Becoming a mother was one of the greatest growing opportunities for me in my faith walk. Yes, the unexpected circumstances stretched me beyond what I could have ever imagined, but just the love I experienced was enough to gain “divine perspective.” God has and continues to parallel the love I feel as a mother with the magnified love He has for us as our Heavenly Father.
Even situations, I have yet to experience with Sophia, will play out in my head to give me a spec of understanding God. Actually, I gain more of being okay with not completely understanding, yet trusting Him whole-heartily. So much that happens on this side of Heaven just doesn’t make sense… doesn’t match up with who I know God to be. I’ve heard earthly explanations every which way, but I’ve found my most overwhelming peace in the silent presence of God.
How can we be reassured we can trust when we feel we’ve been let down? How can we believe in something that we can not see, so to say? How can we not worry when there is turmoil around every corner, on every news station? Bad things have happened and will still come, yet we are to “worry for nothing” (Phil. 4:6)? It doesn’t make sense… well, earthly sense.
My mind is often guided to parent-child scenarios, some personally experienced, some not yet… When Sophia left the NICU, I had to be able to replace her feeding tube. Brian begged me not to make him learn to do it. When I urged him to learn, in case I was not around when it came out, he gave me a valid argument. “You’re never gone from Sophia for more than an hour… and… and… I can just give her applesauce by mouth until you get home.” Soooooo, now? I can place a feeding tube like a pro. I got plenty of practice right up until Sophia’s second birthday.
Every time, it was unpleasant, to say the least. I would hold her down, slowly feeding the tube up through her nose, down the back of her throat… hoping she wouldn’t gag it through her mouth (we’d have to start over then). She’d be screaming and crying, often provoking tears from me as well. Once I got the tube down inside of her stomach, I’d have to hold, firmly, with one arm over her tiny, yet strong frame as I reached with my other hand for tape. She would always put up a fight, often tugging the tube out… and we would start over. I’d carefully place multiple pieces of tape, hoping the tube would stay put longer than a few hours. Then I’d scoop her up into my arms and comfort her. Sometimes I’d say through tears, “Sophia, we are going to choose to trust God. Even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it hurts like hell, we are going to choose to trust. We are going to believe that this too shall pass and He’ll get us through it.” By the end of my spiel, both of us would be more calm.
Sophia didn’t understand why I was holding her down all those times, submitting her to this torture over and over again. She didn’t understand that although this was painful, it served a grander purpose: delivering nutrition to her body. And when I finished each time and would comfort her in my arms, she would rest against my chest, finding comfort in my presence. How is that? I truly believe that although she didn’t understand all the why’s of me holding her down and shoving a feeding tube up her nose, she could feel my love for her. She knew she could trust me and that no matter what, I was her source of all things good… even if that included some not-so-good moments.
Do you see where I’m going with this? So, I don’t think God is the source of our pain and sorrow. I do think, however, that when He is allowing it to go on, He does so only because He sees the grander purpose: delivering nutrition to our soul. And we can trust Him despite not understanding the why’s because He is our source of all good things, including comfort and peace in challenges.
As I shared in my last post, I am believing for Sophia to walk into school this year. Last week, I went to mark the first day of school on my office calendar. My eyes floated up to the current date… it was exactly four weeks until school. Part of me felt nervous because quite frankly, we are far from independent mobility (in the natural), even if we had assisted equipment. We moved forward with requesting a gait-trainer (walker), but it got caught up at the doctor’s office. Miscommunication kept it there for weeks.
Mmhhmmm, devil. I see you tryin’.
It finally made it’s way to the insurance, but our experience with insurance is usually weeks to months of waiting, and that’s not even guaranteeing a “yes” for coverage. So to say I have no idea how this will play out is an understatement. But another part of me felt excited when I saw the date, KNOWING exactly how this will play out… we officially entered the window of where it could ONLY be achieved through God. I keep telling Sophia, ” I’m so excited to see you walk into school. Are you excited to walk?” Her eyes brighten up in, what I perceive as, excitement.
The nervous part of me wants to just fast-forward. Like, “God, we can’t just fast-forward to the part where we get our miracle and You get your glory?” I feel God giving me the stank eye… yes, I believe God gives us a heavenly, loving stank eye, at times. God comforted me, showing me the parallel of a parent wanting their child’s trust.
So imagine you are taking your child to Six Flags, three hours away. Let’s say your child is not old enough to understand the concept of time just yet but understands that you are headed somewhere fun. As you begin your three-hour trip to your destination, your child becomes impatient, and starts throwing a fit. You assure him that you guys are headed to Six Flags and the long car ride will be worth it. You even remind him the last time you guys drove several hours to the zoo and how it took long but was worth it once you arrived. You ask him to calm down and in fact, encourage a nap. You know you have things under control so no need for him to be up, getting antsy. He finally calms down and you decide to stop for gas. This fires him up again. He starts screaming because he thinks you are going to stay at the gas station, not realizing you need to stop for gas so that you can make it to the real destination. He gets so upset, that he takes off his seat-belt and exits the car. This causes you to have to stop pumping gas and chase him down, making your pit-stop longer. What should be an exciting journey to a fun destination has now become a stressful, longer-than-planned trip. You really wish he would just sit back, relax, and TRUST you.
Is this resonating with your spirit? I mean, I really was like “Wow. Thank you, God, for showing me that,” when it came to me. God has some mighty destinations for us, but it can take time to get there. We can trust that He will get us there if we just abide in Him. We can even look back on the other times that it took us longer than expected to make it somewhere, but He worked it out for the best in the end. When He brings us to “pit-stops,” we need to trust that we need that “gas” for our journey. We can trust our Heavenly Father to get us where we’re going AND we can enjoy the ride! Even when you see others receiving what you are waiting on? Yes! Celebrate others’ blessings, having confidence that God will meet all your needs too, exactly the way you need it (Matthew 6:31-34).
So as I wait on the manifestation of the promise of Sophia walking into school, I remind myself that God is able (Ephesians 3:20), that I can trust Him (Hebrews 10:23), and that He hears my prayers, aligned with His will, so I have what I ask of Him (1 John 5:14-15). It’s not that I don’t have times of doubt trying to creep in… We just HAVE to choose to armor up with God’s Word and use these mighty, fiery, Heavenly weapons to stomp out all the enemy’s attacks.
Whatever you are believing for, stand strong. Rejoice in the journey and the amazing opportunity to grow beyond only feeling happy in happy circumstances. Trust that you are reaping during your journey and that your perfectly-timed destination will be well-worth the wait.
Stay delusional. It’s only temporary. 🙂