Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Trusting for the Impossible.

If you have grown up in church, or have been in church for long, you're familiar with the idea of leaning on Jesus. He is to supply all our needs, to do what we cannot do ourselves. And yes, this is true! In my selfish state, I cannot make myself want to be a patient mom, and I cannot will my heart to love my family with a true servant's heart apart from Jesus changing my desires. But it really is funny how God seems to take something you think you knew, then lay it out in a brand new light, usually through circumstances you would not wish on anyone else.

Last week I had my first practicum of the year. Being involved in Classical Conversations has given me a place to work on my learning and speaking endeavors, so two summers ago and this summer I have been able to speak at a few of our three-day Practicum sessions. This is where we work together to better understand a specific topic, learn how to implement classical tools of learning in our daily teaching endeavors, and then practice what we are learning together. It's loads of fun, and loads of work. I speak for three days, do at least 80+ hours of reading, editing slides, and just overall coordinating materials. Each day is about five or six hours total of standing on stage, leading discussion, and sharing information. For some reason, I am just naturally wired to love it!

Although, I'm not the best at packing!

Back to last week, I was in Eugene for the three days and got to enjoy some time with my baby sister, who is really not a baby anymore, as well as visit Gutenberg College, and make a bunch of new friends. But God had a small kink He was going to throw into my plans. Monday night I became immensely sick, slept only two hours, and then it was time to get ready for day number two. No big deal, right? Ha! I cannot remember the last time I slept only two hours, but I guarantee I did not do anything important the next day. I cannot remember the last time I felt so miserable for so long either! And again, those sick days are usually followed by lots of TV for the kids and mom laying on the couch. So to say I was concerned at 6am is probably an understatement.

As I called, texted, and left messages with people in charge, I decided to try to get ready, do the bare minimum to be presentable, and hope for the best. I started to feel less nauseous, but I was feverish and sweating, had the car turned up to 80 degrees, and tried to rest on the heated seats. I really needed to just get through the first session, then we had plans for someone else attending who would be able to take over if needed. After being prayed over several times, and willingly stepping forward to do my job, I made it through the morning, and by lunch time I was laughing about how crazy it all was.

Now, I didn't go into those first sessions saying "God will provide for all my needs." I simply showed up and hoped I wouldn't die. I know God does not always provide the things I think I need, or help me achieve grand or amazing accomplishments. I know that His plans are often different than mine and, usually, a lot less comfortable. And this insane experience of mine was confirmation that God is doing works that are far beyond my understanding.

Feeling almost normal on Day 3 of Eugene Practicum! 

In church the following Sunday, we sang about how much we need Jesus, and the pieces of the puzzle started to come together a bit. I know that God must have supplied my need that Tuesday at Practicum, because I have never done anything coherent on only two hours of sleep. But how often do I go into situations in my life, fully confident in God's ability to accomplish His plans, not bemoaning the cost of those works? And more so, how often do I work hard in all my endeavors, trusting God to give my kids, my family, and the people I am investing in, what only He can give? Or do I simply look at myself, get frustrated at my inability, and sit alone in defeat?

I still don't really know why on earth God would have allowed me to get sick when I did, as it was honestly one of my worst nightmares as far at the timing was concerned, but I know I grew from that experience, and I saw God working in me in a far different way than I usually see. I have a different perspective on what it means for God to "supply our need" or to work in us far beyond what we can see or understand. This experience is forcing me to look at my daily life with less trust in myself, but not in a defeated way. I can see my inability and say "I know God has got it covered."

He is always at work, always desiring for us to trust Him in our lack. And not just in our physical lack, or monetary lack, or energy-related lack, but in all ways that we cannot be perfect, He is there, willing to give out the rest. In all our endeavors, when we truly seek His will, He is there making up for all the ways we fall short. We don't need to obsess over what we are unable to give our children, or the goals we still are unable to reach. God is there, working things out, providing for us in both dramatic and normal ways. He barely sustains us when that is all we need, and He gives us great abundance when that is what what we need.

Are you seeing a theme yet? We can trust that whatever provision He is sending, is precisely what we need. This insight has brought me great joy and comfort this week. I think most moms struggle with inadequacy and wondering if they are truly giving their family what they need. But God's provision during my time of need has reminded me that He is always working, always giving my family what they need, through all of my failures, strengths, struggles, and victories. He's making up for my lack and providing me the strength to excel with the gifts He has given.

This is the road to low-stress parenting, and I'm beginning to see it as the road to low-stress life as well: trusting God for all the things we cannot control. And not just hoping it works out, but knowing with full confidence that in every situation God is working out the details for the betterment of our souls. Beautiful comfort, sweet delight, undeserved blessing! Yes, easier said than done, but well worth the effort to pursue.


  1. So good. We can NEVER be all that our children need. We're not meant to fill every little need. They'd have no need for God if we did that. We put in the work and do our best, always pursuing Him and seeking His heart. It's work and it's not always fun, but as you said it's well worth the effort to pursue.

    1. Thank you! I love that I have so many godly, encouraging women in my life!