Thursday, July 12, 2007

Slowly, slowly, letting go ...

We've seen very little of Britt in the last seven days. She has been producing college applications and essays at a fast and furious pace. It's all getting very official now. This afternoon she and Troy are going to go take her Senior photos. We're hopeful that there will be a breeze and a cold-front right around 4pm.

Her education has been "non-traditional", so we're making plans for a non-traditional graduation party, at a non-traditional time of year to celebrate this important rite of passage into a new season of life. (Why can't I write this without sobbing?)

Troy and I had a few minutes alone yesterday ... Well, not alone really -- we had two of our La Digue neighbors and Noah in the truck --- but we were more alone than usual. We were talking about Britt, where she'll be in five months, vehicles at college, (and how we don't want her to have one the first year) how surreal it all is ... even Troy gets misty thinking about sending her off into the big world all alone.

It has got to be hard to do this - for all parents, I feel like an elephant is standing on my chest when I think of Britt so far away and on her own. I know the time comes to let your kid go, but it comes too soon. I recognize I need to get a grip of myself and quit fretting over it all. I'm just not acting on that recognition yet. It will be interesting to move her in the midst of postpartum hormones. I may never make it back to Haiti, they might just have to institutionalize me.

I wanted to share the following two things. Britt had to write many different essays for the six schools she applied to, below is an excerpt of one of the essays she wrote. And, below that is a devotional from Oswald Chambers that I need to read every five or six minutes for the next five months.

By Britt-
Living in a third-world nation where daily life is so unpredictable, the only thing I can rely on is a guarantee of uncertainties. There is not a huge sense or importance placed on the concepts of time and planning in this culture. This is a blessing and teaches me to rely more on God and His plans and timing. In contrast, in America where time and schedules basically control one’s life, little room is left for reliance on God. Therefore, I have learned to better live out the command given in Psalm 27, verse 1 and again in James 4.

James 4: 13-17 says: 13“Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." 16As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil. 17Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn't do it, sins.

Haitians understand this verse to the truest sense. Many times if I am asking someone about a plan for the next day, they respond by saying “Wi, si bondieu vle” which means “Yes, if that is God’s will.” The people we serve understand verse fifteen of the above passage better than any American I have ever met. It is very refreshing to be able to rely on God’s hand throughout all of life’s uncertainties.

My Utmost for His highest ...
ONE OF GOD'S GREAT DONT'S - Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil doing.
Psalms 37:8

Fretting means getting out at elbows mentally or spiritually. It is one thing to say "Fret not," but a very different thing to have such a disposition that you find yourself able not to fret. It sounds so easy to talk about "resting in the Lord" and "waiting patiently for Him" until the nest is upset - until we live, as so many are doing, in tumult and anguish,is it possible then to rest in the Lord?

If this "don't" does not work there, it will work nowhere. This "don't" must work in days of perplexity as well as in days of peace, or it never will work. And if it will not work in your particular case, it will not work in anyone else's case.

Resting in the Lord does not depend on external circumstances at all, but on your relationship to God Himself.

Fussing always ends in sin. We imagine that a little anxiety and worry are an indication of how really wise we are; it is much more an indication of how really wicked we are. Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way. Our Lord never worried and He was never anxious, because He was not"out" to realize His own ideas; He was "out" to realize God's ideas. Fretting is wicked if you are a child of God.

Have you been bolstering up that stupid soul of yours with the idea that your circumstances are too much for God? Put all "supposing" on one side and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty. Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about that thing. All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God.