Chaia had a rough week.
Then Shaina and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary.
That's almost the shelf life of a twinkie.
So yeah...it's a big deal.
We went to dinner and she had a spa day.
Not quite the big deal celebration I envisioned. But reality is that part of the challenge of this road is that there's no escaping this road.
Not that we want an escape...meaning I think God is teaching and shaping us in ways that we wouldn't have invited on any other road.
But we want an escape...meaning sometimes any other road but this one seems suitable.
I sound whiney.
But sometimes I'm not content in this. Sometimes I'm not thankful in this. Sometimes I look at other's lives and I covet the simplicity...the freedom...the fun...the ease.
And sometimes I don't just covet their 'lot', I want them to have to trade lots and suffer a little. (Is that twisted or what? Ok before you start judging me...I said suffer a little...not a lot...I'm compassionate.)
We're well aware that Chaia had no noticeable symptoms before we took a trip to Columbus to begin obeying God's leading to plant a church here.
We're well aware that the day after our first celebration service, my mom died. (Her 63rd birthday would have been this past Saturday.)
At the very least, your life will get complicated when pursuing obedience to God's calling.
Not complicated? Not costly?
Then probably not His calling...probably not discipleship.
So I sit here and think about that...does Chaia have any medical issues if we play it safe and don't follow the voice of God? I can't be sure. All we know is that this disease has tended to reveal quickly and kill quickly...and Chaia is a pretty rare exception.
Does my mom have a stroke in April if we play it safe? I can't be sure. She was genetically predisposed toward strokes and had some mini-strokes in her past.
So I can't know for certain what is enemy resistance, what is pure coincidence and what is inevitability. But I've certainly thought about whether Chaia would be spared this road if we would have played it safe.
And there are days where I contemplate taking that deal...Walking away from the calling to spare my daughter. It's enticing.
But then I remember the prayer I prayed over her when she was a healthy two week old. Written on July 18, 2011:
"There are any number of dreams I have for you.
Any number of ambitions, hopes, aspirations.
Any number of idols I might cling to.
I even feel the pull on my heartstrings to be derailed from God's calling for you...to protect you...to preserve you.
But in the end, only one prayer will suffice.
Whether it is one more breath or one more century of breaths, may your life be leveraged for the glory of God, indebted to the grace of God and captivated by the heart of God day after day.
And may my heart, dreams and expectations stay out of your way."
As whiney as I am and sometimes want to be. As wicked as my heart is in wishing others a detour onto this road we're on. As much as a 2 week vacation with no responsibility in the Bahamas for 10 years of marriage sounds delightful...As hard as it is watching my wife go through this as a caretaker...As painful as it is to watch my little munchkin get hit by a mack truck...
I wouldn't trade this road for anything.
Because the fruit grows in the valleys.
We're living proof.
You may be too.