Friday, September 17, 2010

Thinking Inside the Box

I love my family. I have a wonderful family. God gave me a wonderful husband and a beautiful son, and I love both of them very dearly.

My husband and I have recently been talking about adding to our family. Now, we don't have a specific timeline for this, but we thought we'd like a baby next year sometime. In the fall. Specifically, September. Then our family birthdays would be August-September-October-November. Wouldn't that be great? Hitting that September window would be tricky...

But I digress.

I had an MRI on my back Tuesday. I've got a disc fragment that's doing it's own thing and is squishing a nerve that makes my left leg pretty much numb. Excellent! I have to go see my neurosurgeon.

Here is how the two tie together: I had back surgery in 2008. While I was pregnant with my son. It was the first week of my second trimester, they took all kinds of precautions to make sure they used the right anesthesia and didn't use an x-ray machine. My surgery was fine, and I had a perfect baby boy. No problems.

I've had problems with my back ever since. Not major ones, just stiffness, soreness. A few rounds of physical therapy. Nothing major.

But going to see my neurosurgeon again? Major.

My back is a source of frustration. My son is a source of joy. When it comes to what our family looks like, I trust God implicitly. He's already done a good job. I know our family will be fine because I've seen his work there. I approve.

My health—not so much.

It's easy to trust God when things work out. The hard part is trusting him when things don't work out. Trusting him when life doesn't turn out the way I think or hope it should. Can God heal my back? Of course he can. Can he make sure my neurosurgeon makes the right decisions and does a good job caring for me? Of course he can.

So why don't I trust him? Why don't I just tell him how I feel and assume he'll be all awesome and take care of things? That's his job, isn't it?

Because I'm human. Because sometimes I can only see what's right in front of me. When I don't get the result I want, I assume God doesn't want to work with me on that issue. Sometimes I'll even stop praying about that thing altogether. I decide what God will or won't do by my unwillingness to talk to him about it.

Who am I to decide what God's going to do?

It's like I've put God into a little box, and I'll only let him out on things I trust him to handle. Things he's already done well in the past. But when I think he's unpredictable, he's under lock and key in that little box.

That's some crap. Honestly. Trusting God means trusting him regardless of what we want our outcomes to be. Trusting that he's got a bigger plan for all of this than our shortsightedness can imagine. Knowing he can handle all aspects of our lives, not just the ones that appear easy or the ones that are "God-sized." There's nothing he can't handle, and nothing we can't trust him to handle.

I've got to go. I have something I need to unlock.


  1. Love your blog!!! If you look at mine, you can see I'm lazy also. Okay, I'll tell the truth. I'm busy and lazy!!! I don't see anywhere to follow you girl! Get a button so I can read your stuff!!!

  2. Our Sunday school class is studying Lee Strobel's the Case for Faith. I'm only about 60 pages into the book, but he's delving deep in the existence of pain & evil as it pertains to our faith. It's an interesting read.

    It's very true that we have to trust Him for all of it. We don't get to pick and choose who is responsible for what. So hard to keep in mind every day with every pain though.

  3. Coming over from your feature at Melinda's blog and glad I did. I know exactly how you feel in this post....exactly.

    Going to look around some more!

  4. Love the blog. I think we are all guilty. It is easy to say we turn everything over to God, but how many continue to worry after we have put it in His hands? If we fully trusted we would quit worrying.

  5. You are so right - it IS much easier to trust when things are going well. Adding a new baby to our family has been a bit stressful (to say the least!) and last week I found myself in the "depths of despair", to quote Anne Shirley, and I was thinking about this sort of thing then. It also made me realize how easy it is to think you're at a "good place" with the Lord - then something in your life changes and BAM! you're put in a position of testing your faith!

  6. visiting from Melinda over at Coming Clean.
    I love your authentic and genuine voice throughout your blog. I'm sure you hear this often (if not you should)you are so refreshing!

    Thanks for the post over at melinda's...I am definitely a lazy christian myself. The post was a huge encouragement to suck it up and get into the Word.

  7. Rachel, hopped over from Melinda's blog. I love how you think! Oh, that's a hard decision when it involves a little one. I'll be in prayer and follow. Blessings.

  8. Someone said that trusting in God is trusting in His timing. I know this is true yet I find myself holding up a watch for Him sometimes....just to make sure..

    I still have trouble with prayers sometimes as I blogged about because it feels at times like maybe he didn't get the ASAP memo.

    Faith...I know.

    Love your honesty and openness.
    I am glad you were recommended!

  9. Rachel, I know you are so right, but I'm not feeling it right now. Overwhelmed and just weary by some longstanding difficult circumstances. I know I'll perk up again and get my head straight, but right now I just want to pull the covers over my head.

    Regarding WP ... make the switch right now -- before your blog gets much larger -- is my advice. I stand to lose a significant # of subscribers and I'm kind of sick about it. I'm in limbo w/ the transfer and may not make the switch after all.

  10. I know I'm a little late getting to this, but I just want to congratulate you on your feature at Melinda's blog. You definitely deserve the spotlight!

    And a huge thank you for this post. It's pricked me, and that's alright. I confess that I, too, have put God in a box from time to time and I have to learn to let go and let God. Every time. With every single detail of my life. Thanks for this post!

  11. I am so right there with ya, hon! I can understand and empathise... truly. Plenty to keep thinking about. Especially when the thinking includes God.


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