Elaine Sinnott reveals how God’s timing in the midst of her sufferings turned out to be perfect.
The Tapestry of Our Lives
I’ve seen God’s timing work out every time when I’ve opened my hands to His plans. Someone once explained life to me as a great tapestry: all we see is the messy underside of it all, yet the beautiful masterpiece is in God’s view from the top looking down.
We want certain things and we want them NOW. Our prayers become impatient and we get angry with God for not hearing us. He does in fact hear us, though! Jesus’ words always echo in my mind to remind me of it:
“Father, thank you for hearing me. I know you always hear me.” (John 11:41)
We also don’t want certain things; it’s too overwhelming and too messy. We run from suffering and from our crosses.
Our Personal Crosses
Everyone is given different crosses while on this earth. Each person has a completely different walk with our Lord and those individual crosses are ways for us to trust in Him more. For some, fertility is a cross when being open to life to honor God. Natural Family Planning has been one of the big struggles in my own life and marriage because, quite a few times, God has taken our plans of waiting and turned it instead into a brand-new season of life.
But looking back, I can see glimpses of God’s view of the tapestry with His timing and not our own.
Blessing Number Four
Baby number four, our fourth boy, came while my husband was deployed. To say I was exhausted was an understatement. I remember being in a constant cloud, caring for four boys ages four and under on my own and living in a brand-new place.
I was so alone, and probably slipping into depression, if not already there. I ended up giving my evenings to God through a devotional in search of ANYTHING to fill the massive void I felt, anything that would comfort me. God took that window I opened and blew my world wide open.
Humility came flooding into my heart.
I was able to forgive others who had hurt me.
For the first time in my life, I reached for my Savior and found He was waiting there this whole time with open arms. And because I had found Him, I couldn’t keep His mercy and love to myself. I then began writing for the Lord, sharing my story. What a beautiful time that was! Had I not had this alone time and gone through the suffering before, I doubt I would’ve reached out to Jesus.
Blessing Number Five
Finding out we were expecting baby number five was yet another overwhelming moment. This baby was surely planned by God, though! My husband deployed two weeks after we discovered the news and he had been having a difficult time away. He was being persecuted for his faith by coworkers, being made fun of for having such a large family, and it was pulling him down – he was feeling extremely alone. I felt helpless almost 7,000 miles away from him. Nothing I said could pull him out of it.
But as soon as I shared the exciting news with him that we were expecting our first GIRL, he said, “This is the best news I could’ve gotten! Nothing else matters. I don’t care what those guys say.” Our little girl wasn’t even born yet, yet she was helping her daddy more than anyone else could have.
Blessing Number Six
Enter baby number six. Disclaimer: Natural Family Planning works, guys, but you need to follow the rules for it to work. We’re still working on that.
Baby number six’s presence found me and my husband feeling like we were drowning at first. Our marriage had been struggling for months and my husband felt completely overwhelmed at the thought of providing for yet another mouth to feed. We were distant, almost like we were roommates.
The stress of this baby brought a lot of feelings to the surface and we began marriage counseling. It also was a precursor to praying the novena to Mary Undoer of Knots, suggest by a friend. A week after finishing that novena, our marriage was not only restored, but stronger than it had EVER been in almost a decade of marriage. I still can’t believe it: I witnessed a true miracle. This baby saved our MARRIAGE! She helped her mommy and daddy reconnect and become a stronger team for the family we are raising.
God’s Incredible Timing
After the restoration of our marriage, I also realized my reversion to the Church had to happen before our marriage could be restored. I wouldn’t have been nearly as quick to forgive, if at all, had I not gone back to Church first or developed a personal relationship with Jesus.
This was a 4-year plan in the works by God. Four years of so many tears and prayers on my part for my husband and our marriage.
And God heard every single word. He held me. He caught every tear. He turned the dry land our of marriage into a flowing spring. He never abandoned us.
Surrendering Our Plans to God
It’s amazing what can happen when we open our hands and say, “Not my will, but Yours, Lord!”
God’s timing is a gift. This life is a pilgrimage, a chance to walk towards Him daily. Trusting in His perfect timing and surrendering our own will are two of the most important steps we can take to walk towards Him!
Had I not gone through those periods of suffering in my life, I would’ve never seen the glory of God revealed in my life. And it reminds me of the Crucifixion. Christ had to suffer for the glory of God to be revealed.
Isaiah 41:17-18 reminds us:
When my people in need look for water,
When their throats are dry with thirst,
Then I, the LORD, will answer their prayer;
I, the God of Israel, will never abandon them.
I will make rivers flow among barren hills
And springs of water run in the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water
And the dry land into flowing springs.
Are you in the middle of carrying an extremely difficult cross in your life?
Reflect on our Heavenly Father’s words in Isaiah 41:17-18 and know that He hears you and that you are not alone. He is with you through it all. Trust in His perfect timing, in His view of the tapestry of your life even though all you see is the messy underside.
Copyright 2021 Elaine Sinnott
Images: Canva Pro; Annaluisa Gamboa (2019), Unsplash
About the Author
Elaine Sinnott is a mother of soon-to-be-six, a new homeschooler, and a wife to her teenage sweetheart. She lives for big family gatherings and conversion stories, especially Something Other Than God and Rome Sweet Home. She is the owner of MilitaryWifeAfterGod.com and is in the process of writing a book about her own reversion back to the Church.