Last week I spoke about how I was learning not to be afraid of death, for either myself or my loved ones. But if you’ve read here long, you know that my worst-case-scenario habits are pretty longstanding (for examples, read here and here.)
So I’m sailing back and forth between joyful confidence and slightly-morbid pessimism, sometimes a few times in a day.
Stephen recently traveled to Guatemala for a week, and the day before he left we had a picnic lunch at a nearby park. I brought the camera and took lots of pictures. You know…just in case Daddy didn’t come home and these were our last memories together.
Then, of course, there was Monday. For a couple of minutes I thought we might have lost Tres. Did I serenely lift my hands and sing “Blessed be Your Name?” Hardly. So obviously, this learning is a process.
I find myself playing “psych” with God more than I like to admit, trying to figure out what kind of game He is playing with me. I’ve come up with all kinds of theories:
God knows that I’ve always been afraid to have a child with special needs. So he gave us Sam to give us some perspective. Now Tres will have some sort of difficult disability, and I won’t be able to complain.
(By the way, I know that special needs kids are tremendous blessings to their families. I just don’t have a lot of close experience with those situations, and I’ve feared the “unknown” of that world.)
God would never take another child from me.
God knows that I’m doing great on my “eternal perspective,” but that I’m average-to-below-average on daily patience and grace in parenting Abby. He will definitely let me keep this baby, because I need more character-building “on the ground.” In fact, this baby will probably have colic and a ferocious temper.
God gave us an “easy” first run at loss with an unexpected stillbirth. This was preparation for a longer, more painful ordeal: losing more than one loved one at a time; loss after a long illness; a sudden, unexplainable death after a healthy birth.
Am I disturbing anyone else?
When I ran some of these theories past him, Stephen reminded me that all of my speculating flies in the face of all those truths that I have supposedly learned over the past year. He recommended that I spend more time thinking about those things I know to be true rather than wasting my brain power coming up with unlikely, possibly-heretical theories about the hows and whys of God’s sovereign plan.
Then today (I’m writing this on Wednesday), I got Ann Voskamp’s latest post in my inbox. It spoke directly to the issue of overcoming pessimism:
[In your mind,] play out the law of Worst Case Scenario: What is the worst thing that could possibly happen?
And there aren’t wolves, trouble, kids, hatred, debts, messes, betrayal, teenagers, disease, lack, hard times, untruths, diagnoses, or disappointment that can possibly separate you from the love of God. Nothing can separate you from Him.
So the Worst Case Scenario?
Is only the scenario of not wanting Christ the most.
So the Worst Case Scenario –is only a possible scenario if you want something more than Christ.
If you want Christ the most — there is no worst case scenario.
Now there’s something productive to think about.