Tag Archives: risk

The 4th

On February 3, a really long time ago, my dad died.  On February 5, we buried him, and that was that.  I was a kid and it pushed me into a downward spiral I stayed on for a lot of years.  But then Jesus came and pulled me up and changed my heart and I was still sad, but not on the downward spiral.  And each year on February 3, I remember a lonely, vulnerable little girl and her world shattering, and I am sad for her and her dad.

But then came my husband.  For months he knew he wanted to propose, but he waited.  And waited.  He was waiting for February 3 to pass.  He knelt on February 5 to ask me forever so that I’d always have a day to say goodbye to my dad, but a follow-up day to say hello to my husband.  Mission accomplished: I don’t think I’ve recounted that funeral in all these years because instead I’ve relished in my proposal.

But what of the day in between –the 4th?  It can go back to the 3rd and recount sorrow, or it can look forward to the 5th and anticipate joy.  I remember the day after my dad died going all over the mall finding funeral clothes and each saleslady asked just a little too chipper how I was.  Terrible, Lady.

But how am I now all these years later on the 4th?

I think a lot of grieving mothers live in the 4th for a long time.  There’s a part of us that never wants to leave the rawness of losing our babies.  We are that much closer to them in time, we remember more vividly.  There was an eye in the storm because after all what choice did we have.  But now it’s the 4th and that day is over.

There may be babies after the storm and slowly our hearts start to consider this, desire this, fear this.  Sometimes we stick a toe in and swirl around the water a bit just to see the ripples.  But it’s still the 4th, so we quickly jerk back to dry ground.

And then there’s the choice.  Unlike time marching on without our consent, grieving mothers have to make the choice to go to the next joy.  They can sit contentedly in some romantically distressful fashion forever in the 4th ‘s limbo or they can bid a whistful ‘see you around’ to the rawness and plunge fully into the 5th.  Only then we find we’re still tethered to the 3rd and we never can really say adieu.  And it’s kindof comforting actually.

What 4ths have you sat in?  What have you stared back at with grief thinking you’d never leave?  What have you dared to taste for just a moment before you ran back for cover?  How did you finally leave the 4th?  Or are you still there?

For me, it is Jesus.  I know that my sorrows are real and wearisome.  My burden is heavy and I’m tired.  But I know that in crying out to Him, He takes it all and strengthens me in the sabbatical of the 4th and prepares me for the future.  He’s done this over and over, never failing me, never forsaking me.  Even when I’m scared, I trust His heart and follow His leading because He loves me so.

I can’t keep from realising that Jesus rose after the “4th”.  But it took going through it to get there.

Enjoy the 4th.  Make it count.  Give it to Jesus and follow Him.

A Transformed/ing Heart

*Original publication date is December 2011

The school called and asked if I would pick up teaching a class I’ve never taught before (speech) – whole different department even!  I’m certified in it, but that just means I tested well that day.

I saw lots of problems with picking up this class:

  • No prep time – it starts in January!
  • Extends my day because it switches my conference period
  • 30+ more things to grade
  • 30+ more personalities to deal with (and the parents that go along with them)
  • Means that I cannnot make doctors appointments during my conference – no way can I get to Dallas and back in 90 minutes.
  • So…if I have to make a doctor’s appointment at all next semester (is that likely?  haha) then I will have to get a sub.  Since I have no sub days, I’ll lose $291 or half that depending on however it gets calculated out for that day.
  • I’m tired; I don’t wanna…

But, I had some other thoughts, too:

  • I’ve been praying that God would help me reach the medical community (specifically OBs) more than I am in advocating for the TAC and proper provider education on cervical insufficiency.  Perhaps teaching this new course dealing in communication would help prepare me for this.
  • I’d have the opportunity to build 30+ new relationships with students
  • I’d be in a new teacher circle that I’m not currently in – maybe they need encouragement or have something for me to learn!
  • I don’t always want to be the teacher that says no – which is who I’ve always been. I love my administration and if I can help serve them, then I want to.

So…initially I thought no, but there was the tiniest spark of an idea in me that maybe I ought to see what the Lord says about it.  So, Nam and I prayed.  And, then the question came up in my heart: what would a missionary say?  Would he say no for self-preservation, or would he say yes and step out on faith that God could take care of the concerns?

Do I want to be me-centered or Kingdom-centered?  That answer is clear…so, then, was my answer…

I am stepping out on faith to see what God has for me here.  I trust that He will handle every single concern.  I figure if I can trust Him with my sons, trust Him with my brain tumor, trust Him with my eternity, then surely I can trust Him with money and schedules and tiredness.  And, I know I can.

What fascinates me most about this is that I don’t think a year and a half ago that I would have said yes.  I don’t think before I lost my sons that I would have known how deeply I can trust my God.  I hadn’t yet given God the chance to be faithful to me with me watching and waiting.

I am so thrilled to see God changing me and to do it through my precious sons.  He is ever faithful.