As I ran this morning, trying to keep a slower more gentle pace because today is technically my day off, I just started to have a conversation with the Lord. Nothing extremely serious. What I mean by that is that sometimes I go into prayer with intention and focus to pray about something specific that needs prayer or to deal with a heart issue or even to really press into His presence to prepare for a day that is filled with Him. I was just passing the run with small talk, thanking Him for the way the wind feels on my skin as it blows across it. Thanking Him that I have neural receptors that can feel the cool temperature of the wind, and receptors that feel the pressure of the wind and receptors that tell me where I and my body parts are in space, etc. I know that sounds super nerdy, but biology is one of those things that definitely and most assuredly stirs my affections for the Lord. I pondered how complex we are and how only creation by a Creator explains the perfection and complexity that is us. This led me to begin to think and pray about the career trajectory I am on. I had looked into the education and prerequisites the Physicians Assistant require over the last week. I first heard the still small voice in my soul redirect me back to the trajectory I have been on for a couple years-Nurse Anesthetist.
“Don’t get distracted; don’t doubt my plan; just keep moving forward.”
This lead me to begin praying about school, my heart, the wise use of the income this career would bring to our family, and about my children.
As I came to the end of my run, it happened. His gentle surgeons hand opened up my heart to remove a cancerous lie that I didn’t even realize had taken root in me. He is so good to do that, usually quite unexpectantly, but I love that He does it.
I was thinking about my children and the regrets I have for the way things have gone at times in their lives. We have lived on a pretty constrained budget most of our marriage. We just haven’t had tons of discretionary income. There was a period Ally took gymnastics, but even that was with the help of both grandmothers helping pay for the monthly tuition (which was huge b/c she was competing). Our children haven’t really gotten to do a lot of extra activities. As I have progressed with dance at Collin College I find myself wishing that the girls could have done dance, because I see the difference that some dance training and a lifetime of dance training makes when I watch my fellow class mates.
Anyway, I was thinking maybe I can pay for my grandchildren to do those activities I have always wished my children could have been in. I felt the disappointment in my heart that they have not had those things…. and there He was in my heart dissecting and speaking so clearly.
“My children have had the exact life that God, my gracious and loving Father, their gracious and loving Father, has intended for them to have. They have walked the pathway the He intends for them to walk. and… here… is… the… most… important… part…
The disappointment I feel over the life that they lived…the life God wrote for them to live…has doubt about the goodness of God woven into it.
The truth is that my being disappointed says that what He gave them is not good enough. It is me thinking I could have given them something better if I had been God. It is buying into the oldest lie ever told. It is the lie that the serpent told Eve in the garden. It is the same lie that he repeats over and over to mankind and we all buy it; that is until God dissects the lie, shows us the truth and removes the lie.
The serpent still comes to us today and says, “Has God really said… is God really good…He is withholding good from you. He just doesn’t want you to have (insert whatever it is at the moment). You have to get it for yourself. You know better than God…He just doesn’t want you to be happy…He doesn’t want you to have what you want….you will be happier if you become your own God and get what you want rather than trust God to tell you and give you what you need.
God is for our good. He is out to give us fullness of joy. He is most glorified when we are most satisfied in Him. (says John Piper). Disappointment shows our doubt in His goodness. It is doubt that He is out to give us that which will most satisfy which will give us fullness of joy. If He withholds something we think we want or causes our path to go a direction that is different than we would choose, it is because His pathway will give us fullness of joy and our pathway will not.
Thank you, my precious, loving, good, gracious Father, for seeing the cancerous lie, for waking me up to run on my rest day so you could press on that place in my heart, and for pouring the truth into me so that that lie would be forced out of my heart.
My children have lived a good, grace filled, life- the life You intended for them. You are a much better Father than I am mother and I am so grateful for that. I am thankful that I don’t have to get it all right because You get it ALL right and you have nothing but grace for me and my family.