  I had said that in response to a question my doctor had asked me.  Something like, “you two have been married for a little while now, do you plan on having kids?”  “Yes, yes yes!  We want kids, in the next few years,” now he mentions it every visit, as though it were the only reason for the visit.  The truth is that a baby would risk serious complications in my womb as it is now, and I know it, but being a mama isn’t my primary reason for a great A1C.  It’s a great reason for control.  A better quality of life is a good reason, but it can’t be primary.  To remove the heavy burden of guilt I lay down and simultaneously pick up is a motivator for me.  The ability to look at my life through a large ornate frame and see a beautiful picture of domesticity, orderliness, and perfectly planned diabetes management is a desire I struggle with, but cannot be what motivates me. 

In the horizon of my life, all these things find a place—I don’t think I can remove the shadow of them.  The yearning in my heart and arms to hold a dear little one—my flesh and his—will continue.  The daily struggle I have to compete with that pesky-perfect Proverbs 31 woman will continue to be daily.  But shadows cannot complete with true reality.  Because my Father has said it, Who cannot lie, this is reality…

“But we have this treasure [the light of the Gospel in our hearts through Christ] in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.  We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed . . . SO THAT the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.  For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh . . . SO we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day.  For this slight, momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”  2 Corinthians 4: 7-18

Me, a jar of clay.  Reality check, please?  God doesn’t label me in this way highlight my insignificance. Being made of earth and water is insignificant, but He chooses to make me significant by using me as a vessel to hold the knowledge of Christ, not because I am worthy of it, but because it is His divine will to do so: an earthen container—containing the vast treasure of the universe.  As parts of me chip away, I can let rays of Christ’s love, goodness, grace, and hope emanate from within me.  Not because of me, but because of Christ’s work within me. 

When I start to fill my cracks—those places where I feel I am absolutely falling apart—with earthly things and earthly solutions, I am containing the very thing that God wishes to reveal—Himself. 

I must let Christ shine through the perceived incompleteness.  It is only perceived, for I am never whole without Him, and without my blemishes, He cannot shine.  Who am I to eclipse His radiant light? 

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4 thoughts on “So We Do Not Lose Heart.

  1. Beautiful, Briana! Thanks for the reminder. All of us need this, whether we are struggling with physical weaknesses or character weaknesses. I pray you’ll find God’s blessing on your life in the coming months!!

  2. Beautifully said! I can’t imagine the struggles you go through everyday, but remember who is by our sides! Not only do we have an Incredible Savior, but he gave us unimaginable husbands! I love you and I know personally how hard it is to stay strong through challenging times, but you are a woman of God! You can handle anything that God has for you!

  3. Bri, this is so wonderful! I memorized 2 Corinthians 4 while I was in China, so this blog was meaningful in that way, but it also served as a great reminder of the truths in that chapter. I LOVE the imagery of the clay pots, and that picture is so humbling and encouraging at the same time. We may not all go through the same struggles, but we share the same God and He is sooo good.

    I love you, dear friend.

    • Amen! Yesterday we sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness” at church and I’m so thankful for the promise that with God there is “no shadow of changing.” He is the same. The same for you, and the same for me. Thank you for reading! The journey here is so helpful for me, but it is especially sweet to share when it is encouraging for others.

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