When I look at the pics below of Kyle I wonder how I could ever experience some of the emotions that I do. How could I be sad or angry or even frustrated. How could I do anything but burst with Joy? He is beautiful and I do have moments of bursting... lately the other emotions seem to come out more often.
I know all the church clichés ... (been in church since I was born)... in fact I have said most of the clichés to others. For example, "I need to just give it to the Lord." "God would not give me what I could not handle." Don't get me wrong - I believe there is a difference between saying something and living something. There is a difference between our perception of being a follower of Christ and what Christ intended a Christ follower to be. It is the difference between a statement made off the top of your head and a statement made from the bottom of your soul. It is the difference between what we think brings glory to God and what BRINGS glory to God. This is where I feel stuck.
One of the things I have learned since my time in the NICU is how important our gut is. You know - stomach, intestine and so on. I always thought if your heart and brain are okay then you are okay. Not so - with out a gut ... you can’t live. When something is not right in the gut... it is a BIG DEAL.
This is my struggle. My head believes Him. I really do KNOW that God is right. He is in control. My heart believes Him. I truly love and desire God with my whole heart. My problem right now is my gut. I am unsettled in the things I believe in my gut.
I am not questioning the reality of God. Really, I am not. I am not questioning why does God let things like this happen. I am not even questioning what God is doing in my life. I am questioning the response to God that comes from Christianity as I have known it.
When Kyle was born...I just KNEW b/c of my request, God was going to skate him through this and let him be a little miracle and astound the masses. These types of things just don't happen to me. God uses our family through john's career, through 220, through an amazing community - our home group, and yes even through miracles - just not this painful. But this - to fear losing my baby - and now today; 8 weeks in, … to still have to fear losing our baby. This cannot be what God intended for me.
so back to the thought "a difference between what I think brings glory to God and what BRINGS glory to God. I would have thought that if God had answered my prayer and Kyle did not have to be delivered that Monday morning – then glory to God. I would have thought that when I begged God to do a miracle and save Kyle from the brain bleed or miraculously make the bleed disappear – then glory to God. I would have thought that if God had closed his PDA right away or stopped Kyle’s seizures or protected him from the heart clot and infection that he has - THEN glory to God.
I thought that when our friend Phil gave God glory for everything his son Marshall was going through, when he and Jeana constantly spoke Praise to God for what He was doing in and through Marshall – and Marshall was healed and a constant, forever living testimony of God’s hand at work – then glory to God.
I SURELY thought that when I, with all hesitation shoved aside - and all the faith I could muster, asked God to change his mind – change the course for little baby smith (I won’t share his real name). Give him back to his parents along with the hope of Jesus Christ. SURELY then, glory to God.
God did not do what I wanted in these cases – so if I know in my head and in my heart God is real, God is right and true then I am left to question do I know what “glory is to God”. I would have thought that his children – hands raised in praise at His miraculous works would be it. I think we all think this is it.
But if the mountains just sit and the trees just grow and all nature glorifies God – If a child who can not really even recognize the work of God and credit it back to him – if they glorify God – then why do I think any different for me.
I was assuming that the only time God receives glory is when he does what I say – you might laugh when you read that but … for me this brings all new meaning to being “sadly mistaken.”
I guess I am saying this – I need to stop and think about what God considers to bring Him glory. I am afraid I am going to be shocked. I might not even like it. But anything I learn will be better than the blind and sadly mistaken idea that God is only glorified by looking down on his people as they bow on their knees thanking Him for doing what was in their plan. How did we become such an arrogant people? (Sorry. I didn’t mean to lump you into my writing here for those of you that are reading.)
Or to say it a different way (or as john might say it)… I don’t think my American Christianity has a any clue what God wants… what He desires for His Glory. Even growing up here in “ christiandom” and speaking “christianese” for all these years… I still don’t have a clue. And now I am changing. It is not that my belief in who God is is changing, or my belief in who he has created me/us to be.. but I will try to no longer “praise” God and say “Glory to God” out of ignorance and blindness. I will seek and wrestle and search.
Now, when my friend says “We lost our son today… … … praise be to God”… I will search for what that means until I find it.
- John and Kelly
- This story begins with 5 people. John, Kelly, Jadon, Jack, and Kyle (he is only 23 weeks old... and he is still safely tucked away in his mommy's belly) In an hour's time Kyle made his way into the world. 1 pound, 3 ounces- 11 and a half inches long. This family will never be the same. This child is a warrior. He has the spirit of a Lion, and more courage than a whole pride. He is fierce, and fearless- and he is teaching us to fear the Lord- and to believe that God is in our midst and healing even now. Join us as pray, as we praise, and as we journey through this life as lovers of God and all His glory.