Trust is one of those elusive things that seems to come and go like the tide. It was a little after 5 am when we arrived at the emergency room. I had grappled with the decision to take our 5-year-old son to ER since 2 am. I was making the decision alone. My husband is out of town. Because he is staying at our cabin while finishing a contract, he rarely has cellular service in the evenings.
Now, I was walking into the hospital with Charlie in tow, still struggling with whether I was right or wrong.
I was wrong.
My instincts were brutalized by worry and fatigue. I could have waited until the doctor’s office was open. He has a bad inner infection. Granted he is sick, but Children’s Hospital, 40 minutes from home, that was an over the top decision.
On the way to the hospital, he nagged me, “Mommy! I too sick for dis long dwive!” And my favorite, “is youm my only choice for a ride to da hospital?”
About two minutes into the arrival, I started to realize I had been wrong. The giant aquarium in the waiting room seemed to be the cure for Charlie’s high fever and complaints. Still, what if I was wrong about that?
My feet, which were still sticky from him projectile vomiting on them, making me regret motherhood, ambled to the counter to return the admission packet, motivated by fear alone. I decided to trust my instincts and handed the packet to the clerk.
It was a brutally expensive decision.
I can’t be trusted to make rational decisions when it comes to fever.
I know this about myself.
In my defense, there are multiple reasons for this. The first is, I don’t get fever. I have an abnormally low body temperature. If my temperature is 98.6, someone call 911. I am dying.
My father-in-law died from complications of West Nile Virus, which manifested into meningitis. And my mother nearly died from meningitis. And our son Sam has febrile seizures when he gets fever.
You can trust me to be irrational if someone is warm to the touch.
Then, seeing my child in the hospital bed, I recommitted to the decision. Away from the tropical fish, Charlie drifted in and out of sleep, moaned, and whimpered. Again, I volleyed with my verdict; he was very sick. His neck hurt, his head hurt, and he complained that his back ached. And then the nurse asked him what was wrong, and he said, “this hospital is boring.”
What had I done?
Still, later that night I had a conversation with a dear friend about a decision she is making, she said, “I just don’t want to be outside of God’s will.”
We talked for a long time, and I came back to thoughts of Charlie in the hospital, diagnosed by a medical team, who typically deal with brain tumors and childhood cancer, with an ear infection.
I fell asleep wondering about how to trust me and how to trust Him.
And isn’t like I didn’t pray. I silently wept, all the way to the hospital.
As a self-employed family, health insurance evades us. But what if it had been meningitis? What if my baby was exhibiting symptoms of something more serious?
I asked God to show me what to do, and I had no answer. And I called Justin 6 times, I trust him to be rational when I am hysterical. So, was I outside of God’s will, and now in my terror, I had cost us more than we are able to handle?
And how do I trust God’s will when I am making every day human decisions, especially when it seems like He has bigger issues to deal with, like sex trafficking and starving babies?
Time and again I come back to this, His will was Jesus.
Outside of cheating on my husband, manipulating people to get what I want, or shoplifting, things I know, to my core, are sins that would ruin lives or land me in jail, I serve a God of restoration.
I trust Him to restore.
Furthermore, I trust Him to intervene and stop the madness when I am headed one way, and He has something better in mind. I have witnessed Him do this for me, and for people around me.
As I drifted off to much-needed sleep, I recounted the times I had lost trust in God. And I concluded, this was a loss born of Christian speak and my wants, not His will.
In the past, when I believed there was a chance, I would choose wrong, and be outside of His will, I was motivated by fear.
If I trust that I am saved, that my yes to Jesus, God’s perfect will for the redemption of all, I believe He will restore me.
And if He will restore me, I trust Him to carry me through exponential medical bills and decisions that might have been wrong. No, not without trial. But I stand by my belief that natural consequences are not His wrath.
If I choose to steal a pair of earrings, which I would not do, because I make my own, and I get arrested, I would be outside of His will because I sinned. Still, He promised that in every circumstance He will bring good. So, from my jail cell, I know He will restore. He may use me to minister to fellow prisoners, and most likely allow me to learn to stop stealing earrings.
But I propose, if I am not manipulating situations or prompting strife, I cannot be outside of His will for me.
If I am buying a car and I really want a particular red one, and I only have $12,000 and someone else offers the seller $12,500 I can trust that car wasn’t for me and find another. But if instead, I go outside of the healthy boundaries of my budget, borrow $600 from my family and take a second job as a waitress to get what I want, even though I know it is not best, there will be natural consequences.
Again, I can trust Him to show me my error, to grow and learn, but if that red car I coveted turns out to be a lemon, I don’t believe He is up on His thrown going, “Showed her not to mess with me!”
And I am forced to remember, this is not how I would parent, and I know He is a better parent than me.
The idea that He behaves like this used to make every decision harder and more stressful than I could handle.
I trust His wrath was settled on Calvary.
To trust God, is to know, even when I cannot be trusted, He knows, He knew, and He will make all things new.
In a couple of days, I will receive a hefty bill for an ear infection. I am now certain; I was wrong about the visit to the ER. But I also know, I wasn’t outside of God’s will. He may not grant me lottery winnings, but He knows me. He knows I will work hard and pay off the debt. I may be blessed with opportunities to advance the process, but I am not in trouble.
He knows I trust Him to guide me in the ways of parenting, budgeting, writing, creating, and general living.
And I know He is just good.
I trust Him to be my help. I believe He wants good and restoration. And this is where I will be at my very best in every aspect of my life… always.
Or until someone else runs fever.
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5
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