OK, what’s the plan?
A few days ago our kitty disappeared. Mom remembers seeing the front door left open a bit after I brought in the groceries. He was old, by cat numbers. We had him as long as we had been married.
My wife came home with him after a trip to her home town (quite undiscussed!) a few months before we got married. In fact, if I am ever at a loss for how long we had been married, come anniversary time, I just ask how old is the kitty?
So the girls are a little up set with their kitty being missing. We put a bowl of food for him by our front door and a blanket to sleep in the next night. The night before of course were those frigid arctic fronts going through town where the overnight lows were below freezing.
I didn’t hold out much hope for him but the girls still wanted to believe. Finally I told Dylan he may not be coming home. Her face sunk to sad. I explained he is old and how cold it got the previous night. Optimistic, or still not wanting to concede the inevitable, she offers, “Well God would watch over him and keep him safe, right?”
If it were only that easy Dylan.
Through some coaxing from good friends and at home, I have started reading the Bible at night. I have never done this, for no good reason other than I don’t like to read.
Go figure, I love to write but hate to read.
I started on this easy ‘Read the Bible in a year program’. Right now I am reading in Genesis, specifically where God and Moses are talking about freeing the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Previously I only knew this story from Charlton Heston and the 10 Commandments.
Like any Good Book, the Bible offers a whole lot more account than the movie did. What struck me was although God wanted to free His people out of bondage He first continuously hardened Pharaoh’s heart to not let them go.
God tells Moses to throw his staff on the ground and becomes a snake, plagues come of frogs, gnats and locusts. Each time Moses hopes this miracle will free his people. After all, since he started asking Pharaoh to “let my people go” Pharaoh made it that much harder on them in slavery.
“God, please let my people go!”
Desperate, Moses pleads with God to free his people as they were suffering so. God responds, He hardens Pharaoh’s heart so in the end His greatest miracle will be remembered forever and there will be no doubt to how great He is.
God could have freed the Israelites the first time with the first miracle but that would not have shown the extent of His greatness.
And so, while I was running for most of the morning this past Saturday, doing my 1/2 marathon thing I was thinking (I had some time to kill)….
Sometimes, Dylan, we don’t need to understand God’s plan. It may not make sense to us at the time. It may even seem mean or our prayers aren’t being answered. But that doesn’t mean it won’t be Great!
This concept led me to think of our troubles with infertility several years back. We sought the best fertility doctors in town in trying to have a family. They boasted how we ought to be ready for twins as they were that good!
The doctors created a “perfect embryo” then implanted it in my wife. We were finally going to have a family! But the embryo died.
We tried this again. The doctors made some adjustments. This time I /we prayed so hard; night and day, forceful begging and pleading for a child. The new embryo was implanted. This one ” couldn’t be better!” We prayed tirelessly. Yet the embryo died.
Undaunted and dieing to have a family we tried the IVF procedure one more time. Third times the charm, right? Everything went well. We prayed night and day, pleading to let this one work. Please God, let this one live!
We both fell silent for two days when we got the news.
I swore then and there I would never, ever pray again. Three years of praying and begging, and making deals. It doesn’t work. He doesn’t listen. Its a waste of time.
“God, please let my people go!”
Well I wouldn’t have this blog if ‘it was that easy.’If you have been following this blog for a little you know what amazing kids I am blessed with by now. God’s plan was GREAT! His plan is so much better than I ever could have imagined. So much better than I could have asked for! These two girls of ours are miracles from God.
Yes, he could have granted us our prayers the first time we went down the IVF road. Or the second. And we would have been very grateful. But what a skilled architect God was in fulfilling our dreams. And He has left an indelible impression in me, leaving no doubt to how great He is. A dream that will never be forgotten!Just like with Moses.
This past Saturday I ran my 1/2 marathon on a dare from a friend. Quite unexpectedly I got real emotional on the rain filled ride to the race that early morning. I teared up, making it even that much harder to see. And I screamed at the top of my lungs, “Thank you! Thank you God!”
Here’s the weather before the run. Unless you had a wet suit on it was no fun.
Yes, it was rainy and wet and cold for this run. The temperature was 48 degrees when I woke up and still 48 when the race started and 48 degrees 2 hours later when I finished.
It rained most of those two hours I ran, making for less than ideal settings to excel in shorts with a soaked shirt and a soaked head. Many times I wanted to take the short road back to the finish line and call it a day and not finish. No one would blame me I thought, considering. But I thought, it sure beats the alternative.
It sure beat lying in a hospital for surgery for the removal of an organ..or two. Or taking chemotherapy tablets or radiation. It sure beat staying at home with a compromised lifestyle because cancer had taken part of my body. Yes, running in the cold rain, unprepared, for 12 miles wasn’t so bad..considering the alternatives. I may not have been in the best shape of my life but I finished the 13 mile run!
When I first found out I had cancer back in May, it is safe to say I was scared. I was scared of what was going to happen to my future. Or if I even had a future. But I never blamed God. I knew he had a plan for me. I was still scared after all, I didn’t know what that plan was! But I knew it was part of His plan for me.
