Sunday, November 23, 2008

Seeking the Sabbath: Dedicated

So, today I was a bit of a slacker on my me and the Lord time. I had Vicky time instead. (You can chastise me later.)

There was a lot of contemplation going on in spite of the lack of focus on that personal time though. Today was a special day because we dedicated our little boy. For me that is a big deal, especially this year. The message given by our less frequently pulpiting pastor (I know, that was a great new term there, wasn't it) was a good reminder for me. Sometimes a simple message is just the smack in the head I need. Here is how it all pieced together for me. Don't judge me for my feelings guys, I am sometimes less strong than I think.

So, with the loss of two dear girls in my recent memory...well, I have had a hard time. (Let me also clarify that I do not consider it my loss, but a loss that hurts because of the love that I have for my dear friend. I know that her life is forever changed by the passing of her girls.) If you would have asked me how I would react before this outcome, I would have guessed that I would fall somewhere in the "I trust God and His plans" category. I even argued during the last bout of prayer for little miss cute feet, that my faith would not be changed if the outcome were not what I prayed for, so the sinister dark guy should just stop trying to mess with me. So, as always happens when you think you have it all figured out- I was a bit showed up. I have had a harder time than I thought. I have been feeling a bit filled with fear and confusion, and also having a hard time trusting God. Let me clarify, it's not that I haven't trusted His ability, but His interest. As someone who defines herself by her faith, that is a pretty hard one to admit, but that is where I have been. A bit cynical.

It's just that I poured my heart and soul out into prayers that I thought were placed on my heart for the purpose of fulfilling them. I was absolutely floored when I got the news about Emily. It's still hard to believe. So, then I am left with feelings of confusion with myself and my ability to hear God. Questions of His intentions and concern for me. This is the first part of the equation.

Fear is the second. I have checked and re-checked my boy so many times in the past weeks that I think my husband is worried for my sanity. I happened to read a great blog at a not so great time that placed even more fears in my mind (Bring the Rain) and that added to my issues. Then dedication comes up. It's something that was so easy with Curly. There was no question during that time in my life and place where I was in my faith that it was something I could do. I am not one to take dedication lightly. It's a profession of knowledge that my child belongs to God and that I will attempt to remember at all times that my child is His. That I desire His will and plan for my child's life over my own fears and desires. As the time came closer I was struggling. I knew that once this moment came and I made that profession it was for real. (I do understand that God is in control anyway, but I wouldn't have to support His decisions if I didn't want to. Hopefully that makes sense.) I know it may seem like a strange thing to struggle with, but I have had an internal dialogue over the last week or so about it and have been back and forth over whether or not I was ready for that. Can I trust HIM with my child? I have had this fear that the moment I gave Him my trust, He would take my child from me.

Bringing it together- This morning was dedication day. As you would gather, I brought myself to the place I needed to be with this decision. I don't think that anyone in that room knew how deep this went for me. I don't know that everyone takes this moment as seriously as I do, it's just a natural thing for some parents to do. A milestone that you just do. Then came the message. It was simple, uncomplicated stuff. A reminder that God works outside of my understanding, that I am simple minded. (The actual message was on Thankfulness, but often God's message is different than that of the preacher.) I do believe that I was compared to a dog in my intellect...I suppose I will give that to him though. Compared to God, I do have the intellect of a dog.

I won't try to claim that all is well again, but the journey of faith must always have times of questioning. The deepest growth comes from times of trial that change perspective and show who God really is. Faith isn't grown by being given what we ask for, it is grown by learning to trust that He really does know best, even when it is beyond my understanding. I recognize today that He is Lord of all I have and all I love.

1 comment:

Vicky said...

I loved the last paragraph. As you know, the quotes I shared in my recent post on Faith and Disappointment (from Yancey's "Disappointment with God") have continued to roll around in my head these last few weeks. Faith isn't faith if we have all the answers...

Having read this post, I admire you all the more for still choosing to stand up there today and dedicate Benners to God. Thanks for including me-- and for choosing to fellowship :) with me today!

And yes, we were definitely compared to dogs today in the sermon. Certainly a first :)