Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Corn Field Prayers

As I've been pondering the journey with Nicholas and the other more minor challenges that have arisen in our family lately, thoughts of birth have come to mind.
I was raised in an English family. We lived in the hills of Hockley Valley, otherwise known as Ontario's Heartland. We had horses on the five acres, a beautiful century barn nestled at the bottom of the hill and our home was a log house. Sounds perfect doesn't it.
It was, except that we were a family of humans, sometimes fraught with sin, tension and temper. But we grew up, all of us with a knowledge of Jesus. Dad became a Christian in his 40's, and Mum had walked with God as long as she could remember. Each of us three children had our difficulties, but ultimately came to a place of decision and made the one to follow Christ.
Glory be to His Name.
I share this to say that we are a blessed family, one that has not seen struggles the way some families do. We often ask the question, "Why are we so blessed, when others seem to struggle so?"
There isn't a clear answer except to say that "To whom much is given, much is expected."
So we receive, and we give.

So as these afflictions over the past year and more recently the past few weeks have descended on my young family, I've been forced to press in to the heart of my merciful maker, the Potter who knows how the clay needs fashioning, to trust that His image is being forged in all of us in this sometimes fiery place.
Chris (my 9 year old) broke his wrist one week ago at school. Two days later, at a church baseball game, my valiant husband was smashed in the nose, which broke the bridge and left him with a bend he didn't have before. In the midst of it all Nicky continued with his seizures, more than ever over that weekend.
So we pressed in.
I have often given sage advice to those who question God when they see suffering children, until now when it's my child. "Why don't you heal him?!" I question in disbelief as I see his anguish and fear as another storm flashes through his system, compromising his day, and ours.

Last Friday Frank was home as he'd just had knee surgery, so I ran out to do an errand and found my way to a quiet place to pray.
I parked in a corn field off a sideroad. The corn was thick and tall, golden tassled tops reaching for the ocean blue sky above. It was a sacred place of solitude for those few moments and I felt my heart cry out a new prayer.
"Lord, whatever you are birthing in me, help me to accept the pain, not to resist it, to work with it and allow You to do Your good work."

When I had Chris almost 10 years ago, I didn't know how to work with the pain my body was experiencing. I tensed up, tightened my muscles against the opening that needed to widen, curling inward and making the process much longer than it probably should have been. I demanded Frank's comfort at every contraction, unable to cope with the intensity.
When a tiny, squalling Christopher was finally thrust from my body 27 hours later, I was an exhausted wreck, because I resisted the difficult job that my body needed to do.

Conversely when I had Nicholas just over 4 years ago, I yielded myself to the movement that was taking place, willing the widening of the birth canal to be accomplished, so this new life could pass safely through.
Unlike the first time, with my fourth, I went down to the couch in the basement and labored all night on my own, so as not to disturb Frank. Then the next day, Nicky arrived with such speed and force that Frank ended up having to deliver this new life himself, on our bed, while on the phone with 911.
It was an incredible adventure that I will never forget. And the lesson for me in it is that I must not fight what God is birthing. If I can grasp onto His mighty hand in cooperation and yield to the process that is taking place in me (and in our family), then perhaps it will not be so long and terribly painful, than if I should resist and tighten up when He works to bring forth new life.

I know that there is no guarantee that Nicky will be healed. But that will always be my prayer, along with a determined willingness for whatever God allows into our lives. Because ultimately I trust Him. His ways are not our ways. Sometimes it feels as if we are being given a stone and not bread, but that is a different post, because sometimes things are not as they seem.


"...Shall we indeed accept good from God and shall we not accept adversity?" Job 2:10b NKJV

"And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me." 2 Cor 12:9 NKJV

5 comments:

Joyful Fox said...

Oh Angcat,

How beautiful. By telling your story and telling of God's work in your life, as you make sense of it, find understanding on this part of your journey, it helps others. Some who may be groping along in some dark place, not able to find their way.

I know whom we've believed in and He is able to keep that what you've trusted to Him. He's able to keep Nicky, Frank, Christopher and your 2 other wee ones. He's able to comfort , guide, and give you peace and He will bring you into a very large place.

When, where, and how - I do not know but He does. The timing is His.

I know you know all of what I've shared. I am not preaching to you, friend. I'm here to remember with you and love you through this as He perfects His work in you.

I'll cry with you, wonder with you, and intercede to our Father on your behalf. One day, I'll rejoice with you as your seeds sown yield a beautiful harvest.

You are faithful, Angcat and there will be beauty out of ashes I know.

This adversity will end and His glory will be revealed.

For now, your offering, "Corn Field Prayers", is a gift to many from this stretching time. Thank you for sharing and may you reap much.

Love you, sister. I am praying.

KW said...

Beautifully said. Thank you for a great post as usual

Susan said...

Ang, there's already nuggets of pure gold coming out of your fiery furnace. (As in today's and last week's posts.) I can't imagine how beautiful will be the final work as you come through this.

Thanks for some solid, dig-my-fingernails-into-it-and-hang-on encouragement in my own fiery furnace...

Belinda said...

Dear Ang,
Thank you for sharing:

* Your journey, that others may know they aren't alone in their dark place.

* The beauty of your writing; I loved that ocean of blue sky!

* Your self and your Lord.

Angcat said...

Thanks so much for your encouragement dear friends. I treasure you.
God is faithful.