Tuesday, June 16, 2009

in search of answers

I've been struggling with a bit of confusion lately. Still, there is no grand revelation or wrapping a solution up in a cute little package, but I am ok with that. See, I've decided what I found to be true soon after my dad died is still true. I do not have all the answers. I will not have all the answers. I am owed no answers. They are not mine to have. After all, the Word says "as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:9)

Lately I've been made more aware of the belief that people who aren't healed of disease (to stay here on Earth, that is) are not healed because there was a lack of faith in the ability of God to do so. I'm here to say I f
ully and totally believe God is able to do all things, anything, create all things, sustain all things, calm a storm, cause a sea to part, save, heal, restore and on and on. I believe the bible to be His inspired Word and that in it we can find proof of miracle after miracle He performed or allowed others to perform. I believe miracles still happen today. I believed He could heal my dad. But honestly, I sensed that He wouldn't. I can't say why I sensed it, but I can say it was not by a lack of faith, but an understanding I received. So, when I could find the words to pray during that time, my prayers were for freedom from the intense pain Dad was in, or the constant nausea, but mostly that God's will would be done. Usually I had no words of my own, so I begged the Spirit to pray for me.

So to know that some would think the reason my dad was not healed to remain alive here is because we didn't believe God could do it, is honestly a bit upsetting to me. Maybe I'm just selfish, or whiny, or maybe I just want some comfort. I've been searching and asking about this. And here's some of what I've found, or rather what God has led me to. It simply cannot be coincidental that as I need some direction on this specific idea I've stumbled on other blogs or have been sent a daily devotional that spoke to this particular wondering.

Look at what a mentor sent my way after I asked her what she thought. Isaiah 57:1-2 says:

Good people pass away;
the godly often die before their time.
But no one seems to care or wonder why.
No one seems to understand
that God is protecting them from the evil to come.
For those who follow godly paths
will rest in peace when they die.

And 2 Corinthians 5:6-8 says this:

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.

These passages reaffirm my belief that my dad was healed, he is healed, and in the most thorough way because he's Home. Shouldn't we all "prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord?"

A few days ago I came across this blog. This family delivered a baby who had already passed on to heaven. Here are a few quotes I found there:

"Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us from this place and sets us free from the snares of the world, and restores us to paradise and the kingdom. Anyone who has been in foreign lands longs to return to his own native land... We regard paradise as our native land."
- Cyprian

"When I heard that I was in the wrong place... my soul sang for joy, like a bird in spring. I knew now... why I could feel homesick at home."
- G.K. Chesterton

"In the truest sense, Christian pilgrims have the best of both worlds. We have joy whenever this world reminds us of the next, and we take solace whenever it does not."
-C.S. Lewis

"I have a longing for the world above where multitudes sing the great song,
for my soul was never created to love the dust of the earth."
-"Calvary's Anthem" from The Valley of Vision

So I've come full circle, having no definite answers, but knowing again that answers are not mine to have. That what is mine to have is faith, trust, hope, love and a knowing deep within that God has the answers and I'll come to know them if and when He deems it. Allison sent me a great devotional yesterday from Carolina Chapel that said "we cannot always change our circumstances, but we can place ourselves in God’s presence, so that His strength and perspective sustain us. There is a set time for you to question things, to not understand. Just know there is also a set time for your answer to come."

And finally, (as you breathe a sigh of relief that this post might just have an end!), in the April 29th devotional of My Utmost for His Highest Oswald Chambers writes:

"To be certain of God means that we are uncertain in all our ways, we do not know what a day may bring forth. This is generally said with a sign of sadness, it should be rather an expression of breathless expectation. We are uncertain of the next step, but we are certain of God... Leave the whole thing to Him, it is gloriously uncertain how He will come in, but He will come."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


So, we went camping. That's right - I went camping. Hard to believe, I know. I still hardly believe it myself, but the scab on Miles chin and the band-aid tan line on Elijah's forehead are constant reminders of our time spent in the wild.

My fun loving friends, Anita and Dione, somehow recruited my family to go along with theirs' to tent camp at the lake. I was very hesitant. I thought of every reason not to go. The following is the short list: bugs. Heat. Tents. Dirt. The ground - being where I'd sleep. Sunburn. Did I mention bugs? There were only two reasons to go: being with great friends. The boys would love it - especially Miles. As you can tell, Miles and the great friends won out.

