I’m the type of person that loves being involved in Bible studies. I love to dig deep into the Bible and find new truths. I just started the summer study by Kristi McClelland called Jesus and Woman. We are only in the first week of study and the author is already challenging me in so many ways. Almost immediately she began having us answer questions about our last wilderness experience.
Can I just be transparent to say that I’m still in it? It’s been a long one. I know that many people are going through the very same thing, just with different details. If you’ve ever brought family members into your home, whether it’s by blending families or adoption, this will probably resonate with you. It’s a learning and growing and stretching experience. It’s downright hard a lot of the time.
The author of the study shared that in the western mindset, we tend to question why something happened. The Jewish mindset would ask, “Why would God do that?” It’s so much easier to share with you all of the hard things along the way, but I’ve been challenged to think with a Jewish mindset. Why would God do that? Why wouldn’t He make this super simple if He’s called me to do it?
The author of the study then asks the question, “How can you keep the lessons of the wilderness with you instead of dismissing them or trying to forget them?” My answer was journaling, even though I’m not very good at it. I tend to write more things like prayers in the margins of my Bible if a passage speaks to me. There are some prayers I’ve written that speak specifically to the wilderness life we are in. Sometimes I journal more when God has taught me a very big lesson. As I pondered my sporadic journaling, I was reminded that at one point I tried blogging. It didn’t last long because, well, I just don’t have that kind of stick-to-it-iveness, or maybe I was just busy with the daily wilderness life.
Here’s a peek into one day in the life of a wilderness dweller.
January 9, 2018
Several years ago when our older three kids were younger, I got them started making pot holders with those looms that you see in craft stores; you know, the ones with the loops that you string across and then you weave other ones through those? It was great entertainment for them. The only thing I had to do was to help them get the potholder off the loom. It required a kind of crochet stitch with a crochet hook. They could get it started, but as soon as they had it halfway off the loom, the loops that were still on the loom would start popping off. It was frustrating for them and usually required mom’s hands to finish it off.
One particular day, our oldest boy decided that he would just finish his own. He got tired of all the loops jumping off the loom and so his solution was duct tape. Whie it is functional, it’s not the way the pot holder was supposed to look. He was impatient with the finishing process.
This morning as we were once again prodding our youngest along in getting ready for school, I found myself thinking that this process sure is frustrating. We’ve gotten ready for school umpteen times in his lifetime and it seems like every morning we go over the same ground. I found myself wishing that he was further along in his development; dare I say it… grown up and the process completed. Please don’t judge me. I know we are supposed to cherish these growing up years. I do, but part of me is ready to work on a different area of his life.
He gets stuck in the getting ready process. If there’s ANYTHING that could distract him, it will. We have tried several techniques to help him along, but he still requires verbal prompts. Sometimes I wonder how he’ll function in the real world when he’s grown up.
Which brings me back to my duct tape pot holder. While it is functional, it doesn’t exactly look like it’s supposed to look. We are in the process of helping our child become independent (like a potholder coming off a loom) and still the loops keep popping. I’m frustrated and sooo tempted to get out the duct tape and tell God I did my best.
So here’s what I heard this morning as I pondered the pot holder. “You have done a lot of work in weaving the loops in the life of this young man. Let me be the one to take him off the loom. I will finish him perfectly. You don’t need to worry about that part. Give him to me because my hands will do a much better job.”
God will finish what He’s started. I can surely count on that.
Back to today. We have gone many miles through this desert since the time I wrote that blog post. Today I am pondering, “Why would God do that?” Why would God give a special needs child to a very imperfect mom? I know why. Through the years in the desert, He’s drawn me in so close; closer than I was ever walking before. I’ve had to lean on Him in ways I never had to before when normal was my normal. This year that young son of ours will be a senior. It’s getting real, just how much I will need to trust God to finish the work He started.
By the way, I still have the duct tape potholder.
Yvonne is a part of our Christ’s Church family and is married to Jim, one of our Pastoral Care Ministers. They have 5 children, Joel, Kayla, Noelle, Angie, Ryan, and 5 grandchildren.