Something I Would Like To Tell You

It has happened.  Here we are, my husband and I, once again on the journey to parenthood.  This time, as you can imagine, is so different from ever before.

Yes.  We are pregnant.  I felt the urge to share this with you immediately.  Sharing with you gave so much life to Gideon, that I felt the same for this little life too.  “What if I only have a few days with them, I want to tell the world…”  But, this time, its so…well…complicated.

We have decided to not tell our children yet.  So in our home they have a mommy who is sick (but not contagious), tired (but sleeping all the time), and literally eating the food off of their plates.  Poor kiddos probably feel like they are in the twilight zone, but for now we feel the urge to protect them until we know more.

Today was the first time I let myself feel a twinge of excitement.  As we watched the little jellybean on the ultrasound screen, heart pumping and already showing such life I felt a tiny leap of joy.  But then I remembered…Gideon’s 8 week ultrasound looked exactly the same.  Normal, healthy, moving on track and I just cannot find the place in my heart to feel comfortable feeling like everything is going to be okay.  I just don’t know that to be true and though I am fighting the fear away, I won’t let happiness come in either yet.

The first trimester is always a fight for my family and I.  And yet, even as I type those words so many women that I know and love flood through my mind.  The women I met and prayed for this past weekend on the women’s retreat who sob with the desire to just be able to get pregnant.  I think of my other sweet mommies who have lost their little babies, some not pregnant yet (I pray for them and wonder if they simply are not ready yet) and others who just could not have any more.  I fight my emotions on the half of these women and battle for the joy that should come with being pregnant.  I want to fight for that.  Life shouldn’t be like this.

Every woman should be able to get pregnant, from sea to shining sea the ones who want to should bear children as their hearts desire.  No parent should ever out live a child.  We should die first, after watching our children have children and their children to have children too.  Pregnancies should carry no pain, no sickness, and no complications.  That’s how it should be.  But alas, it is not and so my soul does not rest in taking for granted that everything is always going to be okay.

Yet, even in that knowing I can honestly utter the words…I trust God even if I lose this child too.  I trust Him with the bigger plan and I will keep reminding myself that everyday until that day in December when, at 12 weeks, we will go in for an ultrasound to see if this baby has kidneys.  If this baby will be mine to take home.  If this baby will be ours for my children to kiss goodnight…

In our Fear to Faith class last week we talked about what God does offer protection from.  In our yearning for heaven this life will have pain, babies will die far too soon, and pregnancies will start with throwing up every morning.  But there is protection to be had.

As I was sharing with my class one of the precious women said, “Maria, where did you come up with these titles?  They are wonderful.”  I said, “It was easy, I simply wrote down all I experienced through my son’s Gideon’s life.”

And so, here is what we are promised in God’s Word:

Protection from Being Crushed  2 Corinthians 4:7-9  “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

 

Protection from Being Uncomforted  Psalm 23:4  Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil,  for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

 

Protection from the Evil One  Ephesians 6:10-12   “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.  Put on the full armor of God,so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.  For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”

 

Protection from Losing Our Eternal Inheritance 1 Peter 1:3-5 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you,  who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.”

 

Protection from Despair  Psalm 37:23-24  The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with his hand.”

 

Protection from Permanent Weeping  Psalm 30:2 &5

Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me…

weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.”

 

Protection from Hopelessness  1 Corinthians 1:9-11   Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.”

 

Protection from Wasted Pain  Psalm 126:4-6  Restore our fortunes, Lord,  as streams renew the desert.  Those who plant in tears will harvest with shouts of joy.  They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.”

 

Protection from Being Alone  Hebrews 4:14-16  Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven,[a] Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

 

Protection from Everlasting Harm  Psalm 121:7-8  “ The Lord will keep you from all harm—he will watch over your life;  the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

 

Protection from Death Eternal 1 Corinthians 15:54-55  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

 

Protection from Powerlessness Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family[a] in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,  and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.”

 

Protection from Purposelessness Romans 8:28-30 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[i]have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.”

