Learning Not to Resent Fragility

“Help me not to resent fragility, Lord,” I wrote on October 15, 2014, five days before I was scheduled to start my job at Old Colony Elder Services. It seemed like a dream job to me. I was looking for an administrative assistant-type position (which this was), it was for a non-profit, and it paid more than I was expecting. It was a blessing and an answer to prayer. But I had to have a physical, and the issue of my having Carpel Tunnel Syndrome came up during my exam. The doctor was concerned, as it was an office job, and I’d likely be on the computer most of the day. She said she couldn’t state it wasn’t a concern, because it was. She recommended no more than four hours a day on the computer. I understood, but said, as I blinked back tears, “I really need this job.” I sobbed the whole way home. It didn’t seem fair. How could God seem to have blessed me with this job, only for it to be potentially taken away? But through tears, I resolved to trust. To trust God had a plan. And that if that plan was this job, He would make the Carpel Tunnel a non-issue. And if it wasn’t, He’d provide another.

I called Old Colony the next day, and spoke with the Head of HR, with whom I’d been corresponding regarding the job. I wondered whether she had gotten the doctor’s evaluation yet, and had stated that I personally felt my Carpel Tunnel wouldn’t affect my job performance; that I wore a brace at night which helped. She stated, and understandably so, that they couldn’t go against the doctor’s recommendations, and that she would have to think about it because the job requires being on the computer a lot. Again, I understood. But I was sad. I prayed that if there was a way, God would make it.

I heard back from the head of HR, who had spoken to who would be my supervisor. They agreed it would be doable for me to only spend four hours on the computer a day, and the other three could be spent doing other things, like filing. I was so relieved! This job was a blessing from God. There was just a speed bump in the road on the way there, an opportunity to trust Him.

He gives me a lot of those. And I don’t always do the best job of taking advantage of those opportunities to trust and learn and grow. I often complain and throw hissy fits, tell him how it isn’t fair.

I often resent fragility.

I don’t like being weak. I don’t like having to have opportunities to trust and rely on God for strength. I’d much rather the easy way out. To never be challenged, to never be humbled. To always be able to do things on my own with ease and comfort, with no help.

Except not really.

It really is hard at times for me to say with the Apostle Paul that I can boast gladly of my weaknesses, and be content with them. With hardships. With calamities (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). But without times of questioning, God’s goodness wouldn’t taste as sweet. I wouldn’t be as thankful for His provision. His light wouldn’t shine as brightly through me as He does things in my life that only He can do, that could never be attributed to my strength or power alone.

I have been ushered into a new level of fragility in this season of my life. More to come on that later. There will be some changes to my blog in the coming weeks. It’ll be undergoing a makeover, and will have a change in name, and focus. The purpose of the blog will be to chronicle my journey through this particular season of my life, and to offer hope to others through what I’m learning during this time. To give you a brief glimpse, I’ve been dealing with physical illness that’s really thrown me for a big loop. And at times I find it baffling that Paul could ever say he rejoiced in his sufferings, and question if I could ever find myself saying that along with him. But then there are times—which will turn into days, which will turn into weeks, which will turn into months—when I know God has a purpose in it all, even if I can’t see it. And I trust that if this is what will bring Him glory in my life right now, that if this is how others will see Him in my life, then it’s worth it. I hope those times do stretch into months, and that this is a season of trust only sprinkled with moments of questioning, rather than the other way around. I’m learning not to resent fragility, because His strength is made perfect in my weakness.

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God is Bigger than the Boogeyman

I don’t even remember the VeggieTales episode, just the song. Somehow, it stuck in my head. And I sang it to the boys I nannied when I put them to bed one time when their parents were out, and they were afraid of monsters under the bed: “God is bigger than the boogeyman. He’s bigger than Godzilla or the monsters on TV, oh God is bigger than the boogeyman, and He’s watching out for you and me.” It’s easy to sing that song to a child, thinking it will miraculously melt away their fear. It’s easy to think, “There’s no reason to fear monsters under the bed! They don’t exist! And God’s here, anyway, and He’ll take care of you.” As an adult, it’s easy to minimize the fear of children because we know more than they do. We know there are no such things as monsters under the bed. But to children, those fears are real. And the presence and comfort of God is something real to be offered, not just a pat answer.

And aren’t we all children in a sense? The monsters we fear may be real—depression. Illness. Divorce. Layoffs. Losing loved ones. The list goes on. Those monsters are real. But do we really need to fear them? God is just as much bigger than those things as He is bigger than the boogeyman. And He’s watching out for us. He saw that monster form and lurk its way toward you, and He will watch it go. And like the adult who knows the child doesn’t really need to be scared of the monsters under the bed, He knows His children—the redeemed and reborn who put their faith in His Son—need not really fear those things. Because He is bigger. And He can slay them in an instant. He doesn’t always. Sometimes He lets them linger, because He knows they’re to teach us to trust Him in the midst of the battle. But knowing He could cut them down dead in an instant if He really wanted to? That He’s stronger and bigger and more powerful than them, and they don’t have the power or authority to destroy me? That comforts me. And I know I don’t really have to be afraid of them.

As adults, we tell kids that monsters under the bed don’t exist. But we know monsters are real. They just aren’t blue and fuzzy with purple polka dots like Sully. They take a different form. But nevertheless, we need not fear them, because God is bigger.