Thursday, January 24, 2008

Muddled Thoughts

This is not organized thought ... nor is it particularly lovely ... it may even come across raw.

Consider this fair warning.

On and off since I got here (to the hospital) on Tuesday I have experienced such an overwhelming diatribe of conflicting thoughts and feelings. All at once I am totally in awe of God's provision and totally angry that I am dealing with this. As it turns out, human nature allows for a person to be aware of the unique and amazing ways God showed up -- yet still be ticked off and disappointed --- all in the same thirty seconds. (And yes, I know this is not true gratitude. If I were 100% grateful there would be no room for anger.)

As I sit here watching Lyd snooze, I am left with too much time to question things. Too much time to think. When she is awake she cries in pain. It is a relief when she gives in and rests for awhile. I can then go back to listening to the air-conditioning unit hum and trying to figure myself out.

This is one of those posts that will show me as I really am ... the kind of post I could easily skip writing if I wanted to save face and appear uber holy. I guess I am about to do neither of those things.

Do you ever try to make deals with God?

I do.
All the time. I do it knowingly, I do it recognizing it is childish.

The last many months I talked to God a lot about how much I fear something bad happening to my children. My fear, for whatever reason, seemed centered on Lydia. I went over and over with Him how much I really felt that bringing a new baby back to Haiti was a hard thing, that I would do it but that I did not want to do it. I told Him if I brought her here I wanted her to be well. No Malaria, no crazy jungle disease ... nothing more serious than a common cold. I sealed the deal with my usual, "Thanks Lord." Done. That was my deal with Him. Or so I thought.

On her seventh day in the country, I stood in the hallway of the hospital as Lydie was getting picked at to find a vein for the IV -- and I was angry. Totally angry. Troy came out into the hall and asked if I was okay. I said, "No, I am not okay. I am pissed. As a matter of fact I am bitching at God right now!" (Offended by my choice of words? Sorry, but when quoting I need to keep things accurate -- you know, truth in reporting and all ... Send complaint emails to my boss - or try His gmail account -- Or, just don't read this anymore. God knows what I said anyway. He knows EVERYTHING I say. ) I went on to reason with Troy that I had TOLD God I wanted Lydia to be protected. I had also told God I did not really want to bring her here so young. Why was He not keeping His end of the deal? Does He not HEAR me?!?

As an aside ... it might be best if you know that Troy is rational. Troy has a better handle on faith than I do ... he does not immediately feel angry when things don't go his way. I do. I am the weakest link in the partnership.

That is why the sermon I linked you to is punching me in the face. What really do I expect? The truthful answer for me: I expect it to be hard at times --- but I expect to be able to dictate WHICH hard things are acceptable to me and which ones are not allowed on my faith journey. I want to order the pre-packaged life with Jesus that allows for hardships A and D - but not B, C or E. It's the consumer in me ... just like at Burger King; I want to have it my way.

And so, sick kids fall into the "God don't allow that" category for me. I have this ridiculous notion that God owes it to me to keep my kids healthy just because I love Him and I desire to be where He wants me. I will risk some things, but not all things. Not this thing. Even as I write it out it smacks of total immaturity on my part --- but it is true nonetheless. I don't want to be stretched in all ways. Truth be told I like to feel in control, and nothing makes a Mom feel less in control than a sick baby ... in a developing nation no less.

I have no pretty way to end this, no way to tell you:
Oh, yes I get it -- Ah-HA, I am having my Oprah lightbulb moment ... I get why this happened seven days after I brought her here, and more than that I am SOOOO OKAY with it ... I accept with joy that my prayers and deal-making for Lydia did not pan out the exact way I planned. I'm not angry. No sir. I'd even enjoy telling you I LOVE having this opportunity to trust God -- but that'd be an extra-large lie. And I don't like to lie.

I want to be a person who looks tribulation and trouble square in the face and has assurance that my Jesus still loves me. I want to do that with joy -- I want to have unwavering faith in God - even when it does not go my way -- but that is not who I am nor where I am. Not yet.

You know when the Bible suggests we "count it all joy"??? (James 1:2-8) Nice idea in theory, a little more difficult to put into practice.

I am to be desiring a life of walking with Jesus and with that expecting difficult things and I am to count it all joy? Okay ... I have the first part -- I desire to walk with Jesus. I have the second part partially down, I expect certain hard things. But that last part. Yikes. I have such a long way to go before I am there.

I know God is good. Please don't mistake this honesty or misunderstand - I know, without a shadow of a doubt that He provided us with many things to make this trial easier. Jen and Tess and a decent hospital -- lots of praying and caring and wonderful friends --- I know that. I don't discount that at all. I'm just in that self-examination place ... and keeping it real. Keeping it real can be so ugly at times. *I* can be so ugly.

being tested,