They say there are no aethiests in foxholes. And if you are Kim Parker, there is no non-writing in crisis. It helps me process. If I can make sense of it for you, I have found a way for me to think about it also. This means I can start talking to myself.
I could sit you down and make a case for talking to yourself, if you’d let me.
It has been a revelation learning the Bible says, contrary to Disney, we should NOT listen to our hearts. In all honesty, if I listened to my heart, I would have both abandoned my husband and my children long ago. I also would have pursued a career as a professional dancer and moved to Morocco. (There are very few big-boned dancers, and I’m guessing if there are, the epicentre for them is not Morocco.) It’s all the same level of crazy.
In contrast, the Bible says to not listen to your heart. It says to guard it. It says (and I know the truth of this in me), the heart is deceitful above all things.
So we are not meant to listen to ourselves. We are meant to talk to ourselves.
In fact, the language the New Testament writers use is kind of violent. Paul says “I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave.” (1 Corinthians 9:27). He says he takes “every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Those verses used to bother me enormously. With a little bit of real estate behind me, I know exactly what he’s talking about. Oh, do I! It’s nothing to do with putting intelligent reasoning aside. It’s about not being ruled by my emotions.
So this is why I write, so I know how to talk to myself, and not be ruled by emotion now:
Jesse has a 50 degree or more curvature of the spine. I’ll post a photo of it later, because I honestly don’t want to have to look at it while I’m pecking this out.
I had a hard time today looking at the x-rays. With the kidney and the diabetes, there has always been something I could do. A little pill added here. A shot of insulin there. Diet. Water. Exercise. Not with this. I’m helpless.
The truth I speak to myself now is, I AM helpless. And I actually always have been. My life is a vapour. I no more control over when I’m born or when I die than I do over the weather. Neither do I control our son’s life or health.
My Heavenly Father does.
The thing so moving to me is that he spoke to me about all of this before we even had our appointment at the scoliosis clinic.
This morning, curled up in my secret place with a blanket, a coffee, and Him, for whatever reason (the same reason it rains), I read Psalm 139. It’s the classic “new baby”, pro-life Psalm. You send this Psalm to women soon to give birth and people needing encouragement. The key point is there’s no place God can’t find you and keep you.
I kept coming back to verse 5. “You hem me in, behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me.”
I read it a few times. Read it in different versions. Looked up referencing verses, tried to find the kernel in it that was intriguing me.
I associate the “laying on of hands” with praying for someone; with showing someone by my touch that I see them and hear their heart. Putting my hand on someone is both an act of faith and an act of compassion. For me.
I texted the verse to a friend thinking it would encourage her. Thinking the Lord gave it to me for her. There were no dots connecting for me.
However, as we drove away from the hospital, having heard about surgery and spine-straightening steel rods and new technology that would allow them to lengthen the rods electronically, bit by bit from outside, I remembered the verse. Remembered the hemming in.
Prayerfully, Tim and I have said no to a brace. The cost-benefit ratio was too high. Jesse could have a back brace 24/7 for the next 6 years and still have a 70% chance of needing surgery anyway. He is blind in one eye, has an insulin pump, and daily, does his blood sugars 4 times; takes a growth hormone by needle and throws back some 12-14 pills. We feel he has enough “different” to deal with.
A “brace” is
The connection made me gasp. And this, this, friends, is what I will speak to myself whenever I am tempted to fear what is frightening: God will hem Jesse in, behind and before; He will be his brace, holding him steady, confined, safe. And He will lay HIS hand upon Jesse in both compassion and for healing.
He is able. He knit Jesse together in my womb. All the days ordained for Jesse were written in his book before one of them came to be.
Call me whatever you want. Naive, foolish, ignorant. I find in myself none of these things. I will pray for our son every single day. And I will speak these words as I pray. And I will glorify this beautiful, kind, thoughtful God when He answers.
Starting with right now. He is awesome. And my peace is great.
So, I should add, is Jesse’s. I told him this verse as we drove home and said “We will pray. God can lay his hand on you and heal your back Jesse.” And he said “Well, I’d sure like that better than the other option.”
Then he laughed.