since the beginning of june the Lord has been teaching me, reminding me, drilling into my brain that i am not in control of anything. honestly, it’s been a theme since december of last year when we found out that we were expecting our fifth child. of course i’ve always known this, but i haven’t been living it. i’ve been acting like i have some kind of control over my husband, kids, and outcome of everything good and bad that comes my way.
after i had our fourth child i had a sort of inward battle between wanting to have another baby, but knowing that would be deliberate disobedience to what the Lord had spoken to us about. we knew that he had called us to expand our family through adoption, and still believe that. we also knew that He was saying “not yet.” so we were waiting until the Lord said “go! move forward with the adoption process.” we waited for 4 1/2 years. we were waiting for our next child, but not like we thought. in august of this year i gave birth to our fifth precious babe. we had no idea that we needed this love, this miracle, this beauty, but God knew. He knew that as soon as i was at the point of peace with not having anymore biological children that He would give me the desire of my heart. He knew that last Christmas we would get the most precious gift of expecting a baby. He knew that our other four children needed another sibling to love. He knew that robert and i needed another daughter and daily reminder of His grace and unfathomable love for us. He also knew that He was giving my sisters and i the gift of all being pregnant, with baby girls, together. something that, just like everything else in this life, i have no control over, but He does.
in june of this year i found out that i would definitely not be able to go on our annual family beach trip. i was due too close to when our trip was planned. i was disappointed of course, but i had suspected this would be the case. my parents offered to take our children to the beach and my in-laws also wanted our kids to come for a visit around the same time. this meant that our kids were going to be gone for two weeks! both of our families live far away and so when we visit it’s a long visit. our kids usually do go for a week in the summer, but not two weeks. i had a very hard time with this. on top of the anticipation of letting them go i had crazy pregnancy hormones happening. call it a meltdown, panic attack, what have you…it happened. i was a wreck for a little while. somehow i thought that if my kids stayed home with me i could keep them safe. that not letting them go to the beach and to see their cousins would be the “safest” and “best” thing for them. that if i didn’t travel all the miles with them something would surely happen. somehow i thought everything would be fine if i kept them with me. because i’m in control? the truth is, whether my children are with me or my husband or my parents or my in-laws i have no control. sure, we can all try to protect them as much as possible. we can watch them like a hawk on the beach and in the pool. we can be as careful as possible whilst driving around with “precious cargo,” but ultimately we are not in control. God is! i had to pray a lot. robert talked me down, as usual, so calmly and sweetly. when it was finally time for the kids to go we both had perfect peace with it. even though we would miss them terribly we were looking forward to our time together without little ones. our kids were so excited that they could hardly even kiss us goodbye. i had to be reminded that God takes care of our children much better than we ever could. our children have been His since the day they were created by Him and they still are. i know that this does not mean that nothing bad will ever happen to us or our kids, but it does mean that He is sovereign and in control.
this summer our family also found out that my dad’s bone marrow transplant only worked for 10 months. usually the effects of a transplant last much longer (2-5 years at least). i think that our whole family has asked the Lord “why?” in recent days. why did it last for less than a year? why does he have cancer? why did you ask us all, to pray and believe specifically for his physical healing if that’s not what’s going to happen? i really believe that this question is ok to ask the Lord. He can handle all of our whys. He may choose to give us an answer or He may not until we see Him face to face. we believe that He can heal my dad and are daily praying that He will. but what if He doesn’t? we look to Him and instead of asking why ask why not? why not my dad or another faithful Christ follower who has cancer. as believers in Christ we are not exempt from suffering. in fact, the exact opposite is true. we are guaraunteed that we will endure hardships and pain. Jesus died for our sins and if we belong to Him then we are not our own, but His. to quote my brother-in-law and pastor, rob, “this world is not our home, this life is not our own, we are here for His glory!” so we keep our gaze on Jesus. even in all of the trials. even in all of the joy. even in the birth of a child or a diagnosis of cancer. in all of our fears and anxieties. in all of our rejoicing and peace. still He is faithful. still He is sovereign. still He is in control. still He is!