Approaching Wills’ half birthday. If that is such a thing. Don’t think for two seconds I won’t be eating a cupcake or two in honor of his marvelous life. So hard to believe we are approaching the year mark (August 2nd) from where we found out something was wrong with his physical health. I wish I had known the fruit of his life would be so pure and sweet. It’s been incredibly challenging and rewarding walking out this story one day at a time, while getting tidbits along the way of how God has used our little boys life. Terrifying too at times…just keepin it real. I mean, I’ve buried my mama’s boy. My greatest fear has been losing my way in the Truth while in my very personal chapter of overwhelming grief. How foolish for me to believe I could lose the one thing God has promised can never be taken away: Himself.
Before Wills, I didn’t realize what a tight prideful rein I thought I had on things. Major illusion of control. I wanted to be free and full. And felt everything but. And during Wills, to God be the glory, I got the sweetest taste of real rest, real trust, real freedom. I loved not having the illusion of control. It was the fullest I have ever felt in Jesus. Open handedly beginning every day, every moment, every diaper change, every feeding… receiving marvelous from my Heavenly Dad. Only God can script something so painfully beautiful all at once. He allowed disease. He also brought forth marvelous.
And after Wills, that lunge for control has slowly come back and reared it’s ugly head. Yep, even after all I have learned about the faithfulness of God. It’s like my flesh is screaming… You best get a good grip on that rein again because God’s plan is SCARY. Such a lie. Sin is scary. Living in a fallen world is scary. But life with God…is awe inspiring and wonderful and of the best quality.
I have (heatedly) asked God on more than one occasion that isn’t it enough to bury my son? Why does He have to keep pruning me here? Do we have to keep dealing with all my trust and control issues in the midst of such heartbreak? He whispered just this week… You trust me with your son. You trust that he’s complete now. You trust that his life was and still is marvelous. You trust that he’s playing with his new friends and riding lions backs and marveling in worship forever. But you’re still buying the lie that I am a trickster. That I am going to somehow pull the rug out from under you. You don’t fully trust me with yourself. And He’s not going to stop until He has all of me. Humbled and thankful and trusting. It’s actually a fun/funny call to walk out at times in my opinion…feel like this story should be posted on a Control Freaks Anonymous group discussion board instead of this blog but just go with me…
Exhibit A: Walt and I went to the beach this last weekend for a wedding. Which leaving town has been hard in and of itself. Again, keepin it real. Well, as I mentioned earlier, I have felt the need to control more now than ever. And I have asked God to continue working this out in me because I really wanna be the most FREE we can be on Earth! And boy has He answered. So, we are just cruising along headed home on I-10 about 30 minutes from Pensacola and our tire starts making a weird sound. We are 2.5 miles from the next exit and I’m the one driving thinking we can get to the exit (insert eye roll and rebuke from Walt). Thirty seconds later, a big fat blow out. Stranded. On the side of the road. For 2 hours. With no one we know within two hours distance. After about 10 minutes of almost hyperventilating and crying on the phone to Walts mom because Walt was a little upset with me, I settled into Jesus, smiled and started picking wildflowers. I could almost feel Him laughing with me. This sense of peace overcame me as He whispered that He was with us on the side of the road. And that not having control isn’t a scary thing. Nothing is scary, with Him. Not a blow out on I-10. Not a fight with my husband. Not even the death of my son. I’m a stubborn student but I think I am learning…thankful He’s the Teacher.
Even typing this out I realize how absurd it is to still harbor thoughts of distrust after all I’ve seen.
And for the sake of giving God the glory and for my own testimony in Him I just need to make some confessions – as reading and proclaiming His faithfulness is my medicine these days…
My God is faithful. I have seen too much to doubt. Too much. My eyes have beheld the power and glory of God and I’m still in awe. He has proven Himself so worthy to me. You want facts about a good God? Call me. And we can talk. I’ll show you my bleeding heart and His healing hand. Seriously. You have doubts? So did I. It still knocks from time to time. But now I have facts. I have a loooooong list of faithfulness to answer doubt with and would LOVE to share my list with you and help you pray for your own list. Praise You Jesus!!! He is NOT a trickster. He is an intimately loving and concerned Daddy. He carries His sheep close to His heart and GENTLY leads the mother sheep with her young (Isaiah 40). The most Godly woman I know, Ruth, was on her death bed ministering to the hospice workers as she died of stomach cancer. Marinate on that for a little while. She’s now in Heaven praising Jesus with Wills. I was pregnant with him when she started ministering to me in Jesus. I know they are tight 🙂 and that makes me happy. Let’s return to Him, rest in Him, and find our strength in quietness and confidence in Him (Isaiah 30). Let’s stop limping and start running. Even strong young lions will go hungry BUT THOSE WHO TRUST IN THE LORD WILL FIND NEW STRENGTH (Isaiah 40). Let’s let Him teach us about His faithfulness (Micah 6:5). Let’s thank Him for the desert because He leads us there to speak tenderly to us…so that we would call Him Husband instead of Master. (Hosea 2). Let’s be real with each other. Let’s put all our “disease” on the table and look to scripture together for healing. Let’s be a generation that says God. Is. ENOUGH. That we would turn to Him in our panic, in our fears, in our lunges for control. And we would just start picking wildflowers, while quietly grinning at His faithfulness. And His sense of humor 🙂
Glory rant suspended til next time…
One last thought to chew on. Something God showed me through my dear friend Ruth who is now worshipping with Wills. Life isn’t so much about learning the next lesson. Talk about burn out. It’s about walking with Love Himself. He doesn’t slumber. He always watches over you and tends to you perfectly. You couldn’t possibly be more loved. Learning from hardship is great. Godliness plus contentment is great gain. The fruits of the Spirit are marvelous. But it all starts with Love Himself…writing a Love story for you. Then everything else is born from that great drowning in Love Himself. Just gotta say this – reading The Bible can be stressful when you don’t realize Love Himself is the Author. Preaching to myself.
From Wills’ nursery floor,
Mama Bowie 🙂