Bloggy Moms

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

When God Doesn't Give Us What We Want

My friend just posted the quote below on Facebook. I got to thinking about a conversation I had yesterday with the ten year old philosopher who lives in my house, AKA Princess. I told her that God is not like Santa. He doesn't dole out what we want. He gives us what we need. Sometimes we like what He gives us because it is even better than we could have every imagined. There are other  times when those gifts invoke anger. Do I dare say rage, in us?
There are many, many times in my life when God answered a prayer of mine in a completely different way than I would have ever imagined but it was always perfect.
When my husband found out that he had cancer the first time, we prayed for a miracle. We got one that time. Then two years later his cancer returned. It couldn't have come at a worse time. My mom was really struggling with her mental illness and I got pregnant at the same time. I remember wondering how everything was going to get done- we had to move my mom into an assisted living facility, my husband had to go to his chemo treatments and somehow I had to get the house ready to receive our daughter. The tasks seemed insurmountable. By the grace of God we accomplished everything. He provided the resources we needed to get everything done. Our church family provided meals. My younger brother came from out of state to help me move my mom- She'd been in her apartment for thirty plus years. The nurses at the cancer center told me to stay away. They didn't want me to get sick from all of the germs that cancer patients seem to bring with them. They assured me that for the sake of my unborn child, they'd take good care of my husband. They kept that promise.
When Princess was born, we marveled at the miracle of her birth because we knew all of the things we'd endured before her birth.
Fast forward to two years ago. Our family was once again in crisis. I had a bully boss that I could not seem to please no matter what. My husband had encouraged me to quit because he could see what it was doing to me. I prayed instead for another teaching assignment. I worked so hard to make things right. I wanted desperately to be the best teacher on the planet. At the very same time Princess was struggling. We prayed for a miracle with her as well.
I'd been out on stress leave from March until June earlier that year. My hope was that I could figure something out so that I could teach at another school in the district. Alas that was not to be. When school resumed in late August, I remained at the same school with the same administrator. I was even given the same grade to teach. I had renewed vigor to make this work even though we'd had a horrific summer with Princess. About a month in I could no longer handle the stress it was placing on my body so I went out on stress leave again. I had no idea what I was going to do. God knew though. He knew that Princess needed more of me. Two weeks after my second stress leave Princess had her first hospital stay. It was in a facility 100 miles away. I was beginning to see that my daughter needed an emotionally strong mom.  A  stressed, worn out momma was not going to help her. When she was discharged, we were advised to put her in an outpatient program. Interestingly enough there were no spots anywhere except at the hospital she had been at. My husband and I determined that I would stay with her while he went back home to teach PE at a small private school. Finally it clicked I was needed to care for our daughter and not teach. God knew that for our situation I could not possibly teach and be the mom my daughter needed.
I wish that it would have been easier to get to that point but I am sure that I would have left teaching kicking and screaming if it had been different. I was one of those people who'd dreamed of teaching ever since I was 14. I exited college with the same major as I had  entered it.
Another prayer that my husband and I had was the prayer for stability for our daughter. For over four years we prayed for just the right mix of medications. Our daughter's psychiatrist tried everything before trying the magic pill Amantadine. It was a long and hard road. Princess had many side effects and many hospital stays. We never gave up hope though. I think in my heart I knew that eventually something was going to work. Now over a year later since starting this medication,  I continue to see my child blossom into a beautiful, loving and caring human who is genuinely happy.
While I wish that I had not had to go through so much fire. Everything I've been through has made me a stronger person. It's made me appreciate the little things more. I am a happier person. If my prayers had been answered the way I wanted them to, I'm not so sure I'd be as at peace as I am today.

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