Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I didn't sleep well last night again.
So, so much going on in my head.
Having had a friend here all weekend who knows a little bit more of where we're at and how the system works and being able to talk some things through (unfortunately more often not really through, just round and round) left my head spinning.

I was all geared up this morning to make some phone calls (and you all know how much I hate making phone calls!!) to check in with Miya's caseworker, talk to her CASA volunteer, and basically, since reunification at this point is basically off the table... try and convince anyone and everyone this is where she needs to stay.  In essence, fight for her.  Fight as best I can before it's all placed before the judge next week.

And then this morning, after I got the kids off to school and sat down with some breakfast before the baby woke up, and while it was still too early to make my phone calls, I opened up my reader and the very first thing that caught my eye was a blog post by someone I used to follow who rarely writes any more. Well, what a nice surprise, I thought to myself. :)

The first sentence I read?

"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be quiet."  Exodus 14:14

I immediately pulled out my bible and read that chapter (it's the parting of the Red Sea stuff).  And then read through that verse in a few different translations. And read it again and again.

"Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be quiet."

The Lord will fight for me.
I need only to be quiet.
To stay calm.
To keep silent.
To hold my peace. (His peace!)
To be still. 

I just need to be quiet.
That's not to say I have to stay silent, literally, per say (I have yet to make my calls today, but I don't know that this necessarily lets me "off the hook"... I'm still trying to discern whether I should make the contact or not) but that I need to be still.  In my heart.  To humbly sit back and see God's presence in this.  To honestly and completely rest in the fact that He's got this taken care of.

One commentary I liked said, "Just be still; think not to save yourselves either by fighting or flying; wait God's orders, and observe them. Compose yourselves, by confidence in God, into peaceful thoughts of the great salvation God is about to work for you." 

Another says, "The Lord will fight for you... you will have no part in the honor of the day.  God is the one who will bring you up and defeat the enemy.  You need to hold your peace... your unbelieving fears and clamors need to be silenced so that the Lord can be glorified." 

And another...
The responsibility of the Israelites in this last battle was three-fold: they had to conquer their fears, they had to stand firm, and they had to keep quiet. As we have seen, fear can be conquered only on the basis of reconciliation; it is related to our fellowship with God. John says: "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love."The Israelites had not yet learned to really love God.

The second requirement was to stand firm. The Egyptians expected the Israelites to surrender and to give up the freedom they had gained. However, God had placed them in a position of freedom, and they were not allowed to give up one inch of this. In application, we learn that it is not up to us to gain ground but to hold on to what God has given us. Paul explains in the epistle to the Ephesians that the purpose of the armor God puts at our disposal equips us to be able to stand our ground and to stand firm.
The enemy will never be able to take what God has given us, but he could intimidate us to the point where we draw back.

The third requirement was to be still. This was the hardest of all. To be still means, in the first place, that we refrain from negative sentiments. The Israelites accused Moses of bringing them to die in the desert, and complain that they preferred their slavery in Egypt. This kind of talk had to be cut out.
But being still before God has a positive meaning that goes far beyond all that is negative. There is a silence of intimacy that has to be learned and practiced. David says: "But I have stilled and quieted my soul; like a weaned child with its mother, like a weaned child is my soul within me."
And God says: "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Silence can be the most eloquent expression of confidence and worship.
source: http://www.bible-commentaries.com/source/johnschultz/exodus/14.html

I don't know what this all means for me and where I am.

I do know I've been feeling a bit of a "crisis of faith" these last couple of weeks.  Realizing issues I have with God's grace and His blessings.  Of me not being feeling worthy.  The fears and expectations I've mentioned before about waiting for the other shoe to drop sort of thing, and the temptation to feel like He often teases me with things only to take them away.  Like if something seems too good to be true, it is.  For me, anyway.

So I've been really struggling with this baby here.  The fact that this all happened too soon, too easily, that we got exactly what we wanted without any of the normal long term foster care crap thrown in there, that she fits so perfectly into our family, the fact that she's been fast tracked to possibly be able to adopt her...
like it's all too good to be true.
It seems to be coming down to one question for me: Is God really that good?
And is He really going to be that good to me?
And mostly I'm terrified of what my human and instinctive answer will be if she goes to someone else.

But.  That's a whole other can of worms.
For today, I'm reminded that He is fighting for me.  For my best.  Even if I can't see or understand what that is.  He is good, He is near, and He is fighting for me.
And all I need to do is be quiet.

I'm not good at being quiet.
Even if I'm quiet, I'm not quiet.
I'm always thinking or planning.
Or waiting or wishing.
Or worrying.  Or dreading.
But not being still and quiet.
What does that even look like?

I want to be quiet.  I want to be fully present so that I can be completely aware of His presence.  Because it is nearly impossible to feel conviction or gentle nudging or real peace when my mind is spinning.
And I'm just tired.
I need to be quiet.

And I'm thankful for a commandment to step back and do so today.


Annie Schilperoort Photography said...

I struggle with those same feelings about God too often Heather. I know he wants us to view Him as a loving father and I daily try to remember that EVERY good and perfect gift is from Him and to be grateful for wherever His path leads me. Thanks for the encouragement and I'll be praying for peace and God's will to be done in this situation with Miya. xoxo Love you!

Amanda said...

Heather- If you ever need to chat with who's also familiar with the foster care system...call me. I'd love to chat sometime!!! :)

Debbie Sanders said...


My Bible study group has been studying Psalms for the last 3 weeks -- Ps 23, 34, and 139. Ps 32 discusses how He gives each person his own specific needs, Ps 34 addresses when we fear and what to do, Ps 139 is so good as it instructs us how God has planned our lives and works all out for His purpose and plan and takes care of those who love Him, that He cares about us so much, His thoughts about us outnumber the sand (v 18), and He is always with us, working out His plan for us -- look at v. 5 especially! Our group of ladies are praying for this situation for you, for wisdom for the judge and that His will will be done, but it has been voiced by some of the women that we desire she stay with your family. These last couple things that came up with the persons exerting an interest in her could be just red herrings. Just trust that God is in control and will work this out for His purpose and plan and if she is not the one, there is a reason for it, perhaps another child that is "best" for your family. We will continue to pray for God's Hand on this and that you will have peace in this. However, it is only fair that every decision-maker in this matter have the true picture/all the facts in order to make a wise determination for this case, so the phone calls are a definite plan to let them know how you feel and perhaps fill in any gaps or inaccuracies in facts/details re: your family and her history with you. A two-parent family and one whom the baby is accustomed to should trump the other person, but nothing can be taken for granted. If you feel at peace about making the phone calls, I think you should. Just my 2 cents! Review the 3 psalms I mentioned, they will greatly encourage you. I love you guys and am continuing to pray.

Anonymous said...

Wow! You know how I said that maybe God was trying to teach us the same lesson, but I wasn't sure what it was? Well, this same scripture was brought to my attention last week during a Bible Study. I too agree that this may not necessarily mean, "Be Quiet" in a literal sense in either of our situations, however it is a lesson for our hearts. We can calmly and confidently speak up and present the information needed for both our situations, and sit back and watch God fight.

When I went for a run, I had an image of our family riding around in God's palm. We were right where we needed to be, no matter where His Hand was hovering. I felt peace come over my heart. Sounds like he is speaking to you too. Isn't it good to sense His Presence?!?


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