Sunday, December 14, 2008

I have a confession to make...

No, there's no need to contact the authorities... it's not that kind of confession. But, one that needs to be stated, regardless. I've touched on bits and pieces of this before, but I've not gotten it all off my chest and really - for my own sake - I need to.

Before I get going, I put forth a disclaimer at this time: this post could be all over the place, so fasten your seat belt!

I've mentioned recently that I can be quite reflective. But, whatever it is I'm trying to focus on at that particular time can sometimes come and go as quickly as it takes for a red light to change to green, for a dry diaper to get wet again, or my seemingly content child to get disgruntle (which is sometimes only a matter of seconds)! My train of thought gets interrupted quite frequently in the course of a day. I'm sure most all people could say the same. Except when I'm here. Here, my attention is captured and I'm able to bring all the scattered pieces together, in one place, for me to think about, think about, and think about again. Here, I type and sit. Then type some more. Followed by more sitting, reflecting oh yeah, and thinking. All-the-while trying to "figure it out" as I go. Like a true quiet time for me.

This blog started (and still continues to be) as a giant prayer request for our then 11 week old son who, we were surprisingly told, had a rare infant leukemia. I clung (is that a word?) to my laptop those early days in the hospital last April, pouring out details that we'd learn each day, begging for any eyes reading the words to pray for Ethan's healing. And somewhere in the midst of the requests for prayer, I noticed the Lord morph Ethan's site into much more. It's still a place in which I come to you sweet hearts, asking for prayer over our family, but it's also now a place in which I come to wait and hear from the Lord. My words are only as strong as the truth He has given me. And I sit here tonight, truly amazed at how much He has spoken to my heart through this very site.

But that's not the confession.

The confession is that I've been ignoring a prominent problem in my life. Surrender. Not the type of surrender that would require me giving myself over to the enemy - such as it is in war or something - but surrender (or in my case, the lack thereof) of the "me" factor.

I've noticed it pop up occasionally in the course of my lifetime, however, the true confession is how terrible it has become as of late. ME. It's all about me. Obviously, this is not a pretty picture to paint of myself, but truth be told, it is the skeleton in my closet.

Shall I go on? Unfortunately, yes. Because if I don't do it now, I won't face the fact and deal with the problem... Ethan will need my attention, my favorite TV show will come on, or the phone will ring - anything will and has kept me from owning up to what I know God is asking me to confront. MYSELF.

Honestly, I don't even know how to describe what I'm talking about. So even now, I'm asking the Lord to help me process it all. Basically, I have been getting in the way of being able to have what I claim I know is available to me through God's grace. Peace. Strength. Faith (as opposed to Fear). Joy. Expectation. Anticipation. Hope. A beautiful Future with my Family.

Instead, lately my actions and reactions show that of one selfish, fearful, and "I give up" type of person. Maybe it's hard for another to notice it. Maybe it isn't. Maybe I'm really good at knowing when to smile and maybe I'm not. But whatever the facade, in the deep down darkness of it all, you would see a young woman desperately trying to hold on to whatever little bit of control she thinks she has left over her life and the lives of her son and husband... and you'd find her backed into a corner, with a Louisville Slugger in hand, waiting in a determined panic for Fear to come ask her to join him. And instead of swing the bat at him, she just stands there, buying into every last thing he says. It's not just Fear, though. She entertains Self-Pity, too. In fact, if you were looking closely, you'd see that Fear and Self-Pity looked very much alike. And together, they present a very convincing message:

Cancer has been known to relapse, ya know. We suggest you not get too comfortable. There's always a new trial lurking around the corner. Case in point, you've seen the rock of your family suffer an accident - next time it could be worse - for either of you. So, we wouldn't get our hopes up about enjoying life like you thought you would.

Imagine a much larger version of this diatribe and you can begin to understand how easy it has been to entertain such horrible mind games. There I've been content to be. And on top of that, living with such a selfish, selfish attitude. Being afraid and being so focused on how all of the events that have happened in our life over the past year have affected me - well, suffice it to say, it's not the best combination.

Which brings me back to the word - Surrender.

