Tail Wings and Trusting

This morning I woke up to loads of uncertainty about the future.  My heart was uneasy and my mind was spinning.  I was reminded of how little I know about what these next several months are going to look like for us.  I was frustrated.  I questioned why things had to be so complicated.  I hurt over the pain of not having answers.  Of not being able to control.  Of feeling like God wasn’t stepping in when He should.

We want to please Him so badly, but are struggling with what He wants from us and for us right now.

As I made breakfast and packed Isaiah’s lunch this morning, swallowing tears and trying to grasp all that was going on in my mind, Isaiah was kneeling on the dining room floor with his pencil in hand and sketch pad spread out in front of him.

“Ugh, Mom!  It’s so frustrating!  I can’t figure out how to draw this tail wing!”

Oh, if I had a nickel for every time I heard that.  Seriously.

Isaiah is really into planes right now.  So because of his love of drawing, planes have become his new favorite subject.  He scours over books like “The Great Book of Bombers” that his Papa gave him and wants to learn how to draw each plane just right.  When he’s unhappy with his first draft (or second or third…) or can’t figure it out, he gets disappointed and frustrated.  He often wants me to step in and fix it.

This morning, however, I was in no mood to help or to patiently deal with his seemingly unmerited frustration.

And I snapped.

“Oh, Isaiah James, you either need to keep working on it and practice it until you get it or just quit and move on to something else!”

My voice raised.  And I hated it.

His big blue eyes filled got glassy and he quietly went back to his sketching.

After breakfast Isaiah sat down in the living room with his Daddy to read his morning devotions and this is what it said…

“What could you do with your whole life to make God happy?

Compose a symphony?  Climb a mountain?  Build a cathedral?  Paint a picture?  Write a book?  Invent something brilliant?  Pray for hours and hours?

God might ask you to do any one of those splendid things!

But do you know what’s more beautiful to God than anything else – what He loves best, what makes Him happiest?

When you trust Him.

And believe that He loves you.”

– from Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing 

And from my spot in the kitchen I could hear my 5 year old read…

“Let me hear in the morning of Your steadfast love, for in You I trust.

Make me know the way I should go, for to You I lift up my soul.”

– Psalm 143:8

And then I heard my boy’s Daddy say, “I needed this one today, buddy.”

Mommy needed it, too.

I knew God was reminding us that we were being called to trust.  And to be confident in God’s unfailing love for our family.

But practically speaking, that’s much easier said than done.

When you need answers.  When you have to make big decisions.  When your future lies on the shoulders of others.  When you question your own abilities or character.  When you can’t see any more light than the step you’re on and you question if you’re just wasting time and it feels like you’ve been walking in the same circles for months.

After Isaiah left for school and my husband left for work, I tried to think and pray (as much as you can while taking care of a 2 year old), pouring out my heart to the One Who knows it best.  I felt the Holy Spirit bringing that morning’s conversation with Isaiah back to my mind…

You either need to keep working at it or just quit.

I was humbled by my impatient words and was so glad God hadn’t responded to my own outbursts the same way this morning.

I saw my same frustration in Isaiah’s eyes and and in his hands thrown up in the air.

Scribbles that weren’t completing the picture.  Eraser marks from weaknesses or mistakes made that you just wish could be forgotten.  Tired of not being able to figure out what I was supposed to do.  And all I really wanted was to just tuck tail and run and throw the whole thing away.

But rather than speaking as the impatient and frustrated mom, my Gracious Father gently and quietly reminded my heart…

I know this doesn’t make sense right now.  I know you don’t understand and can’t figure out what you’re supposed to do.  But before I help you finish the rest of the picture, I’m asking you to trust me and abide in my love.  That’s what pleases me.  That’s what I find most beautiful.  I know this doesn’t feel good, but I promise that it is for your good and refinement.  Let me erase the mistakes and anxiety and just trust My hand.  Maybe I’ll perfect the picture you’re drawing.  But maybe instead I’ll lead you to start something else.  All I want right now is for you to trust that I love you.  Do you believe it?

I do.  At least I want to.  But even as I type this I’m struggling to figure out exactly how that practically plays out.  I think David felt the same way…

“Hear my prayer, O Lord;give ear to my pleas for mercy!

In Your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness…

My spirit faints within me;

my heart within me is appalled.

I remember the days of old;

I meditate on all that you have done;

I ponder the works of Your hands.

I stretch out my hands to You;

my soul thirsts for You like a parched land.

Answer me quickly, O Lord!

My spirit fails!

Hide not your face from me…

Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love,

for in You I trust.

Make me know the way I should go, 

for to You I lift up my soul…

Teach me to do your will,

for You are my God!

Let Your Spirit lead me on level ground…

for I am Your servant.”

– Psalm 143:1, 4-8, 10,12b

So this afternoon I’m remembering the days of old.  I’m meditating on all that He has done.  I’m pondering the work of His hands.  And I’m praying that my heart hears His steadfast love.

Believing that abiding in His love will only deepen my love for Him and strengthen my trust.  Loosening my grip on the pencil and stretching out my hands to Him.  Waiting for Him to finish the drawing.

After all, doing that with my life is more beautiful to Him than any other picture I could draw.

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