Thursday, August 18, 2011

We can do it!

I'm Gonna Love You Through It - Martina McBride

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Listen and trust

I've been following a blog for almost a year. It is about a young man that our family knows from homeschooling and church for most of his life. He no longer lives in our town but in North Carolina with his wife, Liz, and their two children, Sawyer and Bennett. His wife is the blogger. Here is her introduction to her blog and a link:

Brian Sanders: Brian is a devoted husband and loving father who became critically ill on September 18, 2010. He spent 52 days in ICU and 3 weeks in a rehab hospital in Charlotte before returning home, where he faces a long road to recovery. He is learning to cope with the loss of his vision, and continues to work to regain his memory.

It is heart wrenching at times to read about the hurdles they are trying to get across. However, Liz makes it clear where her strength and determination are based. She is an inspiration to me and, I'm sure, to all who follow this journey along with them.

Her post for August 13th was especially profound for me. Simple, yet so full of truth that I need to remember to apply to my own situations. I asked permission if I could share it with you, and she has graciously given her permission. I hope it blesses you as much as it has me.  Please take time to follow the link to her blog posts over this past year, and pray for them as you feel led. Thank you.

Bennett turned one today. Our little guy certainly started his life under turbulent circumstances, but he is the poster-boy for the resiliency of young children. He is the picture of health and happiness. His smile lights up the room, his giggles melt away the stress of even the hardest days, and his slobbery kisses are pure sugar. Happy birthday, baby boy. Mommy and daddy love you up to the moon and back.

Brian sat next to Bennett’s highchair as Bennett enjoyed his very first taste of cake. He had a chocolate birthday cake with peanut butter frosting, and his sister was kind enough to “help” him eat it. Brian reached over to Bennett and smeared frosting on his face, so Sawyer and I dabbed a little frosting on Brian’s nose. Shortly thereafter, there sat both of my boys: side by side, faces kissed with frosting, grinning from ear to ear.

To start the day, Sawyer and I enjoyed a Saturday morning ritual: mommy/daughter breakfast at Chick-Fil-A. This tradition began over a year ago, when she was waking up at 5:30 or 6 each morning. I started taking her out to give Brian a chance to sleep later on Saturdays. Although we have clocked hundreds of hours at Chick-Fil-A over the years, today was a first: Sawyer got stuck at the top of the play place. There are different levels to climb on and tunnels to crawl through, many of which lead back to the entrance to an enclosed spiral slide. Once she climbed to the very top, she looked around and couldn’t figure out where to go next. Even when she sat on the edge of the platform, she couldn’t touch the next step with her toes. I tried to coax her down several times, but to no avail. It didn’t matter if the next step was only a few inches from her feet. She couldn’t see it, so she wasn’t jumping. It was a very long 10 minutes. Finally, she let out a big sigh and teared up. “Mommy, I’m afraid.”

I tried so hard to help her understand, but the more she fought my instructions the more anxious she became. I was asking her to drop down to a step she couldn’t see. Talk about a leap of faith! I took a deep breath, made eye contact with her, and simply said:

~Listen to my voice.~I know you’re scared, but I am here to help you.
~I can see where you are going, and where you will land.
~You just have to trust me.

Not long after that, I heard a very determined little voice say, “ok, mommy, I will”. And she did. She pushed off from the net, she slid down on her belly, and she dropped a few inches to the step below her. Success! She crawled through the tunnel, slid down the slide, and emerged from the tunnel slide ready to go again! (No ma’am! .... mommy needs a minute to recover before you can try that again...)

As I stood in the play area, it occurred to me that I am stuck, too. Maybe not at the top of the Chick-Fil-A play place, but certainly stuck in a place where I am scared. Stuck in a situation I can’t get out of. Stuck in a situation where I can’t see the next step, let alone the next 50 steps. And the harder I struggle to fix it on my own, the more frightened and alone I become. If I am quiet, and if I seek the Lord with all my heart, I will hear:

~Listen to my voice.
~I know you’re scared, but I am here to help you.
~I can see where you are going, and where you will land.
~You just have to trust me.

Trusting that He knows what is ahead is a difficult choice, but in this case it is the only thing that will work. I can’t do this on my own. I can’t figure my way out, I can’t search for an alternative exit, and I can’t have someone else do it for me. I just need to seek the Lord. Listen to His words. Trust that they are true. And be obedient.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6