Saturday, May 19, 2012

this i know

on friday at four i got the call from my surgeon's office.  "jody, good news...the biopsy results are in and the mass we removed is only scar tissue.  nothing malignant."  i was at home depot waiting for my pinestraw purchase to be loaded.   sarah and bella in the backseat.   "thank you jennifer," i said while directing the loader guy to the back of my yukon. "thank you, that's fantastic news," and i exhaled for the first time that day, maybe for the first time that week.  i thanked the pinestraw guy too,  hung up my phone, started my car and the girls and i drove home to work a little more in the yard.  several bales of pinestraw, but 1000 pounds lighter.

so all weekend here's what i've been thinking...

did i dodge a bullet?  was it a narrow escape?  did i avoid disaster by the skin of my teeth? oh, i don't know.  really, i don't know how to process all of this.  do you?  if you do, would you help me to understand?  i used to be a girl with a lot of answers, a girl with a whole lot of information and a bunch of opinions and ideas...  but not anymore.  now i feel like things happen fast:  cancer diagnoses and surgeries and biopsies and results and i just have to sit in the news of it all and let it wash over me.  let it soak in, little bit by little bit.  processing moment by moment.  what does it all mean?

immediately, with this new scare we began to hear from those intending well...what is God telling you?  perhaps you shouldn't be moving to minnesota.  you should.  you shouldn't. you should. you shouldn't.  huh? i felt more confused with every conversation.  if every piece of news resulted in a new direction or a new message from God, i am certain by this point i would be spinning only in circles, crazy and crying.

i don't believe God works that way.  does He have messages for us? YES.  does He waste anything?  NO.  does He want us to see His hand and hear His voice and know His power?  YES. YES. YES.   but am i supposed to sit here and analyze every move He makes and every sign He sends and every little thing which happens to me?   no. no. no.   i don't think my God wants me to live on a roller coaster like that. i don't think He designed me to spend my time deciphering and dissecting every new turn and twist in my road.  i think He wants me to draw close to Him...depend on in Him.  but not feel like i have to figure Him out.  i am not sure if, when i decided to follow Him, He asked anything more of me. and the older i grow, the more i am certain, He doesn't want me to have all the answers.  He doesn't want me to be able to easily explain how He is working in my life.  but i assure you,  HE IS WORKING. and that is enough.  i don't know why He leads me down the paths that He does...but He does.  He does.  He does.  and as His child, His daughter, His beloved i am only required to go. go. go. walk. walk. walk.  follow. follow. follow.

i realize this completely contradicts what our culture pounds into our knowledge seeking heads, into our fact gathering minds.   we are supposed to know and understand and research and analyze and take control of it all. black and white and concrete. we are taught to wrap everything up in neat little packages with clear instructions and bite sized strategies.  but what if we don't.   what if we can't?  what if we just cannot understand? what if we just cannot comprehend the hand of God?  what if there are some things which God doesn't want us to understand, because what He really wants is not our understanding, but our trust. what He wants is imperfect us...not our perfect answers.

my friend, job, went through a lot.  a heck of a lot more than me or anyone else i know.  but even way back in the bible, job got it.  he understood that he couldn't possibly understand.  "can you fathom the mysteries of God?  can you probe the limits of the almighty?"  (job 11:7).  "God's voice thunders in marvelous way; He does great things beyond our understanding."  (job 37:5) i love that he, even in the face of ridicule and criticism, could just be okay with the simplicity of trusting his maker. 

i'll be honest, i am not so easily satisfied as job.  but i am learning to be.  i have felt, more and more, a change in my kicking-and-screaming-need-to-know-self.  i am pretty certain if i asked God for an explanation in writing what He would tell me is, "jody lynn, you are on a need to know basis."  that's it.  that's all.  i have said that same thing to my children.  "sarah elizabeth, you are on a need to know basis."  i tell her that because her young mind cannot grasp the way i am moving and managing as her mommy.  she doesn't need to get the whole plan or the whole picture -- because she simply cannot carry it. and there's something beautiful about that, isn't there? 

