Tuesday, August 28, 2012

what do I believe God can do?

As I've mentioned before, reading Angie Smith's book I Will Carry You has, and continues to be, a tremendous blessing to me.  She lost her daughter to the same disease I will lose Evie to and it has been a great comfort to read about her journey.  

The last couple of days I felt the need to revisit a page in my journal where I had reflected on one section of the book.  I thought I had already crossed that bridge but apparently not.  Throughout the book, Angie uses the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead as her primary example of faith.  She talks about how the Lord chose to miraculously heal Lazarus but that having faith doesn't always result in healing.  Or at least healing in the way we envisioned.  She said that sometimes the miracle lies in what God does with our lives after loss.  God's greatness isn't revealed only when our loved ones are healed, but with how He brings us through the valley of grief and how we choose to glorify Him through it.  This question, from page 118 in the book, really stood out to me:

What do you believe your God can do?

My list of fears regarding Evie and her diagnosis went much farther than the simply the pain of losing her.  After reading that question I was very convicted of not believing God could heal all my wounds and take care of all the details.  And so I confessed that to Him and surrendered as many of these worries as I could think of.  

And so here is my list and the responses I received from the Lord.  It's a little scary to be so vulnerable but may God be glorified in what I have chosen to share.  

The fear of never being "normal" again.  The fear of being on the brink of tears at any given moment or not being able to fully focus on any task.  

I will restore the years the locust has eaten (Joel 2:25).  I will turn your mourning into dancing (Psalm 30:11) and give you beauty instead of ashes (Isaiah 61:3).  

My fear of losing my idea of the perfect family.    

All to Jesus I surrender, all to Him I freely give.  

My fear that life will never feel good again.

I would have fainted unless I had believed I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 27:16).  In other words, God has goodness in my future in this life.

My fear of saying goodbye.  

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).  

When I talk to the Lord about saying goodbye and tell Him how I don't think I can do it, I feel Him whisper, "I will help you.  You won't be alone."  

My fear of all the "little" things - labor and delivery without a midwife, the timing of Evie's birth around the holidays, postpartum recovery without a baby, etc.

God is my refuge, I will not fear.  I know He will provide.  He knows how many hairs are on my head (Luke 12:7) surely He can work out details knowing how important they are to me.  He is able to do exceedingly above all we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20), surely He knows what I truly need.

These items (and more, I'm sure) are forever on my "to-surrender" list.  But I am leaving them confidently in the hands of my Creator who alone does marvelous works (Psalm 72:18).

2 comments:

  1. Way to battle with Truth, Sarah! Thank you for sharing. I love you!

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  2. I guess one truly monumental stage in life is what might be called the "loss of innocence" stage--not loss of innocence in the sense of "I was naughty," but in the sense of "life is a lot harder than I ever imagined it would be." It's when a person realizes that the world is truly dangerous, no matter how cautiously and wisely he may behave in trying to protect himself. Some people hit that stage when their parents divorce, when they are blindsided by bullying or betrayal, or when they are abused, etc. Many hit that stage when sickness or death intrudes in their lives somehow. And, of course, as with many stages of life, our realization is progressive, the stage is extended over a certain period of time. ("I knew life could hurt, but I didn't know it could hurt this much.")At some point we just know--really know--that there is no limit to how dangerous life can be.

    It is at this stage that we are most likely to realize that "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." This world is an astonishingly broken and dangerous place in which to live. But there is another world, one that is not dangerous at all, and we'll be there soon. Until then, we'll enjoy what comforts we can find (and, for most of us, there are so very many) in this alarmingly dangerous physical, material, natural life.

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