Monday, March 22, 2010

Thoughts from the Summit part 1

We are definitely on the summit of this journey. We also live up on the Summit of Santa Cruz.

Today "we" had two appointments at Kaiser. "We" actually equals "Jake" which he points out to me every time that I say it. I think that is a pretty good indication of this separation anxiety that I am feeling right now. Jake is is more and more moving toward independence - aka leaving me in the dust. Yes it is what I want but honestly, it is hard. Probably all the more because I am in full gear of needing to find a job of my own. Perhaps that will help when I finally get that back in my life. Today was simply a quick check-up on Jake's head and then about an hour or so getting an EEG reading for the Brain Waves. (Probably a "dad" joke in there somewhere about surfing the brain waves but Jake would roll his eyes at me.)

It all went smooth - nice to have uneventful appointments.


Jake is not on any pain medications at all. In fact very soon he will be down to simply vitamins. Pretty incredible. We so easily could have been in a totally different place right now - still in hands on recovery with Jake, not to mention that we could have lost him completely. The anxiety that I deal with now - releasing Jake, lack of job, another tragedy, etc begins to creep in and awaken a sinful response. It is a sin not to trust in God - to think he is not fully capable to handle that which I worry about. It is a sin to try to take control over which those things I have no control over.

Sunday morning I was lead to a verse that Debbie and I memorized before we were even dating: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

When someone tells me "not to worry" it never really helps. Jacob will often tell me to "relax." It honestly never really results in relaxing. Most likely because the context, tone of voice, intent is not a gentle encouragement. Paul here does not really state "do not be anxious" as a command but as a friend coming alongside and whispering in your ear. The sentence right before in Phil 5 says, "The Lord is near. And then right before that "Let your gentleness be evident to all." And then one more step back, "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, "rejoice." So often I have read these verses, quoted these verses, meditated on releasing anxiety and asking God but I have missed the words that are sandwiched between Paul telling me to rejoice and to not be anxious. "The Lord is near." My requests, petitions, pleading to God in the midst of my anxiety and shallow attempts to be joyful are not to a far-away God but a near God, a present God, a God who knows my heart. A God who longs for the lost, cares about the afflicted and hurts for the oppressed. A Shepherd that has heart to seek seeks the one that is lost. Check out Luke 15 where Christ reveals God's heart for the lost.

It is a parent's roll to raise a child to be released - not controlled and hoarded and protected. My greatest fear is harm coming to one of my boys. And no one can tell me that won't happen. God is near, listening to my heart, knowing my pain, fully able and in control to far more than I can ever hope, ever imagine. No matter what, he walks with me in the midst of the pain and the joy. Perhaps if I just open one eye a crack I will see him.

Peace,

Tom (daddy)

1 comment:

Dave Hill said...

Tom,
My name is Dave and I live with my wife and two daughters ( ages 6 and 5) in Los Gatos. We are one of the many families who have been praying with and for your family over the past year through Jacob's recovery and we praise God for His work of healing. But I write becuase of your post today (March 22, 2010). You see, I am a man who struggles with the sin of worry. I too worry for my children, that something will happen to them from which I cannot protect them. This fear is paralyzing sometimes and has been particularly acute as I have watched the events unfolding in our nation's capitol. I confessed this sin to my family not long ago and told them that I was trying to meditate on Psalm 112:7. The girls and I have been reading about Joshua in our evening Bible time and I ask them to pray that daddy will be like Caleb and Joshua and not like the ten spies who took their eyes off of the greatness of their God. In light of this, I can't tell you how encouraging your post was today. You see, today is my youngest daughter's fifth birthday. But today, the vice grip of anxiety tightened once again over my heart. I try to keep those moments private because, as you stated, it does more harm than good when loved ones offer well-meaning suggestions to be "full of faith." I was not faith-full today. Then came a post on Facebook from a far-away friend quoting Psalm 56:3-4. And tonight, your thoughts from Philippians. Wow! I have read those verses a thousand times. In fact, I memorized the entire book of Philippians but never thought about the insights you shared. In short, I go to bed tonight comforted, at least for the moment, by the fact that my God is near. He is near to me, and He is near to my precious girls!!

PS: My oldest daughter is still convinced that Jabob is going to teach her to surf some day :)