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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Where God Is

So it has been a little over three months since my last blog post and for that I apologize.  I don't have a great excuse.  I have had the time and on some days even the inclination; I just haven't done it.  And today I took some time to think about why.

It started with Sandy Hook.  The day it happened I opened my blog, ready to say something about it all and realized I had nothing to say.  Nothing original to offer; no words to even attempt to address it.  After that day I managed to post a few times about this and that but it seems like 2013 thus far has been a year of shocking tragedies, both on a global or national scale and on a personal one for many of my friends and loved ones.  In the face of it all, I read lots of what others have to say, particularly on social media, and I find myself leaning toward silence.  Toward not throwing another voice into the arena, though I totally understand those who do and choose to process this whole mess in that way.  I just don't really want to.

Because all I have to say is what I always have to say.  My bottom line in the face of everything.  My unwavering belief, based on the cold, hard facts of my own life and journey, that God is good, no matter what.  Doesn't really take a whole blog post to say that, though I guess I have dedicated this entire blog itself, not to mention my entire life itself, to trying to get that simple message across.

2013 has already held some wonderful moments as well, not just senselessly tragic ones.  On a personal level, we have moved to a new house and new community that we love and which we never would have been able to find and afford without God's intervention.  My pregnancy has progressed happily and healthily and I have been surrounded by the unbelievable support of my friends and family as I grow this baby and take care of my littles along the way.  My days continued to be filled with the wonder and hilarity that having a five and four year old naturally brings.  I have no cause to grumble... but when has that ever stopped anyone?

The past few weeks I've been a grumbler.  My pregnancy has gotten to the point where "discomfort" takes on a whole new meaning.  I had my hopes set on a somewhat early delivery and after several disappointing "false starts" it would appear that this little one will make his debut on his due date of April 25th at the earliest or perhaps some day thereafter.  My husband and I have encountered some unexpected financial challenges.  I got stressed out.  I'm not sure if my kids picked up on my stress or if they are just sensing the change in the air that a new baby will bring, but they are amping up the whining and clinging to levels I find... irritating.  And while I've managed to handle it all without blow ups or panic attacks, I am hardly my usual cheerful self.

I had already become self-aware of all of this and was working on it... in a half-hearted, marginally prayerful kind of way.  I certainly haven't been ignoring God and I've prayed but I would be lying if I said it had been consistent, persistent or even more than a cursory nod on some days.  So last night I had an asthma attack.

No, that should not be the beginning of a new paragraph.  I think the first two sentences are directly related to the third.  Am I saying God punished me with an asthma attack?  Not at all.  That is not who He is.  Am I saying He allowed my stress, current physical situation and lack of faith in those areas to carry through to a natural consequence like the perfect "love and logic" parent that He is?  Yes, yes I am.

A scary hour of struggling for breath, a trip to the ER, a breathing treatment and several tedious hours waiting around the hospital in the wee hours of the morning later, I am home and breathing just fine.  Humbled, prayerful, grateful and fine.  There is nothing so revelatory as the reminder that the simple act of breathing is a gift.

If you follow the blog, you know God healed me of asthma.  Does last night's attack negate that truth?  My answer in faith is an emphatic "no."  I simply means my healing, in this and in all things, is entirely dependent on an on-going relationship with my Healer.  Just as my sobriety demands a dependance on Him, so does my health:  physical, emotional, spiritual... all of it.  I'm grateful for the (relatively) painless reminder.

Now before you accuse me of rambling, let me assure you that the first part of this post and the latter part are not wholly unrelated.  Because this morning I found myself asking the question:  How can I know that God is good (not just believe but know) in the face of massacres and bombings, of personal loss and unspeakable tragedy, but not trust Him with my finances?  How can I surrender the loss of my child to Him but begrudge Him my heartburn?  Trust His perfect plan in the face of a world full of evil but swell up like a petulant child because He refuses to cooperate with my personal expectations for the birth of my new baby?     

So my prayer for myself today (and any of you who have stuck with me through this meandering post) is to simply remember that God is good.  He is the hope in the face of fear; the comfort in the midst of tragedy.  He is also the healing balm to sore and swollen feet; the provision when the work dries up and the money doesn't come.  He is there for the big stuff and again for every single mundane detail of daily life... because He is THAT big and that good.  And really, all we have a right to be is grateful... no matter what.