 

Protection from Being Unloved Lamentations 3:21-22  “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.”

 

His Protection is Mighty and Strong (This was Gideon’s Verse) Psalm 71:6-8

Yes, you have been with me from birth;
from my mother’s womb you have cared for me.
No wonder I am always praising you!

My life is an example to many,
because you have been my strength and protection.
That is why I can never stop praising you;
I declare your glory all day long.”

 

Yes, some of these I wrestled through.  Protection from everlasting harm, protection from death…it sure felt pretty harmful when we found out Gideon would die.  It sure felt like death when I handed over my son for the last time.  But in all of this I know, that when the final stroke is painted and the picture of my life is through…God will have painted a beautiful picture.  One free of everlasting death and harm.

Now…in the same vain I will remember these things for this child too.  And Lord, may your mighty, strong, eternal, and powerful protection rein over this life, my families lives, and your life too.

I know, its hard to make heads or tails of these early ultrasounds...but then I remember that all of my kids started this same exact way.  I remember each and every one of their jellybean pictures and shed a tear each and everytime.  This baby is no exception.

I know, its hard to make heads or tails of these early ultrasounds…but then I remember that all of my kids started this same exact way. I remember each and every one of their jellybean pictures and shed a tear each and everytime. This baby is no exception.

 

Steps to Peace

Fear and Peace.  They cannot co-exist and they do not get along.  Fear is quickly pushed away when peace enters the scene and peace assuredly loses its presence when fear takes over.  I cannot experience God’s peace if I am dwelling in my fears and I will not dwell in fear if I am immersed in God’s peace.  And when we need it, it will be there, we need to go get it.

Is there an area of your life that is missing peace?  

Honestly for me, there is always an area that needs peace.  It seems as though my life is like a leaking balloon, as soon as I plug up one hole I spring a leak somewhere else.  It helps me to know that 1.  There are tried and true ways that the Bible leads me to peace and 2. They are methods that have never failed me before.

As I sit here and write with you today, I am fervently seeking God’s peace with you, praying that once more peace and joy would overwhelm the fear and the worry.

Philippians 4:4-9 lays it out clear as day, “Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice!  Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”

# 1: Rejoice.  No matter the minute, the hour, or the day there is always something we have to rejoice for.  There is always beauty to be found somewhere, and when we are seeking God, needing His peace, our hearts and minds need always start with thankfulness.  Though our needs may be great and true, what do we already have?

# 2:  Be gentle.  In the middle of stress, fear, and worry many times the people around me feel the brunt of it.  It is those whom we love the most who receive the unwanted consequence of us not dealing with our fear and worry in a healthy way.  I have to remind myself that my husband, friends and family should not be the ones who hear my complaining.  That my pain should not necessarily always be worn on my sleeve, but instead even in worry I should remain gentle to those around me.  If those around me are receiving the brunt, I know it is time for me to stop and go to God with what is really bothering me.  Afterall, He is the one who can really handle me and help me.

My kids and husband benefit greatly from a Mommy who is basking in peace versus fear.  I would like to think that God's peace has made our home a much happier place to be.

My kids and husband benefit greatly from a Mommy who is basking in peace versus fear. I would like to think that God’s peace has made our home a much happier place to be.

# 3:  Remember Eternity.  This is not the end of our story, the Lord is near and He will return to bring all those who love Him into blissful eternity.  That is the end of the story.  Regardless of what is hitting me today, I know it will not be forever and I know the end is a happy one.  I know worries will be no more, fear will end forever, pain will no longer exist, and I will hold my Gideon once more.  That is the forever I will focus on.

 

Gideon got mail last week. At first I was a little frustrated that the company sent it, afterall babies in heaven don’t really need much in the area of nutrition. But then I changed my thinking about it and began to appreciate a little reminder of him. I sat in my car and thought about all the things I want to say to him when I get to hold him again someday. I think I ended up being thankful for Gideon mail.

