Monday, May 18, 2009

Memorial Box Monday

This is going to be a bit of a different type of Memorial...not so much an event, but a slow miracle that took place in my heart and mind over a long period of time.

I used to be afraid of things I could not control. Everyone probably is to some degree, but I was REALLY afraid. I worried about losing Jeff, or one of the kids, other family members, etc. I fought the feeling a lot, but often found myself re-arranging circumstances to 'protect' my family.

When I was growing up, I often heard people say that we shouldn't worry--and that we should just "leave things in God's hands." To be perfectly honest, it really used to bug me! I knew people who loved God and very tragic things happened to them. So how was 'putting it in God's hands,' going to help? I thought they meant that if I put it in God's hands, nothing bad would happen.

At some point, I began to pray that God would deliver me from my fears. They had begun to take over my life. You know...God has a funny way of answering our prayers sometimes! He took me up on my request and began to lead me down some unfamiliar paths and into circumstances that forced me to learn to trust Him. Most of those were related to our adoptions. Time and again, He led us into impossible situations. Sometimes He removed the difficulty and sometimes He just held our hands while we wept at a loss. There is a song that has a line,

"Sometimes He calms the storm
And sometimes He calms His child."

Either way, I began to realize that being in God's hands was the best possible place to be. If He led us into a difficulty that ended the way we hoped--we rejoiced. If He led us into a difficulty that ended in a way we didn't like, we ran into His arms and cried. We experienced His comfort and His love in new ways. Slowly, slowly, He taught me to trust Him. He gave us many experiences to look back on and marvel at how He had written our story.

Does this mean that I never fear? No. But He has freed me from ridiculous, paralyzing fears of things that I cannot control.

At the moment, we know we are going to be imminently transferred to the Boston area. We aren't sure where we will live, if our house (here) will sell, and we won't know a soul within 500 miles. But this I do know...God is leading us there so we are not alone. He has things for us to learn there that we could not learn any other way. It may be a hard time in our lives--it may not be--but either way, I know it will be for our overall good. (Remind me of this if necessary! haha) I know it WILL be really hard to say good-bye to my parents and siblings, whom I have been privileged to live near for the past four years. wah.

Into the memorial box will be a note with this verse written:
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34: 4

He is still in the process of delivering me from ALL my fears because I still have some. He does that because He loves me and wants me to be able to love Him with freedom and reckless abandon...The same way that Kate now loves me after we spent 2.5 weeks in the hospital together. Prior to that, she loved me, but our bond has deepened dramatically since her surgery. It makes my heart go to mush to see how relaxed and happy she is. She has started calling out to me at random times, "Mommy! I love you!" Her little heart has filled with love, not only for me, but also for her family. She shouts 'I love you,' to her siblings, also.

I find that the more I am able to trust and love God, the more I am able to love those around me. I know I have a long ways to go, but I also know that God will keep working on me.


Michelle said...

I know what you mean by that kind of fear I was just like that and I would say to other people I don't how just not worry I would worry about my son driving and what intersections he might have to go thru. I have since been praying for God to my worries away. I feel like I can breathe and yes I do still worry from time to time and now I just pray and God gives me peace. Thanks for telling this and I will be praying for your move to Boston.

Lynsay said...

Oh I'm bawling like the 7 babies were today.....thank you for this. I know you have said some of these things personally to me, in times of my fear, but today, as we face yet again an impossible situation, I find myself, not fearful as much as uncertain. Thank you for the wonderful reminder. Thank you for sharing about rejoicing or running to His arms, what a comfort!

Praying for you guys and Boston and for J as he is traveling!

Lori said...

Wow, great post. We definitely all face fears, no matter how brave we try to look on the outside. I appreciate your honesty. I'm so thankful we have a Father who not only allows us, but WANTS us to CLING to Him. That is so comforting.

I wish soooo much you had written in your post that you are moving to Kansas. :(

trustandobey said...

Well, I think we can all relate to this. Oh to be able to say...whatever God allows into my life, it is well with my soul...and really mean it.
ps-Karin, if it helps,New England is a beautiful part of the country.

Cari Bacon said...

Thank you so much for sharing that post today, Karin. I really needed it. I'll be praying for you and your family as you start this next adventure to the Boston area. You mention not knowing where you'll be living or if/when your house will sell. Those types of unknowns are what I struggle with too. I think its the loss of control. But the irony is that we were never in control in the first place. God was and always will be. I just read this verse today that goes along with that. Proverbs 19:21 (The Message) "We humans keep brainstorming options and plan, but God's purpose prevails". I'm so glad that His purpose does prevail because He sees the whole picture, when I just see but a small spec.

As far as "leaving it in God's hands", we KNOW this but somehow for me it jumps back in my head for me to fret over again and again! :) UGH!!

That's why I thank God for his patience with me.

Kim K. said...

What a beautiful post. After last week's health scare with my Dad, I've been living in the moment and trying to put my anxiety and fears far far away.

Wow. You have big changes ahead with a relocation. I'll be praying that your house sells and that everything falls into place.

Marmee said...

Karen, I have struggled with those same fears! I know how you feel, and I know how the Lord changes our hearts.

On another note, I thought you might like this painting of Christ with all the children from different nations.


Marmee said...

I forgot to mention that the painting you've posted here is titled Forever and Ever. It is by a man named Greg Olsen. He is the artist that painted the one I mentioned in my earlier post also. He has an amazing gift.

Mom Of Many said...

What a perfect post for me as my hubby and four of my kids (son-in-love included) embark with him next week for Africa...thank you for sharing your heart. I so wish you were being transferred to my neck of the woods...we would have a blast! You are such an encouragement and such a blessing - I love you sweet friend!! xo

sierrasmom said...

Karin, No worry, I live with in 500 miles of Boston. Its about a 3 1/2 hour ride. If we met half way its nothing at all. Anyway I've been wanting to visit Boston for a long time. Let me know when you are settled!!
Kathie in NY