I have had several moments the last few days that have really opened my understanding to life.  I have been really struggling with some tough questions, like why do so many women suffer from some sort of depression because they have children?  Or why a mom with young kids would have to have a diagnosis of cancer?  Why is it that families that really want kids, can't?  Or why isn't life fair? Life is hard.  There is pain, sorrow, and hurt.  I know some of the answers to questions, but I certainly don't know everything.  In my attempt to find out, I tried to control the answers I would receive.  Yes.  I was trying to control God, not really the best thing to do.  (Remember, I am working on control issues.) 

All that I was doing was adding to my frustration with a side of anger.  It wasn't going well. 
Then over my weekend in paradise, I read the book "The Hiding Place" By Corrie ten Boom.  There was one part where she asked her dad a question, and this is how he responded.

He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case off the floor and set it on the floor.
Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?" he said.
I stood up and tugged at it. It was crammed with the watches and spare parts he had purchased that morning.
It's too heavy," I said.
Yes," he said, "and it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger, you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you."
I realized that some of my questions might be above my understanding.  I need to have faith and patience.  Someday I might have my answers that I want.  Maybe not, but I need to know that I have a loving Father in Heaven that knows what I need.
The second experience was in a Burger King.  This particular Burger King had the biggest/tallest play place I have ever seen.  It was about two stories high, and the slide was at the very top, winding and twisting the full length of the play place.  Jack had a hard time getting to the slide.  He would climb and climb, get frustrated he wasn't there, and turn and come back down.  One time he had only two platforms to climb, he looked out at me, and I told him he only had two more to go.  He climbed one more, and he got scared or frustrated, I couldn't really tell.  I tried to tell him he only had one more to go, and he would find the slide, but it didn't help.  I asked him if he wanted to get to the slide, and he said yes.  I told him all he had to do was go up a little more and he would be able to see the slide, but he looked up and down, and decided to come down.  He came down to me, and said that he still wanted to go to the slide.  I told him he was so close, just go and try again.  He eventually made it down the slide and loved it.  He went down several times, and was so happy with himself. 

I could see that all he needed to do was go up a little further to make it where he wanted to be.  Jack couldn't see that.  All he could see was that he had already climbed so high, and that the end was nowhere in sight.  I tried to tell him that I could see the slide, and that he was so close- all he had to do was a little more work.  I couldn't do it for him; it was something he would have to do on his own.

My life is like that.  All I can see is what I have done, and the problems that I have already gone through.  It seems like all I have done is for nothing.  I can't see the end.  I just want to climb back down and not put any more work into it.  However, there is One that knows what is at the end.  He can see where I need to go, how to get to where I want to be.  I need to trust in that.  Keep going.  Keep moving forward.  (And give up trying to control everything.)

The third experience I had is I have a friend that e-mailed me with some great advice.  Sometimes as mothers we have to experience things, (although they seem hard at the time), that end up being a tender mercy from a loving Father that knows what experiences we need to help others (especially our own children). 

To be honest, I don't know if I will ever have the answers I want.  I do know that peace has replaced some of the frustration and anger in my heart.  It is a good step, and I need to keep going. 


Camille said...

Thanks :) I needed to read something like this today (as I argue back and forth by email with the medical clearance people about my class 2 because of post-partum depression).

Jen said...

I just wanted to let you know that your email was beautiful..I started bawling while reading it (good thing Pete was driving:-)

Thank you so much, your notes have so bouyed my spirits over the past week!

Sara said...

I love the passage from the book you quoted. It really can be used in so many areas of life. I have been struggling with the idea that breast cancer has hit Jen and her family and I don't even know this wonderful woman. (Only just found her blog too). It's good to reflect sometimes. Needed even.

Jessica said...

I love these thoughts. It gives me something to ponder and its such a good reminder on our limited perspective.

Jill said...

Life IS hard and hind sight is always 20/20.

Whenever you begin to figure out the answers to life, please let me know.

I'll be first in line to find out what Matt's next job will be when we bid out AGAIN next year.


A Daring Adventure said...

I love it when you post like this -serious, deep, thoughtful posts. I love your worldview and perspective.

David L. said...

Isn't it more fun not knowing the answers? I find it certainly more exhilerating to be climbing the ladder leading to the slide out of sheer anticipation of what awaits at the top - or if there is even a top to reach.

I used to think I had answers or that I had a handle on why things happen, but I've since let go of such thoughts, and I haven't been happier. Sure, it is scary, frustrating and angering, but that is offset by hopeful optimism and excitement.

All we can do is take care of ourselves today with an eye to the future, and the rest will sort itself out.

Keep your head up!

Emily said...

I can totally see you speaking in General Conference one day, Em. You have great, great thoughts.

Did I comment on here about The Hiding Place? I LOVED that book. Its a wonderful testimony that all things testify of Christ. So very uplifting and the passage you quoted in this post is one of my very favorite parts. I was telling Justin the other day about the part in the book when Corrie talks about how her father would forget to bill his customers, saying that he should really be paying them as he was so honored to be working on such fine watch pieces. :)

Anyways, love this post. Thanks for sharing these thoughts. See ya on TV one day. :)