… faith

Those who know me know that I was raised by the most amazing Christian woman whose faith is strong, stronger than most anyone I know.  Our family has been tested time and time again, we should have fallen years ago but then there is mom; her heavenly crown overflows with the most precious of jewels, she is steadfast in her walk with Christ and never questions His plan, EVER!!  Then there is dad  … yeah, that’s the one I take after!!  And while that is the grandest compliment I will ever receive in my lifetime it also means that I find myself a bit more challenging for the Lord to do His work in me.  

Our family has walked through tragedy that would ultimately lead to a broken home but the faith of my mom and the stubbornness of my dad has kept us together.  51 years, that is how long this amazing couple has been married.  Adversity has hit hard for them and I remember those nights walking up the stairs and seeing my dad, his head held in his hands, my mom standing close – praying, because she is always praying .. and being completely amazed by her unwavering faith in the midst of losing her only son.

God has been good to me, from the beginning of time He knew I would be a handful.  I became a Christian at a very young age and then rededicated my life in my teen years.  I think I followed the path that most of my friends were on as well.  I was raised knowing the expectations of a believer and while I may not have been as obedient as I should I did believe.  So when people ask me, and they ask this question a lot … why do you think God made Elizabeth the way He did?  Or aren’t you mad that He didn’t heal her or make her “normal”?   I wish I could tell them that I have the faith of my mother and I trust He has a plan but here’s the real me.

I have been so angry at God so many times.  I have yelled and screamed and thrown my hands up in the air and said I give up, I can’t do this anymore, why are you doing  this to me?  I have said, and right out loud … I am so mad at you, you are not here for me.  And this list goes on and on.  I have learned that it really is okay to be mad and that no matter how angry I get it doesn’t mean that I am going to get my way!  Which is something we all think right?  If I just get mad enough at God, He will give in … if this is working for someone, let me know!

When AC died I was furious at God.  He could have healed him, He could have saved him and He didn’t.  It took me years to get this message from God, and not because it wasn’t there but because that is how long it took me to realize it and it only came after I had Elizabeth.  AC was ready to go, he was always obedient to the Lord and never questioned His plan.  I was asked to give the eulogy at his funeral, something I honestly did not think I could do.  But I knew no one knew him like I did and could not speak to his greatness like I could.  In thinking about his life and his walk with God I remember finding myself laughing while trying to write this out.  It was the first time I had laughed since the accident.  I could picture AC standing before God and walking towards Him, not looking back even though he was so young, in the prime of his life … leaving a family behind and not once questioning, hesitating but knowing that the Lord was going to take care of what was left here on earth as he was called Home.  Now put me there and do you want to know what would have happened?  Arms crossed, right foot angled out and tapping … that look that everyone seems to know I have and the shake of my head.  No way was I going without a fight!  I can hear myself saying, you just put me right back where you found me, I am not done yet.  Kicking and screaming, that’s how I would go.  It’s okay to laugh at this, we all have for we know it is completely the vision of what would have happened.  So when Elizabeth was born and they told me she only had a 10% chance of survival the fear of Him taking her just as he had AC became overwhelming.  I prayed selfishly and vividly remember telling God that no matter how he left her with me I would be accepting of that just as long as He didn’t take her.  As time passed and the realization began to set in that I was going to be the mom of a critically disabled child I could feel that anger creep back in.  With each diagnosis I became a little more angry with God and I found myself pulling away from him and using my anger at Him to justify my lack of faith.  For years I stayed mad, screamed at God when things didn’t go right.  I couldn’t find my faith and as more of my life fell apart the more I blamed Him and questioned His love for me.  How much more could I take, how much more could He give me?

So here it is … I prayed for healing and AC was healed, just not in the way I wanted it.  God uses us, in ways we will never understand.  He brings people into our lives at the exact time when we need them and He also takes them just when He knows their time with us has come to an end and their work for Him is done.  It is a well designed plan that we are not meant figure out.  I prayed for Elizabeth to be spared and she was and God honored my wishes, that I would accept her any way He gave her to me, so how come I allowed myself to become angry when she wasn’t made whole?  This is where my faith can be explained to those who ask.  Someday, and while I have no idea when that day will come but someday this little girl will run to her Maker.  He will stand in a field of wildflowers and hold out His arms and she will be healed and made whole.  He will be the first to hear her speak, see her run and I would not want that any other way but until then she is very busy here doing His work, changing lives through her life.  That my friends is faith.

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