Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Letting Go

"I took a test this morning and it was negative"

My mom's words rang in my ears.
She hadn't been feeling well for a couple of days, but we had all been praying that God would protect the baby. We were confident that the baby would make it. This had happened before, so we were sure everything would be fine.
 As those words were spoken, a despairing mood fell over everyone. Stunned expressions graced all of our faces for a few minutes. The reality hit and one by one tears began to fill our eyes.

Mom didn't want to deal with it that day. We were preparing to leave for a trip to the Barnard's later that afternoon. She said to tell no one, and if anyone texted or called to see how she was doing we were to tell them 'the same'. With that, everyone dispersed and went off to do chores and packing. (to read mom's side of this story go to: On Pregnancy Loss)

  I stumbled to my room as the tears were blinding my vision.
"Why? God, what is the purpose of this? What are you doing?" I asked. I felt like a bad girl for asking God why. I knew you weren't supposed to ask that no matter what, but I did anyway. I was broken. Angry. I felt like my trust and faith in God had been shattered. I had trusted in Him to keep the baby safe. He had given us this baby. It had a purpose. Why was He taking it away? I sobbed my eyes out for quite awhile. My heart had broken in to pieces and melted into tears. The more I cried the angrier I became. My anger towards God grew to be so great I couldn't talk to Him anymore.

I dried up in time to do my chores, but while I was straightening books on the bookshelf a song on our iTunes began playing. It was a mother's prayer to her baby. A song we had hoped to sing at the baby's dedication. The well of tears flooded once again. I'm self-conscious about crying in front of others so I went back up to my room.
 The ache in my heart wouldn't go away. I felt like I needed to talk to someone outside the family, but who could I call? I wasn't supposed to tell anyone. I finally decided to call our pseudo older brother, Joshua Covert. He would be on his lunch break in fifteen minutes so I figured I would call him then.
To my relief the fifteen minutes sped by. I dialed his number and waited for him to answer. I told myself that I was not going to cry while on the phone.
 Josh answered his phone and the conversation began. I told him what had happened. I ended up crying, to my embarrassment, but what he told me set it in a new perspective for me.
He said, "Haley, I'm envious of you."
Shocked, I asked why.
He replied with, "You have a bunch of siblings. I don't. I have none. I don't even have the hope of having siblings awaiting me in Heaven. You do."
I mulled over that and then realized he was right. He was so right!
He also said, "God is trustworthy. He really is. You know this. There is a reason for all of this. I'm not sure what, but God knows. There is a bigger picture that we can't see just now."

To say the least, he greatly helped me out and reassured me that trusting in God, though hard as it is, is the best thing to do. He prayed for me, a little bit more was said, and then we parted ways.
Though I was still harboring anger towards God in my heart, I felt as though I could continue on with my life for the time being.

I shoved the whole thing aside while we were at the Barnard's. I didn't want it to spoil the trip. However, God didn't, and wouldn't let me forget.
On the way home from the Barnard's I had three hours to think about it. After fighting for so long I finally let the barriers break. The wall of anger, defeat, bitterness, and hurt came crashing down. I let it fall in a heap before the Master and King. I surrendered it all over to Him. The weight of it all was a relief to get rid of.
I was free! It was so refreshing.

I learned that I had been mistaken in praying my will instead of His will. It's still a constant battle, and I think it always will be, but I'm making it a habit to pray that way.
Also living by faith is a day by day process. By willingly trusting in the Lord to guide me every day I am setting myself up for an adventurous and challenging life, but why shouldn't I?

Letting go is not easy, but is there something God wants you to let go of?

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Guest Post: A Privilege Forgotten

Originally posted by Cheryl at Treasures from a Shoebox

Guest Post:
This post was written by a recent home-school graduate who attends our church. This young man is a great conversationalist, fun to be around (his joy is contagious), encouraging, intelligent, articulate, and passionate about what he believes. I am pleased to introduce you to Wesley Myers.

The day seemed like any other. The cold temperatures outside were reminders that winter was still haunting our otherwise normal lives. School seemed to dominate the majority of my time, and day-to-day activities seemed as monotonous as breathing itself. The notion that my perception of mankind was about to change never even crossed my mind, and if it had been mentioned, it probably would have made me laugh. 

