Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Who's in control?

This control thing is becoming a theme to my life. It seems everyone around me is being affected by it as well. Let me start at the beginning...sort of.
My senior year of high school I became a Christian. I knew about God before that, but made the decision to live for Him then. Although I wouldn't have been able to identify it then, this was the beginning. I didn't know it but I had just given control to someone who knows way more than me and has my very best interest at heart. It sounds pretty and nice, but sometimes it feels horrible.
Lots of "small" things happened between then and the next part of my story, but nothing that affected me like these past few years have. Two weeks after we got married Jason had two dreams that we had a little girl and we named her Abigail. We looked it up and Abigail means father's joy. It was so beautiful that we said whenever we have a girl that's what we will name her. A few weeks after that he told me he felt like our first child would be adopted. About a year later we stopped preventing pregnancy. It didn't take long for us to realize we probably weren't going to get pregnant. I was talking to a friend who reminded me of Jason saying our first child would be adopted. Here begins the total surrender of control to God.
We spent the next few months praying about adoption. We felt strongly that God was telling us that he would bring us a baby. We were to have a home study and wait. So that's what we did; not to say we sat around happily waiting on our baby to show up on our doorstep. There were a few significant moments that helped us to trust God. My first moment was a day we found out our friends were pregnant with their second baby. I was laying on my bed sobbing and asking God why they got two children when I couldn't even have one. I feel like God let me sob and ask for a while that day then gently said, "I can bring you a baby through pregnancy. That's not too hard for me. It won't hold the same promises as the baby I want to bring you through adoption. So I stammered around for a minute and just said alright I will wait.

Don't get me wrong, the wait was hard. We knew that if we went through an agency we could have a baby in weeks. People kept suggesting different agencies to us. We would stop and pray and every time come back to waiting. It sucked. We had no control over when, or how, or pregnancy care, or any part of our child's life inutero. We often talked about the story of Abraham and Sarah. God said he would bring them a baby, but they decided to make it happen. Out of their taking control has come thousands of years of strife and anguish. Had they waited they would have realized God meant what He said, and Isaac did come.

The other big lesson came through a little boy. We found out that a baby boy had been born. Jason and I debated and prayed about if we should give our profile to the birth mom. I wanted to because I wanted a baby. Jason said no because he was positive that our baby would be a girl. So...we put our profile in, and the little boy went home with wonderful parents that weren't us. It took me months to recover at all, and even then I struggled with depression as I waited on our baby. I realized that had I believed my husband I would have been saved some heartache.

So through months of depression, crying out to God, and just crying a lot, we waited. It took almost three years before our Abigail was born. But man am I glad we waited. I got to go to doctors appointments, spend time with this amazing woman who had chosen me to mother her child, and watch Abigail come into the world (and cut the cord). We knew beyond any doubt that this was our sweet baby Abigail. I spent months rejoicing. I still rejoice. I feel so blessed and content. Mostly though I feel peace because I let God have the control and I know with every part of me that Abigail was meant to be with us.

The second part of my story has to do with our Abigail too. After she came I could easily look back and say I am so glad I gave control to God. However with that came this big sigh and after thought of, "boy am I glad that's over." On Sunday May3 we were singing a song at church that had meant a lot to me while we were waiting. There is a line that says..."bring me joy, bring me peace, bring the chance to be free, bring me anything that brings you glory, and i know the'll be days when this life brings me pain but if that's what it takes to praise you, Jesus bring the rain." That was how we felt while we waited. While I was singing I was thinking that it's much easier to sing this being on the other side. Then I began to wonder what our next set of rain would be. Exactly three days later was our appointment at Riley. I quickly realized again that just because the waiting was done does not mean that I get to take some of the control back. It's not even something you can plan for at all. The nature of neurofibromatosis is that you won't know anything until it happens. Nothing can be predicted, nothing can be prepared for all we can do is sit around, wait and pray like we never have before.
*Sigh* Control is a funny thing. I am thankful that we don't have control because I would not do things as well as God does. The invaluable lessons I have learned would not have been learned, and my relationship with God would be wishy washy. Control is only an illusion anyway so even on the days where I do my best to keep things lined up and under my thumb I'm just lying to myself.

All of this aside I have to say my earthly idea of control is ugly. I think of a man from my life who wanted to control everything, and still does. He is miserable, has horrible relationships, and exuberates bitterness. His marriage is over, his adult children don't like him, and he is still unwilling to let go of control. As a result of this I never wanted to be controlled. Giving it over is not easy.

However my Papa in Heaven has taught me that His control can be trusted. Even through waiting three years on a baby, and the diagnoses of a genetic disorder.

I have watched over the past few years as our friends around us learn the same thing. We have watched friends lose a child. Another choose to have surgery to prevent anymore pregnancy, get pregnant, and have a miscarriage. Then another choose to adopt, and go through a roller coaster as they fight to keep their child. In all of these situations the people involved have continued to trust God, and let Him control the situation and their lives. I am thankful for friends who point me in the right direction because of how they live, and remind me when I begin to try to control things that if they can let Him have it all, I can too.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.

Proverbs 3:5-6

1 comment:

  1. Boy, how I can relate to what you have written here. The times when I have collapsed and said, "God, I give up!" are both the worst and best times of my life. It feels awful to have God bring you to the end of yourself, but wonderful to remember that He is in complete control AND that He loves you.

    Once, during the period of our loss in 2006, I was on my bed, weeping, and God showed me a picture of myself curled up as I was on my bed, but instead, I was curled up in His enormous, loving hand. I bring that vision to mind often when I get discouraged, wondering why it's so easy for some and seemingly impossible for us. He's holding me in his hand, gently and sweetly. And I remember that He does love me and has the best in mind for me. Even if it's not what I had planned, He knows better than I do what is truly best for me.

    Praying you will feel His peace in spite of the rain.