Many times since I've become a mother I've had to make decisions I didn't want to make or do things I didn't want to do. It's what a parent does, a good parent anyway, one that is trying. This is something I did for the boys that I didn't want to do. Never, ever have I just yearned for the tent camping experience. Ever. First thing when we arrived we ran into ourbrother-in-law's sweet grandmother, who has been camping for many, many years. She came over to give me encouragement (and offer me a rest on her camper's sofa!) and to tell me about the many fond memories she and her family have of camping. I decided right then that if Nonnie loves camping so much, then I should give liking it an honest try. She reminded me that when our children grow up it's the simple, fun family times that they will remember. It may seem silly, but I don't think it was a coincidence that Nonnie found us. Oh, and I didn't even take her up on the sofa offer!

The boys had so much fun. They made s'mores and then enjoyed totally roasting marshmallow after marshmallow. They had fun around the campfire. They rode a boat, and Elijah even tried out tubing. Miles loved tossing sticks and rocks into the lake. They slept so well in the tent. They played with toads. Miles drug a wagon around simply filling it with rocks, leaves and sticks. They loved it so much.

So, even though I woke up no less than 10 times during the night, I did get some sleep. I will go back, although it may require the cajoling of my friends again. But I'll do it because my boys need to just be outside, in the air, with the toads. One day we'll even take Ella with us. And she'll likely wander around collecting leaves and rocks and putting them in her purse alongside pretend lipstick. Now that I think about it - I'll definitely go back. I wouldn't miss it.

But not without an air mattress.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

He is before all things

Isn't it wonderful that nothing, nothing at all, is a surprise to God? I came across this verse again tonight, and decided to add it to my memory verse list. It is wonderfully comforting to me.

He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. Colossians 1:17

Did you get that? He is before all things. He was here before all things and He goes before all things and He stands before all things. Know what else? He overcomes before all things. As hard as this life is. As confused as I may become. As scared. As worried. As sad. He is before it all, and knows what I'm about to endure. But if I let Him, He'll hold me together in the meantime. He'll hold me together. He'll hold you together. He holds all things together. Oh, I just fell in love with Him. Again.

I love the place He has brought me to. I'm touching the edge of His garment, and I feel the power of His healing coming over me. I know where He is leading me and I can hear Him if I'm still enough to listen. He has me wanting more. More of Him. More of His Word. More of His leading. More of His voice. More of the comfort of knowing. Knowing in my heart that He is my Father. That I am His daughter. That He loves me. That He will engage with me. That He sings over me. That He wants me to sing to Him. I'm praying that I'm just stepping into this new level of love with Him. That I've just barely gotten a taste, because I want so much more. Sounds a little selfish, doesn't it? I don't think He minds, just in this instance, if His little girl acts a bit selfish.
Psalm 27:14 says that we are to "wait for and hope for and expect the Lord." (Amplified), so surely it's just fine for me to wait for and hope for and expect MORE of Him.

He has rocked my little world in the past year. With wonderful new friendships, deepening old friendships, praising Him in new ways, calling me to teach my Elijah at home. A year ago, had you told me "hey, soon you'll be praising God... on stage... with the praise team... " I would have thought you were crazy. And if you had told me even six months ago, "and also, just so you know, when Elijah's in first grade you'll begin the journey of homeschooling your children." Well, I would've thought you to be certifiably insane. But God knew all of this. Long ago. Nothing surprises Him. And I know, I feel, that when we follow Him down a path that seems difficult we can "wait for and hope for and expect the Lord" and He will "lift [us] up in due time" (I Peter 5:5).

He waits to bless us and wants to bless us. You know what He really wants, though? Us. You and me. To love Him. To listen to Him. To follow Him. To believe Him. To believe His Son.

He has definitely taken me out of my little box lately, but I am so excited that He has. I would've missed out on so much had I gone with my plans instead of His. I can't wait to see all that He has planned for the days to come. And I love that He already knows. He knows what's next. And after that. And how it ends. Oh, wow. I just love Him.