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When my children were young, I was part of a Mom to Mom group at our church. To say the group saved my life is not an exaggeration. For a brief two years towards the beginning of our marriage and parenting, God plopped us down in the middle of Atlanta… actually… in the middle of my parent’s basement. My husband was trying to figure out what he wanted to be when he grew up. He had a brief time as a manager of Chick Fil A with aspirations of being an Owner/ Operator. When it became clear that was not, in fact, the life for us… we moved in with my parents just in time to have our second baby.
It was an incredibly hard and dark time for me. I was consumed with postpartum depression and didn’t know it. My thyroid levels had gone haywire. I was too sick to realize how sick I was and how much help I needed. My husband was working at Target and trying to figure out the next step and I was home with a newborn who did not want to sleep or eat or have any schedule at all and a toddler with endless energy.
By the grace of God, we got connected at the church where I had attended in high school. We found ourselves attending a marriage class and I discovered the Mom to Mom group. Though it was only for a couple of years, the things God taught us and planted in our hearts carried me through dark, dark days and prepared me to survive and thrive in marriage and parenting. I often reference our Love Bug marriage crew and my amazing Mom to Mom ladies.
God has a will. I’ve known this since I met Jesus as a teenager. God has a will. Something about the way Connie said it at Mom to Mom has stayed with me for the last fourteen years. God has a will.
At the time, I was feeling some serious mom guilt. I didn’t realize mom guilt is a monster that follows you and rears its ugly head at all ages and stages of parenting. This was my first time really coming up against the mom guilt. I was feeling it because my son (then 2) was still in diapers. It seemed that all the other moms of two year olds had perfectly potty trained kids. I was feeling like a failure as a mom. I don’t remember the exact lesson or the exact wording, but I heard one day at Mom to Mom that God has a will… even for when I potty trained my child. I did not have to look at what the other moms were doing. God cared so much about me and so much about my son that he even had a will and a plan for potty training. Guess what? I waited. I didn’t rush home and try to potty train him. I waited until he was ready… and it was a breeze.
God has a will.
When my daughter was going through cancer treatment for a malignant brain tumor, she was accepted as a patient at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. When you are accepted as a patient, you join a study. You become part of the research. It was all very overwhelming. The doctors are so smart and so amazing… and it seems weird or inappropriate to question them… or even more… to deny treatment. I was given a very thick packet of information describing the study. I tried to read through all of it. I tried to understand, but I was still in shock that we were even at St. Jude… that my child had cancer! It was brought to my attention that one of the medicines she would be given after active treatment was extremely experimental and maybe we should consider declining it. St. Jude is awesome. They will treat your child no matter what. If you get into the study and at any time aren’t comfortable with something … they still treat your child. But how could I question this medicine? Who was I to say no?
God has a will.
A friend reminded me that God is bigger and smarter and more aware than any of the doctors. She reminded me that He had a plan, a will, a purpose in his sovereignty for my sweet girl’s treatment. We prayed and asked God to make her course of treatment clear. We asked God to handle it and He did. Our oncologist walked in one day and said, “I know you have had some concerns about the medication. You don’t have to worry about making the decision. The medication was pulled from the study by the FDA.”
God has a will.
We were in the car last month and a commercial about the new vaccine came on the radio. My son commented that he didn’t realize there was a vaccine. It opened a conversation about whether or not we would take it. I expressed my concerns about the experimental nature of it and the fear that seemed to be driving so many. But I also expressed to my children that God has a will. It is not clearly laid out in Scripture whether or not we should take a vaccine. It is not clearly laid out in Scripture whether or not we should quarantine and wear masks when facing a pandemic. That does not mean that Scripture is lacking in anyway. It is, in fact, the complete Word of God and we can trust it and the Lord to lead us.
I told my kids that they were going to be seeing people who love Jesus advocating to get the vaccine. They would also be seeing people who love Jesus cautioning against the vaccine. I told them that I didn’t think there was one wrong side of it. I told them that God has a will for them about this issue. I wasn’t trying to sound flippant or disregard the reality of our current circumstances. I was trying to express that there are very valid, scientifically based arguments for and against the vaccine. I can get on the internet and find 10 articles in favor and just as many against… all well thought out… all well researched… all make perfect sense.
So… how to we discern what is truth? God has a will and he is not in the business of presenting his children with riddles and games to figure it out. God willingly and openly offers guidance and protection to his children. He is all about mercy. I’ve been reading a book called “Gentle and Lowly.” The chapters I read the other night were all about how God’s natural bent, his joy and delight, is mercy. He is a God of justice, but that is a “strange work” for him. Mercy and love and gentleness and compassion pour out from him, always. We don’t have to beat ourselves up trying to figure it all out. Sure… be informed. Be educated. Be aware. But also know that God is holding the answer you are looking for and ask him to guide you.
I told my kids that this world is not trustworthy. There are those who seek to kill and destroy and divide and tear apart. The division and confusion is rampant and seems that there is no anchor holding anything in place. But they don’t have to fear because God has a will… about the vaccine. About our homeschool. About the holidays we celebrate. About the friendships in our lives, the jobs we take, the money we spend. God is actively involved and desires relationship with us.