The Idol of Annie

Not long ago, ultrasound pictures of our growing girl filled The Gathered Round cardholder on our dining room table. If you saw them, I’m sure you’d agree that Annie may very likely grow up to be a model because she has the perfect pouty lip pose down on every profile picture the tech captures. She’s also quite ladylike; she usually has her legs daintily crossed at the ankles while her hair (she already has hair!) floats around her head like a halo.

The Gathered Round has “Annie” written on the chalkboard centerpiece and now, the pictures are being replaced with numerous cards filled with prayers and encouraging Bible verses. Thank you, LRCA elementary teachers who bless us with these notes in our mailbox every single week!

I’ve loved having this piece that gives homage to Annie so central in our home. But last weekend, I realized a slight problem. That homage going to Annie is horribly misdirected.

Last October, I went to a women’s retreat where the speaker talked about her list of comforts that she clenched so tightly and told God that He couldn’t have any part of. She even threatened Him, “If You touch any of these things inside my protective fist, I don’t know how I’ll ever trust You or know that You’re good anymore.” One of those things was the health and life of her children.  I was only 12 weeks pregnant with a supposedly-healthy Annie, but went home and told Matt that I fully understood. I wouldn’t know how to handle it if anything ever happened to Audrey or our new baby.

Well, let’s put it this way—I guess we’ve found out how I’ll handle it. I haven’t been terribly angry. I haven’t questioned God’s goodness. I haven’t even questioned His faithfulness to us or doubted that He has a purpose. I haven’t once thought about walking away from my faith in Him, which is the only hope I have. But I have still been missing something.

Last weekend, I went to see Jen Hatmaker speak. She challenged 1500 women on seeking our comfort and sitting on our pile of great stuff to only feed more of our personal desires, trying to placate what God has for us by setting up a safe life.  All I heard was something about those temporary comforts we cling to more than we cling to God.

Inside my sweaty, protective, white-knuckled palm sat Annie. Her life. Her health. My comfort. And at a far arm’s length away stood Jesus. Because I’d put Him there.

So I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been clinging to the wrong foundation. I’ve had Annie in the wrong spot. It’s not her life, her health that will provide comfort. The only comfort is found in my hand grasping tightly to that of my comforting Savior. He is the one who can heal. He is the one who provides. He is the only one worth holding to.

“And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge; the fear of the LORD is [my] treasure.” Isaiah 33:6

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