I don’t want to

My children were not especially stubborn as toddlers. For the most part, they were compliant with my plan of action. Get dressed? OK. Eat lunch? Sounds good. Go outside to play? Why not? But there was always a point where they realized they wanted something different than I did. The feet stopped. The posture changed. A realization hit them. I am my own person and I don’t want to do what I’m being asked to do. I don’t want to!

Part of growing up is doing things we don’t want to do. We get up early, we go to school, we sit quietly in the dentist’s chair, we eat our vegetables. As we grow we get more choices, and we think a day will come when all the choices will be ours. We learn about consequences and rewards and we’re pretty compliant because we generally get what we want–graduation, a career, a marriage, children. It usually works out.

But what if it doesn’t? What if God is calling us to do something hard? Something unusual? What if we don’t get what we want?

I don’t want my daughter to have cancer. I don’t want to get any more bad news. I don’t want to be afraid.

As we have faced the possibility of more bad news, we have struggled. We are wrestling with our fears. It’s not that we don’t trust God. It’s not that we doubt His providence or His love. It’s not that we’re unwilling to follow and submit and do the hard thing ahead.

We just don’t want to.

Our pastor reminds us that submission is obedience when we don’t agree. Submission is saying yes when we don’t want to. It doesn’t mean we don’t grieve. It doesn’t mean we’re not afraid. It just means we say yes.

Even Christ sorrowed in the garden. With a full view and perfect knowledge of all His sufferings to come, He submitted to the Father’s will.

And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

We are sorrowing. We are afraid. And if we’re honest, we don’t want to.

But we long to be like Him. We want to be willing. By His grace, we want to say yes.






9 thoughts on “I don’t want to

  1. I don’t want this for Marissa or for your family. I grieve with you. I will pray that the Lord will help you to be willing, and that those of us who watch you pass through this trial will learn from your remarkable testimony.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I was thinking about Marissa today and wondering when we would hear. I’m sad with you as I read this but thanking God with you that He is an ever present help in time of trouble. We are going through the beatitudes with the kids and we just discussed “blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted”. Continuing to pray for your family!

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  3. That was so well said. And much needed to hear! Enduring through the hardships, even when we don’t want to, with our trust in the Lord by obedience. We hold Marissa and your family in our prayers daily.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Colleen, so sorry for the huge challenge facing you, but so thankful you love the Lord and know His ways are above our own. We will continue to bring Marissa before the Lord and pray with you that He might grant relief and sunshine on a path that is sometimes obscured. Much love and many prayers!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I shared “I don’t want to” with the ladies’ class at my church. We have been praying for Marissa and your family. Your testimony had such a strong impact on these dear ladies. Your honesty regarding your struggles coupled with your strong desire to trust and honor God. spoke volumes. We will keep praying. Thank you for encouraging all of us to trust God’s plan even though we may not want to.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. When we are weak then we are strong! #DanyelStrong! From II Corinthians. Sort of, our grandson is in the battle of his life, for a sixteen year old battling brain cancer. Not thine but Gods will be done. I surrender all. “I don’t want to” is a great perspective of life. There are a lot of things that “I don’t want to do” but we all have to pull up our big person pants and do it!

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  7. Dear Collenny, I keep reading the words of The Lord Jesus in Luke 11 about the friend at midnight. How persistent he was to ask for his friend’s need for some bread that he didn’t have. We are going to continue to ask God for Marrisa’s healing as we also ask Him for the faith we need to do so. Our church here in NJ is praying and I know a church in Connecticut is as well. I’m sure many churches are persistently asking The Lord to answer your prayer for your daughter, our sister. We love you, Henry and Sue Wright

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  8. Hi Cousin Colleen,
    I called your sister Suzy and just learned of Marissa’s journey and shared it with Paul and Anna and Iris.
    We and our friends in Chambersburg, PA, (King Street Church Good Samaritan class), are praying.

    Your blog is so inspirational and affirming of the Lord’s faithfulness. Marissa is beautiful and just exudes joy. how blessed are the students who have her as their teacher.
    I laughed and cried in reading you tribute to your Daddy. Such clear memories of his choice to be joyful in all things too.

    Once a cousin of my father’s mentioned to me the difficult life my mom had. My response was “Well, don’t tell her, because she doesn’t seem to know that ” ! She and your Dad had a lot in common.

    Much love, Carol

    Liked by 1 person

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