Friday, July 12, 2013

fifteen years ago today | lessons in contentment

once upon a time my eyelashes and eyebrows were my favorite things about appearance. i don't remember feeling super vain about it, but i liked them a lot. putting on makeup was fun and i enjoyed creating different looks.
now i have sparse, oddly shaped eyebrows and mostly short, straight lashes. not my favorite at all.


when i was seventeen i was in a terrible car accident. my face went into the windshield, peeling my eyelid and forehead away. corrective surgeries helped repair much of the damage and give me the somewhat "normal" lid i have today. even if it doesn't shut all the way :) my eyebrows grew back on their own, and even a few eyelashes! i'm thankful that my sight and eyes were spared, but i struggle with my eyes every day. my lashes grow downward, and i need to pluck them often because they scratch my eye and cause great discomfort. before they're long enough to pluck, they scrape and irritate my eye. i'm very sensitive to light, whiny when the weather is rainy because my scars ache, and i sometimes cry from frustration and just the 'i'm so over this' of it all.

god's been really dealing with me about many things lately, but especially the issue of contentment. now seems like a good day to begin sharing this contentment journey here. 
today it's been fifteen years since that accident. in that time i've had plenty of opportunities to choose contentment and joy over ungratefulness and despair. like many of you, there are no shortages of suffering in my life. but this eye thing really stays on my mind daily. i hate it so much and wish it away. but i'm grateful for it, too! it could be much worse, and it's pushed me closer to jesus. such a weird tug of war, between discomfort and gratitude. reminding me that pain isn't always erased. sometimes 'difficult seasons' don't change.


i will always have a wonky eyelid and scratchy lashes. 
i will always be an abuse survivor. 
i will never bear children. 
my child will always have special needs.

i will always have the choice to be content or be angry and covetous of what i wish i'd gotten instead. 

praise jesus he helps me choose rightly. not many things in life are the way i would have chosen them to be. i certainly don't understand the purpose of everything, and may never this side of heaven. but i do know, nothing is wasted. i can trust christ to carry me every step of the way. i can trust him to reveal all i need to know as i need to know it. 

you hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; i cannot attain it. psalm 139:5-6

every day he pours out new mercy over me, giving life to my parched, tired soul. he shows me so gently that there isn't anything apart from him. to hold loosely to my dreams, and cling for dear life to his way instead. he is sufficient for all my needs, he never leaves me and answers when i call to him. he is why i can be content in any circumstance. he is good. when his goodness doesn't look like my idea of goodness, it doesn't make it less the case. 

my scars, the way my appearance was altered? it's a clear picture to me of jesus and how he works. he's taken this ugly thing and is making it lovely. i'm able to praise him for these annoying scars and other scars, too. because he's using it to show me my need for him. every day
people always say "time will heal". but that's a hopeless thing to lean on. god heals our hearts, time has nothing to do with it, in my opinion. it's wrestling and walking with jesus, giving your hurt over to him again and again. 
and again.

like i mentioned already, the lord is showing me lately my sin of discontent. and he's not passing over any areas of my life, ha! in dealing with this sin, i'm learning what contentment looks like and i want to share this freedom with you! so as i have time, i'll be posting more.

for now, read through this hymn, sing if you know it! ask the lord to help you believe it. that nothing can touch you that god hasn't designed exactly for you. trusting him in that, it's is the beginning of contentment.

Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His holy will abideth;
I will be still whate’er He doth;
And follow where He guideth;
He is my God; though dark my road,
He holds me that I shall not fall:
Wherefore to Him I leave it all.
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He never will deceive me;
He leads me by the proper path:
I know He will not leave me.
I take, content, what He hath sent;
His hand can turn my griefs away,
And patiently I wait His day.
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
His loving thought attends me;
No poison can be in the cup
That my Physician sends me.
My God is true; each morn anew
I’ll trust His grace unending,
My life to Him commending.
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
He is my Friend and Father;
He suffers naught to do me harm,
Though many storms may gather,
Now I may know both joy and woe,
Some day I shall see clearly
That He hath loved me dearly.
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Though now this cup, in drinking,
May bitter seem to my faint heart,
I take it, all unshrinking.
My God is true; each morn anew
Sweet comfort yet shall fill my heart,
And pain and sorrow shall depart.
Whate’er my God ordains is right:
Here shall my stand be taken;
Though sorrow, need, or death be mine,
Yet I am not forsaken.
My Father’s care is round me there;
He holds me that I shall not fall:
And so to Him I leave it all.

