"If the God you believe in as an idea doesn’t start showing up in what happens to you in your own life, you have as much cause for concern as if the God you don’t believe in as an idea does start showing up. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, to keep in constant touch with what is going on in your own life’s story and to pay close attention to what is going on in the stories of others’ lives. If God is present anywhere, it is in those stories that God is present. If God is not present in those stories, then they are scarcely worth telling." ~ Frederick Buechner

11 January 2016

He is Good. He is Faithful.

Almost exactly a year ago, our garbage disposal quit working, our dishwasher went kaput, and our water heater leaked all over the garage and into our kitchen (and had to be replaced). The children's birthdays were coming up soon. There were a couple other smaller things that had occurred, too, and it didn't just feel like it was "pouring." It felt more like a torrential tropical thunderstorm.

And we later discovered that while we were struggling through all this, that the people with whom we were supposed to be "doing life" were ignorantly talking about us without our knowledge, judging us for what we couldn't give and how we spent our children's birthday money from family. 

Even worse? 

We learned that we weren't the first ones to whom this had happened.

It was a challenging time.

And yet.

We received a "gift" from a family member to help us with a new dishwasher. My resourceful husband replaced all those appliances himself (with the help of knowledgeable friends for the water heater). I was reminded that we have a safe and warm home, and if there was cake, friends, and party favors, the kids would be perfectly content.

He is good and faithful.

And yet.

Last week, we learned of a sudden change to my husband's compensation plan that will greatly impact our lives this year. We're still adjusting to the idea. Some of the hopes and dreams we had just discussed a few days prior had to be surrendered, once again.

And friends, I was bitter and resentful. I tried to keep my chin up, to remain positive, to remind myself and my husband about God's goodness and faithfulness. But eventually, the thought of returning to scraping by month to month, depending on our savings to get us through, of perhaps having to give up our Compassion child, sweet Darwin who shares a birthday with our own little boy, of having to fight the battles of being on WIC and rude shoppers in the grocery lines, my children having to get poked and pricked and examined, to having to humbly ask for reimbursements for registrations we had already made for various activities for the kids this spring ... and yes, the dreams. The dreams of things we had waited for so long and that we had thought this was the year they would happen. The dreams I can't even talk about on here because they feel so raw and personal. My ungrateful, all-too-easily overwhelmed heart succumbed to the fear of the uncertainties ahead, and I spent the majority of the past weekend hiding under the covers.

And yet.

The word God gave me for this year was Gift. A challenge to see Gifts in every day, in every circumstance. To be a Gift to those around me.

Not even two weeks into the new year, and I was falling flat on my face, humbled before God and my family, broken in my utter humanity.

It was in the midst of all this that I learned that I was on the launch team for Kristen Welch's new book, Raising Grateful Kids in an Entitled World. And as much as I *wanted* to jump into it, I opened that file and it just sat there for days, mocking me for being selfish and unfaithful, and how dare I share about raising grateful kids when I couldn't even muster up the courage to be grateful myself?

A strong sense of duty and obligation to follow through on my commitments has always been at the forefront of my nature, and it was only through sheer determination that I cracked open the first page of this book.

Sometimes, we need a gentle correction. Sometimes, we need a firm rebuke.

Reading this book has been both for me. It is so very easy to get all caught up in what we're missing and what we can't have that we forget how much we have been given already. I forget that my highest duty to my children as the mother that God chose for them is to love them. And to love them some more. And part of that is teaching them that sometimes, we can't afford the extras (without the impatience seeping into my voice).

I can't begin to say that I understand God's ways at all. 

I do know that He has been faithful and good to His people for all eternity, and that even if He will have us walk through the desert again this year, He will not leave our little family stranded, that He will walk with us. I do know that He has placed friends in my life, dear friends from all walks of my life, who will pray me through when I ask them to, even from afar. I do know that He is with the poor in spirit, those of us who are confronted with our own wretchedness every single day.

Today, I am grateful for the Gift of perspective, that Jesus bore all this hurt, anger, and ugly brokenness so that I could have the courage to get out of bed, to love and care for my small children, to go to the interview for a temporary childcare position during the time B is at school, to say yes to another opportunity for work. 

He is Good. He is Faithful.

He is Good. He is Faithful.

He is Good. He is Faithful.


No comments:

Post a Comment