Monday, April 06, 2009

Yikes! It's the Debil!

When I logged on to post today I realized that the last post was number 666. In fact, I was feeling the pull of the devil quite strongly when I wrote it. 

I have been pondering some things. First, let me tell you that I consider myself spiritual but not necessarily religious. I try and live every day by the teachings in the bible. Every day I fail to meet those expectations and yet the next day I try again. I am trying to be the best I can be, no matter what. I have issues with some of the experiences I have had with organized religion. Or should I say some of the people I experienced. Let's just say that not all people who proclaim to be christians really live as one.

So my question is, if God has a plan for us and will reveal it to us when it is time, why do we pray? Can prayer change God's mind or is that presumptuous to think we might have that influence? Is it OK to pray for yourself or is that taboo like voting for yourself for Homecoming Queen? Does praying for others have more impact? Would I be better off to just accept that he will reveal his plan in his own time and that it will be better if I am just patient? 

I am sometimes angry at God. (Boy, was that hard to admit) Why is PBJ having to suffer? I can handle the pain, and I know I am a better person for experiencing this. But what about her? What about the other innocent children who have to suffer? 

I am full of questions and very few answers, but peace is settling over me. The plan is beginning to be revealed. I just need to be patient and trust in God's plan. 

8 comments:

Ellie said...

Let me tell you something... I was raised Catholic. Then SEVERAL things in my life went wrong, and yes... I was mad at God... But actaully, more PISSED... Completely turned my back on him/her (i will explain that in a minute) at a young age... I looked into other followings... Yes, Pagan was one of them... I find that all religons are hipocripts to a certain point. I also find that I got ALOT out of learning the different ways "God" is interpeted... I have bapitsed my children as Catholics, and as they get older, I will encourage them to reach out and search their soles for what is best for them. I have given them a root to start with, and they will grow into what they want... So, when you say, you are mad at God... I completely understand... Yes, I pray... sometimes BEG... Yes, I cry over things I can't control, and yes, I STILL GET MAD AS HELL at the Supereme Being... I don't need a church to pray, I need my heart to understand, and my mind to be at easy... Somebody told me one day, you are spiritual, you aren't religous... I thought about it for a minute and know they are right. Not that any of this will help you... But, just know, what you are feeling IS ok, and you WILL find out someday... I have learned not to question "God" because in his/her own time, things will be revealed... We as americans, are just spoiled and expect answers now!~ Heck... I want answers every minute of the day... Especially today... I will talk to you later...

HUGS.. AND I SURE COULD USE YOU TO SEND SOME PRAYERS ANGELO'S WAY...

ELLIE

Vanessa said...

I too question God ALL the time. I don't mean to, but when things get rough as I move forward with the plans for my mission trip I often get so angry and wonder why if this is what He wants me to do does He make it so hard? Why should it be so hard to help the children in Guatemala who are suffering? I try my best to be patient and understanding but it's not always my strong suite!!
Praying for you!!

Angie said...

We can't change God's mind. We pray through trials not asking for what we want but for the strength to get thorugh it. We pray because it is our line of communication to Him. He often answers us through prayer, or while we pray. So we need to be faithful and keep that door wide open so He can tell us what we need to know when the time arises.

Many times we won't know the purpose of our trials or the things we are asked to do until much later. ANd maybe we won't ever know in this life.

I am thinking that maybe PBJ wasn't meant to come live here. Maybe part of her life's trials are to grow up in Guat. And maybe you were brought to her life to get her the medical help she wouldn't have received otherwise. Or for many other reasons that you just don't know yet. But maybe she is meant to live there. I know it doesn't seem right. But ask God to show you and He will show you. Just keep in mind that some times He doesn't answer us until after the trial of our faith. He wants us to come to Him in times of sadness and happiness. Remembering Him always.

It breaks my heart to know that you all are still struggling with this situation. I can TOTALLY understand you needing this to come to an end, one way or another. I get that. Remember that God will not give us more than we can handle. That doesn't always seem like it, but He promised. He will always lift us up.

Reba said...

I have been thinking about you and PBJ. I just don't understand. So many things in life I don't understand (which is why my life's verses are Proverbs 3:5-6...especially the "lean not on your own understanding". I have questioned about the prayer thing and have been told by those wiser than me that prayer is not for God. He does have a plan and me praying isn't going to make Him say, "Oh, you are so right, Reba, that is what I need to do instead." Instead it is for me. It is for me to rely on Him completely. It is for me to trust in Him. It is for me to allow Him to be who He is, whether His answer is yes, no, or wait. Doesn't help the heart feel better, but more often than not I look back and say, "Oh, look, God, that is what you were doing..." Anyway, praying for you!

Deb said...

Wendy- We pray because God wants us to pray, he wants us to cast our cares, our burdens, our hurts and our sorroes on him. We pray, because to us, his will can be a huge miracle, a change in direction. We pray becuase tomorrow has not come- just like David prayed for God not to take his son, but when God's will was made known, put aways his garments of mourning and left- we pray becuase there is alway hope that what we want will come to pass.
Praying does not change the heart of God- it does not change the outcome- there is a will. But it shnages us- becuase in praying we reveal that we are weak, that are not all powerful, that we need help. And God sends his help through the spirit, through friends and family who pray with us, who cry with us, who rejoice with us.
We pray becuase we need to pray- to talk to God like we would a freind- sometimes with love, sometimes with tears, some times with questions and sometimes just to be with him.

Praying for you and PBJ- becuase there is alway hope, there is always tomorrow, there is always an open window when the door shuts.

