When God Asks Us to Do Hard Things

Ben was in BC, sitting in a taxi cab on his way to the airport, while I was giving birth to Kaylia.

For me, it was one of those experiences when it started out feeling like God was asking too much of me.

And yet it was also one of those times when I knew what I needed to do, whether I liked the idea or not.

This is the story of how Ben came to be sitting in that taxi cab:

The winter that I was pregnant with Kaylia, Ben decided to start working towards a Masters degree. He had talked about wanting to do it for years, but we never knew how it would work out, with family, timing, finances, etc.

But that winter, he found this amazing Masters program at Trinity Western University that would allow him to complete his degree in two years, while still working here at camp.

Everything about it seemed perfect, and things fell into place in a way that only God could manage. The only drawback was that he would have to take a two week course on campus a month before Kaylia was due. We didn’t worry about that too much, though, because he’d get home with a few weeks to spare.

But the day before he left, I had a doctor’s appointment, and the doctor said that although no one can really tell for sure when a baby will be born, his guess was that our baby would most likely be born within those next two weeks, exactly when Ben was gone.

We went home, and we talk. And prayed and talked, and had no idea what to do.

Our list of options:

  1. Ben would not go, but would have to wait an entire year before starting his Masters because of missing that first course. And the baby might not even come during those two weeks anyway.
  2. Ben could go, but come home if the baby was born, which would mean having to drop out of the class, waste a few thousand dollars, and still wait an entire year to start the program.

We could not decide what to do.

Ben went out to run a few errands, and I called my friend Dawn, who is incredibly wise and godly, and tells me what I need to hear, when I need to hear it, even if it’s painful.

She listened to the whole story, heard our list of options, and then was quiet for a bit. Finally, she said, “I know this might sound super hard, and kind of crazy, but I’m just going to throw it out there, because I think God wants me to ask you this: What if Ben is supposed to stay out there to finish this course, EVEN IF the baby comes?”

She is very brave to say that to an eight-month pregnant woman who is emotionally unstable.

I immediately burst into tears and wailed, “I can’t!! I can’t have this baby without Ben there!!”

But as soon as I said it, I knew that was exactly what God was asking me to do.

Dawn and I talked for a little while longer, and she prayed with me, but I think we both knew that I needed time to wrestle it out with God.

When Ben came back from running errands, he was quite surprised to hear that we now had Option Number Three:

Ben go to BC, come home if he needed to, and go back to finish his course while I took care of our newborn baby, with the help of my mom.

We prayed, and we felt peace about Option Number Three.

But I also felt something else. I knew what God wanted us to do, and I also just knew that if Ben got on that plane, I was delivering this baby without him.

I did not like the idea at all, but I felt strongly that if God was asking me to do it, then He would also give me everything I needed to do it.

I still really hoped that our baby would wait until Ben was home. And we almost made it through the first week!

But on Friday morning, it became clear that our back-up plans would be put to use.

I called Ben at 5:00am to tell him that our baby was coming, and he had better get on a plane as fast as he could. Unfortunately, the earliest flight home was not early enough.

I had to call him on the phone while he was in a taxi cab on his way to the airport to tell him that we had a baby girl.

Ben got home on Friday evening, wrote a paper for his course while helping me out at the hospital as much as he could, and left for BC again on Sunday night so that he could be back for class on Monday morning.

My mom picked Kaylia and me up from the hospital and brought us to camp.

And it was very hard. I needed Ben a lot. But through it all, I had such a sense of peace and certainty that we were doing what God wanted us to do.

I know that people endure much worse things than that.

But for me, not having Ben there when Kaylia was born was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

And yet, there is such joy when you know that God is asking you to do something hard, and you say “Yes!”

It’s jumping off a cliff in faith, knowing that God will catch you.

It’s having the faith to do something that you can’t possibly do on your own, and having the privilege of seeing God show up with the ability to do what at first seemed impossible.

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4 thoughts on “When God Asks Us to Do Hard Things

  1. I got all teary-eyed hearing that story again. I’m sure I’ve heard you talk about it before, but it just hit me again. I think that would be SUCH a hard thing, to give birth without your husband there. How the women did it “back in the day” I have no idea. But, the whole “saying YES!” thing is another thing I admire. If only it was that clear all the time, you know? I’d like to believe that I’d choose to say “YES!” to whatever God would ask of me, if I’d only just know what that was. But, sometimes it’s just so hard to know what the RIGHT thing is. Maybe that’s just a cop-out, I don’t know. Good thing God’s not finished with me yet…

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