Oh Dear Lord. Show me a miracle.
Life, man. This year started with an ALS diagnosis for my grandpa and wrapped up with a dear one’s surgery to remove cancer. Between the months, these words have been muttered over and over and over thousands of times – Oh Dear Lord, show me a miracle.
Have you ever felt at such a loss for control that you don’t even recognize the downhill spiral?
Two weeks ago, a dear friend went in for surgery to remove cancer that had been hiding and spreading without consent. I’d had these words on repeat for days on end, and I did just about anything I could not to pace for those 10 hours while the surgeon crafted away. Gosh, I don’t think I was as nervous about giving birth for the first time as I was anticipating hearing the outcome of her surgery. But it was even before those hours in waiting when I came face to palm with my need to control. All of my mandatory Christmas shopping and wrapping was done. Meals had been prepped. There were no dirty dishes or clothes or bathrooms left in our home. Toys were picked up and organized. Chairs and stools were under their tables in correct line-up. I had checked in for my flight and my e-ticket was safely in my e-wallet (today’s tech is weird). And yet, I had not packed. Not one single item. That afternoon as Finley and I went to pick up sisters at school, one of my friends whose son is in Izzy’s class, asked how I was doing and if I was ready. That question came in like Miley on a wrecking ball, and I froze. No, I’m not OK. I wanted to control the outcome for her so badly that I literally created a new toy management system in the girls rooms. It was all I could do to keep sane, and I didn’t even realize that’s why I was doing any of those things. Getting in the van that day, my friend wished the trip well and told me to pack. We agreed on an accountability text later that night to be sure. I came home, closed my bedroom door and wept. All through packing, I wept. I couldn’t control her surgery any more than I could control the storm clouds. After every last sweater and sock were piled into my Burton duffle, I sat on the edge of my bed with Jesus and said, Oh Dear Lord, show us a miracle.
The surgery, as they know, was successful. There were no new cancer spots and she is now home, before Christmas, as she prayed to be. When I came home those days later, the tree was up and decorated, the house lights were strung and bright. Eric and the elves worked hard! And I sat on the couch, once the kids were in bed, in silence. I feel like I’ve been holding my breath all year, anticipating outcomes that I have little to zero control over. Anyone with me? But I sat, staring at this tree that my kids picked out and decorated, noticing the gaps in ornaments, the ornaments they chose, the way the lights sit between the gaps in the branches and peacefully God reminded me that it’s OK to not be in control. Every year, the Christmas tree is my thing. I’m always amazed at the Insta-stories and posts about moms letting their young kids in to the decorating party. But that’s not me. I’m way too particular, had you not yet noticed. And yet, this tree, crafted by my little girls, is the most beautiful symbol of love and service. It’s through their imagination, creativity and intention that I see who they are. And I can trust in the goodness of their little hearts.
Funny that God used a Christmas tree to tell me it’s OK. And why wouldn’t He use the symbols around Christmas as the perfect reminder? For He is that miracle. In Him and through Him, He is miraculous. In God, grace abounds. In Him, protection covers us. Healing happens. Sins are forgiven. And a Savior was born.
I want to end this by saying something incredibly profound, but this is what I have: God is the miracle. We can trust His love for us. We can trust His timing. We can trust in the gaps. We can trust because of who He is, His intention for us. He is the miracle. It’s that simple.
Merry Christmas, my friends.