I remember the morning of Olivia’s birthday last week how Olivia was having a kind-of “blue” birthday. It was a snow day (again), so she wouldn’t be seeing her friends at school like she had hoped. As far as she knew there were no big plans for her special day…..
It was just another day.
I was trying to “sneak” around and get everything in order for her surprise party, but I vividly remember feeling a little sorry for Olivia because she had no clue that anything special was coming. She tried to invite a few friends over, and they all seemed to be busy. Little did she know that they were all planning to surprise her in just a few hours.
As I left the house to run some errands, Olivia sat alone on the couch watching a cartoon. I leaned back in the door and said, “Olivia, everything I’m doing today is for your birthday. Trust me. It will be a good birthday.” And I left.
Eventually a few friends showed up to go sledding for a while, which did help pass the afternoon, but as I was driving from our house to run a few birthday errands, I remember so clearly the feeling that overcame me as I felt God was trying to say this to me,
“Tammy, you are Olivia. You do not know all the things I have waiting for you. The plans I am orchestrating at this very moment so that one day there will be a celebration like you have never seen or could even imagine. Please just trust me.”
I felt so reborn in that moment.
It was as if something clicked inside me that I already believed was true, but I had never seen played out so clearly in “real life.”
Olivia had to make a choice to either trust me and have a great day or not trust me and be miserable all day.
We all have a choice too.
We can either trust God and have a great life or not trust Him and be miserable.
So, when I sometimes read about a breakthrough in brain tumor research, I have to take a deep breath and not get angry because it came too late for Nick. Or when a friend is struggling because of an unfaithful spouse and I can’t fix the problem, I have to pray that God will work in ways I simply can’t. Or another friend is deep in grief and I’m not sure what to say, I have to pray that His Comfort will be enough. Or when I watch the news and see the devastation in Haiti…………………..
I have to trust God.
Not that he caused the cancer or the divorce or the loss of another child or the earthquake,
but that He will take the imperfections of this world and somehow use them to draw people closer to Him.
I watched Wall-e tonight with Olivia for the first time.
The people in the “perfect world” had no worries, no problems, no need to even walk…………they floated through space being fed and entertained constantly. But guess what? They began to get bored and grumble, and in the end, they were finally able to get back to planet earth where they had to grow crops and work and rebuild destroyed cities………..but they were happy again!
God knows us better than we know ourselves.
Perfection on this planet is never going to happen. And even if it could, we wouldn’t appreciate it for long in our earthly bodies.
So, God uses our pain and sadness and questions to teach us compassion and trust. He uses our struggles to draw us back to Him over and over again.
Tonight, as I think about my grandpa being safe at Home and as I think about the accident that Maria (our son Evan’s girlfriend) was in today (here are a couple pictures of her car) where her car was totaled but her life was spared, I have many questions about life and death. And at the same time, I am thankful that I do not understand the mysteries of God’s plan.
I am, oh, so thankful that Maria is still here, but I am equally sad that my friend’s daughter is not. I am very thankful that many kids may be cured from brain cancer some day, but I am also very sad that Nick was not.
What do I do with these conflicting emotions?
I think I do just what I wanted Olivia to do on her birthday when everything didn’t appear as it should to her.
I simply trust.
And in trusting I am free to stop questioning. I am free to rest in the Promise that one day my faith will be sight!
And oh, what a glorious day that will be!!!!
Full of Questions but Trying to Patiently Wait for Answers,