Tuesday, January 11, 2011

False Hope, Well Duh!

I found this lesson over the weekend.  It was written when Emily was 10.  It is interesting for me to look back at that time from a different place.  Sadly enough, I may just now be really living and understanding the lesson.  And, if I'm completely honest, I can still be distracted by those things that so easily keep me from entering His rest.  Thank you Lord for being the most patient parent ever!!

False Hope, Well Duh!!

"False hope! Well duh! Either you hope in God or you have no hope! There’s no false hope!"   That was our ten-year-old daughter’s response when a doctor wanted to hold off a few months on doing an MRI on her new baby brother. The doctor had wanted to avoid giving us false hope. I wish I could convey the neck popping, eye-rolling tone in our daughter’s response. Her confidence was contagious.

Emily accepts and finds comfort in what God says. And, through her example, she is teaching me to rely on His word more, and my own understanding less. I tend to place all of my focus on studying pediatric strokes and therapy while she tends to keep her focus on Him. She doesn’t need to understand all of the facts of her brother’s stroke. She just needs to understand who her God is; and that, she understands quite clearly.

I suspect that God was the first parent to say, "Because I said so!" But the accountant in me still struggles to reconcile the doctors’ reports and developmental delays with Jeremiah 29:11:

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you,  plans to give you a hope and a future."
At one point, during that first tough year with Ryan, I remember having this feeling of hope. I was so clueless that it confused me. Although Ryan was slowly but steadily improving, we hadn’t gotten some miraculous medical report of a healing and there didn’t seem to be an end in sight to the financial strain. So why did I have this feeling that something good was just around the corner? Instead of just accepting this wonderful gift of hope I had to analyze, define, and justify.

Proverbs 3:5 NIV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

There’s so much more to learn about placing our hope in HIM. But it doesn’t come from understanding, defining, or analyzing hope, itself; but from learning who HE is and why we can safely place our hope in HIM.
Things did get tougher for the Howell family.  Emily struggled with constant migraine and tension headaches for over a year.  There were times that I worried her faith, as well as my own, would not withstand the test.  I can thankfully say that, even with the beating our faith took, we have come out stronger. 

Looking back I can see that, for me, experience really is the best teacher.  There were things that I couldn't have learned as well through simply hearing.  Though not excited about letting Emily venture out into the college world, I am very proud of the godly woman she has become.  Her life experiences, and the maturity that came from them, give me the reassurance I need to let go...little by little. 

At 17, Emily has started her own photography business, a business that she wants to use for God's glory. She is retelling the Bible through photography as her senior mastery. She has set up a Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/emilymichellephotos   Please visit her page, click the "like it" button, and pass along to your friends.  Though slightly biased, I know you will be blessed.

God Bless!!

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