Heaven has no garbage
A few weeks back after an emotionally off kilter night, I felt a nudge to go upstairs and tuck my oldest daughter Taylor, age nine, into bed. The door was nearly shut and the room dark, as Brian had already spent some time with her, prayed and tucked her in.
I walked across the room and scooped her up in my arms as she lay flat & straight on the bed staring at the ceiling. My face dove into the pillow next to her, our cheeks touching, her arms thrown around my shoulders.
It didn’t take more than 3 seconds for me to realize that my daughters face was wet with hot tears. I lifted my face of the pillow about an inch so my words could escape the space between. “What’s wrong!?” insert 3 second silence – enough for her to weigh her answer and … “Nothing.” she whispered.
I didn’t know exactly what she & Brian had talked about for that half hour before bed but I knew enough. I had passed by earlier and through the crack in the door had seen the compassion on his face as he sat Indian style on the ground with his hands folded under his chin and his heart on his sleeve as she talked.
I felt the burn rise in my face as she kept her feelings from me in that moment. I was okay with it and yet, I wasn’t. Why wouldn’t she tell me too? I welled up with tears and already being face down in the pillow broke down into ugly cry mode. It was quiet between us except that I began to shake ever so slightly, and there I was laying in my daughters arms, crying.
“What’s the matter, mama?” she asked me. She rubbed my back and patted me for a moment. I didn’t know what to say. I’m supposed to be the compassionate comforter here, and here she is, extending that to me. I cried harder knowing nothing was getting past this child.
“I just love you more than anything in this world and it hurts me when you are sad. I would do anything to take it away. But I don’t. know. how.” She squeezed her little arms around me tighter and whispered, “I love you too.”
Taylor has had a difficult year. She has struggled socially more than I ever did from 9 thru 19. Her heart hurts as she craves a friend who doesn’t share her same last name.
As I was out for a drive earlier this year wrestling with my feelings over her situation, the Lord dropped some thoughts into my heart to ponder; that nothing we go through is ever wasted. He will use everything for His glory. Everything. For years Taylor has said that she wants to be a missionary and a nurse, so while this year has felt dark at so many turns, I believe God can and will use it to cultivate a spirit of compassion in her. I’m not sure we can become something if we haven’t had it shown to us or had a real need for it. We are experiential people.
I’ve grown up in church, and never once heard about a heavenly garbage can where our hurts and things that didn’t work out – the scraps of our life – go to pile up. God doesn’t do experiments and just throw His hands up at the end and say, “Oh well.”
Even still, I feel like curling up in a ball and crying out, “Don’t waste it God! It hurts her too much! I beg You to make something really beautiful out of this!” She’s too precious. But He already knows that. All I can do is stand here with my hands open in surrender. I can’t control any of it. She was His before she was mine. I have to trust that He is speaking to her and protecting her in His perfect way. Ways that I, sleeping the next room over, am incapable of.
5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline; don’t sulk under his loving correction. It’s the child he loves that God corrects; a father’s delight is behind all this.
Proverbs 3: 5-12 (The Message)