Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Figure It Out

I'm one of those people who likes to figure things out...probably to a fault.  One of my strengths (that I can usually state quite easily in a job interview) is that I am a problem solver.  If I can't solve the problem with my own knowledge and/or experience, I search for a solution and I usually don't rest until I find a good one.  I love to improve the big picture. My mind is constantly running...constantly. Even in my sleep I sometimes come up with an idea (I get this from my mother).  The gratification that comes with knowing the reasons why something isn't working or why something happened, and then identifying solutions to those problems is what drives me. I love learning and I love challenge. Although problem solving is one of my strengths it is also, as I have figured out, a huge weakness.

Whenever something bad happens...I don't even need to list examples of bad things because ALL of us have had bad things happen...the first question most of us ask is, "Why?".  If you are a praying person, or even if you rarely pray, you probably have asked God, "Why?".  Frustratingly so, we don't typically get an answer...at least not in the way that we would want.  For me, I would really like God to quickly send me an email with a detailed explanation.  I'd also appreciate an Excel attachment so that I could visually follow the logic and fully understand his reasoning and long term implications of his decision/actions.  Instead, 5 years...maybe 10 years down the line, if I'm lucky, I get this thing called "hindsight".  It gives me NOT the complete picture, but a better glimpse--possibly--of what God may have been up to.  As a problem solver, I do not like this arrangement at all.

When it comes to understanding the loss of Baby Blueberry, I've spent the last month trying to guess the logic of God.  I felt like if I could figure it out, I'd move to the next level....kind of like those Myst games my brother and I used to play.  This is not a recommended practice, by the way, and you will see why.  I've listed below some of my human thoughts and theories as to why God let Baby Blueberry die.  Brace yourself, you are entering Sarah's world of crazy:
  • God never wanted me to be pregnant in the first place.  It was bad timing and I should have been more careful
  • I may get sick next year or Johnny might get sick next year and we wouldn't be able to take care of 2 kids physically or otherwise
  • I might die next year and Blueberry would have no mother
  • Johnny might die next year and Blueberry would have no father
  • We are going to be so financially destitute by the time Blueberry would have been born that it was just better off for Blueberry that he or she wasn't born
  • We are screwing up so badly with Arlis, God is not going to let us have another life until we get it together
  • I have an undiagnosed medical problem and I will never have another baby and this is just part of life and I will have to accept it
  • Blueberry would have turned out to be a serial killer and broken all of our hearts and destroyed our lives (yeah, I know...too much Dateline)
  • Something bad is going to happen to our family next year and having a new baby in the midst of it all would be too much for us to handle
There are plenty more I could list, but as you can see there are no pleasant and not too many rational reasons in my mind as to why Baby Blueberry died.  I can't imagine that it's for any good reason because how is the loss of my baby good?  Still, the point is, I tried to figure out what God is doing....as if I'm as smart or smarter...as if God's plan is a jigsaw puzzle that I can complete once I find the missing piece.  And when I see the big picture I'll magically be okay with all of it.

I'm SO SO WRONG!  I'm WAY off, friends.  Waaaaaaay off.

Isaiah 55:8-9 
For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LordFor as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

I've known this scripture my entire life and I don't think I even came close to truly appreciating its meaning until now.  I recently read this book called Proof of Heaven, by Dr. Eben Alexander.  In it, he describes what he believes to be his near-death journey to heaven and back.  It's so different than other near-death experiences that I've read because he talks in detail about how the capacity of knowledge and understanding in heaven was so incredibly vast and intense--almost concentrated.  He has difficulty even describing with our earthly human language the way heaven was and the way he could communicate with God while he was there.  I think reading about his experience made me realize that even with all of our intellect as humans, even with our incredible technological and medical advances, we are so very primitive compared to where God is and how God is.  We are remarkable creatures, created in the image of God, but definitely not with his brain-power.  God was trying to tell us exactly that with this scripture.  God could have made me a genius--Einstein-like-- and yet I'd still not have the capacity to even consider his thoughts and ways.  Because he's God and I'm....a human.

After working myself up into a tizzy....yes, I just used the word "tizzy"....this scripture came to mind. And I felt like an idiot.  I felt like I had been advising a world renown neurosurgeon how to perform an operation while knowing absolutely nothing about neurosurgery.  God gave me a decent, problem-solving mind but I stepped so very far out of my league when I tried to figure out the "Why?" of losing my Baby Blueberry.   Don't get me wrong, I think it's normal and okay to ask the "Why?".   I think it's great to communicate to God those emotions...whatever they may be.  It's part of the human grieving process to feel what we feel when something bad happens or when we experience loss.  He made us that way.  However, making a list of purported schemes that I think God is entertaining....not so great.

The "Why?" is still out there for me.  It probably will be for a very long time, if not the rest of my life. I'm sure my "Why?" is not alone.  In fact I know it's not.  But I can't spend my short time left on earth answering a question that is beyond my capacity.  My husband needs me to help him with the problems that we can solve together.  My Baby Arlis needs me to help him with his daily needs.  I needed to recognize that as much as I want to know...as much as I think I needed to know...God intends for me to understand in his timing and in his way and there is 0% probability that I'm going to correctly guess when and how that is.  To think otherwise is nothing short of ridiculous.  I will know the full and complete "Why?" when I meet him.  But until then, I have to trust in his great love for me. And for Blueberry.