I was talking. He wasn’t listening—or so I thought. This past weekend I spoke to our church about making a decision to stand and believe that God is indeed God. And in deciding, to accept the responsibility to live like it were true. To come into agreement with the truth that although He may be silent, He is not absent. That although we don’t see Him at work, He is moving. But, in my distressing, challenging year with ministry, where I thought for sure He had abandoned me in my vocation, I had also begun to believe that He had forsaken me in my parenting.
My daughter Madeline (Mei) has struggled mightily over the years. She grew up with the very present danger of seizures. And so, even at the age of two, she was put on heavy medication—barbiturates—prescribed to keep the convulsions under control. What resulted? During her formative years, she didn’t develop the things that most kids her age develop. She was living under a cloud, a fog. This continued for years—well past puberty—until she was finally able to be weaned off of the meds. Happily, she remains seizure free. But a scant 6 years in, she is still playing catch up. She has extreme sensory issues, and also struggles with boundaries and social interaction, known as Executive Cognitive Function. And in the midst of all that, she is trying to figure out who she is as a person and who God created her to be.
Indeed, during my period of darkness, she was wrestling mightily with multiple issues that seem to be at the forefront of every media conversation and culture—specifically on two fronts—sexuality and transgenderism (commonly known as gender dysphoria). As a lover of God and His word, a parent, and pastor, this additional challenge in our lives was seemingly insurmountable. It almost proved to be the straw that broke me during that time. I was angry, combative, deeply wounded, depressed and counted myself as a failure. I cried. I screamed. I lamented openly at God. I blamed everyone else. I blamed myself solely. Nothing gave me peace. I argued the medical community points, spiritual ramifications, and even human “evolutionary” reasoning. Nothing worked. Then, seemingly in concert with my reconciliation with God, I just stopped. I trusted. I prayed. I saw that He truly is who He said He is…sometimes it’s the things we don’t say that make the most difference.