Monday, June 21, 2010


It seems that I have faced major decision meltdown. Maybe we've just had too many life choices and potential changes before us for the past year, and now my mind and my emotions are simply shutting down. Last night, I felt despair because we had clearly made the wrong choice - we should not have purchased bunk beds. Tonight, I felt despair because we clearly made the wrong choice - Lilly should be starting kindergarten.

I can't help but wonder where this despair comes from. Couple this with my inability to make choices over our summer travel, and we see a strong pattern. It seems I have lost all ability to cope with and consider change. Maybe that's fair, in light of the year we're in the midst of. Still, that stress may be fair at this point does not make it practical or helpful.

I've had a strong prayer life over the last few months, which has been the source of my peace. Well, that and three bright, charming, loving and peaceful children; a strong group of supportive friends; and a wonderful husband. But I wonder if I've been putting too much faith in prayer. As I write it, that seems impossible. But still, I wonder.

As I've faced decisions of late, I've prayed on them. And prayed, and prayed, and prayed on them. And I've not seen clear answers to any of them. Scratch that - I've got a nice list of answered prayers. Annika is a peaceful baby - answered prayer. Discovery Woods never gave me their mailing address, so I could not send money to enroll the girls for their preschool in the fall - answered prayer.

But when I face a question, I often don't see a clear answer. For example, Dave and I struggled enormously over whether Lilly should begin kindergarten or pre-k in the fall. We both felt she is ready for kindergarten, both socially and academically. But, the prevailing wisdom says that a child performs better as the oldest child in the class rather than the youngest. We questioned our gut reaction, realizing that every parent believes their child is above average. I prayed over the decision, and prayed, and prayed. I talked to everyone who had an opinion, waiting for God to speak clearly. The results came back fuzzy - people who knew Lilly saw her as ready, people who didn't know Lilly saw the research and statistics as quite clear. So we took the prevailing wisdom, knowing that being older can not hurt.

So here's the point: We prayed for guidance, and we only received mixed messages.

And now, I face all sorts of decisions without clear answers. I pray for guidance, and I don't receive a clear answer. So here's where I'm heading with this - prayer is great, but God doesn't want me to be wishy-washy, either. He placed a good brain in my head, and he put a strong gut in my, well, in my gut. If in prayer, God doesn't write an answer in stone, maybe its because He trusts me to make my own choice.

Reassuring, in one sense. Nice to feel that the God of the universe trusts my intellect.

Frightening, in another. I'd much rather believe that God has a plan for when Mei Mei will finally join our family, and that if I listen hard enough, He will lay it out for me. I'd rather believe that if I make God's choice, Mei Mei will come at the perfect time.

That may not be true, though. Mei Mei may not come at the perfect time.

That may be God's plan. Or it may be what God allows to happen. And I suppose the only comfort, then, is that God is faithful. Even if all of our choices lead to difficulty - God is good. All the time.

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