Sunday, October 4, 2009

Faith lessons -- then and now

I thought God had spent the past nine months or so teaching me almost all I needed to know about faith. I learned how to trust God with all the "big things" in my life. I practiced "faith" for days and weeks and then months as I waited in Philadelphia with Lauren.

I was wrong. I'm really just a beginner at figuring out this whole faith-thing.

Now that Lauren's back at home, God has different faith lessons for me -- lessons about having faith when it comes to the "little things." When I was lying on the sleep couch in Lauren's hospital room, I had absolutely no control of the situation. I really had no choice but to trust God and to have faith in his promises. I sang "You Never Let Go" and thought about the storms of this life. In some ways, it's easy to have faith during the storms.

This morning, I was able to worship back home at Fairfax. (Tim and I high-five in the parking lot between services as we swap Lauren watching duties.) As we sang through the first verse of "You Never Let Go," I remembered all the times that Lauren and I listened to that song and all the times that she asked me to sing "the part about the light." That line goes something like this: "I can see a light that is coming for the heart that holds on, a glorious light beyond all compare." I'll admit to at least a couple of tears as I sang and remembered how far Lauren has come in the past few months.

But then, as we sang through the chorus a second time, I started thinking some more (or rather, God started talking to me.) That song isn't talking about how God didn't let go of us in the past. It's also talking about how right now God is still holding us and how He will continue to hold us close until He can bring us home. He never did let go of me, and He never will let go of me.

I guess that's what I've been learning all this week. You see, it's one thing to trust God with all of the things that I can't control. It's quite another thing to trust God will all the things that I somehow think I can control.

A few people have asked me how my first full week at home went. It's a good feeling to be back home and to be back together as a family.

On the other hand, our family has a crazy life. The best analogy I came up with is that being in charge of my family is a lot like juggling while riding a unicycle. I can juggle (a little) and I used to be able to ride a unicycle. I never even attempted to do both; it just seemed impossible to me. My days last week were filled with three kids with various appointments, tube-feedings and mealtimes, a few activities, a half-dozen or more medicines, a handful of calls or emails to various specialists, a few more calls to our insurance company, laundry, grocery shopping, cooking dinner, a few miscellaneous errands, one child that I'd like to keep germ-free, and two kids with homeschool work to be done. For someone that had recently perfected the art of just "hanging out" in the playroom, it was a daunting prospect.

That's where faith comes in. There's a big part of me that thinks I should be able to handle all of that and then some. (There's also a part of me that wants to run and hide.) God never intended for me to leave the hospital and go my merry way all by myself. He always intended to hold me.

Perhaps the harder faith lesson for me now is to learn to trust God with all the little things, to trust that he'll catch the unicycle before I fall over or that he'll catch a few of the eggs that I'm juggling.


  1. Everything you wrote, I can say the same. It's so "easy" to pray and count on God's grace for big things. and then, daily life creeps back in.

    I was looking for a verse, and just found that one instead:
    James 1:27 (New International Version)
    Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
    Please God - keep our daily life from being polluted.

    I'm off to clean the car windows. Each finger print is only one "invisible" print... but they add up to completely block view in the sunlight. Like our daily tiny things... and by the end of the week - we can't see God clearly anymore.

    With Love, Sophie

  2. I love that song and think of you and Lauren when I hear it. I'm with you on the learning curve. There have been so many things out of my control lately and it's a good reminder. Thanks for being a good example of letting go and letting God.


  3. What an amazing story. It touches my heart so. You are so right, it is so easy to be close to God at the hospital. It is much harder to be close to Him at home. I was so right about how Lauren had changed since I saw her in March. The pictures you posted on your last journal verified it for me.

    Susan Bedwell

  4. God just keeps on teaching us lessons in life.
    You've gone through some major things that most of us could not even begin to know what it's like. I'm glad you're so open to continue to learn from Him. It makes me think about myself. Letting God take control isn't always easy. May God continue to bless you and your family.

  5. Wow! I love hearing you think! You really complete me and help me be a better person, husband, and dad! Hang in there, sweetie. God is good...all the time...even when life is hard. Sometimes I wish it wasn't so hard -- especially for you. It pains me to see what all you have on your plate with very little I can do to help. But then, I guess that's God's way of teaching me and motivating me, too...I love you!

  6. Okay! Whew! Thank you! I needed to read what you wrote Cristi! I needed to read what time wrote to you! I can only say that right now as Steve is in xray and Jessica may need to head for the ER today that LIFE IS SOOO HARD BUT GOD IS SOOO GOOD! I thank Him for putting you in my life! GIGATTAATTGIG!

  7. It's been awhile since we have connected, but I want you to know that I think of you guys all the time. You have put it so eloquently here - it does take so much faith to LIVE our daily life! It sounds like you have learned and grown so much through this journey. Maybe some day you will write a book!!! :-) Hugs!!



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