First off, this is how my morning typically starts. Breakfast with the babe – we both have oatmeal, hers mixed with apples, mine with berries, bite for baby, bite for mama. After we’re done, I’ll give her something to play with or some more fruit to feed herself and I’ll sip my coffee and read. Seriously some of my favorite time with her.
That was a side note – now onto the real topic of this morning.
Remember how the other day when I posted a picture of Jake’s new wheels and I said surprisingly I was totally OK and at peace with it. Well that comes with a story about what is going on in my heart these days. So here it goes – the arrival of our beautiful baby girl brought with it some great spiritual joys as well as challenges. As most parents can probably tell you, actually being a parent brings much insight and revelation to the way our heavenly Father loves us so deeply and unconditionally. This is the season of our lives where the Lord is showing us quite tangibly what the love of a parent for a child looks like. I thought I understood this before Everly but I am being shown daily how much greater the Lord’s love is for me than I had ever known before.
Despite these exciting deeper understanding of my relationship with the Lord, on some level I have been frustrated. These things I know and understand. I believe and can see evidence of the Lord in my life but for some reason, oddly enough, there has been a level of emotional distance. One that I have never really experienced before. This has been the source of a lot of my prayers and quiet times over the last few months. ‘Lord why is it that you are revealing so much of yourself to me right now but I have never felt this weird separation from you? What is it in my life that is keeping me from fully experiencing the joy of what you’re teaching me?’
The other day I was praying these very prayers and I felt the Lord finally – very gently – put his finger on the problem. ‘This great love you have for your husband and daughter is good. I created you to be in relationship – to be in deep relationship – so that I could show you what my love for you is like. But you’re holding it too close. You are clinging so tightly to them that you no longer feel like you need to cling to me. You are living like you somehow have control over their health and safety. Like there is something you can do to keep them happy, healthy and living. But you’re forgetting that I love them more than you could EVER love them. That they are MY children first, I am the one that holds their lives in my hands, I am the one in control.’
Wow, thats it. He hit the nail on the head. Somehow over the last 10 months I had convinced myself that somehow I had control. I tell my husband to be safe everyday before he leaves for work - as if he was planning on being really wreckless instead and my instructions to be safe would change everything. I even wanted a visual monitor for the baby’s room so I could keep an eye on her even while she is napping. Now, I’m not saying that I no longer need to be a smart parent or that I need to throw caution to the wind but what I am saying is weather I feel like I have control or not, at the end of the day, I am not the one in control. Pretending like I am is only kidding myself and driving a wedge between the Lord and I.
So thats the long story of why I’m 100% at peace with my husbands new choice of transportation. I am in a stage of life where the Lord is asking me to trust him. To trust him with the health and lives of my loved ones, to trust him with our future, our finances and our relationships. And Jake driving a motorcycle to work is the perfect way to practice that trust. Motorcycles are dangerous, but so are cars, planes, bicycles, walking, living in a house with a yard that has really tall, really old trees in the back yard during a windstorm the list goes on and on and on. There will ALWAYS be something to worry about but the Lord is asking me to give up my facade of control in exchange for true peace.
And to top it all off, this is the devotion I read Monday morning at breakfast with the babe, the first day Jake took the motorcycle to work:
If you learn to trust Me – really trust Me – with your whole being, then nothing can separate you from My Peace. Everything you endure can be put to good use by allowing it to train you in trusting Me. This is how you foil the works of evil, growing in grace through the very adversity that was meant to harm you. Joseph was a prime example of this divine reversal, declaring to his brothers: “You meant evil against me, but God meant it for good.”
Do not fear what this day, or any day may bring your way. Concentrate on trusting me and on doing what needs to be done. Relax in My sovereignty, remembering that I go before you, as well as with you into each day. Fear no evil, for I can bring good out of every situation you will ever encounter.
-Jesus Calling by Sarah Young
He doesn’t promise a life free of pain and suffering but he does promise peace. Praise the Lord!