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I Know that You are For Me.

April 11, 2016


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God, I know that you are for me.

It’s dance competition season. As she wriggles into the dance costume that would be the first of four that night, my 11-year-old daughter, Bethany, notices the tiny red dots that had shown up on her legs three weeks ago are now spread all over her chest, as well. “Um, Mom,…”

Breathe! She’s not sick, she’s healthy, she’s fine. As I dial my husband, I already know I’m starting to panic. It’s Leukemia. It’s endocarditis. My mind flashes back to the day she was born. “She has a heart defect and will need open heart surgery,” the doctor said.

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender-1God, I know that you are for me.

FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender-1FullSizeRender-2While trying to act nonchalant for my daughter’s sake, I find the owner of our dance studio, and as she hugs me, I release the fear with the sobs.

God, I know that you are for me.

The next morning, Bethany wakes up with a fever. Our doctor didn’t know what was causing the petechiae when we had them checked out last month, but he had said he’d be concerned if they continued to spread or if she would run a fever with them. Check and check. Trying to remain calm, I contact the pediatrician on call and agree to bring her in first thing in the morning. God, she is your child.

I know that you are for me.

Her temperature climbs past 103. She is so sick. We are sent to the emergency room at the children’s hospital. I hold my breath waiting on the lab results.

God, I know that you are for me.

I’m supposed to write a blog this week on being a spiritual mentor to the younger generation. I run through my mind. I can’t think of anything to say. Does it even matter? My husband and I pray with our kids, pray for our kids, pray in front of our kids, and pray around our kids. We take them to church, keep them involved in youth group, and surround them with Christian friends and great worship music. I tape verses up all around the house and on their bathroom mirrors in hope they will remember Scriptures when they need them. We bust out a song from Vacation Bible School Past every once in a while: “Cast all your anxieties on Him because he cares for you!” (1 Peter 5:7). They all remember the actions we choreographed for Proverbs 3:5-6 to help us remember not to lean on our own understanding.

FullSizeRender-4But what have we done to foster our kids’ spiritual development that will help them through a health crisis like we’re in right now? Did all those years of placing several choices of devotion books on the kitchen table mean anything now? If she is seriously ill, what will have been the most important thing that we did? Take her to Sunday school?

I sit at my kitchen table, my usual spot for my morning time with God. The sky is a beautiful pink today as the sun rises. I am drawn outside with my coffee in hand and dogs trailing behind me to get a better look at the sky. Bethany is still asleep, and after four full days of fever, several blood draws, a heart echo, multiple doctors, and other tests, I’m not sure how much more she can endure. We still have no answers.

I play Chris Tomlin’s “Good Good Father” on my phone and ask God to give me something to write about since I can’t think of a single thing I’ve done as a mom that matters at this moment. I close my eyes and tilt my head toward the sky. My Father loves me! Peace washes over me as the music changes, and Kari Jobe sings, “I know that you are for me.”

That’s it! While all the disciplines I’ve tried to instill in my kids over the years have been great and helpful, I now realize the difference maker is not in the practice, it’s in the presence. My children know God loves them because they have learned to run to Him and sit quietly in His presence. They know how to vulnerably pour out their hearts to Him and invite Him to take control. How FullSizeRender-3did they learn? By watching us. By seeing their parents during tough times, completely spent and laid out before God, calling on His grace. Maybe this is what James 1:2 refers to: “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.” The joy comes from feeling God’s loving presence, and with His presence comes peace. That’s the most important thing we’ve taught them.

I know that you are for me.

Bethany’s fever is down, and we are heading to yet another specialist, but I’m not expecting any definitive answers today. This kiddo is building a faith and a story that will bubble over into the lives of everyone she meets. God has big plans for her, and His love for her is as deep as His love for me.

God, I know that you are for me.

 

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3 responses to “I Know that You are For Me.”

  1. Priscilla Vidal says:

    Lori you are an amazing woman of God…Thank you for sharing Thank you for always inspiring me with words of wisdom… Keeping Bethany and The Family in Prayer

  2. Debbie MacDonald says:

    Lori what a blessing your words and faith are. The best mentoring is leading by example that you and Rich have done beautifully. Brought tears to my eyes.

  3. 4word says:

    […] I Know that You are For Me. […]

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