06 December 2015

Living on a Prayer

This academic year marks my first year parenting a high schooler.

An underlying feeling of anxiety has pervaded my days, my soul, my mind, my heart.  Can I do this?  It is sort of like that feeling expecting mothers get a month or so before the baby is due to arrive.  I've changed my mind, I'm not sure I can go through labor.  But it's too late by that time.

Now I am birthing him out into independence from me and Brian.  He has so much to learn, to be prepared for.  What if I fail him and he moves out into the wild, tumultuous world desperately wishing his crazy little mother had remembered to teach him x, y, or z?

I was sharing my fears with a wise friend who was stuck listening to me while we were on a quick, twelve hour road trip in which we rode a ferris wheel.  Her questions brought me full circle to remembering.

Fourteen and a half years ago Conner was born.  Brian and I were living on a prayer.  The government covered our the medical costs for the birth because we were in a very low income bracket.  Brian had two more years of seminary ahead of him, and I wasn't sure how my teaching job could support us if I had to pay for childcare.  And I wasn't sure I was supposed to put him in childcare all day, everyday.

So even with all the anticipation of meeting our new son, there were questions lingering...what is going to happen to us?  Will we be able to provide for this new, vulnerable life?

The day, or rather, middle of the night came when he chose to arrive.  I held his precious six pound body fiercely, albeit gently, in my arms and looked at his perfect form.   I knew then, I just knew, that even though I didn't deserve God's care over my life,  God would help us provide for our baby.

He has.  Abundantly more than I could have asked or imagined.

Within a week of finishing his first year of school, Brian was offered a two-week job to help with a lighting project.  As that was finishing, he got a call  to consider a paid internship at our church which would include flexible hours and experience required for his masters degree.

Within a week of me terminating my teaching job (which was VERY hard for me to do, having no plan for how to replace that income), our apartment managers called me and asked me to interview to be the assistant manager, lowering our rent to about $200 a month and allowing me to keep the baby with me.

Over and over I saw God provide for our needs as we put our faith in His provision.  I seriously could go on and on and on.

Now, as I'm looking forward with fear, I'm also looking back.

 My anxieties are rooted in a failure to remember.

God remembers us...all the way back to the rainbow he set in the clouds in the time of Noah.   He wants me to remember Him; the ways He's worked in the Bible, the ways He's worked in the lives I've encountered, and the ways He's worked in my own life.

We discover him in our stories.  We experience life, the story we inhabit, as if we are walking backward.  The future is completely unknown.   We see the present through our peripheral vision, through a kind of fog.  Only the past has some clarity, and that clarity increases with time.  
                                                                                       A Loving Life by Paul E. Miller

We're still living on a prayer, for that is the best way to live.  But it is a prayer backed with evidences and answers to many other prayers. Evidences of a faithful God.


Katie @ Creatively Living said...

Amen! That last part is my favorite! Love you and I love Conner. He is going to be a great man of God!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Dayna, you are right; Anxiety comes from an inadequate grip on our memories of God's past faithfulness. I am so thankful to be walking with a God Who has a perfect record of fulfilled promises. The peace of God guards our hearts when we grasp ahold and apply those precious promises to the challenge we're facing. In this case, I know that your feelings of uncertainty drive you to seek God in prayer on behalf of your delightful oldest son, and that He hears and is preparing an amazing future for you, for Conner, and for the rest of your little ones, too. (Yay!, Conner, for breaking trail and being a good example for all his younger siblings! :)

Anne said...

Yes my friend. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. So thankful to be walking this walk with you.