At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
I wrote the following for my Jonathan Edwards class and I want to remember it here.
“‘Being sensible that I am unable to do anything without God’s help, I do humbly entreat him by his grace to enable me to keep these resolutions, so far as they are agreeable to his will, for Christ’s sake.’ With these words from Jonathan Edwards as a reminder of my complete dependence on Christ to attain not only my salvation, but also sanctification, I list here a set of twenty-five resolutions. May these resolutions work for my spiritual benefit, and may I avoid creating a law unto myself; for the law ultimately can do no good for my eternal state, apart from the power of the Holy Spirit in me to regenerate and renew my will to live for Christ.
At Home, Arlington, Massachusetts
How do you pray when nothing in your life is particularly bad, or particularly good? The things on my heart all pertain to success in work for myself and for those that I love, and somehow this seems fundamentally selfish. I know that God is said to care about all aspects of our life, but is it really not selfish to pray for success and blessing when my brothers and sisters are dying for myriad reasons? I don’t mean this as a trite question. It is often difficult for me to pray for myself and my family at all when I feel like there are so many other things God ought to be paying attention to. Trey is truly struggling with finals, my dad's has work frustrations, J. has to pass quals this second time around, R. has a job interview. Without God carrying all of these things to completion, very large and significant changes will be wrought in our lives and the work we've been given up till now will end. So I want to pray, desperately, for success. But I can't figure out how to pray for success. If we fail, isn't that supposed to mean that God has something else in store for us? But aren't we supposed to work hard to succeed? But we all seem to be at points where there is no pretense that anyone else other than God can bring about our success in these areas. But what if God doesn't give success in these areas? On what basis do I go to God to petition him for success? On what or whose account do I petition for success? I can't petition on my merit or the people I love's merit - we are all meritless. I think it is on Christ's merit that I approach the throne, but does that apply to success in work? "God give us success in this work on behalf of Christ's work" doesn't seem right, but rather shallow and silly in the light of so many other bigger issues. And there I am stuck. On what basis can I go to God to ask for the things that I desire? They seem like good things, but I am not God, so how can I say what is good? I dare not barter with God. The only thing I can ever land on is simply asking. Petitioning the Lord simply because I want something. And that is where it seems petty and selfish. Is the best thing to just not want anything or desire anything? Is it best not to care what work you do or what God gives you? I just don't know.
About the Project
This is a very personal project. It tracks my growth and development as I journeyed toward motherhood over the recent years. It doesn't document every experience I had, and probably neglects my more joyful and peaceful moments in the frenzy of trying to communicate my fears, anxieties, and doubts. If you are a friend or loved one, please do not let anything you read here overshadow what you know of me personally. If you are a stranger, please remember that a living and flawed person stands behind these words. To all my guests here, please understand these are not political statements and try to extend me grace, even as I share my failures and foibles - I have repented of much of what I share. I don't share this journal as an exemplar, but rather out of the desire to share my hope that entrance to motherhood does not need to be a fearful thing - despite the very real fears I have fought against. Motherhood is simply a part of life and one through which I am discovering more of myself and my God.