Friday, February 25, 2011

Good Gifts

Have you ever heard yourself think (does that make sense?) "Is there really a God?"  Well, I do...sometimes if I think too hard, I start to wonder "what if we're all crazy and there is no heaven?" 

I was talking to my friend Melissa the other day about how most Dr's view "religion" as a good "coping mechanism".  I remember when I lost our other baby, the first thing the midwife said to me is "I see you're wearing a you have a church that you can call for support?"  I sobbed as I nodded, knowing that no matter how great my support system was, they could never remove my pain.  The same type of conversation happened when the Dr. told us about Rachel having anencephaly.  The diagnosis was followed by two things...the offer for a termination and the question of who we had for support.  When we told her God, she nodded at us like we were nuts.  "well at least they have a coping mechanism" was all over her face.

I found myself thinking last night... what if we are nuts...what if God really is just an imaginary coping mechanism and there really is no life after death.  what if all these amazing things that happen to me really are just 'coincidences'? 

Well, that kind of thinking doesn't last long because it's crazy talk.  If I look at history alone, there is more proof that He is real than not.  If I look at MY history alone there is more proof that He's real than not... and if I combined the two and don't believe that He is real... well that is what would make me nuts.

I came to the conclusion that I'd rather have doctors and some family and friends think I'm nuts (or at least, that God is my 'coping mechanism') than actually be nuts... so I told Him what was really on my heart.  It went something like this...

"I trust that You are real, I trust that You know what's best for me, I trust I will get pregnant when You see it best and with what you see best, I believe You have my best interest in mind...  but Please please please please give me a healthy baby girl soon" 

I figure since He already knows what I'm thinking, what does it hurt to tell Him?  I struggle sometimes with praying in Thanksgiving (meaning, as if it's already happened) because, especially when we pray with the kids, I worry that if things don't go as prayed for, that it somehow means that God isn't listening or doesn't care...

In my quiet time this morning (yes, that actually happens sometimes... the boys were happily playing with cars)  The first verse they mentioned was Matthew 7:9-11 which talks about how when our children ask for something, we try to give it to them.  And then compares that to how if we as humans know how to give good gifts to our children, then how much more does God give good gifts to those who ask? The next one is from Luke 11:11-13 and says "ask and it will be given to you"

I'm thinking... excellent, this is confirmation that I did the right thing telling God my preferences last night and gave me hope that He will do what I want...

This is where reading things through is important... it goes on to ask what the definition of a "good gift" our limited understanding and perspective of the big picture, are we capable of knowing what's best?  When our children want candy before dinner, do we say no cause we don't want them to be happy or because it's best for them?  We know that their dinner is going to be important in keeping them healthy, helping them sleep and grow, and we know it's coming soon... all they can see is the candy.  If they throw a fit about it, we may just tell them they can't have any candy the next day either - because being preoccupied with what they want and not taking my "no" as the final word isn't acceptable...because it's not good for them to be discontent and demanding. 

So, the question is... With this definition of a "good gift",
how should I pray?
I was confused.  It says "ask and it will be given" -
so shouldn't I just ask for it?
What is "it"?
Well, here is the hard and beautiful part...
"It" is God's will, not mine.
What is God's will for my future (if any) children?  I have no idea, that is why I need to ask Him.  The only thing I know is that He wants me to trust Him with it.  I will find out what is best- cause eventually I will get pregnant (or not), it will be a boy or a girl, and it will be healthy or not.  In the meantime, I will ask Him for a healthy baby in His perfect timing and trust Him for the details, knowing they might not be the ones I would pick - and I'll pray that  He will help me to be content in whatever place I am in, at that exact moment... waiting on Him, trusting in Him and looking forward to His plan for my life, regardless of what may lie ahead. 
It's easy to trust Him with my heart, even in my disappointments, when I'm in the middle of them and it's my only choice.  But trusting Him with my heart for my future, which I seem to still stupidly think I have some control over, that's another story.  It's my true desire, but the problem is I'm human.


  1. I have often struggled with "how to pray." Particularly in the weeks/months following Amelia's diagnosis.
    Often I pray just repeating the same sentence over and over again - "use me Lord" or "create in me a clean heart"
    The truth is (as you said) He already knows my heart and he know my needs just as I already know Noah needs and desires.
    Big Hugs,

  2. Beautifully spoken! Thanks for the email-made my day! Prayer of thanksgiving, I am learning, is absolutely life giving! The key to walking in fullness of joy!

  3. My mom and I were talking about the idea of coincidences or God this afternoon. Then I read your blog. God is so cool. Anyways, we decided that I think that people who live with a belief in God are better off twice. We are usually happier and more peaceful people. Then if we die and find we were right about God, we get to go to heaven. Those who don't believe will have a BAD day when they die.

  4. I just wanted to let you know that you and your family continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. May God bless you and I pray that you will feel his grace at all times- you will never be alone.

  5. I have struggled a lot over the past year with prayer; a lot of prayers answered "no" and a lot of sad things have happened...I have found a lot of times that I don't even know what to say or how to pray, -and that's all I say. I wonder why I'm even praying, why I should even ask for things, if "His perfect will" is going to be done anyway. He already knows what I'm pleading for in my head & what I desire most, so why even say it? & then when things aren't "answered" in the way that I prayed for, should I even keep on asking & praying at all? He can just read my mind anyway...This has been really hard for me. Is this what "waiting on the Lord" is??? He must still be working on me in this area! Thank you for your encouraging words of truth Stac! :) Know that God has really spoken to me through you & because of your faith & obedience, I have been blessed. You are a wonderful mother to Rachel & to all of your children! I think you are right that it is much crazier to believe that all these good & wonderful things are NOT from GOD & that they just happened, than to believe that anything GOOD in life really only is given by GOD. I could stick my head in a hole, but it wouldn't change what IS, was & always will BE! :) You have lifted my heart & made me give thanks to God because of your words. I am so sorry you are grieving & that your heart is in pain :( I wish you had Rachel in your arms & that you could watch her milestones, & that I could see them too. I am so sorry that you don't :( I am so sorry that you have to go through this & that you have to grieve. I pray for you & think of Rachel & you every day & I will continue to every day. I was just picturing how cute her little smile must be :) I'm so glad you had a great time away w/ Matt. You have such wonderful, sweet children & they are so awesome b/c you are Stac! Thank you for being so vulnerable & sharing your heart. I love you! :) B

  6. Thanks for your honesty in sharing your struggles!

  7. Stacy ~

    Thank you, once again, for your transparency! I have also had those moments where I ask "are you real, God?" It's nice to know I'm not alone! ;)

    I also love the lesson of gifts ... ones that in our human weakness we cannot always recognize as "good." The candy example was so perfect in describing this lesson! Thanks for being such a great teacher! =D

    Do you lead a Bible study or anything? If not, you'd be great at it!! =)

    Love & prayers,

  8. I often call my prayers conversations with God because I usually talk out loud or in my head instead of bowing my head and closing my eyes. I don't pray as often as I should or seek His will as often as I should but I know no matter what He has my best interest.


We so appreciate your words of encouragement!
Thank you! ♥ The Aubes