Saturday, December 10, 2011

Parenting for Dummies Part Three

Read PFD One
Read PFD Two

"No parent should have to bury their own child."

I've heard that said to grieving parents.

I've said that to grieving parents.

Something just donned on me this week. This isn't helpful. And its not true.

I understand the sentiment. What parent would ever want their child to precede them in death? That is an absolutely painful experience.

But as Chaia has teetered on the edge of life and death over the past almost 3 months, I've found a variety of thoughts and emotions going through my head and in my heart.

One of them has been around this thought, that no parent should have to do what we might have to do. No parent should have to go through what we're going through.

And that line of thinking takes me down a path that is very selfish and very belittling to God.

Here's why:

We rebelled. Adam. Eve. You. Me. Fractured relationship with God, because we thought God was slighting us or holding out on us with the whole fruit and tree fiasco. Sin changed everything.

Sin leaves us, things, the world...broken.

Kids are going to die. Because things aren't right. Tragedy is going to strike, because our sin has left a big 'as-is' tag on the world. Storms will come, because we chose to let rain be in the forecast.

So we make the bed, then shake our fist at God when we have to sleep in it.

And so I feel the same story of entitlement come to the surface in parenting. No parent should have to go down this road? Then, God must be slighting us or holding out on us. And my 'why God?' becomes some sort of defiant, entitled, idolatrous questioning...rather than a question that leads us to worship God in deeper waters.

So Chaia may die. Today, tomorrow, in a week, in a month, in a year, in a century. Your kid may die, too.

And perhaps before that, parenting will turn out a million ways like you didn't expect. Your kids will fall, fail and flee when you hoped they would stand, succeed and stay.

So you and I can play the victim...or worse, let our kids play the victim. And refuse to see God for who He really is.

Or we can enter in the the Grand Story that God is telling.

That He saw the 'As-Is' sticker on our world and each of our hearts, and He said "I'll pay double." And bought us with a price.

That in the midst of our deepest pain, sorrow and brokeness, He came near.

That in a world that had chosen to reject Him in the beginning, He would send a rescuer.

That the only one who has a right to file a claim in the complaint department about having to bury a child, is the One who loved us so much that He sent that child to the cross on our behalf.

That you are not your own.

That your child is not your own.

That we are His.

And that changes everything.


Anonymous said...

Very true...but as a parent of two small children very hard to really hold onto. Thanks for the reminder.

Anonymous said...

Ecclesiastes 9 NIV

Mama Karen said...

Ben and Shaina, your story has so captivated my heart because I lost a child at birth. She was born with a birth defect where her legs never separated in the early stages of fetal development which caused all her her lower organs to not develop. She looked like a mermaid. She only lived 1/2 hour after birth. I had to bury my child. But in all that, I knew God had a reason and a purpose for taking my baby girl. I gave it all to him. All my questions. That is the only way to survive such a tragedy. Anyways, God then gave me a son who has been everything a mother and father could ask for. I received a prophecy before I was pregnant for him that God was giving me an heir and that he would be used for Him. Shortly after, I learned I was pregnant. I thank God everyday for that prophecy that carried me thru that pregnancy. My son is now finishing his Master's at Ashland Seminary and I couldn't be more proud. But the hardest thing in my life is to completely give him over to God. With a call of God on his life, I have to let go completely. I had to realize he is in God's hands and he will go wherever God tells him. I have to trust God to hold my heart no matter where that may lead. Just as you have to let go completely of Chaia and trust her in the loving arms of God (which I believe you have). HIS WILL will be done in her life! You have inspired me to trust more in a loving Father who will carry us when we need him to carry us. I believe right now you are being carried and sheltered in the loving arms of a God who knows what it is like to give his child. I'm not saying I believe Chaia is not going to make it. On the contrary! I believe in Life and until that life is over, I will speak life!!! I know whatever He chooses he is going to hold your heart. I just taught my Sunday School class this past Sunday that Jesus was born to save us. He was born to die. May we never lose sight of that this Christmas.

Chaia always wins when we kneel.


Joanne Sadlon said...

Ben, Mama Karen,
You have no idea how you have impacted me this morning. I am so worried and broken hearted over a strained relationship with my own suffering son. This ache is threatening to do me in unless I learn to give him over to God as well.

Rhonda Miller said...

Thanks for posting this Ben. We lost our son to pre-term labor 4 years ago. A very very hard thing to go through and you are absolutely right on everything you said. Thank you again!