I currently reside with my husband and two toddlers. There is never a dull moment. My husband and I both work from home, so we fully co-parent every single day. The days are filled with snacks, cartoons, walks, and (hopefully) naps. The best part is watching them learn and grow. While our one year old is just now making sounds that resemble words, our three year old is learning more and more words all the time and talking a blue streak.
Her latest “saying,” if you will, is “How we gonna to get there?” She asks this every time we get in the car or make plans to go somewhere. We were in the car on the way to visit my grandmother (her great grandma) for lunch. We were already loaded in the car and heading down 395 when Olive, in her tiny girl voice, asked, “Mommy, how will we get there?”
I responded by telling her, “Honey, don’t worry about it, your father knows the way.”
Suddenly, the conversation became one of those parenting moments when the Holy Spirit hits you like a ton of bricks and tears well up in your eyes. You see, for the past year I’ve been in what seems like an endless faith struggle. We’ve faced so many trials this year, and I’ve asked “Why?” and “How?” too many times to count.
In that very moment, I was reminded that, in all my wondering and worrying, my Heavenly Father knew the way. I didn’t and I couldn’t see it, but He knew and still knows!
Isaiah 43:1-3 tells us:
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I adore these verses because they so glibly promise that, no matter what circumstance we are in, God has a way of escape. He knows the way. And even if you feel like you are walking blindly through it, He is there to guide you. Along the way, He protects you from harm and makes certain that you have all that you need.
When you are lost with no direction at all and you can’t see what’s on the other side of your trial, your father knows the way.
When you rush into a hospital room to see your child hooked up to machines and you realize you are at the end of yourself and have no control over any of it, your father knows the way.
When you leave your husband the week before Christmas and flee to your family’s side because of abuse, your father knows the way.
When you are laying sick from chemo and are too weak to eat, your father knows the way.
When you are in year seven of battling with infertility, your father knows the way.
When the bills are piling up and it feels like the walls are closing in on you, your father knows the way.
In these moments, it’s easy to think that maybe God isn’t there, or listening, or kind, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. We certainly aren’t guaranteed tomorrow or promised that we will received everything we want, but the Bible tells us that He is “near to the brokenhearted” and “saves those who are crushed in spirit.” We aren’t spared the flame, but we aren’t burned by it either.
I am learning that there is a tension to this walk of faith. There is a part of me that can look back on what God has done before and think to myself that it’s silly to ever doubt God at all. Then, there is this other side of me that loses sight of His faithfulness and gives into the feelings of worry, regret, and shame. One minute we can be praying in faith and the next moment we are back to worrying. That is the human experience. But I’ve learned that God wants to walk with us through the circumstance. He doesn’t just want to make seas part and manna fall, He wants to be with us every step of the whole way…leading us down the right path to an outcome we couldn’t dream up or make happen on our own.
It’s all about trust. This year, I want that child-like faith that is certain that dad knows what He is doing and I just get to come along for the ride.