Hypocrite

That’s what I am.

I say one thing – and do another.

I pray so hard everyday.  I talk to Iz and tell her that her baby brother is going to be ok – that the doctors are going to fix him.

I tell God that I trust Him.  I tell God that I know He’s in control.

I’m lying to myself, to everyone, to God.

 

Because although I pray – I have such a hard time believing it all.

When I see Evan smile- I am calmed for a moment.  I pretend that he’s healthy.  I even picture him completely normal.

Denial-ville is a great place to live.

Then the next second – I am in gut wrenching agony.  Really – emotional pain so great – it actually has made me ill.

I tell Iz that all will be well – then I comb the depths of hell internet for every complication, every scenario, every bad outcome.

I tell my friends and family who are calling and checking on me – that I’m fine.  That everything is ok – and really – it’s the exact opposite.

I raise my hands up in church during worship, tears streaming down my face, nodding in agreement with our pastor as he preaches about the Gospel.

I walk out the doors of corporate worship feeling renewed.

I write emails and blogs and update statuses on Facebook with Bible verses, words of encouragement for others, positive messages of hope to uplift those who need it.

 

I smile when people say to me, “Oh you are so strong.  You have such faith…you inspire me to believe like you do.”

I smile like a habit.  That smile is not the light shining bright inside me.

 

Friends – I don’t know why it’s so hard to pray.  It should be the easiest thing to do in situations where God is beckoning – begging – me to seek counsel with Him.

It’s easy to pray when it’s good.  It’s easy to say our nightly prayers, spout off inspiring verses from Psalms or Proverbs, say, “I’ll pray for you.” for someone in need….when the grass in your yard is nice and green and manicured.  When life around you is seamless and perfect.

 

I need to clarify something before I go further.

My boy is perfect.  I don’t question his perfection or that he was God given.

Our situation is not.

What I question is “why” our situation is what it is.

What I question is why so many in the Heartland are on the brink of losing their babies?

What I question is why my innocent boy has to have his chest cracked open and endure pain of many, many surgeries to correct his face.

What I question is why crack addicts push out bouncy, babies…healthy…nonetheless….when I did EVERYTHING right…

 

To say my faith is being tested is the understatement of the century.

I get tested every moment of the day.  I’m scared to fail this test.  I desperately need “Faith for Dummies” or an About.com article on “How to live with unwavering faith.”

Parts of me are getting bent during this time of refinement that I’m sure they are going to crack….if they haven’t already.

 

Does God still hear my prayers – the ones I pray fervently for others, for my family, for Evan, for me – despite my doubts?

My doubts a myriad of questions, yet again…

God doesn’t owe me a thing.  He doesn’t have to prove Himself to me in anyway.  That’s not what it’s about.

I don’t want to be a Christian that feels entitled.  I don’t want to feel like God need to give me something even though I don’t deserve it.

 

Not even a week ago I posted about God’s divine appointment in my life when I encountered another soul needing direction.

Now here I sit….3am… my heart heavy with pleas to God for healing for so many who need it.  My heart heavy as I watch my boy sleep…smile in his sleep…probably dreaming about his feeding pump…and realize that all too soon…I’ll have to walk down the sterile halls of the hospital and hand over my boy to the surgeon.  I’ll have to look that surgeon in the eye, beg and plead with him, and say, “You treat my boy like he’s your own.  You keep him alive.”

I almost felt this moment would be here.  This time of doubt.  This time of trial.

I had started to become complacent in my faith again. After all….we’ve been home for awhile now.  Evan looks pretty good considering he has to have open heart surgery in less than 3 months.

 

It’s difficult to grasp and truly explain why this stuff happens.  My friends who are non-believers ask me over and over again “why God does this”?

This being the hard stuff.  The kids on life support.  The new diagnosis of heart defects, autism, cancer.  The babies dying.   The marriages collapsing.  All the horrible stuff you read in papers or see on the news.

And I reply, like I always do, “God doesn’t DO any of this.  He is not vengeful.  Doing something and allowing something to happen are completely different things.”

God is good.  All the time.

Life is not.

I love my kids more than life itself.  I will love them.  I will protect them with all that I am.  I will give them directions on how to live their life.  I will do all of these things….but my sweet littles will have a choice to do what is right…to be obedient.

Or not to be.

Doing things my way would be the easiest thing for Iz.  But, she still has the ability to make the choice.  I can intercede at anytime…make it easy on her.  Often, I don’t.  I let her make mistakes.  I let her live her life.  I love her despite her faults and her poor choices.  My love for her isn’t any less if she doesn’t believe me when I tell her to trust me.  This is the only way she’ll learn.  This is the only way she will build character.  One day, she’ll believe that all the things I tell her to do are for her own good.  One day…she’ll understand.  Just not today…when she is so young.  When she is questioning every move I make, every move she makes, every boundary I put up.  She tells me she loves me all the time.  She sings songs with me and dances with such happiness it’s contagious.  But, when she doesn’t get her way, when I make her do something she doesn’t want to do…her saying those three little words of “I love you” are hard…she’ll begrudgingly do it but her heart isn’t in it.

That doesn’t make her a hypocrite.  My toddler doesn’t understand everything yet.  She’s just young and testing the boundaries of her life as she knows it.  She’s learning to trust me…the person that loves her the most and wants nothing but the best for her.

I guess that doesn’t make me a hypocrite either.  It just makes me young.  Still a baby believer who is testing the boundaries. Asking the “why” questions over and over again (like all kiddies do). It makes me a child that still doesn’t understand so much.  I’m like any other person who finds it easy to praise and pray when the sun is shining but oh so difficult to raise my hands in praise when the storms are all around me.

As my heart aches today, as question after question floods my mind, as I ask for forgiveness for my doubting,  as I try to do things my way yet again…it’s time…for the thousandth time…I do the only thing I can do..and that’s raise my hands – not only in praise- but in surrender.

And as I raise my hands to sky…I ask that God envelopes me in His loving arms in love and hope, take away the hurt and the doubts…and like all good parents do…and just make it all better.