Sunday, March 11, 2018

God's Plan

Dear God,


Thank you, please, please, please, please….
please , please, please, please..
In your holy precious name,
MY will be done.
Amen.


Oops I mean your will. Your will be done.


But God, can you please, please, please match yours to mine?


I don’t actually really trust your will. Your will scares the s*#t out of me. I’ve seen your will. I’ve seen it go seemly really bad. I think if you just see this from my perspective you will see that MY will be done is a whole lot better than yours. I mean, just this time. Ok. Please.


Amen.
Living in fear in Arizona


Hi… I am Kim and as much as I love Jesus I have realized I don’t trust him very well.


This revelation has come to me, thankfully, steered by a good friend who isn’t all about chicken soup and snuggly blankets. We had a recent conversation and it went a little like this.
“Kim, what do you know”, “I know God is good. He loves me. He is protective of me. I am cherished. These children are his and loved and cherished and protected.” “Ok Kim, so why don’t you trust a God that you know all that about” “because trusting him doesn’t mean things will end how I want them, I mean look at what we’ve gone through with Lily” “So knowing all you know about God you think your will is better than his” ….. “Uh…” And it went on from there. From a place of love and a place of a different perspective we continued to talk.
Tears pooled my eyes as I began to understand my distrust with my God. MY God. Whom I love. Whom I crave his closeness and grace. Whom I hate missing a morning coffee with. I don’t trust him. Because he had done me wrong.


I spent years begging at his feet for a different outcome for our baby girl. His will was different than mine.
15 years later my prayers have changed for her and of course our acceptance of her is clear as a bright sunny Arizona day, but my heart will always be scarred because of her. Because her life is hard and I hate that. Because her life was not how I envisioned it being.


My will for her was not met.


But God’s will was/is. And it is good.

But if we had this talk 15 years ago I’d punch you in the face. I would have at least really wanted to. Because I was supposed to trust a will that leaves our daughter unable to speak, walk, feed herself, and be reliant on us for everything she needs. That she would have to undergo awful procedures and surgeries and diets and take disgusting meds for her entire life and that is a good will of God. That doesn’t sound good. Or fair. Not cool, at all, in the least. But it’s his and it is good.

And as the years have gone by and we watch Lily’s growth and know her and love her and we see the lives she has touched and changed, ahem most assuredly the ones closest to her, i.e. me, we see a goodness that shines through her. We know we weren’t punished and Lily had to suffer. Not at all, we are able to shine God’s love through a girl who is clearly blameless in all ways. We have come to love and honor that we get to serve her. Care for her. Silence our own selfishness for her. Because she is worthy of it all. She didn’t become who we planned. She became eons more. She is a gift and we are the lucky ones.


God’s will was done and it is good.


As I have been in this waiting period and spending time in deep reflection on our life with Lily I have had two out of the blue moments with her. I got a facebook message the other day from someone who taught her Sunday School in the 5th grade. They moved away and she said she always has Lily on her mind. How Lily was such a blessing to be a part of their class and she just wanted to know how she was doing. She’s great, I wrote, and thank you for reaching out and reminding me once again how she is a life changer.


And yesterday, at Oliver's skate competition, Lily was being pushed by Grandpa Steve and a homeless man wearing a suit with slippers and looked like an arty professor, clean and kind, and carrying all his belongings in a cart on his bike came over to Lily and Grandpa Steve with tears pouring down his face he said “God bless you and her”. He said his son was killed in Afghanistan and he used to serve in the Navy and he wanted Lily to have his Navy key chain he’s been carrying around for many years. Guys! Grandpa Steve said his tears were just pouring out of him. We gladly put that key chain on her backpack and will always think of him and his son and again be reminded that Lily is seen, her presence is known and God’s will is good.


Will it take me until eternity to fully grasp his will for her? Yes. There are days I want to just talk to her and I can’t, and that will always hurt. Reminders like, for instance, that she should be getting her drivers permit this month, sucks. Always. So even on my best days I am working with, and will always be, a scarred heart.


God’s will is a hard pill to swallow when we have seen it at work and not appreciated it fully. And might not until we are no longer on this earth. There is only so much we can see from our perspective. I look forward to that day I can see it from his.


People still get cancer, people so very close to me get cancer, so many children are in foster care, babies sometimes die even after we all pray with intensity that his will does not take this precious baby from my sweet friend.


So much on this life we will never fully understand or comprehend until we are face to face with him. The king of all kings. The alpha and the omega. I picture his big, gentle hands on my face and explaining to me my life. The ways my road went, some sweet, some too hard, and see it was all good. His will was good.


But until that moment I still have to live and love and flourish on this earth, I want to slay these years, not merely survive them. So how do we surrender our will to his. Even knowing it’s good. But also knowing it may not be ours? That’s the struggle.


I never used to have a problem going to the dentist until one day he put that novocaine needle right into my nerve and I almost flew out of my seat. I thought I heard and saw the color red (yes that is what I said) and I would never be the same. Do you think after that I can sit in a dentist chair and get that shot without my heart palpitating? Heck no. I’m like a panicked goat. Please don’t hit my nerve, please don’t hit my nerve, I beg. Out loud. Like a panicked goat. One panicked goat that can speak. Did my tooth go numb and he fix my tooth? Yep. Do I hate going to the dentist now? Abso-freaking-lutely. Once bitten twice shy, right? I do not trust anyone with a needle in my mouth. I don’t. It’s created an anxiety in me that’s hard to go to the dentist now. But the Dentist ain’t God.