# 4: Do not worry, Pray.  God wants to hear about it.  He wants us to tell Him and He wants it to be real.  He wants it all…our thanksgiving, our prayers, and our petitions.  All of this is instead of the worry.  It replaces the mental time and energy we take on fear and anxiety and forwards it to God.  Sometimes I don’t stop praying until the peace comes.   Sometimes my petitions are not finished until I’ve dug to all the dirty and ugly depths of my thoughts and told Him them all.  All of them, even the ones I hate to admit out loud.

#5 Receive Peace.  It truly is undeniable and unexplainable, when God’s peace comes.  He gifts it to us exactly when we need it and exactly how we need it.  When we ask for it, it will come.  Often for me, it is like a tidal wave of comfort.  Where there once was worry and fear, now gets overwhelmingly replaced by a peaceful void of emotion.  The brain calms.  The hearts evens its pace.  Emotions steady out and reason returns.  It comes from seemingly nowhere and you cannot put a hand on it…but ask anyone who has experienced it…they will tell you how real it is.

#6 Receive Protection.  This peace is active and it is guarding our hearts and our minds.  This is what I was in the middle of when I wrote this: I Never Want to Forget.  My heart and my mind was so guarded against anything else life could throw at us, that it was truly the most peaceful my life has ever been.  Even though I was crying more than ever and experiencing pain more than ever…even still it was the most peaceful time in our family.  All the little things never mattered and you couldn’t touch our peace even if you tried.  The protection was fierce and wonderful, a true gift in the middle of turmoil.  A power of guarding that gives me confidence to move forward with expectancy, knowing God will guard me that way when I need Him too.

Do you need peace today?  I know I do and I cling to these promises because I know that their ways are good.  And, the words on the page help me when my heart, mind and body need some convincing.  So in this way I pray for you today, that you will take the time…as long as it takes…to work through these steps with God today.  May the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

 

 

 

The Choice in Adversity

My feelings went rogue this week.  I even found myself repeating in my head all the things I know to be good and true and helpful…they just feel on a hard heart.  I am going to unpack this a little more in the upcoming weeks, even give more explanation as to why my week was so hard, but in the meantime ironically this week I was going to touch on suffering.  You gotta love it when that happens.  “Oh its time to teach a class on suffering and write a post on trials of many kinds so let the bad times roll”  So sad.  So true.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”  James 1:2

“And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us…”  Romans 5:2-5

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.”  2 Corinthians 12:10

I can promise you, these verses, these callings, these truths that God has given over our lives if we choose them…they are quite opposite of the human condition.  When suffering comes, it hurts.  When trials stir, we want to run.  When weaknesses threaten, I want to bolster up underneath of them and prove strong.  In my humanness I don’t want to consider it pure joy, I don’t have the endurance to persevere, and delighting in anything feels like a thing of the past.

That is how my body wants to respond.

That is how my emotions prompt me.

Sometimes sulking ensues, maybe even temper tantrums.

But when the dust settles, at the end of day, I have a choice to make.  Do I choose to take the Bible as true?  Do I choose to trust that in Scripture is a code to uncrack the paths of this life?  If the answer is yes, then there is hope to be gained even in the middle of the worst times of life.

I am pretty convinced that joy and delighting doesn’t come on the first day a trial hits.  There is shock, anger, awe, crying out, frustration and joy and delight don’t seem to fit in well.  But even on that day, in the back of my mind there is a semblance of peace in knowing that joy will come again and strength will come out of the ashes.  Its not a feeling, its a knowing, it is a believing.  And on the worst days when fears and panic come, when sadness settles in again, or the pain hasn’t gone away I have to remember what I really believe to be true.

I was not kidding when I told you that I am mostly talking to myself this week.  I’ve struggled with the practicality of this topic and these verses.  How is this supposed to help me in my suffering or fear of suffering?  The help is there.  Let me show you…

Consider it…it doesn’t say feel it or like or want it.  Consider it pure joy.  Think on it, pray on it, fight with it until the joy surfaces.

Develops…it doesn’t say appears, or just happens, or just is.  It says faith with develop perseverance.  Its a process, its a work in progress over time.

