Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This Child

In which we talk about screaming children and the sovereignty of God.

My parents did this really cool thing.

They gave each of their kids full names a special meaning. Jillian means "childlike". Put that together with my middle name, Faith, and you have...childlike faith.  Faith like a child has in their parents.

Think of any little kid you know. Or better yet, you, when you were just a wee tot.

A child does not ask questions. They don't care about the world. If they know that Daddy loves them, and that they are safe and fed and happy, nothing else matters to them. All is right with their world. New sights, new sounds, the process of learning all sorts of amazing things...when they have this trust and safety, growing up and discovering things is a fun, incredible, and joy filled journey. Their world is full. And usually, children don't ask...they just know that they are safe.

That's the faith we are supposed to have in our heavenly Father*. This child, though, despite the fact that she has been given that special name, is wrestling immensely with having that faith.

It's as if me, the little child, suddenly stopped snuggling safely against her heavenly fathers chest, pushed away, and said,

 "Wait, Daddy, hold on. Why should I trust you? Are you controlling everything I do? Why do you do everything that you do?

 Yeah, you created me. But once was born, did you decide what I was going do for every millisecond of my entire life? Did you timeline all the times I was going to disobey you and sin against you? Father, that doesn't make sense. If you decided all the times I was going to sin, why does that Bible say that it grieves and angers you when I sin*?  So you can't be all powerful, in the way that I thought you were. So should my trust be more of a trust that even though You are not all powerful, to that extent, you are more all powerful and all knowing that I am? I don't know if I can do that, Father. Can I just trust that you know what you're doing better than I do? Is that enough?"

Then it's as if me, still that worried little child, slid down from her fathers lap and started anxiously pacing the floor, arms folded, brow furrowed in concern:

Father, why did you even bring me into this world? What was the point? Why, why would you condemn some people to hell if you say that you loved the world?  It's as if you created some people for eternal suffering. That's twisted. That can't be right!

 Father, I can't have peace, or joy, or enjoy life anymore until I know why I'm here and what I'm supposed to be doing. I HAVE to know! Yes, yes, I know about the scriptures and the great commission* and the commandments*. I've heard those ones since before I can even remember. But I can't go out and share about your love if I'm not sure of it myself!  It doesn't make sense, Father!

Then, this little child starts taking short, quick, panicked breaths: " Why are you doing all this? Proof, Father, show me I can trust you!"

The child (A.k.a me) then slumps to the floor, dissolving in tears  and screaming "I want to trust you! You have a plan but I'm not seeing how it makes any sense!"

At this point, I'd imagine most earthly fathers would gently scoop that child back into their arms, and comfort and soothe them until they calmed down, most likely falling asleep in his arms while he whispers, "its going to be alright. You can't understand, you don't have the ability to, so just trust me and you'll see in the end how everything works."

But, my fears being what they are, I would push away once more going "no, no, that's not good enough:

Why. Should. I. Trust. You?"

 And well, we are back where started, and the questions and the panicking begin all over again.

"I can't read my books and learn my lessons and eat my food and enjoy all the gifts of everyday life that you gave me with anything but a sense of emptiness. I don't feel safe anymore.  I can't talk and "play" with my brothers and sisters and enjoy their sweet company like I used to be able to. I can't do anything anymore with out this thought bombarding me, everywhere I turn."

Is it enough? To just trust that God, even though he may not be as Sovereign as I once thought He was, Is more sovereign than me, so therefore whom else should I trust?

Some days, it feels like I trust in God and hold on to Christianity simply because I have to. Life would be pointless without a God and I would go bananas without a point and purpose, so I just believe  because I need a point. Not good enough, I know.

 Soon, I hope, I can piece this shattered faith back into something stronger than it was before. Even if it takes looking up the word Faith in the Exhaustive concordance and reading every single reference.

*Psalm 131
*Old Testament...Gods anger with his people.
*Matt 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-16
*Matt 19:18-19


  1. Ah, Jillian! I am praying for you as you go through this "growing pain"! I wish I had some profound words of wisdom to share with you that would make it easy, bring everything into crystal clarity, spark an 'aha' moment, but I simply don't. All I can say is that I am "with" you in this fight, faithfully going before the throne of grace for you. Stick with it. Hold fast, dear sister. For me personally, there are some things in Scripture where I have come to realize that certain concepts about our infinite God just cannot be reconciled in this pea-sized, finite, mortal brain of mine. So, I accept it in faith, knowing that someday, in God's goodness, I will know and understand these things. (I'm not saying that's the case for you right now. This is simply where I have come to with some things. Not all. I know there are still plenty of areas that I just need to give more study and thought to.)
    I've been out of town for a few weeks, and without much internet, so I'm kinda' just now catching up on your posts. : )
    I have struggled in more recent times with determining which convictions are Biblical and which are not. I think we all go through those times at different points in our lives, where we say, "I've held this belief/that conviction for x number of years thinking it was Biblical and correct, but I'm not sure I see it anymore. Is it accurate? Is it truly supported by Scripture? Did I come to that idea because it fit well and sounded good in the group I was with?" and must set ourselves to study it again. I don’t know if that is some of what you’re going through? I’ve seen so many people go to one extreme or the other, the pendulum effect, you know, and I really want to find a Biblical balance.
    As to your post on contentment, it resonates with me. I think about contentment a lot. The main question I have for myself is: “What does contentment look like when you still see things needing to change (in others’ lives as well as your own)? What really defines the difference between contentment and complacence, or even laziness? In keeping contentment, how do I not slip into an ‘it is what it is – leave well enough alone’ attitude?” I have so much to be thankful for in my life, and I really am SO grateful. I can truly say “My heart is filled with thankfulness.” God has blessed me in countless ways. So, what is the balance in this? (‘Just more of my random thoughts here. Feel free at any time to tell me to stop rambling on your blog. ‘Hope I haven’t muddied the waters. )
    Love you, Jillian. I am taking all this to the One who truly does hold us in His hand, Who sees our struggles, and is there patiently getting us through it all. How amazing is His love!
    In His peace – Becca Lee Shove : )
    "For the Lord gives wisdom;
    From His mouth come knowledge and understanding;"
    Proverbs 2:6

    1. Please keep rambling! That is EXACTLY what I am going through! I could not have put it better.

      I really feel like I need to answer those questions about contentment myself.(along with, you know, a thousand others)

      Thank you so much for this. I love you too, sister.