Sunday, May 25, 2008

What it's about

This past week was a weird one for me. I don't know if depression is the right word for what I was experiencing. I don't like the idea that I may be clinically depressed because I don't think it is natural that we should need chemicals to alter/correct our mental balance. I don't think that is how God created us. I do understand that mood swings are common symptoms of diabetes, and I have never controlled my diabetic condition well.

I did make the effort to organize my medications towards the end of the week, and I started to feel better both physically and mentally.

On Wednesday my brother's wife gave birth to their second child, a second son. I was excited for them and I was confused and a little upset when I was omitted from the group email that Tim sent out announcing the birth and presenting a few pictures. Intentional or not, I took it as a slight against me. I later was told that I was not included because he did not have my email address handy, which seemed reasonable except that he called our other brother to ask him his email address, so why not call me?

Later that evening, after trivia, we learned about the death of Maria Chapman, the adopted daughter of Steven Curtis Chapman, who is a person who had a great influence on our decision to adopt a child. I wrote a post that came across as "hard hearted" to quote one friend of our family who read it. This post was not meant as a slam on the Chapmans by any means.

I have been struggling with a number of spiritual questions for about 9 months now. Part of my expression of these struggles has already cost me a few relationships with people I would have gratefully called my friends. On Wednesday, the blogging world came alive as news of the Chapman tragedy spread. As a beacon for the international adoption community and as the artist with more Gospel Music Association Dove Awards than anyone else ever, Chapman's loss drew a lot of attention, including calls for prayer in support of his family and I saw people posting prayers, literally typing out their prayers to God in the comment sections of people's blogs.

This struck me as bizarre. I've never been one to pray very much, it is just not a habit I ever developed and as for public prayer, I am really not comfortable. As a result of what I saw and how I feel about prayer I asked why people should pray for comfort for the Chapman family. As I understand it, God is all-knowing and all-powerful. Friends have people at church often refer to God having a plan that governs every aspect of our lives. This being the case, I don't see the point of prayer, and this is what I was lashing out at, people believing that they could have an impact on the healing and the comfort the Chapmans would need by typing words to God and posting them on the internet. In as much as an individual can not stop the wind from blowing, can an individual make God change His mind? If everything that happens in our lives is in accordance with His master plan, than there is no point in petitioning Him to do anything we would like to see happen.

So by Friday I started to feel as if something was changing. I went to work as usual. When I got home we decided that would go out to dinner and it was an enjoyable meal. Afterwards I went to Winston's to try to promote the charity tournament I am helping to coordinate through my work. It wasn't a great success, but I felt good about making the effort.

Nothing important happened yesterday for Amy and me, but in Nashville they held the funeral for Maria Chapman and Amy and I talked about it a little bit more.

This morning I went to church alone. Amy had to work tonight and needed to take care of some things before sleeping this afternoon. When I walked in the doors of the church I heard my name called out and I saw some friends from the local adoption community. I haven't seen the Ladman's in about 4 months, during which time they traveled to China and returned with Micah, a beautiful 2 and a half year old who gave me both a high five and a knuckle bump. The Ladmans actually live about 40 miles away, but came to visit our church. With them I saw the Perrys, with their son Sheridan who is another awesome little guy from China who just turned 3. I loved seeing both of these families. I have missed them.

During the service I was working in the bookstore and I was a little surprised to discover most of the people I was working with had not heard about Maria Chapman. I opened the internet browser on our store computer and showed them the "dishwashing song" video of Steven and Maria and the video posted below this one, for "When Love Takes You In." Watching these videos and talking about this tragedy with these fellow church members and bookstore coworkers brought me to tears. It finally hit home, especially considering the devastation I know that I would feel if something similar happened to me with LynnMarie.

I still have questions regarding prayer and its usefulness as related to predetermination, but I know that standing around that computer this morning my heart softened.


April said...

This is the you I know. Still praying!!

Special K said...

It was great seeing you on Sunday! Coming to grips with predestination is one of the toughees of the Christian faith. It's so hard to wrap my mind around the interaction of prayer and God's will. The Bible says "pray without ceasing." So I do. Hope to see you again soon!

k1 said...

what an honest post. I commend you. Ours is not to understand everything, and it is so frustrating at times. Thank you for being willing to voice your true doubts and thoughts.

Tammy said...

May God bring clarity to you in this area of prayer. It is an unbelievable privilege we have all been given and may He reveal the value of this gift to you. Certainly, God has a plan, however, if you do a little research in His word, you will find many times where prayer cahnges things. Sometimes it isn't just to change a situation but to beg God for His grace, mercy, and peace to overwhelm us or those experiencing the reality of pain. More than anything, prayer changes us! Try it consistently. I promise you won't be disappointed! Proverbs 15:8 says that "God delights in genuine prayers" I look forward to hearing of the journey God takes you on in the area of communcating with Him.