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I Don't Know

Thursday, May 28, 2015

This is for Megan…

Sweet daughter of mine, you have so many questions.  You are so very much like I was at your age, and to be honest, like I still am…

I was re-reading what I wrote six years ago, and I have to admit that I still have as many questions today as I did back then… The difference is that now I am more aware that God is truly in control and that all of my questions aren’t going to have an answer today…. or in a week… or in a year… or for (only God knows how long)…

And the truth is that it doesn’t really matter if we have the answers now.  What does matter is that we know that we can trust the One who promises that He will always be faithful, and who promises that when the time is right, He will provide the answer for us…

So, sweet girl, please read this and know that your mama struggles with the questions just as much as you do… but I am learning, be it ever so slowly, that God gives us what we need to know WHEN we need to know it, and not before…

I think, therefore I must ask “why”.

Well, maybe I don’t really have to ask why, but that is the nature of my beast. I am a need to know kind of person. If something doesn’t make sense to me, I will dig and prod and poke around and then dig some more until I find my answer. Sometimes the answer satisfies me, and sometimes it doesn’t. And if, by some chance, I cannot find an answer, I will inevitably torture myself by running the “what-if’s” and “how can that be” ’s in a maddening, never-ending circle until I’ve made myself dizzy with the senselessness of it all. You would think by now that I would stop this relentess run on the hamster-wheel of the quest for answers. I can only hope that someday I will…

One of my biggest struggles is with the matter of feelings. I have so many thoughts on this subject, and one question leads to another, to another, and to another until I end up like a cat chasing my own tail. To get a better picture of how my complicated mind works, here are a few of the questions and/ or thoughts that compete for my attention:

Question: Why do I have feelings that allow me to feel pain and suffering?Thought: But if I didn’t feel those things then I wouldn’t have compassion for people who are suffering. Thought: I can’t always trust my feelings because they can be misleading. Question: Then why do I have feelings in the first place? Question: What is the purpose for these feelings if they can cause me to be so misguided? Thought: But if I didn’t have feelings, then I wouldn’t be the person that I was meant to be. They are a huge part of what makes me who I am. I think and I feel everything from the very deepest parts of my being.

I think it is evident now that I can exhaust myself by allowing my mind to roam freely. The truth of the matter is that these are all valid questions and thoughts. The problem, however, is that I can ask these questions til I’m blue in the face and I still won’t come up with the answer to my “why”’s. At least not for now, and maybe I never will have them.

There are times when my kids will come to me with questions or dilemmas. For the most part I am able to use the experiences I have had in my own life to instruct or answer them. But there are times when they have questions that I just don’t have an answer for. To be honest, I have struggled with this. I feel that as their mom I should be able to provide wisdom for them. But, how am I to do that when I don’t even understand everything? In a way it’s kind of scary knowing that I’m trying to raise children while I’m still groping my way around in the dark. But then again, it’s not really that scary. Because I have learned that I can use one little phrase, and that there is nothing wrong with having to use it at times. The phrase? “I DON’T KNOW”.

I have come to the conclusion that it’s ok to admit that I don’t have all the answers. I can admit that to my kids, and I can admit that to myself and to anyone else who is willing to listen. I am human, and I can’t possibly know everything there is to know. And even more, I can’t drive myself batty worrying about why things are the way they are and trying to make sure that all the puzzle pieces fit neatly into place. Life is not like that. If we were supposed to know everything we would. And the thing is, I am learning to accept that I can put my mind to rest knowing that even though I don’t know all the answers, there is Someone who does. I want my kids to grow up knowing that they aren’t expected to be perfect; that there are going to be things for the rest of their lives that they will puzzle over. But my hope is that they won’t be as entangled in the trap of believing that they have to have answers for everything. There is such freedom in being able to say, “I DON’T KNOW”.

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