Friday, November 4, 2011

Thoughts on today

Today 115,000 lives will be lost through the hands of another, with consent from the family. Today, a physician thinking they are doing what is best for their patient, will leave a life-long wound in a woman, a family, and a society. Because of today, 115,000 unique, beautiful people will never be known. They won't get the chance to laugh, cry, love or be loved by another. Those mothers will miss the amazing gift and opportunity to grow, mature, love, laugh, and cry. They will miss the opportunity to realize that life is more than what others think of us. Because of fear, they will miss out on the person they are supposed to become.

I know that the topic of abortion is a sensitive one. There are many amazing men and women that I love who not only support, but also participate in the furthering of 'women's rights' and abortions. I know that they truly have the best intentions- they want to help women who are suffering, who are afraid, who don't have the finances or don't have the time. They want to protect families and marriages.

I understand this and I want to share a story, so please bear with me and continue reading. It is pretty short.

For the first few weeks, she thought that it was the stomach flu. Eight weeks and a positive pregnancy test later, her symptoms made more sense. What didn't make sense was what life was going to look like. With a 5 year old and a 6 month old, a third child was a lot to imagine, especially since her husband was in the beginning stages of working his way up the managerial chain at a local grocery store. For him that meant long hours, long weeks, and little time. With two children, daycare options were more accessible and meant that she could go back to work. Three children meant staying at home to raise and provide for them. Three children also meant an even tighter budget and living off of one income over two. That meant more mouths to feed, bottoms to diaper, clothes to wash. It also meant less money in, more money out, less time for adult conversation and a longer wait before she could make her way in the corporate world.

After the kids were in bed, they started discussing the change in their future. It felt like they were tearing down an already built home and starting from scratch. Plans were shelved for a while, maybe forever. What was going to happen to their marriage? What about their 6 month old baby? How were they going to shower their children with the love that they needed and still have time for each other?

But there were 'options' and one pregnancy could ruin what they felt was in the best interest of their family. With this turn in the discussion, their plans didn't have to change. They could continue on the path they were going, and not have to worry so much about food being on the table and careers coming to a complete halt. Their two children would be well provided for and their marriage would be better.

So, what should they do?

What would you do? How would you finish my story?

Because this is my story. Those are my parents. I am that 8 week old baby. It is my life that they are discussing.

My story isn't an uncommon one, but what may be more uncommon is it's ending. Twenty-five years ago, my mom went against her husband's recommendation and chose to keep me. I am here today because she didn't see abortion as an option for a life that two people made. She saw the bigger picture, maybe not clearly, fully or precisely, but she knew there was more to that 8 week old than she could see right then and there. It took courage, strength, and grace to say 'no' when everything pointed to 'yes.' And for that courage, strength, grace and love, I will be forever grateful.

So today I share this story on behalf of those unheard voices, unseen persons who are missing from our lives. I am grateful because I am here, even though I was supposed to be one of those unknowns. I will lend my voice so they can speak, even if only for a moment.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Do I delegate to God?

So I was talking to an AMAZING friend of our family last week and we hit upon a really interesting discussion regarding delegation. Delegation, when done correctly, means to give authority to another so they may act on your behalf. We can all think of perfect examples for delegation, and that's where a lot of jobs are created- maids, cooks, secretaries, treasurers, vice presidents, presidents even. The role and goal of these positions and for delegation is for the completion of the part or whole of the idea, task, etc. Sometimes our plates are full and we need to pass a task on to another to complete it.

When I was working at the hospital, there were many times that I needed to delegate jobs to aids in order for the patient to be appropriately cared for. The tricky part of delegation is making sure that we aren't inappropriately delegating tasks. Using a similar example, it would be inappropriate (and illegal) for me to delegate medication administration to a student. They are in training, but aren't fully trained for it; they don't hold the license and knowledge to complete the task on their own. Therefore, it wouldn't be delegation at all but sheer laziness/poor leadership on my part to give that particular task to a student and would cause me to lose my license (don't worry, I've never done anything like that, just an example). Similarly, it would be inappropriate for a physician to ask me to diagnose, treat, or perform surgery for a patient. I am not a doctor. I may know a lot, or even have a guess as to what might be occurring, but it is not within my scope of practice.

Now what, if anything, does this have to do with my relationship with God? There have been many times when I ask God to take care of things for me or work a miracle on my behalf. I think back to high school and the last minute essays that needed completion and praying that God would help me pull the all-nighter so I could finish it in time, or better yet, have the teacher kindly extend the essay so I could make the much-needed corrections. Thinking of those prayers still makes me laugh. Now those are perfect moments of sheer laziness on my part. Granted, God is capable of all things, but finishing my essay isn't appropriate delegation. Why? Because if I really believe that God created all things; knows all things; can do all things; created me in His image and likeness; and called me to care for and protect the world that He created, I think I can handle that essay. Besides, the "care for and protect" command that He gave to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden kind of means that He actually delegated the task to me first.

Does this mean, then, that I cannot ask God for guidance or help? As in all things, I think it matters more for the heart of the request versus a specific formula or law. It is how I ask God to help me in my time of need, whether that need is finishing laundry or something greater; is it with honor, awe, love? Or is it with a simple passing thought and command of 'do it for me because I just don't want to and can't be bothered.' A few questions I now try to ask myself before sending a request to God: Am I capable of completing the task before me? Have I been given sufficient Grace? Is the task greater and beyond the skills that I have been given? More often than not, I find that I am capable and do not need God's amazing intervention. That being said, there are times when I know that my patience has run thin, my energy out, and my spirit running dry. It is during these times that I ask God for the Grace to continue what I have started and complete it with love and compassion. And that is most definitely not delegation- it is asking for help and guidance when I am a little lost.

It is, as my wonderful friend and I discussed, elegation. It is lifting up a task and giving it to the appropriate person in order that it may be rightly fulfilled. There are many things that God has given me that I cannot rightly and correctly complete on my own. My son is the perfect example. God blessed us with the most beautiful, inquisitive, energetic, bubbly, loving, gentle, adventurous now 13 month old. My heart is filled with so much joy and love and awe at the little man that I am called to raise up as a son of God- his true calling and true Father. But with this little man come the most amazing moments where I need more than what I have. I need God's grace (which He has promised us; II Corinthians 12:9) in order to finish. Is that God being a chauvinist? On the contrary, it is God loving me and desiring for me to go further than I could have ever dreamed; to soar among the clouds when I thought I could only watch them from afar. Back to my son as an example, I desire for him to learn and experience different things. Right now, he needs my guidance and help. There are tasks and experiences beyond his abilities, but that doesn't mean that I withhold those things from him- he would never learn, never know, never get to experience it.

God desires us to be as He created us, images of Him. As we are sinful, prone to sin, and fallen, we need and require His aid in order to be raised up from our situations and ourselves. This means doing things and experiencing moments and joys, but also recognizing when something is beyond us and entrusting the treasure with God; elegating the task to God; knowing that everything He does is in goodness and in love for us. My son isn't something that I could have, create, or raise on my own. He is a gift from God; an opportunity to become more than I ever could have been on my own. Because of that fact, I need to rely on God. It is God who gave me this beautiful little boy; He delegated the task of raising his son. So, when my little boy requires more than what I have to give, I give the frustration, the anxiety, the stress, the worry, the situation, back to his Father. I trust that God will care for my son, love him, nurture and grow him, better and in ways that I cannot because I am finite and human. God is infinite. When I lose myself, let go of myself and the things in my life and offer them to God, that is when I truly find my life, all of the beautiful things in it, and they are exactly where they should be- in God's hands.