Love to you,
Deb

Diana said...

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” Rev. 3:20

This is such a simple, yet powerful verse. Can you picture it? Christ standing at a door…knocking and waiting…waiting for US to answer…waiting for us to invite him in…waiting to fulfill his promise to abide and stay with us and then reveal His Father’s plan for us to us little by little and piece by piece.

Notice that He doesn’t just walk in to the house – or our hearts. Nor does he use a megaphone to get our attention. He knocks and then waits patiently for an invitation to enter. This means WE have to take the action necessary to both invite Him and allow his entry.

Of course God knows what we need, even before we ask. No, we will not change His mind or His will by asking. But the act of asking in faith does change ours. Or, sometimes it prepares us for His answer.

Prayer is also the means by which we develop faith – faith to ask, faith to act, faith to be, faith to walk in His ways, and faith to overcome trials, setbacks, disappointments, and even heartache so deep that words can’t express it. It is also one of the very first actions we take in which we invite God into our lives – and invite Him to make more of us than we can make of ourselves.

Is it ok to pray for yourself? ABSOLUTELY!! It is through this process that we become whole – and we become His. It is through this process that we give our whole hearts to Him. In my experience, some of the hardest prayers to utter have been those for myself and my own needs and my own healing. Yet they also have brought some of the richest, most powerful, and most sacred experiences of my life. These are the prayers in which I’ve felt most of His personal love for me, His majesty, and His grace.

As you are noticing, the Lord doesn’t teach all at once. Nor does he reveal His plan for our lives all at once. He teaches and reveals as we are ready to receive. Sometimes (as has certainly been the case with me) we don’t receive that understanding until after the trial of our faith. Sometimes we are required to walk in the dark for a season before we find the light or the understanding. But I can assure you with everything that is in me that if you make that walk with faith, even if you don't yet understand, the light WILL come…and so will the peace that passes understanding.

Indeed, there are times when we are tested to the point of feeling abandoned by God. It is easy to be angry when we feel defeated and don’t understand all the why’s. Did you know it’s ok to tell God you’re mad at him?? Well, it is…and it is a powerful thing to admit, too. I’m sure most of us have been there at various times in our lives. What I do know, though…again, from very personal experience, is that when we look back at these times – these darkest, saddest, most distressing times when we feel so desperately alone and so hurt and so angry that we begin to realize the reality of the poem “Footprints in the Sand”…’when you saw only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried you.’ It isn’t always easy to recognize who’s footprints are really in the sand during our trial – but when you look back, you will see very clearly whose they really are.

When speaking of prayer, it is also important to remember that not all answers come immediately. Not all answers are “yes.” Sometimes the answer is “wait” and sometimes the answer is “trust me and allow me to lead you.” Those last two, I believe, are the hardest ones to accept, especially when what we are so desperately praying for is a worthy cause. Yet it is our acceptance of these answers, whatever they may be, that begins the process of aligning our will to His. Isn’t it ironic that our will is the only thing that is TRULY and UNIQUELY ours, and ours alone, to give?

As for the why’s with PBJ, the answer is “I don’t know.” But what I do know from my own very difficult struggles (yes, that also centered around adoption) is she is ultimately His child. He knows her, He knows the full details of the situation, and one way or another, He will hold her in the hollow of his hand. I also know that that if you earnestly seek Him, YOU will come to understand in time. For me, part of that understanding came as I developed a greater understanding of agency – an individual’s God-given ability to choose and act for themselves. As I came to really understand what a precious gift this is, and also how it fits into God’s eternal plan for all of us, I also came to understand why God will never revoke it, even when He desires a different outcome.

There are 3 posts on my blog relating to this last point. They are written in more depth than I can share here. I hope you will read them, as they parallel what you are facing in many ways. They are titled “Radioactive Debris”, “Fading Dreams” and “The Verdict Is In…” Read them in that order. There are links to all of them in the “adoption journey posts” section on my sidebar.

If I’ve came across as preachy, I apologize. This is a subject that is very near and dear and close to my heart. These aren’t things I’ve learned just from a church sermon. They are things I have learned by doing, especially when it wasn’t easy to do them. But they are things that are now a part of who I am.

I'm glad you've asked these questions. Keep them coming! It is through discovering their answers that you will find hope and rest for your soul. Plus, it’s good for the rest of us to talk about them. It gives us all an opportunity to learn along the way.

And so it goes (AshaAnn) said...

I echo so much of what you write in this post. I have been thinking, and blogging, and struggling with some of these same questions. I don't have answers. I am confident there is a spirit at work in this universe and in my life. But when and how that looks. I struggle. Thanks for being willing to ask the questions openly. It really connected with me as I grieve (tears, anger, doubt and all) as i ask some of the same "whys".

P.s. I have been a lurker for far too long. Thought it was time to un-lurk. thanks for sharing your journey. I have celebrated along with you as your beautiful family is being created.

Mamita J said...

Wendy,

I'm so sorry you are caught in the middle of such ugliness. I have so much I want to talk to you about, but mostly I want to say that I know one thing --- God cares. He cares about your pain and your needs and your heart. He cares about little PBJ. She is not going to fall off His RADAR screen. I don't have answers to all the hard questions, but I do know that orphans have a special place in His heart. Woe to those who would use her for unjust gain. I wouldn't want to be in their shoes.

Bless you for honestly asking the hard questions. God is not afraid to be honestly challenged. May He give you the peace that surpasses understanding.

Much love,
Julie

PS. I may email you privately.