Doubt is a terrible thing. I don’t like feeling unsure of myself. I don’t do well with it, I don’t do well with it at all. It turns out that I like things being out of control even less.
I have never thought of myself as someone with control issues. OK, I’ll admit to some control issues when it comes to moving vehicles. I like to be in the driver’s seat if the car is moving. But outside of that I have always given myself a free pass when it came to needing to control things.
Yet no matter what your or my opinion is we all want to control things to some degree or another. Feeling like anything is out of control is not a feeling that any of us like.
Those who have walked the foster to adopt road know all too well what it is to feel helpless. You always feel like you are in the bullpen warming up. You are often told conflicting things and support shifts like the breeze. And it combines two of my least favorite things. Doubt and feeling helpless.
It also makes you confront your personal beliefs. It stretches you, it challenges you and it ultimately grows you because you get a front row seat to God’s faithfulness. Even if it doesn’t turn out the way you convinced yourself that it should.
Tori was in foster care for three years, one month and five days. She came home from the hospital. She was our first placement. We never thought of her as our foster child. We always just thought of her as our daughter. It was always presented to us as a cut and dry proposition, but…she was in foster care for three years, one month and five days.
There was a time when it was a real possibility that she would be moved out of our home. I remember checking on her every night on our way to bed. I would stand over her crib and wonder if she would be there the next night. It was terrifying. There were some nights that I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My stress level rose more during those moments than any other time in my life.
It was during those times that I was reminded of the words of Jesus to his disciples. They asked Him why they weren’t able to cast out demons like He could. He responded with the following:
“I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.” – Matthew 17:20 (NLT)
That verse always amused me as a child because I focused on the wrong thing. I focused on the mountains. I thought about the power it would take to move mountains. I could actually see the mountains moving in my mind. I thought that would be a pretty impressive trick being able to move mountains. But that’s not what He is talking about.
It was during those stressful times that I finally realized that the verse isn’t about the power to move mountains. It’s about how small their faith was…it’s about how small my faith is. I remember the first time I saw a mustard seed. It was so very tiny and it made me feel just as small. Because it was in that moment I realized how little I trusted Jesus. I didn’t trust Him with Tori’s life like I should have trusted Him. I didn’t believe that He was more concerned about Tori than I ever could be. I gave no thought to the fact that He loves her more than I am able to lover her. I wanted to be in control. I didn’t want to take my hands off the wheel.
I learned something else during that time as well. I learned that our lack of trust is often borne out of the Lord not working according to our timetable. If things don’t happen when we want them to happen then we have a crisis of faith, an unnecessary crisis of faith because He knows what’s best. He always does. When God and I are not on the same page it’s because I am out of alignment with Him. It is never the other way around.
The old hymn had it right, “Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus than to trust and obey.” I just wish that it wasn’t such a difficult lesson to learn.
Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.