Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lord, teach us to pray...

I don't even know how to start this post. I guess I'll tell you what happened this morning. Brian stayed up late working on a sermon (I think mostly praying) for pulpit supply for some friend's church for Sunday and I went to bed early. This morning I woke up to a very lively Olivia at about 7am and her and I went downstairs to start the day. She was funny and energetic, as is her new self (which came strangely but lovely upon us about a month ago). We played and I was changing her diaper and sometimes she likes to hold an extra wipe, so I gave it to her and she clutched it in one hand for a while--then, all of a sudden, she brought her hands together and put the wipe in the other hand. Such a simple transaction like she had been doing it for forever--but she hadn't. I actually haven't seen her do that since about October of last year, just before the seizures started to take over her brain. I yelled up at Brian (waking him up since he had not gone to bed until about 2am I later found out). I told him what had happened and he started to cry. He said he had been reading this book on prayer and it had been teaching him so much. Last night at 2am he went into Olivia's room and prayed for her to keep developing.

You see, even though Brian and I, in our wildest hopes wish for that--for her to gain and develop into a fully functioning person--we bury that hope. Sometimes, well sometimes it just hurts too much to hope that high. We shield our life from the greatest hopes for her except at moments like these because we are weak and sometimes the day to day rigor and disappointments are just too damn hard. It makes us sound like terrible people who don't care. Thats not it. We love Olivia the same even if she can never do another thing on her own ever again. But this wild and untamed optimism that some of you possess (as beautiful as it is) sometimes is painful, and in a need to establish balance, Brian and I swing the other way--we wouldn't call it pessimism, but it might be.

We always pray for God's will to be done. But, the error is that sometimes we go straight to that. And, as Brian was explaining the book he has been reading to me this morning, the problem with that is that it makes God impersonal. I thought this type of praying made me mature, but it was just distancing me from God and from myself. Now we will pray for the things we hope, as Jesus did in the garden. We will pray for insane things that never seem possible--and then we will pray for God's will-- not as a thing to resign to, but to hope for. Eventually the best thing for our family and for the world will be for God's will for Olivia to be done, whatever that is. Lets not pretend any of us know, because we can't. That goes for me too. Now I will pray with confidence and hope that the Lord will restore my child to full function. Yet, even if He doesn't, He loves her more than even I can know and has her best good and His best good in mind. And in the end, if she can do almost nothing on her own, at the very least she has changed all of us forever--what a remarkable thing.


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Praise God for all His blessings, even when I'm too blind to see and refuse to believe because it enables the hurt to rain down on me. Thanks to my kids for reminding me of what I should be teaching them. I love you all - Gma

  2. Amen! I always hated it when people defaulted to "God's will" when they were praying for my mom. I am a firm believer that we should petition God for the desires of our heart. Not that I don't desire his will, but I believe that he loves me enough to listen and hear my prayer and that he is powerful enough to work. It doesn't always work out the way we want, and that's OK. But we shouldn't use that as a reason to stop asking. I'll be praying for Olivia's full function!

    On another note. I'll be back in Lawrence in a week. I'd love to see y'all sometime. Let me know a good weekend.

  3. And of course I cried. Lots of words of truth in this post and thanks for the reminder. I was tracking with what you were saying. So excited for the steps your little girl is taking. She's beautiful!


  4. What a beautiful post! You and your family are always in my prayers. Hooray for beautiful Olivia!!!

  5. kind of teared up there!

    it is in moments like these that God changes our hearts forever. what a sweet moment you can look back on as a marker of God's grace.

    keep it up, olivia!

  6. Grandpa is very proud of his "Big Girl"!
    I am prouder of Brian and Kelly for a constant reminder of love and faith in action. The world is a better place with you in it, sweet girl.

  7. you two are truly amazing parents. thank you for letting us peek into your world and pray more specifically for you (and, believe you me, we're praying)!

  8. Kel and Brian, I cried as soon as I read this post. I love the 3 of you immensly and I hope you know there is NOTHING we won't do for you.
    You all are an inspiration.


    Uncle Phil and Aunt Amy

  9. doggone it, Kelly - you made me cry. What a privilege to see faith and joy as God shines through you. Love to you all, Jane