Because we know…it doesn’t say because we think, or might, or maybe.  Because we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that it will produce a good work in us.

Does not disappoint…at the end of it all, we will look back and we will not be disappointed.  There is hope in that statement.

For Christ’s sake…it is not for my sake.  It is for Christ’s sake so that He may be glorified.

When I am weak…not if I am weak, but when.  Together we can stand knowing we all find weakness and it is then, that Christ is made most strong in us.

I know for me, sometimes, I need to remember that this life of mine is built on solid rock.  And that when nothing else seems to be reliable, including my own mind and body, that there is something out there that will never steer me wrong.

Before I started writing tonight I watched my little Gideon video.  The one with the song and pictures.  I needed to be reminded, not only of my little man but also of the complete peace in my eyes.  It was a peace that is not of this world and it was mine because I couldn’t survive without it.  To me those pictures are living breathing examples that these verses are true.  I had wrestled, I had writhed until finally I gave it all over…then in flooded the delight and joy.  How funny it is that this is not a one time action, it is a constant recurrence.

For you, for us, my prayer continues to be that truths and life’s proof would help us find purpose in not fearing the pain.  That if we believe…then what is there to fear?  

This was last Sunday.  A happy, joyful and playful day as we celebrated my daughter's 7th birthday.  Yes I was Anna, yes she was Elsa and we sang and danced and crafted our little tails off.  Then Monday came, and Monday wasn't as great as Sunday and I had to reach and grasp and find something, anything to make it through what comes next.  We never know when "Monday" is going to come, we have to have something to reach for.

This was last Sunday. A happy, joyful and playful day as we celebrated my daughter’s 7th birthday. Yes I was Anna, yes she was Elsa and we sang and danced and crafted our little tails off. Then Monday came, and Monday wasn’t as great as Sunday and I had to reach and grasp and find something, anything to make it through. We never know when “Monday” is going to come, we have to have something to reach for.

From Fear Filled Pleas to Faith Filled Prayers

“…because I believe God’s plans for me are better than what I could plan for myself, rather than run away from the path he has set before me, I want to run toward it.”  Spoken by Nancy Guthrie in her book Holding Onto Hope, where she talks about her faith in the light of losing not one but two children at the age of 6 months.  After losing her daughter Hope, Nancy and her husband decided to permanently prevent further pregnancies because of the high chance any child would have of carrying the same disease.  Can you imagine the day Nancy found out she was pregnant again?  Can you imagine the day she found out that yes, her son Gabriel would carry the same fate as Hope did?  Even further can you believe she still spoke these words, “‘God , would you please accomplish your will?  Would you give me a willing heart to embrace your plan and your purpose?  Would you mold me into a vessel that you can use to accomplish what you have in mind?’  And then, perhaps, we could add a tiny P.S. that says, ‘If that includes healing, we will be grateful.’”

This is Nancy with her daughter Hope.  I know those eyes, the eyes of woman who is experiencing heaven on earth and knows that the heaven part is about to leave her.  But her story and her faith have brought perspective to many.  You can read more of her story here at http://www.nancyguthrie.com/.

This is Nancy with her daughter Hope. I know those eyes, the eyes of a woman who is experiencing heaven on earth and knows that the heaven part is about to leave her. But her story and her faith have brought perspective to many. You can read more of her story here at http://www.nancyguthrie.com/.

This is what a faith-filled, God centered prayer looks like.  Prayers that look for a greater purpose in life, that contain a striving towards God’s greater plan, and an acknowledgement that what we really need is a willing heart to embrace God’s purpose for our lives.  And I know, for me, my prayers used to look nothing like this.  I spent most of the little prayer time that I had in the form of pleading lists.  Please Lord would you bless me with this?  Please Lord would you prevent this?  Please Lord would you provide for me, my children, my husband in this?  Please Lord would you bless me with a healthy child?  Please Lord would you heal my child?  

