Today’s Scripture is from the book of Daniel…
If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to save us from it, and He will rescue us from your hand, O king. But even if He does not, we want you to know, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up. -Daniel 3:17-18
This passage is spoken by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in response to the king’s threats to toss them into the furnace. They literally were facing the fire, lives on the line, and their faith remained unwaivering. And what strikes me here is the phrase, “and even if He does not.” They acknowledge that the God they serve is most certainly capable of rescuing them from their circumstances, but they also choose to accept that He may opt not to rescue them- and they’ll worship Him anyway. I heard someone once refer to this as the “even-if” kind of faith… Trusting God’s plans even if it doesn’t look like what you expect or desire.
Y’all, I’m struggling with this kind of faith this week. It’s been a hard two weeks in our family. Two weeks ago today I wrote about my youngest having a small seizure, and that it was no big deal and to be expected. That was easy to say when it was just one small one-minute seizure. But Friday morning we woke up around 6:30 to find her in another seizure. She happened to be in the bed with us, so her shaking woke us up- but we don’t know how long she had been seizing before we actually woke up. We started timing it once we were aware of what was happening, and it lasted about four minutes and then stopped on its own so we did not have to administer her emergency medication… But it was scary. We’ve now witnessed a few of these episodes with Harper, but they don’t get easier… It is a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking feeling to watch your spunky, full-of-life child be so vulnerable and helpless.
With these seizures we have also been seeing some other changes in Harper. Her mood swings are intense- We have the typical terrible two’s, but it’s amplified by her lack of sleep, an incredible physical strength, and these new screaming spells that come on for no apparent reason and can last for a really long time (and no, they are not like toddler tantrums). She’s been eating very little, naps about once a week, and is up and down through the night once she finally falls asleep. Now that she has started having these seizures, she has been moved from the toddler bed in our room into our bed so that we can feel her when she starts seizing… Not an ideal sleeping situation, but it’s the best way we know how to get any rest at this point in the game. We have a message in to her neurologist at Duke to update him on what we are seeing, and her next MRI is currently scheduled for September.
I have hesitated to tell people that we are dealing with this. I’ve been so full of hope and we’ve seen such great strides forward for so long that it’s hard to admit things aren’t perfect. I’m so grateful to God for bringing us this far that it feels wrong to say there’s a problem now. I feel guilty for any kind of complaining about things being hard because they could be so much worse. And I feel guilty for being afraid because my faith should be greater than that. Plus, speaking it makes it more real, and I don’t want this to be a real thing for my daughter or our family.
But I am drained. I am weary. I am exhausted. And it isn’t just physically. This new way of living is mentally and emotionally wearing, and the worry is weighing heavy on this mommy’s heart. I know all of the verses about not worrying, I know where my hope lies, I know Who ultimately is in control, I know my help and my strength comes from the Lord… My head knows the Bible answers, but my heart is struggling with the “even-if” faith.
We’ve seen miracles happen. We’ve been granted an incredible blessing in Harper. I don’t for a minute discredit all the that Lord has done for us… We are miles away from where we were two years ago. And I know He has a plan. But in these moments, I’m a little bit scared of what His plan may entail. I know He can totally heal our girl- but I also know that His plans are not our plans and I have to be willing to trust Him and praise Him “even if He does not.” Because regardless of what happens, He is still God and He is still good… even if.