It happened twice already this week, that i woke up in the middle of the night, havin all kinds of intense thoughts and the urge to put them in order. For me those nights have been very special and i thought i share some "midnight thoughts" with you.....
Somehow faith never came easy to me. With every trial I face I need to go through the whole process once again. Yesterday we spend time with some girls from an orphanage. Some of them experienced horrible things in the past. One of them, Haley, was having such a hard time hearing us even mention God. When we talked about him loving her and caring for her, she only shook her head in anger. She was not able to believe that after all that she´ s been through.
Tonight my daughter woke up from a nightmare, yelling and screaming. Chriss and me ran to her, hold her in our arms, assured her that everything is going to be fine. After her heartbeat had gotten back to normal we lay in her bad, and she was clinging to me. It was than that I was overwhelmed with that truth that there may come times when I can not help my daughter in that time of fear and suffering. There may come times when I can do nothing to ease her pain. My tears rolled down my cheaks when I told her, that me and Daddy will ALWAYS love her, no matter what will happen. And that her father in heaven will ALWAYS love her even though he will not protect her from all harm. She was listening closely and we prayed together and I realised once again that all faith is the decision to throw yourself into Gods arms within the unknown. I wish I could have told my daughter, that she doesn´t have to be afraid, that God will always protect her and we will be always be there for her. And most of the time, this is actually what I am telling her. But the blank truth is: I do not know. I do not know what the future will bring. And I still do believe…… but I do it wrestling……
I am thinking a lot about the fact that I have wrestled and do wrestle a lot. And for me, in a way, that wrestling is important. I could not grow without wrestling. Maybe I could not even survive without wrestiling.
I guess for some people faith comes more naturally. In a difficult situation they are able to recall what they know about God and they can reply this to the situation without a great turmoil of thoughts and emotions. For me it is not that way. When I see Haley, I do understand her bitterness, her ressentment, her anger. I ask myself, why she needed to go through all this, and I do not find an answer. I wrestle and struggle and at the end eventually come to a point where I am able to be at peace with the unknown, throwing myself into the arms of a God, who I do not understand.
Recently, while I am reading through Matthew and while I am in this new culture and watched some things that are different for me, I asked myself, how I will be able to watch my kids wrestling with those tough life questions. As a mom you naturally want to protect your kids from all those difficulties. But as I said before, I would have not grown, maybe not even survived (spiritually) if I would not have had the freedom to wrestle. (At this point I want to mention that I am very, VERY thankful for my sweet loving husband, who is very much different from me in this area and who went and still goes through a lot to grant me that freedom ).
Sometimes I hear Christian parents say, that the worst case scenario for them would be that their kids will turn from God and walk without him. I do share that feat. But at the same I am fighting against this fear in my life. Because I believe that this exact fear can have an influence on my kids life, that is causing them to forbid themselves to wrestle. If I contiously or even subtly let my kid know that they can cause me pain by not believing in God anymore, they will not allow themselves to wrestle with those tough life questions. And if they are like me, and if that wrestling Is important for them to grow and survive, it can cause them much harm to not wrestle.
One passage in the bible that I read previously is the parable of two sons (Matthew). The father is giving both of them an order. One says he will follow the order but doesn´t do it in the end. The other one is refusing to follow the order but at the end he changes his mind and does what his father has told him to do. This is how I want to raise my kids. I want to give them the freedom to go in the direction they want to go, hoping that in the end they will learn out of their own experiences what is best and whom to trust. I do not want them to consciously or subtly do what I believe is best for them, just to spare myself the pain and suffering of having a child that is doing things I do not want her to do.
The bible shows us a lot of examples of how God is giving us a free will. He is giving us FREEDOM. He created us as people who can choose both, good and evil. He could have restricted and limited our freedom in so many ways and it would have spared him from a lot of dissapointment and anger. But he chose to give us the freedom. So that we can refuse him out of a free will or love him out of a free will. And this kind of chosen love is the only kind of love he wants, the only love that is precious to him.
So I guess we need to stop trying to force people to love him, love us, love anything….. they need to choose to do it!