Monday, September 7, 2009

...Needs to Know that when I Land on My Face, He Will Be There (Ziplines are optional)

Have you ever seen someone fall on their face? Not figuratively, but literally?

Tonight, we were at my in-laws home, and the kids were playing in the backyard. Pearce was about to attempt the zipline. I talked him through sitting on the edge of the platform that was well above my head and holding onto the bar. I began pulling the dropline, and he leaned forward and held on for dear life as he zipped across the spacial yard to the connecting tree. He was still a good three feet off the ground, so I put my arms around his waist and lowered him to the ground. His adrenalyn was pumping. He was ready to do it again.

Erin was now on the platform, and she has done this several times with her male cousins, but tonight she was hesitant. So, I talked her through the same steps as I did with Pearce. She sat on the edge of the platform, held onto the bar above her head, stood on the steps and leaned forward. She glided all of two feet when the line bounced because it had felt the weight of her body. When the line bounced, Erin's hands slipped.

Everything moved in slow motion. I was standing a foot away, and I could see her falling, but I was still thinking she would land on her feet and then roll. And in a split second I realized Erin was NOT going to land on her feet because she was falling with her body parallel to the ground. How in the world she managed that I do not know, but she landed flat on her face and stomach, legs extended. I got her up and held her to me unsure of what if any damage had been done. It was really hard to say because she was crying so loudly. I think it scared her more than it hurt her.

I ordered her daddy to go get a wet washcloth because he was standing on the back patio watching everything. I raised her face up, so I could see if I needed to be moving her towards a vehicle to go to the emergency room. The gums around her upper teeth were bleeding a little, but I didn't see any further damage. An emergency room visit had been averted.

How do you fall flat on your face? How does one fall parallel to the ground? Only me or my daughter...I wasn't named Grace for a reason because if there is a way, I could do it without trying just like Erin did tonight.

How often do we try something expecting God to catch us only to find He not only didn't catch us, He didn't even have a safety net under us? Sometimes it's not us trying something. Sometimes it's just life. Sometimes life happens, and we are get knocked down. Have you ever wondered where God is? Why didn't He catch me? Why did He let this happen? How can He say He's a good God when He's not protecting me or answering my prayers? Why did He allow me to get hurt?

Am I alone? I am not of the school that believes you shouldn't ask God questions or His reasoning. He created me. He KNOWS I'm going to ask questions. He knows that if I'm hurt I've got questions. He knows that if I'm not hearing His voice, I'm going to ask, "Where are you, and why aren't you talking to me?"

As a matter of fact in August of 2000, my husband and I had gone through failed fertility treatments and failed privated adoption, and I just didn't feel like God was hearing me. The company I worked for moved me back to Dallas for three or four months to do some training. I would be there during the week without my husband and my friends and my church family. I had already gotten angry with God, so I didn't even pack my Bible.

One night while I was living in the extended stay hotel, I called my mom sobbing because I felt like I was in a pitch black pit standing on the end of a post and being told to move forward. There was no echo, and when I tried to feel for my next step there was nothing there. God was wanting me to move without any guidance as to where to place my foot. He kept reassuring me that when I would put  my foot down, He would have the next step there for my sure footing. It was impressed on my if I didn't move forward the post I was standing on would eventually give way and just drop out from beneath me. I had prayed and prayed and told God I would go wherever He wanted me to go, do whatever He wanted me to do in order to find the child He had created for me to adopt. But all I got was silence (or so I thought). No crickets chirping or anything. It was then I called my mom.

I was in the pit of dispair and depression, overwhelming depression that I thought I would suffocate me by its weight. I told my mom how angry I was with God, and she allowed me to rant and rave and get it out of my system. Then, as usual, she calmly said, "Kristy, how's that working for you?"

She really knows how to take the steam out of a situation. She asked, "Kristy, when was the last time you had a quiet time?"

"Didn't you hear me? I'm not talking to God. What kind of God wants me to call Him Father when He won't even speak to me? What kind of Father just lets His daughter feel like this? I'm not talking to God."

"Kristy, a quiet time is when God talks to you." She said, "In the morning, I want you to get up and read your Bible and have a quiet time."

With a smirk I said, "I didn't bring my Bible."

"I'm sure the good Gideon's left a Bible in the drawer by your bed. So in the morning, you're going to get up and read and have a quiet time. You're going to eat a healthy breakfast, take a vitamin, go to work, eat a healthy lunch and after work, you're going to go to the gym and work out. Then the day after that, you're going to get up and do the same. And the day after that. And the day after that."

I agreed because she was my momma, and she told me to do something. I was taught to obey and respect my parents and this has carried over into adulthood. I remember it very clearly. I woke up, broke out the Gideon Bible, and began reading the Proverbs of the day, and I started to laugh.

"That's subtle, God, real subtle." The date was August 29th, and the first verse of Proverbs 29 talks about the stiff-necked fool. It was as if He was saying, "Here's your sign."

Was I still angry? Was I still upset with God? Yes, but day after day, my depression left me as did the anger. You see, I had made it all be about me. My desire to have a baby. My desire to be a mom. My desire to be in God's will. My, my, my... Were they wrong? No, but when we sit in the "my" seat for too long we become consumed, and our focus shifts to ourselves. When we make things be about ourselves the world becomes VERY small.

You see, God hadn't forgotten about me. He was still directing my paths even though I couldn't see Him working or feel Him present. He was still in control. None of that had changed. It's just He was having to work things out for the good of all who love Him. He was having to work in the lives of my daughter's birth parents. He was working things out with the adoption agency we were to use. He was working it out.

I don't know what you are going through. I don't know where you've been or where you are headed, but He does. He's not responsible for giving you a life that you understand or a life without pain. Sometimes we inflict the pain on ourselves by foolish decisions, but even then, God doesn't waste the opportunity to work things out for our good. God is not our safety net. He is there with us on the ziplines of life, and when we fall flat on our face, He's with us. He's there to pick you up, hold you close and then to examine you to work it to your good.

He is a good God. He is. It's just sometimes when we're in the midst of fighting for our existence we can't see Him, feel Him, and we wonder if He's abandoned us. Let me assure you, He hasn't. He has said He will never leave us nor forsake us. You just have to hold on. Hold on and trust. Trust that everything will work out to His glory if you have repented of your sins and asked Jesus into your heart.

There's a song that says, "When you can't trace His hand, trust His heart." Meaning when you can't see Him working in your life, when you can't feel Him next to you, you have to trust His heart. His heart loved you so much that He sent His only Son to die for you. He loves you so much that He knew before you were created that you were going to screw things up and were going to need redeeming, and yet, He still created you anyway! Thank you, God, for that kind of love.

So the next time you fall on your face or your life is full of pain, remember, He is a good God. He's going to be there even if you get angry with Him, stop talking to Him, or just give up. He is still there working it out, and then if you haven't returned to Him, He'll work that out too because He loves you.

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