July when I met and prayed for Gracie
Gracie on October 3rd
I've had a hard time with that. I really believed God would heal Gracie. I couldn't understand why He gave me a dream about her that "What Gracie wants, Gracie gets", introduced me to her journey, allowed me to go and meet her parents and her and connect in such a powerful way, only to take her away and let her die.
I've been kind of angry with Him, but mostly disappointed. Wondering if I can still trust Him to be faithful when I feel like He's let me (and the Lockyer family and so many others) down. And so I withdrew a bit. I didn't turn my back on my faith or stop believing in Him, not at all, I just had to take some time and process and reflect and decide what I believed. The thing is, the whole time, I thought it was Him that had withdrawn. But it wasn't, it was me. I found that out last night.
See, we went on a weekend trip to Duluth (which I'll tell you about and share some pics next posting) and we, as a family, had a blast! I had fun, enjoyed His creation, connected as a family. And then I came home and immediately was depressed again. So I walked yesterday and cried out to Him to please show Himself again. I asked, over and over again, "what is wrong with me?!?" Why am I sad all the time? Why does nothing bring me lasting joy? What am I doing wrong? I love Jesus. I serve Him. I listen for and hear His voice in my spirit. I strive for intimacy with Him. I desire Him. So again...what is wrong with me???
Ended up in Ecclesiastes in the Message Bible last night and you know, it pretty much described my feelings to a T! What's the point of any of it?
- I go on a vacation, have a blast, create memories & bond as a family, and come home to go back to work, school, messy house, crazy schedule, just like before.
- I clean my house, organize it and make it shiny and neat only to have it get messy and dirty again.
- I work hard, put in lots of hours, make money and pay off a bill, only to have another one come due.
- I complete a project at work, am told that it looked terrific and that I did a great job, only to move on to another one.
- I prepare, cook, and sit down and enjoy a meal of comfort food only to gain weight and be hungry again in a few hours.
- Mom and/or Kate & Nicky & Tony come home and we enjoy our time together only for them to leave me again surrounded by my tears because I miss them so.
What's the point to any of it? As the writer of Ecclesiastes says, "It's all smoke". A mist. Here, then gone & forgotten. Memories fade. Clean homes get dirty. $ flutters away. Kudos on a job well done fall into the distant memory. The body ends up in the grave. Tears are forgotten. Good food results in hunger a few hours later. It's all smoke...a mist. Again, quoting Ecclesiastes I hate life. Far as I can see, what happens on earth is a bad business. It's all smoke and mist.
Pretty depressing, eh? Now that it's all on paper, I can see why I was so depressed with these thoughts rumbling around in my subconscious (or consciousness). But over the past 12 hours God did show up and make Himself visible to me again and spoke to me through His Word.
Ecc 5...After all the smoke clears, here's the best way to live. Take care of yourself, have a good time & make the most out of whatever job you have for as long as God gives you life. That's about it. The human lot. Make the most of what God gives, bounty, the capacity to enjoy it, delight in the work. It's God's gift. God deals out joy in the present, the NOW. It's useless to brood...on a good day, enjoy yourself. On a bad day, examine your conscience. God arranges for both kinds of days so that we won't take anything for granted.
Just before dawn this morning, I had a dream. He speaks to me so often in dreams. This one was about two babies. One baby is healthy, pink, beautiful and is born to a couple who "has it all". They are rich, powerful, have all the right connections, the big house, the perfect family, the whole shebang.
As I turn away from their perfect life and perfect baby, I find the second baby. This one is sick. She was born with no legs and has been abandoned because she needs a lot of TLC to live, to survive. I pick her up and wrap her in a beautiful soft pink blanket and care for her. I love on her like no other has. I eventually come to find out that this darling baby I'm caring for was actually born to the "perfect family" with the other baby, but they threw her away because of her imperfections.
(Side note: Also in this dream, and I know it's connected, is a couple who most of us know who lost their little boy this past year. In the dream, they are having a wedding (even though they are already married) and are celebrating with those they love. He hasn't revealed the whole interpretation for me yet, but I know this symbolizes NEW BEGINNINGS.)
I believe God was telling me in this dream that the meaning in it is the gift He's given me. I've always rooted for the "underdog", the weak. I accept the unacceptable. I love the unloveable. I have a heart for the babies who are sick and dying and their wounded mommies who are left behind. This is what He's called me to do.
At one point after Gracie died, I asked Him not to send me any more sick babies because it's too hard if He's just going to take them away anyway. But as a very wise friend told me, maybe it's not about praying them healed. If these families didn't have all these people praying for them, encouraging them, believing right along with them that their child would be saved, then what do they have? They'd be all alone with no hope or support. So maybe it's more about the wounded mommies (and daddies, and families) that are left behind than it is about the babies who get to go be with Jesus.
As I reflected on all of this this morning, again He spoke to me through Ecclesiastes 8. Do what your king commands; you gave a sacred oath of obedience. Don't worryingly second-guess your orders or try to back out when the task is unpleasant. You're serving His pleasure, not yours. The king has the last word. Who dares say to him, "What are you doing?"
We attended a church called Prince of Peace in Duluth over the weekend. The pastor spoke on us as Christians being a holy priesthood, something I've heard taught several times. But something he said just came to mind when I typed the work obedience. He said that the priests would have blood sprinkled on their right ear, their right thumb, and their right toe. The ear symbolizes hearing what God is telling you to do and obeying. The thumb represents doing what He has told you to do, and the toe represents going where He tells you to go.
Ecclesiastes 8 one more time. I realized that if you keep your eyes open day & night without even blinking, you'll still never figure out the meaning of what God is doing on this earth. Search as hard as you like, you're not going to make sense of it.
So that's where I'm at this morning. It's been pretty intense, but I'm thankful for that. I love learning and being taught by God Himself. It's much better than the depression I've had for the past several weeks.When He gives me things, I write them down on index cards that I have all over my house. This pulling all the thoughts together from the past 12 hours has really helped me to sort through all of this. I knew it all tied together, and writing it all out like this gave it the coherent thread that it needed. So thanks for listening.
Love you all...next posting...DULUTH! :-)