Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Gas, Giggles, and a God-sized YES!



And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:1-2 NLT


I’m reading Rhinestone Jesus by Kristen Welch (as part of the book's launch team), and I have cried and prayed my way through half of the book so far. I have begged God to show me what my God-sized YES is, what He would have me do that’s bigger than myself for the good of others and for His glory. I don’t know what I expected. Maybe I thought my husband would come to me with some idea for ministry or missions for our family. Maybe I thought God would birth a crazy dream in my heart that hadn’t been there the day before. Maybe I thought my story would look a lot like Kristen’s.


It doesn’t. What I got instead was a Maundy Thursday service at a church in the denomination my husband grew up in, which is a very liturgical church and very different from what my daughter is used to. (Are any red flags going up for you yet? Clue: Different.)


Everything went well until the minister began to present his devotional thoughts on the Scripture reading. His demeanor did not set well with our daughter. She became very agitated and started trying to whisper to me to convey her displeasure. I was whispering back to tell her that we would talk about it after the service when I smelled it. Yes, you know what. I looked at her, and she was, to her credit, trying to squeak out an “Excuse me.” But she was also about to break down in hysterical giggles.


I quickly led her out of the sanctuary and downstairs to a bathroom, where I let her vent about her perceptions of the minister and had her go to the bathroom so the giggles wouldn’t turn into an embarrassing incident of another kind. After she had giggled for a while, I asked her to please hold on for a little longer, for her daddy’s sake. She agreed to try, and we returned to the service. My husband and I made eye contact and tried not to break down into a fit of giggles ourselves.


And that’s when it hit me. Sometimes the God-sized YES in our lives is the seemingly small yes. It’s the one that says YES to God when He gives you a child with special needs to raise. It’s the one that realizes being a living sacrifice is in the daily, mundane living and not just in the big things. It’s in saying YES to loving my child on the days when she’s determined to make everyone very aware of autism. It’s in saying YES to another therapy appointment, the need to see yet another specialist, the uncertainty of what the future holds. It’s in daring to let God change me through the process, saying YES to how this changes my writing and speaking and the way I conduct my life.


I think this is the point that Kristen has been making all along. When your sparkly, safe faith is no longer enough, you surrender to a God-sized YES that may be much different than what you imagined. And what special needs parent can’t say that’s true?

Father, thank You for entrusting this precious child to me. Help me to follow you into whatever YES you have planned for our family. You are good, and I know your plan for all of us is amazing. I can’t wait to see what You’re going to do! Amen.

~ Jennifer A. Janes

12 comments:

  1. Beautiful... and so honoring and honest. I can't wait to see what He unfolds as you continue to say Yes!

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    1. Thank you, Karrilee! I am excited to see what He'll do next myself! You never know. He's full of surprises!

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  2. Beautiful post Jennifer! It's so much harder to see the smaller things when we're used to looking for the big things, big signs, big moments. But sometimes the smaller moments bring the biggest life lessons. :-)

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    1. You are right about that, Deborah! I think that's why we can miss those lessons if we're not living with our hearts and eyes wide open to see exactly what God is teaching us in those moments of faithfulness and the mundane.

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  3. That was so beautiful. I love how you see that God has already given you your "Yes." I also appreciate hearing from parents of special needs kids who keep it real but are also positive. I grew up being the other side of the equation (I was the special needs kid) and I've often wondered how my parents truly felt.

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    1. I can't speak for your parents, Jamie. If they're anything like me, they adore you and are so thankful that you were added to their family! I can't imagine my life without my daughter in it. She brings such joy and laughter into our lives.

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  4. Love....I just love....you, Roo, this post....love.

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    1. Thank you, sweet friend! We love you too!

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    1. Thank you, Joy! Thank you for your support and encouragement to go ahead and put myself out there, to write the hard stuff.

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  6. I just love it when God uses a completely unexpected situation to give us a message! I would type more, but I'm laughing too hard picturing Roo trying to whisper "excuse me" while imagining the look on your face, lol. Love you!

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    1. Lol, Angie! I'm still laughing over the entire thing. And to think that a few years ago, my husband and I would have been so embarrassed that we would have crawled under the pew! Now we just think "it is what it is," laugh, and enjoy the moment. It's never dull!

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