It came during lunch, when the radio was on. As was the tradition in our household, we listened to the political talk show host Rush Limbaugh on the radio while we ate. His appreciation for the truth and its lack of placement in our society, combined with his constant string of satirical comments, made an interesting daily subject of discussion. But while I sat there enjoying my peanut butter sandwich, the popular radio host moved to the matter of international happenings, most of which, at that time, was dominated by the current war in Iraq. And then the revelation began. 

He started speaking of the very first free election being held in Iraq. And as I listened, I was introduced to the idea of gratefulness for the very things that we have seemed to take for granted. Masses of people in Iraq were streaming to the cities to vote, crowding the booths for the opportunity to have their voice heard for the first time in their national history. Stories of people who gladly inconvenienced themselves for this rare chance flooded the news, further stunning my young, impressionable mind. Stories of people who would walk miles from their villages with incapable people on their backs to vote with them, or of elderly people who hobbled to the closest polling booth just to cast a single vote. A single vote that apparently meant everything to them. Then I wondered to myself, what was it that compelled these people so much to make a seemingly small difference? And why don’t we have the same reaction to this opportunity? That’s when I saw the error with my viewpoint. When you don’t have something, it becomes more valuable. 

There was a reason that the United States was started as a democracy. There was no freedom under the rule of Britain. America’s intention was to be liberated from the rule of oppressive government. The belief was held that if the people were the government, and the people chose the direction of the government, liberty was held intact. This belief and practice has been held for the entire life of this country, and has shaped who we are as a whole. Recently, however, we have started to develop a sense of complacency. Liberties that once were so important to us have been taken for granted. Just take a look at the voter turnout over the years – a downward trend has been going on for more than sixty years (1). 

Now compare that to a new democracy – Iraq. In only their first election ever, a third-world country lacking many of the conveniences we posses surpassed the world’s most powerful and free country in voting turnout percentage (2). Which leads us to the big question: why did this happen? Many answers can be formulated, but if we were to condense all the possible answers into one word, that word would be “gratefulness”.

We have taken too many things for granted. It is said that if we have money in our wallet, then we are richer than ninety percent of the world. If you have food, extra clothes, and a roof over your head, then you are more fortunate than seventy-five percent of the world. And here we are attending church together – something that three billion other people are unable to do. These are all things that we all too often take for granted. Freedom is a wonderful thing. But if we begin to ignore all it has done for us, then we begin to lose our sense of value for what really matters.

Freedom shows itself in many forms: freedom of religion; freedom to bear arms; freedom to own your own business; freedom of choice; and most of all, freedom of speech. Now imagine a life devoid of these freedoms. Life would be oppressed by the power hungry, and any grab for success would be met with control by those who have put themselves in power by no choice or say of the people. Life would be a monotonous existence, and, while we would hope for bright times in our children’s future, we would all know that the cycle of oppression would only continue.

So how can we avoid this all-too-possible future? The answer comes back to the reason why a third-world country had a higher voter turnout than our own – gratefulness. When you look at their past you may see a reason for their gratefulness: they are a people inundated with terrorists on every side, living in a country ravaged by war, all led by a man corrupted with power. So when they were given a chance to change the outlook for their country, it became a gift for all to have a piece. As with all countries, they may not have agreed with all that the candidates stood for, but they immediately looked past the differences to take advantage of the opportunity to change their country’s current path to destruction.

So the question remains: what is our excuse? Is it lack of time? Or money? Or maybe the polling booth is too far away? None of these excuses are valid in today’s advanced society that we have in our free country.

Even though this concept was never explained to me before, it immediately left a huge impact on my life and perception of everything around me. It became a lesson I will never forget. May we never forget the privileges bestowed upon us by the freedom of our country. Treasure them, and keep them responsibly, by taking advantage of them while we can. Because it is only when those privileges are gone that we realize how much they were originally worth, and how much was missed by ignoring them.

Works Cited

Side note: Wesley is the 6th of 8 children of Mike and Becky Myers. You might remember Mike from the recent post Too Small For His Britches.