Well, this is as good as law school gets- done with finals and not aware of your grades. I’ve got a one-week class right now that started on Saturday. Let’s just say one week has never seemed so long.
There’s a brief school break coming after this class, and we are excited to put more time into our idea of helping out special needs families. Ginny has been busy making jewelry. She has a show in St Louis weekend after next; then we are headed to Louisiana for a little downtime.
Right now we have been accumulating information from some churches and organizations already doing great things. This information has been really helpful, and we are excited to turn our efforts toward hosting a respite night.
Two weeks ago, I attempted to discuss how my heart had turned a corner in some regards. I intended to continue that dialogue last week but opted for a Mother’s Day moment. With that said, here’s the sequel.
When life is turned upside down, as it sometimes is, and everything held dear is tested, weighed, and held suspect- then certain issues that have long been fringe are shifted to center and await resolve. These questions, doubts, and wonderings can haunt, screaming out for answers; but answers to such do not come easy, if at all.
One such God-query has become my unwelcomed companion since losing my son. The discussion of such yields much better to a conversation over coffee than through a screen- but here goes.
We found out that “Baby Mooney” (we didn’t know it was a boy ‘til birth) had Trisomy 18 at thirty weeks of pregnancy. This discovery brought with it many crises. One of which was how to broach the subject with God.
The archives of this blog will surrender our approach. We asked for healing. We hoped for our own miracle. Thus, our prayers allowed for God’s sovereignty while, in no uncertain terms, asking Him to intervene, to act, to heal.
** I must digress to say that I, by no means intend to indicate that we did it right. Having come to know many others who have walked a similar road, I could never stand in judgment of anyone who has journeyed down this terrible path. I only desire to relay how we felt and what we learned; not to say, that the way we approached this news is the correct one.**
As is known, God did not do that which we asked. Days since Eliot have left me asking of God what he wanted from me. It seemed to me there were two distinct options for us at that time, both seemingly true yet completely in opposition.
First, scripture seems to provide ample things one can do when faced with difficulty:
Pray in Jesus Name (John 16:23)
Fast (Matthew 6:16)
Group Prayer (Matthew 18:19, 20)
OK, there are many more, but you get the idea. Generally, the tone of scripture seems to encourage us to ask for big things, believing for big things. Because God cares and wants to know our heart’s desires. Thus, we are not left to throw up our hands and say, “what will be, will be”; rather, we can bend the ear of an omnipotent God who actually wants us to approach Him with such requests.
Sounds good, but, now the flipside. Scripture also reveals a God who is in control. A being who is not surprised by occurrences such as Trisomy or terrorist attacks or whatever. The picture painted is of a deity who is able to work within horrendous circumstances for good, but His own hand controlled all along.
I must admit, that in the weeks beyond my son, and even still, I wish the second God was the whole picture. Why doesn’t He just say, “I am in control. What will be, will be. Just trust me.” But, oh no, He goes and tells us to ask, to believe, to have faith.
Buying into the definition #2 would have been much easier at the outset. I could have determined that my son had a fatal disease and that was the end of the story. I would have still believed in God. Accepting this as His plan, and taking whatever He gave. But this would not acknowledge that my God claims he can raise the dead.
Well, an occurrence at my church- which I will save the details for anyone who wants to take me up on the coffee offer- finally allowed me some resolve.
My God is a “both and” kind of God. His ways are not my ways. Thus, two things at odds in my head can be true in God. Are true in God. I have come to believe that my Father can perform miracles. When difficulties come, he has no problem with us asking if this cup can pass, and He is able to make it pass, whatever it may be. Simultaneously, we must acknowledge that He is always in control when He asks us to bear the cup.
I do not know why God has us ask when He knows what lies ahead. But this I know, I will ever more boldly ask the impossible of my Father. And, thereafter, surrender to His control of all things.