Earlier this week, Quincy and I were able to have a wonderful dinner with a couple we only recently met but already love. We are connected by our stories.
You see, this family learned at an 18-week sonogram, that their little one may not have an earthly life. I'll share more if/when I get their permission.
As we sat around the table and talked about our loss and what could be their impending loss (or because with God all things are possible, their impending miraculous healing), one theme was continually repeated.
BE HERE NOW.
One of the hardest things about Ransom's labor was the anticipation about what it would be like. My mind ran absolutely wild with the possibilities. For the other couple, their little girl will likely live to term (again, with God all things are possible, so maybe far beyond that), but that means they have a much longer "anticipation" period. I cannot imagine. God obviously saw fit to allow us a somewhat brief "impending doom" period. The daddy said he felt like he was waiting for a bomb to go off. That is what it feels like. It's insane to know that the worst experience of your life is about to happen. However, being on the other side of the tragedy, I can see how God took this most terrible experience and made it beautiful and amazing, for His glory. Even if I'd allowed my mind to run absolutely wild the entire week leading up to his birth, I could not have predicted what God did. You know? That's God. He does things beyond our wildest imaginings and He can turn bad into good.
I think that the enemy is very wise to convince us to live our lives too much in the past or the future. We tend to miss out on what God is doing RIGHT NOW. We can wallow in our regrets, glory in our accomplishments, or fret about what's to come, all at the expense of what God would do with us now. This doesn't just apply to major stuff. This applies to the little, everyday stuff as well. I don't go through a single day without this struggle. I wake up every morning with a to-do list on my mind. I'm not mindful of the moments with my kids. Instead, I'm thinking about what I will be doing when the moment is over, what I should be doing instead of this... There is always some much to DO. I think that's why God gave us the specific command to BE STILL AND KNOW THAT HE IS GOD. He knew we would not naturally come to that conclusion on our own. He commanded it of us, so that we could stop DOING for a moment and just BE. That is a challenge and a discipline indeed. I've always got something looming ahead of me. It is not always something as challenging as Ransom's story, but there's always SOMEthing... cleaning, taxes, discipline, work, cooking, laundry... you know the drill. I wonder how often I miss out on what God is showing me because I'm failing to be still. Don't get me wrong, the cleaning, taxes, discipline, work, cooking, and laundry must be done, but what would life look like if I was just doing what I was doing at any particular moment, instead of doing what I'm doing while thinking about what I'll do next?
One of the things that God taught me through Ransom is that we really don't need to worry about tomorrow. There is no way I could've predicted what God did, so why was I worried? Quincy said something very profound the other night that I will now butcher. He was saying that when we are coming up with all the possibilities of what will happen in the future (specifically for this family, their baby's birth), the reason we get so overwhelmed with the possibilities, and anxious, and worried, is that God isn't there yet. I'm not being a heretic. I realize God is everywhere and outside of time, but in our minds, we are traveling there without God. When he shows up there with us, in the actual moment itself, everything is turned on its head. We have to realize that our God is so much bigger than our comprehension. We CANNOT understand, predict, or neatly package our God. He does NEW THINGS... and not just new to us, completely new, never-been-done-before things. He is capable of ALL THINGS... and not just all the things we can think of, all the things we never could have imagined! That is a BIG GOD.
So, I will redouble my efforts to be here now. I will search for God in the moment that I am in. I will praise Him in the moment that I am in. I won't "wait" for an opportunity to praise Him. I won't try to figure out how He'll handle the next big thing. I'll just be with Him now. At least, I'll try. I was not meant to bear the burdens of my past and future. God can handle all that. All He's asking of me is to be here now. He's here with me. Together, I think we'll have a lovely time. :)