one of my all time favorite books is the hiding place by corrie ten boom. i remember reading it as a young girl and highlighting page after page.  in it there's this scene between 10 year old corrie and her father.  she recently heard the word sex and corrie asks her father to explain what it is:

He turned to look at me, as he always did when answering a question, but to my surprise he said nothing. At last he stood up, lifted his traveling case from the rack over our heads, and set it on the floor. “Will you carry it off the train, Corrie?” he said. “It's too heavy,” I said. “Yes,” he said. “And it would be a pretty poor father who would ask his little girl to carry such a load. It's the same way, Corrie, with knowledge. Some knowledge is too heavy for children. When you are older and stronger you can bear it. For now you must trust me to carry it for you.” And I was satisfied. More than satisfied – wonderfully at peace. There were answers to this and all my hard questions. For now I was content to leave them in my father's keeping.

perhaps my heavenly father feels the same way.  sometimes the answers to all our questions are too heavy. we aren't able to carry the answers or the understanding and so He carries them for us.  i believe that.  and i, too, am working at being content to leave them in my Father's keeping.  

just this morning bella and i were working in the yard together.  well i was working, she was digging for rolly pollies.  as she dug in the dirt for her bugs, i heard her singing the simple sunday school song, Jesus Love Me.  she had most of the words down, not perfect, but pretty good.  i love to listen to her sing --most anything.  it is immediate light and joy and breeze to my soul.  but today as i listened to her what i heard in her song was straight from the lips of my Father... "Jesus loves me, this i know."

and i thought, that's it.  that's all of it.  that's everything.  Jesus loves me, this i know.  that's all i have to know right now.  not why He does what he does or what it all means...just that He loves me.  and if the results had come back with more malignancy, i would still know Jesus loves me.  and if another mass is discovered next year or in ten years, Jesus loves me, this i know. yes, Jesus loves me.  yes, Jesus loves me.

"for who has known the mind of the Lord...?"  1 corinthians 2:16


Simply LKJ said...

Jody, so glad to hear all turned out as it did. And yes, Jesus loves you know matter the circumstances!

carolyn bradford said...

Jody, I'm so glad to read this! So happy for you and know that you are experiencing joy and peace and yet still relying on Him to get you through each day….as we all need to do!

Valerie said...

"He is working and that is enough" amen my friend.

Angies Southern Kitchen said...

Happy to hear good news! Happy to hear such a great attitude! Wishing you and your family Gods Goodness!

Mary grace heston said...

Jody, wow....thank you so much for being so transparent with your life, struggles , and your heart! So thankful for your positive results. And this last entry....God really used your words to remind me of so many things.....what a gift your writing is. Thank you for sharing your journey. Blessings

Aus said...

Good morning Jody - I like you! I offered a prayer of thanks in light of your biopsy report - good things there! As for the rest - it's all in what you pray about" accept the things I cannot change, the strength to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." It's the Wisdom that you are asking for kiddo - nothing else!

hugs - aus and co.

Anonymous said...

Jody: Kelly sent your post to me, probably because she knows the suffering place I find my soul in as we struggle with the possible closing of my company, issues with children, etc.. I have grappled with "why God" questions - wondering why, after much prayer and waiting, I followed the path that was least comfortable but seemed to be His purpose, only to be hurt. Although I know I am supposed to trust, and realize I don't need to know where He is taking me now, or where He would have taken me going another path, the pain has been very real, or maybe it's more confusion and even anger than pain. So to rest in His love, although I know it intellectually, has been hard - but your story help so much in putting it in perspective. It's amazing how the simple words of a childhood song can speak the brilliance of God to millenniums. Thank you for your kind post, for sharing your heart, and for touching mine.

Bridget said...

Thanking God for your good report!
I'm so with you on learning to be okay with not having all the answers. It's hard for an analytical person like me who wants to make all the connections -- really just another form of control, I think. You put it so well. Thanks for the reminder.

Billie Holmes said...

Good lesson for all of us..thanks~ B