my daughter never reads the forewords or the prologues in a book, declaring her disdain and sense of pointlessness with them on a regular basis. i find that to be one of her endearing qualities and it makes me smile. she is passionate about certain things and is free to share it.
a foreword is typically written by someone other than the author themselves. it’s a word before the story meant to give insight into the story the book tells. in my case here, i’m writing to create a level of understanding of the foundations laid in my inner man regarding who God is and what it means to be loved by Him.
if you also share in my daughter’s disdain and prefer to just jump into a story, than you’ll have to wait a couple of days for it to begin. i’ve known i would have to go here in this series and have been struggling with how to go about it. this is the way forward for me, (pun intended).
Chasing Joy | A Cabin Story
i once read the book: The God I Love by Joni Eareckson Tada. it is a book full of wisdom words such as these. There is a chapter in that book where Joni wrestles with a friend over the concept of a God who is both Sovereign and Good (vs. either/or). a mere inches could have meant a different outcome for her that day. that chapter marked me.
in the dead of the night with my firstborn, i’d rock and nurse and hold this love of my heart. and the God who knit her together in my womb would bring to my mind one song. only one song; “Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus” and so that became ‘her’ song, and the truths contained within would overlay my own thoughts and prayers and needs as her mom.
with my second born, again there was one song, only ever one song; “The Love of God”
our first born delight was a very cooperative baby. this second born, not so much. about 8 months in we find ourselves far from home riding along in an ambulance wondering if he will survive the night. leaving our girl behind with grandma and grandpa we spent the next 5 days in the fight. the first hours included such depths of suffering and torture i will never forget. my husband was allowed to remain inside the ICU assisting the various docs while they worked for hours upon hours attempting to insert an iv into his dehydrated and failing body. i, however, was forbidden and exiled outside the closed and windowless door where i could hear his screams of pain, yet see nothing. the God of Jacob and i wrestled that night and i still carry the limp.
a mere inches could mean a different outcome.
Sovereign. yes. Good? after about the 5th or 6th failed (and extremely painful) attempt i began to wonder.
sometime in the middle of the night i was made aware that we were running out of time and options. i knew that the God of the Universe knew the outcome. if He was planning on taking my son, then get it over with already, why this needless suffering?
the familiar song flooded my mind and i could not stop the words.
I Am. I love you. I love zeke.
as i melted into a puddle of sobs over the reality that appeared to state otherwise, i was able to surrender to His Sovereignty and His Goodness co-existing in this place of torture and suffering. i leaned upon His breast and wept.
exhausted yet strengthened in my watchman’s post, a few hours later they handed me a limp body with an IV inserted into his scalp-the last attempt by the last person at the hospital that they knew to call in, inserted into the last place possible.
i have never understood that night. there has never been made known to us any type of outcome that makes sense or lends purpose to the suffering we all endured. (for it wasn’t only zeke who suffered and was afraid. hannah, barely 4, and jeremy and i also suffered and were frightened by that week.) the mystery remains to this day.
“I wished God were like He used to be, a few notches lower. I wanted Him to be lofty enough to help me but not so uncontrollable. I longed for His warm presence, times when He seemed more… safe.” -Joni Eareckson Tada