If you have been reading my blog lately, you will know that I am having some trust issues with God. The truth is, these issues have been building for a long time, and Calvin's upcoming heart procedure on May 9th have brought them to the forefront. As far as heart problems go, his is really a minor and fairly common one called an ASD. Most of the time these holes can be closed in the cath lab and only require an overnight stay in the hospital. Occasionally, they are big enough to require open heart surgery. As far as we know, his will be closed in the cath lab, though we can't know for sure until the pediatric cardiologists get in there and see the actual size of the hole.
It's funny how I have been telling people since we knew about the defect that this procedure is no big deal, but now that the date is set, I feel completely differently. I have considered calling to cancel it on many occasions, waiting until Calvin is much older to walk down this road. But the truth is that we need to take care of it before we move overseas where we won't be able to monitor it as well. And I know on some level that my soul needs to walk through this, too.
But I am really terrified. On any given day, the thoughts in my head go something like this: "God may be good and He may love me, but He wants to make life really hard for me so that I will grow in my faith. Since the scariest thing I can think of is losing one of my boys, He is probably going to make me experience that or at least come close enough to realize that He is ultimately in control of their lives. I know He is preparing me for this because of such-and-such sermon or Bible study or because of this interaction with such-and-such person. Yep, there is no other option. Something bad is going to happen to Calvin. God probably doesn't really love me. I refuse to do this. I am going to cancel the appointment and wait until God is paying attention to someone else's messed up soul."
I am not even going to begin to unpack the theological difficulties of this line of thought or what it displays about the sad, selfish state of my soul that I am so focused on avoiding my own sufferings and not thinking about others'. I know on an intellectual level how messed up this train of thought is, but I am not ready to be anywhere else.
I cannot begin to say how grateful I am for the people in my life, especially the women in my church, who are not offering platitudes and happy scriptures. Instead, they offer hugs and tears and prayers and understanding. They point me to the Psalms, where David expressed his frustrations and anger at God and was still called a man after His own heart. They know that I do not need to be cured of my bad attitude but allowed to lament and be angry and hopefully come out on the other side with a greater trust and love for the Father. And they long with me for Calvin's procedure to really be as minor as it should be and for him to be up and running the next day.
As I try to work through this and seek wisdom, one thing I do keep hearing is the need to come to a place of being able to pray "Thy will be done." At first, I got angry at that, too, thinking it was a platitude, a way of saying that I need to be okay with the way things are or with the way things turn out and still trust in God. I need to just be content with His will, whether that means suffering or joy for me at any moment. Perhaps that is how a lot of people mean it, and I know that accepting His will is important. But as I look at the greater context of that line of the Lord's prayer, I see so much more.
Thy Kingdom come,
Thy will be done,
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Thy Kingdom come, a kingdom of healing and wholeness and life. On Earth as it is in Heaven, in Heaven that healing and wholeness and life are complete, while they are just beginning to be realized on Earth. It is a prayer that God's Kingdom would become manifest in the lives of His people on Earth now. It doesn't mean that people will always be healed, and it doesn't mean that if I pray that prayer Calvin will come through this procedure okay. I know there are no guarantees. I also know that prayer is powerful, and that if I look back on my own life, I see many more answered prayers than unanswered ones. So it is okay to pray for His healing spirit to break through in this instance, for His kingdom to become reality in Calvin's heart.
Or perhaps to ask people to pray that for me when I am too weak and broken to pray it myself.