I was sitting on the couch way too invested in the fictional lives of the characters played out on the screen in front of me. Thanks to Netflix I can enjoy T.V. shows that have been off the air for awhile. Lately I’ve been super into The West Wing. Yes I’m a dork. It’s okay — I’ve learned to embrace it. There are two characters who I’ve thought would be a perfect couple since the beginning. I told my husband early on that Josh and Donna are in love and they just don’t know it yet.
So when I watched Donna’s SUV get blown up by a roadside bomb during her trip to the Gaza strip I sat staring at the screen with my jaw dropped. I actually said out loud, “They can’t kill her off the show!! She and Josh haven’t gotten together yet! They can’t do this to him!” And there I was – baffled and furious with the writers. When the episode ended (by the way — she didn’t die — just got seriously injured) I sat thinking about my reaction. All of a sudden it hit me. How many times I have had the same reaction in my own life?
It’s a familiar feeling. Frustration. Disbelief. Confusion. Hurt. Helplessness. Those moments when I make the same demands of the Writer of my story hit me like a ton of bricks. Sitting in the car on the way home from yet another doctor’s appointment… “No, God, you can’t do this to me! You can’t take my dreams and plans! It’s not fair!” Laying on the couch after being ordered to bed rest for weeks… “Why God? Why me? Why would you make me broken?” Staring out the window on a beautiful sunny day, “I don’t like what you’ve given me Lord — I don’t want this suffering — I want them back. Please let me have my babies back.”
One especially painful day years ago I turned to my sweet husband and through a river of tears I wailed, “I don’t want this to be my story. I never wanted my life to go this way.” Oh the confusion and agony of not knowing what the Writer is doing.
I’ve been there. I know that pain. I know the disappointment and devastation when God takes an eraser to the dreams we’ve written for ourselves. It feels like our hearts just might stop beating. I’ve wanted to just fly away home. I know.
But if I’d given up I would have missed God putting his eraser down and picking up his pen. I would have missed the rewrite. I would have missed the glorious redemption he had planned all along. I would have missed the healing, the grace, the mercy, and all the gifts that came with my suffering.
I still dream and plan. Sometimes God allows them to stay in the story he’s writing. But sometimes he still picks up that eraser and wipes my dreams out. It hurts. I grieve a bit. But I’m learning to trust. I’m learning that he’s a far better author than I could ever hope to be.
So when I dreamed about my child’s future but the doctor told me it now includes autism I can tell you I cried many tears. I wept in my sister’s arms. I sobbed on the phone to my mother. I stared into my husband’s equally stunned and confused face and wondered what on earth God was doing.
But I had learned by then that it was okay to dry my eyes, and lift my gaze to heaven. “Okay God, what are we doing here? What are you writing for my little boy? It’s going to be amazing. Help me trust you.”
One might think that all the times God has taken an eraser to my dreams would cause my faith to waver and my trust to be broken. It might seem logical to the world that I would walk away from him. But the opposite has proven true. I’ve now learned that when my plans are interrupted God can be trusted with the rest. I’ve learned by experience that his plans are better. FAR better.
Trust the author of your story. He writes the most amazing, adventurous, glorious, and redemptive works. The stories include pain, and even suffering, but they are beautiful. So when He takes an eraser to your dreams it’s okay to cry and wonder and struggle — but I promise you it’s okay to trust. God knows what he’s writing is better than anything you or I could come up with. Embrace that. Embrace the story He’s writing for you.