I tell you the truth, something happens inside of you when you have specifically, deeply, and expectantly prayed for something that does not happen.  It causes you to ask questions about what you are praying and who you are praying to.  It causes you to wonder at the effectiveness of the prayer or the effectiveness of the listener.  For me, there was no doubt where I stood.  I still believed that yes God heard my prayers, that yes God is good, but that yes…God calls us to pray according to His will and not my own.  There is no doubt that I wanted a healthy child and that that desire was from a deep seeded place of love.  But there is also no doubt that Gideon is dancing gleefully in the arms of His Heavenly Father, that I will be with him again someday, and that his life (in the grand scheme of things) is no longer or shorter than my own.  Not to mention the people Gideon touched in his short life is more than I can hope to touch in my entire life.  Yes something happened to my prayer life when my prayers were not answered.  I realized there is something greater than my fear filled pleas.

Jesus’s prayer before He went to the cross runs over and over again in my mind.  “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me.  Yet not as I will, but as you will.”  Matthew 26:38.

Yet…not as I will, but as you will.

Not as I will, but as YOU will.

Not as I will…but…as…you…you…you…YOU

Its a submission and its a claim over my life and the lives of those whom I love.  Its a submission that even though my brain has determined what I deem to be good, that maybe just maybe there is more.  It is a claim that I pray every day to remind myself and my family that we desire in all things and at all times, His will.  I have to pray it every single day because, if I don’t, the fear prayers creep back in.  Not at all to say that praying for healing, and blessing, and provision, and help are bad.  They are not at all bad.  But in my short amount of time per day that I take in the quiet to spend time with God, I want to get the most bang for my buck and I know that He already knows what I want.  I need to make it count, and after going through tragedy, loss, pain, and grief I want to pray for what will last…

Lord I pray you would help me be strong for the tasks that today holds, that I would honor you with my responsibilities, my relationships, and my tasks.  

Lord I pray that today you would give me the opportunity to bring honor to you.

Lord I pray that your Holy Spirit would guide me through, my children and husband too.  That when life’s challenges come in this day that your presence would be comforting.

Lord I pray that you would prepare me for the road ahead.  That you would build up in me characteristics of self-control, kindness, peace, love, joy so that I would be ready in season and out of season for whatever may come.

Lord I pray that this day would hold moments of joy, and that in that joy we would thank you.

And Lord, would you use me in this day?  Would you use me to bring smiles in the lives of my children?  Would you use me to show others how amazing you are?  Would you use me to help those who need helping?

Lord, if it is possible I pray today is a good day.  A health filled one, a protected one.  

But not my will, but your will.  Amen.

 

And may we teach our children, at a young age, how to pray and turn to God who loves us with an all encompassing love.

And may we teach our children, at a young age, how to pray and turn to God who loves us with an all encompassing love.

On a final note, if lists of prayer requests have a perfect place I believe it is in our prayers for other people.  I often pray for healing, blessing, comfort, peace, and provision in the lives of others.  And so I will gift others with my petitions because I know many people have blessed us with theirs.  When I couldn’t pray for a miracle for Gideon, I knew other people would be and it ministered deeply to my family.  When I only had the words to pray for the strength to make it past the next minute, I know others were lifting up my children and my husband.  Thank you for praying and may I too be able to bless you with the power of prayer.

Giving Up Control

It was an easy question to answer.  “What are some things we want to have control over?”

Our Kids

Our Home

Our Schedule

Our Spouses

Our Reputation

Our Health

Our Finances

Our Future

Our Days

Did I mention kids?

Did I mention Spouses?

Did I mention health?  You get the idea…

I guess the question really should be, what don’t we want to have control over?  And we try our hardest don’t we?  I know I do.  And I think that is where the fear can creep in.  We are smart in enough to know that, try as we might, we will never really be in full control of our lives…and that is scary.  Its scary because it is a scary world, with scary diseases, scary people, and scary tragedies.  We fear because we cannot control.

