Gazing at God’s Goodness {Team Journal}

Today’s team journal is written by our Bible Study Director, Lauren Steckling.


When I was pregnant with my daughter, I prayed that I would be a good mom -- that I would be able to love, nurture, and care for my baby well and raise her to be strong and healthy. I prayed that I would be equipped enough not to fail her. I prayed these things because I knew I was lacking. I knew my weaknesses and my selfish tendencies. I knew I was prone to frustration and when that frustration came, I might say or do things that could be hurtful to her. I knew I would fail, and that awareness of my need drew me to my knees.

As that baby girl is growing now into full-blown toddlerhood, I am remembering those early, uncertain prayers from pregnancy as I encounter  a new wave of uncertainties overcome me. These tantrums and defiant fits are now where I am being  tested. I think: Will I be a good mom through the difficult? Will I handle this season  with patience and love and show my daughter grace? I can feel anxiety and insecurity start to crawl through my body like a looming storm cloud. But just as it starts to draw closer, I remember all He has done in me since those first prayers, and I can have peace.

God reminds me of who He is as a Father -- my Father, my daughter’s Father -- and what a good Father He really is. He will never fail me. He has reminded me over and over lately of His goodness. Not only in the way He loves, provides and blesses me, but how He corrects me, refines me, SANCTIFIES me so that I can come before Him, broken as I am, and He will accept me as holy through the blood of His Son. That process is never easy, in fact, it’s usually painful, but it “produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it” (Heb. 12:11).

God reminds me of who He is as a Father -- my Father, my daughter’s Father -- and what a good Father He really is.

I know that God could have given up on me a long time ago - a Christian kid who knew all the terms and accepted Christ before I could spell His name. I was lost in the technicalities and was too prideful to realize His Word, and my relationship with Him, wasn’t about me. He is too good to leave us where we are though, and I thank God He didn’t leave me there. He stripped me down, broke me, and put me in a place where I had no choice but to fall before Him on my knees.

I believe God gave me our daughter to re-introduce Himself to me. I had a pretty easy pregnancy and a relatively uneventful birth, but postpartum is where Jesus and I have gotten close. It was in those long, never-ending, sleepless nights that I cried to Him. It was in the moments of heightened emotions and desperation for someone to tell me they understood what I was going though, that I could hear Him whispering to me: I am El Roi - the God who sees you (Gen. 16:13-14), El Shama- the God who hears you (Psalm 17:6), and Jehovah-Jireh - the God who provides (Gen. 22:14). Those names have become my comfort. They were my prayers when all my words were gone - “You are the God who Sees me. You are the God who Hears me. You are the God who will provide”.

I drew closer to the Lord than I ever had before. I began to understand what it meant to need Jesus - Him and ONLY Him. He highlighted my need for Him more than I had ever realized before. Growing up in a strong, Christian home with few trials, sure, I knew I “needed God”, but now, I needed Him. And He was there. I communed with Him for months in my brokenness and desperation. I dwelled in who He was in my life - my El Roi, my El Shama - and then He would show Himself as my Jehovah Jireh. He first provided what I needed, but didn’t know I needed- Himself. He could have left me there and I would have had reason to thank and praise Him for the rest of my days. But He is a good, good Father, so then He provided what I asked for - community and other women who could tell me they understood.

The lyrics of “King of My Heart” by Bethel Worship have been on repeat in my heart lately. As the song says, I know God is ‘the mountain where I run’ to for shelter, ‘the fountain I drink from’ to for refreshment, and ‘the shadow where I hide’ for rest -- He is GOOD.

Lauren Steckling wants to live in a world where donuts have no calories, weekends last longer, and everyone would feel the grace and peace that comes knowing their Savior Jesus. When she's not taking care of her toddler, you can find her sewing, baking, or with her nose in a good book.

Her favorite Scripture is Isaiah 41:10, ESV: "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."