Whether I've made a decent point here in this post, or not. The root of my being so focused on myself, and so focused on the fearful "what ifs" is that fact that I've been extremely unwilling to fully surrender my life into the Hands of God. Not my eternal life. But my daily life. I've been so scared to "let go" because I've been so afraid of what else He might ask of me. Which leads me to think about all that I want from/out of my life that I've become extremely self-focused. If you get trapped in that train of thought, I assure you, it's a vicious cycle that is very hard to stop.

So... there you have it. Or better, there I have it. A call to surrender the "details". I could tell a fib and pretend that by the end of this post, I've successfully done it. "Thy Will be Done, Lord!" But, if the truth were to make its way from my typing fingers, it would reveal that though I've admitted the problem, I'm still in the stages of the struggle in correcting the problem.

Definition of Surrender: "To relinquish control... To submit or yield... To give over oneself into the power of another."

Oh the details.... the wish lists.... the nervous prayers.... they are all there. He sees and hears every last one. I know He's trustworthy. I know He is. The question is, am I'm willling to let go of what I think is best for my life, my future, my "right now" and fully & finally give Him my willingness.... myself?


Lizzie Fish said...

i didn't see it in these words of yours, but i trust your honesty and will be praying for you during this extra layer of challenge. thank you so much for your transparency. we're still here. =)

Nancy said...


I just found your blog on Friday and I have read much of your struggles with Ethan. Your post this evening really struck home with me.

My husband and I have 4 boys and we unexpectedly found out that we are expecting #5 in July. Not a big deal - I want a large family. EXCEPT....we have been without steady work (and insurance!) since my husband was laid off in April. I know exactly how it feels to battle fear and self-pity and all the "what-ifs" that come on the dark days. It is something I struggle with frequently. I am reminded often of the promise given, who of you would give your child a stone when he asks for bread?

I will pray for you and your family and most of all that God will give you peace that passes understanding.


John said...

I feel the same way about blogging. For me, it is a release. It's the place I come to process things, to get it off my chest, etc. Same deal.

Thanks for sharing this and being transparent. I was just watching a video where the guy said, "I don't think I ever really met Jesus until I stepped out of my church persona and became just another desperate, broken man."

He hit the nail on the head.

One bit of encouragement I would give you: the beautiful thing about the gospel, specifically our standing before God, is that He is not in love with some future version of us. He is in love with us NOW. Sanctification has both present reality and future results.

To come to the place where you can admit your struggle, and step into the light owning it, means you are farther along to freedom than you know.

My former pastor once said:
"Sincere faith works itself out in genuine relationships and real community. Because when we see Jesus working in the lives of others we become convinced that He can work in ours. When we are around others who love Jesus deeply we see how we can love Jesus deeply."

Thanks for working it out in front of us.

sara said...

I will be praying for you as you go through this struggle. Just keep leaning on Him and the Holy Spirit will guide your steps.
Love and prayers,

RejoicingComet said...

Once again, sweet Kasey, your transparency and "realness" has deeply touched my heart.
I'm sure we all struggle with surrender at some point...I know I have! Even recently. My struggle tends to be when God asks me to do "something new", and I want to ask, "how? why? how long?" I want the whole picture before I just say, "Yes, Lord."
Your post reminded me of the sermon we heard at church this morning. The pastor was talking about Mary and her absolutely extraordinary statement in response to the angel's message that she would bear the Messiah: "Be it unto me according to your word."
It's not that Mary didn't question; she asked "how will this be?" It's not that she had a complete answer; all the angel really told her was that the Holy Spirit would do it and nothing was impossible with God. She simply chose to trust anyway, despite her worries and questions.
I really needed to hear this message! Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

The Charles Crew said...

thank you for sharing your realness and being so open! i will continue to pray for you and your sweet family!!

FalkFamily said...

It's such a comfort to know that I am not the only one with a struggle like this. I want to pin down every aspect of my life - I sometimes feel like a walking contradiction. My words say how I "know" that the Lord is in complete control, but my "actions" spell out something completely different. Still praying for you ALL! P.S. How is Ethan's rash?