It was a funny thing.  As I prayed about it and dug through the Bible I wondered why “Thou shouldest give God full control” was not one of the commandments.  Why was there not more about “letting go and letting God.”  Well…I think its because…we can’t give God something He already has.  He already is in control, we just don’t accept it.

We don’t accept it because we cannot see it.  What we see are pretty normal days intermixed with some annoyances that stress us out and we lose focus.  What we see are news story after news story after news story of horrific happenings, things too terrible to speak of.  What we see is how things never go as planned, someone is always hurt, people are always living in sorrow, and we lose site of the bigger.  We think because our fingertips control our minutes that our lives are not fully in HIS hands.  Oh but He is, and I know that He would love for us to rest easier remembering that He is…instead of constantly grappling at control.

What about providing for our families, our lives?  Bring peace and comfort for your family?  We could kill our everyday trying to stress out of our minds to make more money and find more and creative ways to do more…be more…get more.  Or we could Proverbs 3 it:

My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but keep my commands in your heart,
 for they will prolong your life many years
    and bring you peace and prosperity.” v. 1-2

Learn God’s teaching and keep His commands firmly in our hearts…now that sounds much nicer.

What about our reputations?  Do you want people to think highly of you?  To be the talk about town in a positive way?  We could post minute to minute Facebook postings that only capture the best and brightest and constantly strive to eat less and look beautifuler…or beautifulest…or at least good enough to get attention for it.  Or we could Proverbs 3 it:

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.” v.3-4

Love and faithfulness, that seems simple enough.  I think my days (and husband and children) would thank me if I only spent my times on those two in replace of all the other crazy things I put into my day.

What about our Future?  Our kids future?  Paying for college?  Retiring? How about not having anyone I love die?  I think I would really love to control that one…big time!  We could freak out.  I mean like every second, freak out because the more I think about the future the more it worries me.  Stresses me.  Brings nothing but fear and anxiety to the long list of things that I cannot control.  Or we could Proverbs 3 it:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
    do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.” v. 5-6

Its the understanding thing.  My own understanding, my own control, my own ideas…they lead me so far away from the truth sometimes.  From the things that truly do matter.  The things in this life that lead to real living.  I pray these verses over my children every single night.  Not only for them but for myself too.  That if we could just become masters in trusting the Lord with all our hearts and seeking His will in all we do then we will be good.  Then we could all be okay.

What about our health?  We could spend every waking moment we have on this one.  We could do our best to constantly keep up with the latest trends in health and nutrition, the rules keep changing and the information never…stops…coming…at us.  Or we could Proverbs 3 it:

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom.
    Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then you will have healing for your body
    and strength for your bones.” v.7-8

This one makes me giggle a little because my brain does not easily connect what one has to do with the other.  What does not being impressed with my wisdom, respecting God, and turning from evil have to do with my body and health?  According to God…everything.  The endless chasing after the wind of stress after stress after stress probably does far worse for my body than food ever will, and so there is something here to be said about seeking the greater thing first.  If the foundation is built well the house will stand.

Its a interesting dance, that is for sure.  The teeter totter between working hard with what we have been given and the responsibilities that are ours keeps us on our toes when we ask ourselves “Do we really acknowledge that God is the one in control of my life.” And then, “Can I let go of the things I hold so tightly in my grip, the things I hold onto too tightly?”

God literally had to wrestle me into a submission hold.  I didn’t want to accept what had come into my life.  I didn’t want to acknowledge that my little baby son would die and I wanted to some how figure out a way to fix it…to control it.  I tried everything humanly possibly to do.  I contacted St. Judes, UNC, and spoke with literally every single doctor at my practice.  None of them gave me what I wanted and I realized, for the first time in my life, that any control I thought I had had was simply an illusion.  Trickery that I let my mind believe so that I could pretend everything would also go well for me.  Why?  Well because I became so good at controlling I actually thought I could keep bad things away.

Well I can’t.  And now I don’t want to.  Because when the bad things come, and my ideas have run out, I want the peace that comes with remembering….it is not mine to make new…it is my Heavenly Father’s.