Thursday, September 6, 2012

Waking up from the American Dream

Silence... something that fills our house, now, with deafening volumes. Silence has never been so loud. The silence screams that something's not right here. The silence speaks volumes about an empty house that is supposed to be filled with laughter, cooing, and splashing. The silence bellows of plans, hopes, and dreams dashed. The silence makes me physically ache for a daughter who got gypped out of a full earthly life, a life that has a steady course: crawling, walking, birthdays, school, summer camp, vacations, sleepovers, sports, falling in love, graduation, college, weddings, children, white picket fences.

That's our plan for life right? The "American Dream." That is what I hoped for in my own life and definitely for my child's life. But I'm beginning to discover that the American Dream is just that... a dream, then we wake up to reality. A reality where we don't get the dream job after college, or get married by 25 or have kids by 30. The reality that most of life is not how we envisioned it. Larry Crabb in his book, "66 Love Letters" writes this from the perspective of God and what he is trying to tell us:

                 "You will begin every new adventure in life with naive hope and excitement. Every wedding
                   will begin with passion then move into problems. Every decorated nursery will receive a
                   baby that will present unanticipated challenges. Every new ministry that starts with happy
                   hopes- everything you do, no matter how well organized and well intended- will run
                   into trouble. If you are in touch with what I (GOD) created you to enjoy, everything in
                   this life will disappoint you, even the best spouse, the best kids, the best job, the best
                   church, the best vacation. And that disappointment  will lead you to wonder if you've
                   missed the right road, if perhaps there is a better, more satisfying, less bumpy road
                   through your life. There isn't, not one that leads to real joy... The road to life will expose
                   you to terrible failure and crushing conflict. But only that road leads you to the life you
                  want, the life I (GOD) give you."

When I read this I feel defeated. Why can't life just be easy and go the way I want it to? But I have been constantly reminded that God's plans for my life are better than my plans.
Proverbs 16:9 states:

                  "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps."

Isaiah 28:29 states:

                "All this comes from the LORD almighty, whose plan is wonderful, whose wisdom is magnificent."

Jeremiah 29:11 states:
                 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord,  "plans to prosper you, not to
                  harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

No matter how painful it is, I have to give up my own plans and dreams and live into the plans God has for my life, plans that are ultimately better than I could ever dream or plan myself. How do I know this?  Because of the example Jesus set. See, lately I have been grieving the loss of Quinn, the loss of my hopes and dreams, my plan for my life. I have been grieving over my loss so much that I have honestly thought to myself, "This is it, this is how I am going to die... of heartbreak." But I read a verse the other day that let me know, I wasn't the only one who had felt this:

                [Jesus] took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John, and he began to be filled with
               anguish and deep distress. He told them, "My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death.
               Stay here and watch with me."                                               -Matthew 26:37-38

This was right before he was taken to die on the cross for our sins. See, even Jesus, who knew the whole picture, was grieved to let go and live into God's plan. A plan that lead him to the cross so that we might be with him in Heaven someday. This was God's ultimate plan, but it didn't come without pain and suffering. So, I am slowly loosening the tight grip I have on my own plans I have for my life so that someday soon I will have an open hand to what God has planned for my life.


  1. i continue to think of you and Quinn. the silence and the absence is so deafening. sending you lots of comfort.

  2. Ali - again - so beautifully written and penned with the help of the Spirit of God within you that you are allowing to abide with you through this. Maria and I read this devo this morning before we read your blog: "Receive what you do not comprehend, submit to what you cannot understand, accept and expect what to reason appears a mystery, believe what looks impossible, walk in the way you know not - such are the first lessons in the school of God.('Jesus replied, You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.'" (John 13:7)" In submitting to His plans - and not our own - we are a part of a much grander plan than we can imagine - a part of the holy plan. Love you honey!