Friday, October 21, 2011

I want to be worthy

This week has been such a blessing. My mom was able to come in from out of town for several days and make some memories with Caroline and me. I'll share more about all that in another post. But it's also been a time of reflection and growth for me as well. Being able to talk to my mom in person about what's on my mind has been awesome. So I'd like to share a few of my thoughts from this week.

"Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it." - Matthew 10:37-39

As we go through this whole crazy situation, God is revealing things to me in bits and pieces, as I can manage to digest them. Even in his teaching moments he is gracious towards me. This passage of Scripture is one that God used this week to teach me another lesson. A tough lesson, but one I needed to learn. Reading it, you can probably tell pretty much what I got out of it. This Scripture doesn't leave a whole lot of room for discussion, at least to me it doesn't.

I love my daughter. A lot. Even though I haven't seen her in person or "met" her, I love her. Any child that is growing in a loving mother is going to be loved from the time it's known he or she exists. That's definitely true. In our situation, the chance/probability that we will lose Caroline has, amazingly, made me love her even more. I guess that old cliche, "You don't know what you've got till it's gone," could be considered true in our case. The thought of losing Caroline makes me want to hold on to her even more tightly while I still have her. Whereas before we got her diagnosis I was careful but not really anxious about pregnancy issues, now I am not only careful, but tend to fight anxiety. Any twinge I feel makes me worry that something is going wrong, even if it's completely normal. I'm sure that's a natural reaction to have in a situation like ours, but it's quite exhausting. I have to give those worries to the Lord constantly so I don't drive myself crazy. But it just illustrates how fragile all life is on this earth, and that I am clinging very tightly to the little life growing inside me.

I guess God wanted to make sure Caroline was not becoming an idol, or a distraction, or a stumbling block in my life. Even as I am trying my best to rely on God for grace, comfort, and strength, I still have my moments of disbelief, and of lacking faith. I still struggle with the thought that Jesus knows what's best for me and Caroline, and trusting that no matter what happens, he's in control. It's hard for me to understand why taking my little girl to Heaven before I get to know her is possibly the best thing for me. I don't understand God's thought process a lot of the time. So as I struggle to accept our situation with grace, this is a hard battle being fought in my mind. Does God really know what's best? Could taking Caroline really be what's best? Is he really expecting me to handle this all with grace, giving him the glory through it all? I always, ALWAYS know the truth, but that doesn't make it easy to accept.

So what did God do? He sent me this Scripture to let me know what's up. He wanted me to know, in no uncertain terms, the truth. It hurts to consider it, but it's also a comfort in some ways. This Scripture says I MUST love God more than anyone else in my life. If I cling to my daughter too tightly, I am not worthy of my Jesus. If I don't look at this situation as "my cross," and as my share in Christ's suffering, I am not worthy of my savior.

I can't love Caroline more than I love Jesus. Period. I can't love my mom more than I love Jesus. I can't love Cameron more than I love Jesus. I can't love anyone more than I love Jesus. And that will mean that sometimes, I might have to hurt. Jesus hurt. His cross was painful. Dying a sinner's death was painful. Watching the people he loved, who he was dying for, spit on him, mock him, beat him, and deny him, was painful. He was abandoned by his friends, ridiculed by his enemies, and forsaken by his Father. He faced way more than he's asking me to face. But he was also victorious over death, and saved all of us who choose his salvation. If I'm not willing to follow him, bearing my own cross or pain, then I'm not worthy to be called his. I will honestly admit that I don't like that sometimes. That's a hard pill to swallow. But it's the truth. And the truth is, Jesus is the only one I can't lose. He'll never leave me, never forsake me, never fail me. Any other human being, I can lose (at least for my remaining time on earth). They can hurt me, fail me, disappoint me. They're not Jesus. No one else can save me for eternity. No one else has chosen to die for me so that I could live, eternally.

And in the end, I want to be found worthy of my Jesus.

So if I have to love Jesus more than I love Caroline, then I will. If I have to hurt, I will. If I have to lose my daughter, then I will. If I have to lose my life to gain it, then I will. I want to be found worthy. Nothing else on this earth could truly satisfy me, comfort me, make me happy, or gain me eternity like Jesus can. Nothing. As hard as that is to live out, it's true. As hard as this concept is for me, it's true. As hard as it is to take up a cross, voluntarily, and follow Jesus, it's what's best for me. Always.

I can tell you that right now, I am not altogether feeling very worthy. I am not feeling altogether willing when it comes to taking up my cross. I'm not feeling very able to love Jesus enough to say he can have my daughter if that's what his will is. But I'm trying. And as I try, I'm begging Jesus to help me. Without his help, I know my efforts to be worthy of him are futile. I am too jacked up. I am too weak. I am too bound to this earth and my limited understanding. No sane human being can WANT pain and suffering. No human being can WANT to lose a child. It's not normal. But I CAN want to be worthy of Christ, no matter the cost. I just CAN'T do it on my own.

So just as I've been clinging to Jesus for comfort and grace, and for the strength to make it through all this, I am also now clinging to him for courage. It's going to take courage for me to live out this idea. It's going to take a lot of supernatural help for me to be anywhere near successful. I'm going to want to recoil and rebel against all this; I already DO recoil and rebel at the thought of it. But I want to be worthy. I WANT to be worthy. If he ends up giving us our healing miracle, then I will be ecstatic and rejoice and praise him forever. But if that is not what he chooses, then I want to be worthy anyway.

"Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it." - Matthew 10:37-39

Lord, I beg you; make me worthy of you.

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