Trusting God & Hoarder Houses
January 13, 2023 · by Heidi Stewart
Back in November of last year, on the Sunday before Thanksgiving, our youth group cleaned out a hoarder’s house. I kid you not, we were raking trash and debris out of an abandoned house to raise money so we could lower the cost of an upcoming youth trip.
How did we come across this gig? We really don’t have an answer, but it was a humbling and unifying experience for the young people AND all the youth workers. We’re talking about canned jars full of food that had rotted and had to be handled carefully because busting one open meant gagging for the next 20 minutes while we tried to minimize the smell. Cans of cat food, musty paper and books, unwashed articles of clothing, the place was absolutely filthy. When you looked inside, you couldn’t even see the floor. There was about 2 feet of trash covering every square inch.
Why am I telling this story? It’s not exactly relevant, I just had to make sure the people know what we endure as youth workers. HA! But this particular Sunday I had woken up with a headache that seemed to last all day. Caffeine, pain medicine, nothing seemed to touch it. I went to the fundraiser anyways and was surprised to find that all of the smells were making me gag. I have a pretty strong stomach so this was a new experience for me.
The day after, I had the same headache and a new nauseous feeling all day. I was sure I had inhaled something toxic and was experiencing the side effects. I tried to eat something at Panera, whose tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich has healed many of my ailments over the years, but the smell of coffee made me gag again. What in the world?
Many of you know what’s coming next, but I’m dumb so I still thought I had food poisoning or “toxic inhalation of a hoarder’s trash” poisoning.
My mom was after me to take a pregnancy test, which I hadn’t done in over a year and didn’t really want to go through the disappointment of seeing another negative. If you know, you know. We had been working through our season of waiting for a child, learning to overcome doubt, anger, and disappointment. A few months before this, I had undergone some testing that showed my previous markers of infertility and hormonal imbalances had been completely healed, so by this point I KNEW God had healed my body but it was just a matter of His timing.
With all that being said, I decided to go ahead and take a test that day just to “rule it out”. If I was still sick and I wasn’t pregnant, then I needed to go to the doctor.
As it turns out, the “casual test” turned out to be the day our lives changed.
We found out when I was already 6 weeks along and scheduled our first appointment for the week before Christmas. We spent Thanksgiving spilling the news to family and friends; thankful was an understatement.
During this time and for several weeks after, I wrestled with a lot of doubt. “What if they do the ultrasound and something’s really wrong?” “What if there’s not even a baby in there?” “What if it has no heartbeat?” I would celebrate and talk about my excitement with others, but always hear that nagging voice in the back of my head – “What if you lose it?”.
On a Wednesday night at church, I was in the prayer room just worshiping God. The song, “Same God” came into my head and I began to weep as the lyrics played through my mind:
“The same God who made a way, is the same God who’s here today”.
I realized there that the same God who had healed my womb, given our baby life, was the same God who was able to sustain him or her throughout my pregnancy. I knew that when our baby came into the world, we would be trusting God to take care of them in every way; their health, their soul, their safety, and their mind. There is no way we can keep our eyes on them at all times or protect them from all harm, but we entrust them to God’s care. If it’s that way when they are here in our arms and growing up in our home, why not while they are in the womb? There is no way I can protect them from every genetic abnormality or diagnosis while they are in the womb. I can’t make their heart beat or make their lungs grow strong. I can’t make them gain the right amount of weight or develop right on track. But God can. If I can trust him with their physical safety at 16 when they start to drive, trust Him with their souls as they learn to navigate the world, then I should trust Him with their tiny being while they are still in the womb.
The Bible gives us this beautiful picture of God’s care in Jeremiah 1:5,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you…”
“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Ps. 139:13
The Word has the antidote for whatever doubt you may be facing. God has not given us the spirit of fear, so those thoughts that keep coming to your mind are not His thoughts. Know that He is trustworthy and well able, He keeps His promises.
Maybe you’re in a similar situation, or have experienced loss and are struggling to trust God through the process. His hand is on your life and He gives good gifts.
Maybe this is the year that you gain some of your most valuable, eternal treasures in your walk with God.
To everything there is a season, and what has been broken down will be built up. What you’ve sown in tears, you will reap in joy!
Trust God with everything!