samuel rodigast

24 comments:

  1. I love this, friend. Truth! My dad had a similar accident and a similar reminder of God's sovereignty. You are so precious to me. I wish we had hours to talk about all this. Love and hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear BEAUTIFUL Hannah,
    You are inspirational, motivational, encouraging, and the real deal. I am so glad to have "met" you. :) Thank you for choosing to let God use you; thank you for choosing hope + joy + contentment.
    Love, Ferial

    ReplyDelete
  3. This is such a beautiful post, Hannah. Thank you for sharing your heart. Such life lessons here.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I adore you. Thank you for sharing your heart. It's beautiful and so is your face. Praying peace and contentment to wash all over you. I'm so glad you shared.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh Hannah! This was so lovely // my childhood was far from the cleavers ... While I am not brave enough (maybe one day) to blog about it I love that you are and that you give god the praise. I everyday we can wake up and choose joy bc of Christ !

    ReplyDelete
  6. this is a "nothing is wasted" testimony. seriously. none of your tears are wasted. our Redeemer lives. you are beautiful and so is your story.

    love you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. well, there's just something extra special about you. or maybe a lot of things. <3

    ReplyDelete
  8. thank you for such an honest, powerful and beautiful testimony... such an encouragement xx

    ReplyDelete
  9. beautiful encouragement for your readers. lovely. honest. raw. love you tons.

    ReplyDelete
  10. omigosh, thanks so much for sharing. i needed to hear that SO much. you have truly touched my heart. I have been dealing with certain discontentments and handing life's pains to Jesus too...sometimes some things won't be better here on earth...sometimes I just feel like I can't bear certain situations...it does make me cling to Jesus too.

    You are beautiful.

    and I'm super sorry that your eyelashes irritate your eyes like that. certainly can understand the frustration.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hannah, you are brave and courageous. Your smile and laughing eyes tell of great peace and trust. Your testimony inspires the same. I don't know that hymn, but the verses are powerful.
    Rosemary

    ReplyDelete
  12. Our Pastor's message this Sunday was about how faith doesn't "fix" everything. It doesn't make pain go away, or situations suddenly fix themselves. It does give us someone to cling too, it does give us a purpose, a hope that is an anchor for our soul, it does give us an opportunity to make much of the One that gave much for us, and that's what you do when you write. You bring attention to God in such a beautiful, real way, I just started reading your blog but I love the way you write.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Once again, I am touched by your beautiful words. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This post is just so brave and beautiful. Thanks for sharing it.

    www.clickclackclunk.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. Lovely thoughts - be content in knowing you make a difference in other's lives, where perhaps you would have not, were it not for your "scars".

    ReplyDelete
  16. You. Your story. Your heart.

    He's doing beautiful things through you.

    ReplyDelete
  17. You. Your story. Your heart.

    He's doing beautiful things through you.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Beautiful testimony of faith and overcoming trials in our life...thank you for sharing.

    xo,
    jenn

    ReplyDelete
  19. you are so beautiful, Hannah. I hate that it's a daily burden for you, because honestly, your scars increase your beauty and give you a story to share of His hand in your life every single day. I am so blessed to call you my friend - and this post is one of the millions of reasons why. I'm thankful for your faithfulness in surrender - it pushes me toward the same. love you, so so much.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Beautiful, sweet Hannah! Thank goodness for scars and how they make us who we are, not who we thought we should be :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. This was beautiful and reminds me of what Paul wrote about the "thorn" in his flesh. I imagine the thorns in our lives that are not removable teach us things that we would never be able to learn without them. I have learned that through all of my physical illnesses and the pain and sorrow I have had to go through, but the hope and wisdom God has given me to go through all of these things as well and the amazing people He put in my life to help me through it. We also get a deeper understanding of what Jesus went through in this life, as the Word says He endured all sufferings and knows what we are going through, and probably worse. You are a treasure, Hannah, and I am so thankful when you share your heart with us! It makes me glad to be able to relate to you in that we both have hardships but are able to be strengthened by the Lord through them and encourage others who are also going through tough times. God bless you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. as always, so encouraged and reminded to look to Christ!

    ReplyDelete
  23. You are beyond beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I love your statement "when his goodness doesn't look like my idea of goodness, it doesn't make it less the case." I'm learning the same lesson of contentment lately and though at times it is hard, it has improved my life and my relationship with God so much! You are always an inspiration Hannah! I love how God uses you to speak encouragement into me an so many others :)

    ReplyDelete