Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Not My Story

Last Friday Joshua faced an incredibly challenging battle. His 2nd degree black belt test in Tae Kwon Do included breaking marble! Many thoughts and prayers filled my mind and heart as I watched him demonstrate probably more perseverance than I’ve ever witnessed in my life.

“God, please help him not to break his hand.”
“Please give him the strength that he needs.”
“God, use this experience in his life to show him more of yourself and what you want him to know of who he is and who you are. Use this as a milestone in his relationship with you.”

God enabled me to see that this test was part of Joshua’s story. I could not break the marble for him (even if I had wanted to!) And I could not make it any easier for him.

All that I could do was cheer for him and pray for him. That was my part. Just like the lesson that God taught me last year on our kayaking/swimming adventure in Malaysia (All That I Can Do), I once again understood that God has my children in His hands. They are not in my hands, and so many situations are out of my control. But, whatever happens to them, He has allowed. Whatever the outcome, He remains in complete control. He is able to work all things for good. His good. Their good. My good.

The marble was also a reminder of the lesson He showed me last year of Saul’s armor being too big and cumbersome for young David to wear in his fight against the giant. (The Armor Doesn't Fit) My kids are (thankfully!) not little versions of me. I want to support them in their journey with their God and to see them grow in their faith, not because I am pushing them but because God is wooing them to Himself.

My greatest desire as a Mom is to see my kids overwhelmed by the solution that God has provided for their sin through the death of His son. I long to see them grow both in their love for Him and in their knowledge of Him, as well as to grow in their understanding God’s unique purpose for them in this world because of how He has created them. While they are in our home, I want to help them grow deep roots in their faith and to encourage them to develop wings that will enable them to fly when it is time for them to move on. Alongside this great longing in my heart, God is teaching me to rest in Him and to trust Him for the unique way He is working in their individual lives according to His plan and His timing. I want to support what He is doing in their lives at this moment, and not try to rush the process of maturity according to my timetable.

While we have been in Tianjin these past three weeks, I have felt refreshed by reconnecting with special friends. I have also been blessed to borrow some great books that have ministered to me in times of quiet. One book especially, Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman, was difficult to put down. She shared her story of the tragic accident where their 17 year old son Will hit their 5 year old adopted Chinese daughter Maria with a car. I greatly appreciated Mary Beth’s honesty and openness in telling her painful story, and her victorious message that through it all, God is still good and still in control even in the deepest valleys of life.

I was also greatly impacted by the incredible support both their family and their community poured out on Will. Mary Beth dedicated the book to each member of her family, and this is what she wrote to Will:
“You have been entrusted with an incredible pain! I’m so sorry. I wish as your mom I could take it away, but I know God has a plan for you to steward this story well and to minister to others through your suffering. You are my hero, as well as Maria’s…she loved you so much, as do I!”

As Joshua struggled to break the block of marble, God helped me to see that this was his story. Not mine. Mary Beth wished her son did not have to carry such an incredible pain for the rest of his life. But she trusted that God had a plan to work it out for good in his life and to use it as a blessing in the lives of others who face great trials. It was a pain God had entrusted to him as part of his story. A pain for him to steward.

God, help us to see and to support Your story being lived out in the lives of those we love.

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