The Secret to Being Content When the Answer is “Maybe”
I’m thankful God is patient and kind and longsuffering because I’m pretty sure if He wasn’t, He’d get tired of my prayer cycle.
I know it’s a cycle and it’s about a month to 38 days in length and it starts with me praying that I’ll get pregnant again, followed by sorrow that I’m not, followed by frustration that I ever hoped I would be, and ending with some kind of statement like, “Lord, if you’d just tell me yes or no—I’ll be fine with either! Just please, tell me so I don’t have to wonder anymore.”
Recently, after another round of sadness that we won’t be celebrating another baby in our home, another early miscarriage that broke my heart again, I had a few minutes on my own to just talk to God about it all and I said something that stopped me in my tracks.
“I’m just so tired of maybes, Lord.”
Maybe another baby. Maybe not.
Maybe yes. Maybe no.
I’ve recognized this tendency in myself before—but it crystalized in my mind again. I don’t like living in the in-between. I like solid answers.
But God doesn’t seem to mind us living in the questions.
And often times, in the process of following Christ, we have to learn to be content with maybes.
Maybe God has another baby for us.
Maybe He doesn’t.
And He hasn’t revealed which answer will be our story yet.
Contentment is an interesting thing because it’s one of the few subjects that we’re given a direct commentary about in Scripture. Probably you know the verse. Probably you’ve memorized it or have it on a poster somewhere in your house. But also quite possibly, you don’t realize what the words are actually talking about at all.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Does that verse sound familiar? While pulled out of context it makes a great motivational poster—it’s actually the apostle Paul’s commentary on this very real, very heavy, very important subject of contentment.
I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength. (Philippians 4:12-13)
Our contentment in every situation is found through the God who strengthens us. Not through our own self-talk. Not through our strength. Not with getting what we want or forsaking everything we want.
Through Christ who strengthens us.
I still don’t like maybes.
I still go through the cycle of prayers every few months.
I still wonder and feel anxiety prickling my mind and heart.
But I also know what the secret to contentment is—the secret to being okay right here, today, with another maybe.
The secret is taking it all to Him.
The secret is not being afraid to pour that whole cycle of prayers out all over again, knowing that Christ is strong enough, patient enough, kind enough, and longsuffering enough to hear it all as many times as I need to tell Him.
Perhaps someday these “maybes” will be answered with a final response. In fact, I assume someday they definitely will—either by time or sickness or a miracle.
Yet, I have found the secret to being content now, today, without the final answer. With overflowing hope or with dashed hopes, with new pregnancies or with early miscarriages, with confidence or with deep insecurities. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Dear one, carrying a maybe that you feel might crush you:
Take that burden to the One-Whose-Strength-Never-Fails.
He’s available and the secret to contentment (in joy or in sorrow) is found in the place where you’re truthful with Him about all the places your heart is aching, all the questions you’re struggling with, and all the hope that is simmering inside–it’s found in the bridge of believing His words and sharing yours with Him.
It’s found in having relationship with the God who is strong enough to carry everything you have inside.