God is not the dentist. God gives us promises that are true and we can cling to, like for instance in Romans 8: 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.


He promises us good if we trust in him. And so we try to trust him. And everyone says, trust God. So I try. But I am so often left unsure of what that truly looks like. How do I hand him this heavy burden and walk away from it? Like it’s easy to say thanks, here you go, but then a few minutes later say Umm… I’ll take that back. You really aren’t able to control the situation like I am in my head. Like a raving lunatic. That’s working better than trusting you on this. Actually God I choose my crazy over your peace.


What? Why?


And that is what I am practicing right now. Dropping that load off and walking the eff away. Sorry. I just need to walk away and throwing a little good girl with a rebel spirit “eff” in there feels better.


My friend Bob encouraged me to confess my rebel spirit.. And I have to be honest, I liked that I have a rebel spirit. I like that I stand firm and I have a lot of strength and it takes a lot to get me down. I am thankful for that rebel spirit I was given, but I also have learned it is a weakness in my relationship with God. I can’t rebel against him and his will and still say I trust him. I have to be all in or not. So while I will keep this rebel spirit, thank you very much, I will also continue to learn to where it is best used. Fighting wills with my God is not where it is best used. So I, as I was also encouraged, spent some time cuddled into God’s lap and confessed all this to him. I told him about how I don’t really care much for his will sometimes. Even when I KNOW he’s good. That I struggle with trusting his will and that I choose to trust him anyway. I am sorry for my disbelief. I am sorry for my inability to give it to him and leave it with him. And he listened. And I was finally able to take in this enormous peace that I have been begging for and unable to receive lately.


I have been asking for peace and answers and have spent a great amount of time in prayer these past few months. I even fasted for a day to try to clear my head. But I was so overwhelmed by my fears of his will that I heard nothing but the tasmanian devil running rampant in my head. Of course I couldn’t hear him amongst my chaos. I couldn't hear my own kids yelling for me to look at them. How could I hear a tender whisper from God?


So I went seeking for guidance in this waiting period of our life. A huge waiting period that at the end will determine so much. It’s not a small thing. This is a big thing. And that guidance took me on a wild adventure in my own head and heart and relationship with God that I thought I had and that I thought was good. I am learning to trust God is not just a thing people say and you just do. It’s a practice. A practice I am allotting myself a lot of grace through, it is saying here is this burden and letting him have it and repeatedly throughout the day when I start to take it back from him I say NO and often out loud, I am sure I am all kinds of crazy, but I say NO! I say thank you for this time. Thank you for the laughs. Thank you for these sweet chubby hands we are responsible for right now. Thank you for the food we have to feed them. The diapers we have to change them. Thank you for all the funny things they say and do that give our whole family joy. We laugh so much in this house. Thank you for that.


And repeat.


And as my friend Bob says, “turn your worry into worship” and I am. I am each and every day. Many times a day and it is working. God has filled me with a beautiful peace. He’s also reminding me that his will for Lily is good. He knows me. He knows that is my achilles heel and he is so tender with me and these reminders are like honey from the sky. Minus the bees.


If you are struggling with a big waiting period right now I deeply encourage you to also hand it to our big God for real. Like hand it the eff over. And practice over and over again leaving it with him. He’s capable and wanting and just waiting for you to do so. Fear can so easily drive us straight into a wall and we crash and burn. Over and over again. Fear gets us nowhere. And hurts. Peace from him gets us everywhere. And it's peaceful. Precious God given peace. I'm choosing peace.

6 comments:

Kathy Z said...

The story of how the homeless man was so touched by Lily is incredible. I can’t say I know how you feel, Kim, as your life seems on hold right now, waiting for answers. But I do know about desperate prayers. And waiting. It took over two decades for God to answer my prayers and He answered them in a way I couldn’t have dreamed from myself. And in my most desperate, darkest times of despair, I clung to God in ways I never learned to do before. It was in the worst times of my life that I felt closest to Him. I pray you will feel Him come near to you as you pray on your knees for answers.

sue mcquillan said...

You are a Gift - Kim! Your heart comes off the page in your words. Lilly, so much a part of you - your beautiful family - have gifted all of those who are blessed to know you more than joy, more than inspiration - a knowledge that God speaks through people, we just need to listen. Thank you for sharing your journey through life with us!

Melinda Gunther said...

Love you, friend, and so proud of how you are walking this tough journey. Thankful to be on life's journey together!

Nathan Smale said...

I absolutely love the rawness of this. Our walks with Jesus are exactly this!!! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!!!

caranito said...

Kim I can't remember if I have ever read your blog in the past but this was so good! It's quite refreshing to hear your raw honesty that so many of us can relate too. I love God so much too but I also struggle in trusting his plan over mine. Your words offer such truth. You have been given a lot to take on in this life. I can't imagine the personal growth you have achieved over the last 15 years. You are such a strength. Love that you are able to express it so well. Proud to be your friend;)

Anonymous said...

Great article. I will be dealing with some of these issues as well..

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