Looking at Dylan and Skylar that afternoon, I can’t help but think and get just a little bit excited about how great a plan He has for me this time!
I am much the same Ms. Country Music, I am receiving nothing now as far as new posts from blogs I follow, your included. So I have to go into Reader and do a quick seek and destroy mission on posts I want to catch up on. My Sunday School teacher would say finding that meaningful scripture was less an accident and more a small miracle in that thats how God works. I have stumbled on a few ‘timely’ verses myself that way. And you sound down. Sorry if I missed a big event in your life via my blog black hole. I hope you are doing OK. Let me know if there is anything you want to chat about or get off your chest. OK? Speaking of timely, I heard a great quote on the sports chammel this evening, “Tough times last a little but tough people (Greatcountrymusiclovers) go on forever.” I’m glad you stopped by this evening! Always great to hear from you….
For whatever reason, WordPress removed you from my list. I wondered where your posts were. I’m back and catching up. Sorry Kitty took off and I hope she comes back. I know it was a tough convo to have with the girls. I found a great scripture by accident last week and those random little moments mean a great deal, especially lately.
Ah, thanks Ms. Jessica! I have run that particaluar 1/2 in the past but not for the last 3 years and really I have not a single race in easily 2 years. So it was a big, spur of the moment challenge! Now we will see where Faith leads us to next. I try not to wonder so much any more but just sit back and enjoy the ride, and try not to ruin what the plans may be. I hope you are doing great Jessica! As always, thanks for dropping by!
What a beautiful post, friend!!! Oh my goodness. You are going to inspire me to get out my Bible again… I’ve been meaning to for ages… Congrats on the half marathon. I’ll tell you that my first was a definite challenge! And in the rain, too! You’re right that running for that long gives you time to think, though. And how lucky we both are to even be able to run that far or for that long at all! I hope you find your Kitty, but… Yes, there are some things we just don’t have answers to, and yes, like you and Karen said, that is where our faith comes in. I honestly don’t know where I’d be without mine.
yea i can imagine you were a little worse for wear the next day! i took 2 weeks off before my 3rd half because of an injury, and honestly the worst thing was my FEET. the blisters i got were horrific. and still no gloves : ) i’m developing some pretty tough hands though!
You are right Karen. A lot of times I wish I was clued into the plan a litle bit more, if only to keep from ruining it. But I remind myself that’s why they call it FAITH. I hope you are doing great Ms. Karen! Great to hear from you!
Thanks Ms. Luanne. I am not much of a cat person but I knwo it is hard for the kids to understand. Our oldest has weathered that and putting down our favorite dog so far. And you might be interested to know that mom just kinda mentioned how she came from someone else’s belly at the dinner table the other night and she took it all in stride. We told her who and why then showed her some pics of her real mom. it was a moment. I hope you are doing great Luanne! Thanks for dropping by!
Neutered male cat. I kinda thought he might have wondered off to die too. we’ll never know. I can’t imagine we will see him again. Yes, I learned some life lessons to explain to the kids; learning them everyday it seems. Thanks for dropping by Bones! I am really digging your drawings!
Thanks SSM I am so glad I did it too in that it is behind me. Winning the trifecta? It reminds me of an old saying I had in a previous job…”The game is scheduled, we’re all here. We might as well play to win!” When the chips are all on the table ya gotta play to win! I hope you are doing well SSM. Please take care!
Thanks Anna. I always like girls names that could also be boys names. And yes, God has a greater more vivid imagination than I do! I hope you are doing well Anna. Always great to hear from you….
Thanks Jenn. Maybe you can appreciate how I fee the next day when I tell you I only trained for about 5 weeks for this 1/2. I wasn’t up to par at all. But I wasn’t going to quit either. Yes, trusting it will turnout OK is rel hard, especially over the short term. But I think that is why they call it Faith. I hope you are doing great Jenn! So great to hear from you. Any luck with those gloves yet? 😉
That MAN with the plan. He sure knows what he’s doing. FAITH. 🙂
I am such a cat lover that I feel so bad about Kitty. I had a hard time getting through to the good parts that you write about here. And the best part is your faith and its importance in your life, Andy.
Male cat? maybe he got a girlfriend, sick? sometimes they go to die elsewhere.
Luckily someone else saw and give him shelter, the bad part is that you never know, and cats can travel far.
I dont think you are the shadow of your former self, its the other way around, as a dad you have to find the answers to sickness and death, the girls are gonna ask one day, and you can say something for real now.
I didnt have natural kids either, Im ok about it.
This year will be good, Fats.
Congratulations on races well-run (the trifecta: family, cancer, running)! So glad you did it – you are a great sport, Mr. 3D. Awesome pics – your girls are so precious. God’s plans and timing are always so perfect. So…ready for that marathon now? I double-dog-dare ya… 😀
Love it. Love your kids’ names. Love the post. And if there is anything I’m certain of? … God’s plans are ALWAYS better than our own. 🙂
what a lovely post! (although, sorry about the kitty!) acceptance is hard; trusting that it will all turn out the way it’s supposed to is hard; but those moments when you look around and think, “this…this is perfect” make all of the struggle well worth it! glad to see you posting, and congrats on the rainy half!!