Saturday, August 25, 2012

What if it's not ok...

This post has given voice to what I've been thinking lately.  Not for any particular reason, just because God's will and providence have been on my mind.

I particularly like this:

"If you listen carefully, if you follow the logic, you will see it. God’s favor associated with the outcome. Perhaps that’s comfort to the healed and their families. Perhaps it’s a good story for the Sunday morning meeting. But one man’s salve is another man’s sore.

What if God fails to orchestrate the proper cure at the proper time? What if he stands to the side, seemingly idle, while the innocent go to the grave? What if the proper providential miracle is conspicuously absent? Does that mean that God was absent, that his hand was too short to save?"

Have I been expecting God to answer all my prayers for my children with "yes"?  If He decides not to heal, not to give comfort - is He wrong?

Are they really mine?

One family in our church recently lost a young daughter to drug use.  I didn't know them very well, but keenly felt the devastation through our church body - it was a difficult time.  The Sunday after her death, the mother sent a message with one of the elders to tell the church body, "The Lord giveth, and the Lord taketh away.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Thank you all for your prayers."

I cannot fathom such a response, but hope that I will someday be able to trust God's providence in such a way.  He loves my children more than I can ever hope to, and has their best in mind.   His best for them might not be my best, but I need to pray for more trust.

Friday, August 17, 2012


On July 22, I turned thirty years old.

There are a few things I would like to remember and a few things I feel I've learned. And there are many more things that I need to continue to learn. So...

I've been inspired by a few blogs to tell my former self a few things.  I'll choose my past twenty-year old self and describe things that, if she had known them then, might have helped her relax a bit about getting older and "growing up"...things that she would maybe be surprised at. 

Here we go...

1. You will not feel grown up, or like a wise adult, or that you even have most of your life together, at age 30. What a revelation that would have been! I have always felt that "once I'm older, I will finally be mature and know what it is I'm supposed to be doing, and how life is supposed to work". But no! Life is still in flux, and I'm still a bit surprised at that, although happy about it in some ways. Life does not suddenly become easy and predictable after college, and God's purpose for you does not shine down in some obvious divine splendor of sunshine on your graduation day. There is still a lot of process going on, and I have a feeling there's still quite a bit of processing to come in my next ten years.

2. You will get married straight out of college and have two kids by the time you are 28. I know you did not necessarily plan on that happening, but what a blessing! You tend to go with your gut when it comes to big decisions, and this 30 year old has learned that the "gut instinct" for you, tends to be God's prodding.  Listen to it - it tells you about jobs, relationships, and trust.

3. Because of #2, life has ended up much less traveled with less performing than you hoped for.  Yet, it is still more wonderful than you can imagine right now.  God has taught you so much about Him, others, and myself by transforming that 'ideal' life  into a life guided by Him.  You still perform, but it's not the focus anymore.

3. You will struggle with God over trust issues, especially with your kids. It has affected your relationship with Him, and you will have many spiritual valleys to walk through in these next ten years.  Keep up the struggle, though, as His blessings are all the more abundant as you take the time to pray through them.  Trust that God is good, all-knowing and mighty in His creation.  Nothing He has made is a mistake, and He has plans.  Work every day to trust them.

4. Enjoy being near family now, because pretty soon, they will all be gone.  Most of them live in the southern Midwest now, which will make more sense in a year or two when your mom starts researching her family's genealogy.  Don't take them for granted and love on them all you can while they are here.

5. Having a house, 2 cars, well-paying jobs, and no debt is not as automatic as you might think.  Stop using your credit card and start balancing your checkbook.  Yes, it is not sexy or exciting to do these things, but TRUST will be kicking yourself later and literally paying for it even now.

6. Pay attention in music education classes.  This will be your primary source of income, and it is, after all, what you are going to school for.  You have enough natural ability to skate by and teach relatively well, but you will regret not paying better attention in class while you could have.  Stop worrying about performing so will have plenty of time to build that resume.  Remember to also focus on teaching well, not just to please your professors, but because one day soon you will realize that you are affecting hundreds of lives over the years.  You need to teach them well.

7.  Evaluate your friendships and be intentional about who you spend time with.  Friendships are not as conveniently made and kept after college.  Push yourself to open up and trust friends with the big things.  Trust people to love you, and love them with all you have.  Don't hold back, and if they let go, it does not mean you are unlovable.

8. Keep praying.  Even when it seems too busy or you don't know what to say - keep praying.  Talk to God because He loves you and He knows.  You need Him more than ever now.