"I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the LORD; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope." Jeremiah 29:11
This is the verse we have claimed for our Chloe -- I read it to her tonight as she faces surgery again tomorrow morning. We also read from a children's devotional called, Jesus Calling. It is written as God talking to us, calling to us, beckoning us to thank Him by faith for all things that He allows in our lives...even the heartaches, the scary things. Somehow the mystery of it all is that when we thank Him and lean on Him by faith, He turns the darkness into light and lifts up our faces and we see HIM. Our "yucky circumstances" don't change but WE are changed, our faith is stretched.
All week I've been trying to swallow the lump in my throat, trying not to think about the surgery, trying not to worry, trying not to ask the same ol' why questions that often plague me when it comes to my angel girl. I don't know if those questions will ever go away, they swirl around and around in my heart especially during these difficult times. I see it in her eyes...I see her struggling to trust, to believe, to have joy in the midst of it all.
The other night she was having a tough time, she found out she would miss a special school event that Alex is participating in. It unglued her and she began to cry, "it's not fair...why me? Why am I the only one who struggles?" I began to assure it that it was ok to be sad but that she was not the only one who struggles. She turned to me and asked, "what do you struggle with Mama"? It took my breath away...if she only knew the struggles of her Mama's heart. If she only knew the times I shook my fist at God in anger, demanding to know why He failed her, to know where He was when my baby got hurt. If she only knew that every time I see her struggle I beg God to let me change places with her. If she only knew that every time she is sad, every time someone makes fun of her, every time she can't do something because of leg pain, every time she just wants to be normal...her Mama's heart breaks into a million pieces from an ache that will last as long as I'm alive. But I know that God the Father knows just exactly how I feel because He looked down upon His Son in unimaginable pain even unto death on the cross. I think Father, You know, You see me.
Chloe and I have had a few long talks in the past few weeks...one night I told her of the apostle Paul and the "thorn in the flesh" that God allowed in his life. The burden Paul was entrusted with by God to bring about humility in his heart, to remind him of how very much he needed God! And God reminded me too that these things we view as "bad" are not - they are good things because they have come to us through the nail pierced hands of our all loving and faithful Father God. We don't have to feel like thanking Him, we don't have to see the goodness in surgery or leg pain to give thanks. We can simply give thanks because HE is worthy and our faith rests in Him alone, nothing else. This is the "hard eucharisteo", the hard giving thanks that we are learning. We know that God's plan for Chloe is GOOD, pure and perfect - her future is full of hope!
And so as I see her struggle to walk her path by faith, her Mama's heart is encouraged to do the same. It's constant, it's real life, it's my path. So tomorrow I will not give her over to the surgeon's hands, I will not entrust her to their care, I will not put my faith in them ~ No, my hope and my trust is in my Abba Father. Tomorrow I will lay my child into the arms of the Great Physician who loves my angel girl much more than I ever could and in doing so, is my Peace.