I am a woman who is deeply troubled...I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief. - 1 Samuel 1: 15-16
Head: Hannah's "great anguish and grief" were the direct result of years of infertility, relentless torment, and social mockery. Then, one day she went to the temple to pray. That day was the day she poured it all out to our Lord Father. She was so tired of just trying to get through her days, her years. She let it all out. It as so intense that others thought she was drunk or had lost her mind. She had had enough of the heartache. There was nothing she was going to hold back from God during that moment. The pain poured with a burst. Scripture doesn't promise us all good days, sunshine and rainbows. What it does promise is, after such pouring out of heartfelt prayers, peace. Peace that is so pure that even if we don't understand our circumstances, we know that we are held by the One who loves us most.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7
Heart: For nearly two years my husband and I had repeated cycles of infertility drugs. It was heart wrenching. We kept it all between the two of us. My body just didn't want to cooperate. We'd had one son so easily, we couldn't understand why we couldn't move forward with our family. The drugs were causing rapid weight gain and hope lost. One night, I laid out face down across our bed and wept. My hormones were all over the place and I was completely done with worrying about having another baby when I had such a precious boy right in front of me. I worried myself to death over him too. That night, I had to give him back to God. I couldn't keep worrying about all the things that crossed my mind that may never happen. I had to stop with the notion that I was never going to be the mom he deserved. I had to stop trying to be that little boys everything and introduce him to Jesus. That night, I laid it all down. I poured it all out.
That night I finally rested. I had poured out my soul and everything I had kept bottled up. Nothing had every given me such peace, not even friendly council and promising doctors visits. No one can give that kind of true peace from such inner turmoil like God can. He made me, made my heart, made my son, so he already knew what I needed before I even asked. I had to pour it all out to make room for what He had coming. He had known all the ugly emotions I was feeling...bitterness, jealousy, anger, grief, hopelessness, unbelief, underserving of more, and worry. We have to be honest with God and with ourselves. We can not remain trapped inside our own little world with all of our overwhelming feelings.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. - Psalm 34:18
Hands: We must open up in prayer and let it all flow to Him like a flood. It becomes more than just opening floodgates, it feels more like the entire dam has ruptured and is bursting forth. We have to make room inside of us so that God can fill us with His truth and His blessings. Scripture promises peace will follow such pouring out. It demands that we present our requests to God, that we bang on Heaven's gates so that we can give it all to Him. He will welcome us in with all of our mess and all of our disarray. Our feelings can be all over the place and He will take them all. He wants your grief to be peace. As mothers, we can become so overwhelmed with mothering our babies. We can become overwhelmed with praying babies into this world. We can become overwhelmed by the health of our little ones. There are so many instances that we have as mothers that we grieve. We grieve for what is passed, what is lost, and what might not ever be. God wants it all, all that grief. He doesn't want them in a clean prayer wrapped neatly with a bow. He will take that of course, but what He wants is us to give all to Him even if it's a big ol' mess. He is waiting to lead you from a place of grief to peace. We might not see circumstances change immediately but we can have confidence that He is with us, stays with us through it all.
Prayer: Lord Father, you don't want me to stay in this dark place, this grief, this turmoil when You are waiting with open arms to give me perfect peace. Give me the courage to let it all pour out, help me to flood your throne with with all my feelings, fears, and doubts so that You have room to come in. I want nothing more than to know the peace you give so freely. In Jesus holy name I pray, Amen.
Here! Hold My Crown! Is a forthcoming devotional for mothers. Written by Aimee Larsen, a mother of 5 children. She walked through having a premie, infertility, miracles, foster care, and adoption.