“How do you handle ambiguity?”
The question Mindy asked in response left me speechless. We had been on the plane for a while then, still ways away from our destination – Nepal. She had been listening to my story – one with many twists and turns this year – and I had arrived at the present part that was filled with “I don’t know why”-s and “I don’t get it”-s. The Irrational Season I so named.
I looked away, in an attempt to piece together a good answer. The little media screen on the back of the plane seat in front stared back at me. I didn’t have a good answer. But I answered anyway.
“I don’t think I do well with ambiguity.”
If revelation was like a flood, then I must’ve been engulfed by the waves of a tsunami – something that I found to be a common occurrence on plane rides.
It’s true. I don’t do well with ambiguity.
“Wei-Jan, ambiguity is okay.”
Can it be, though?
Trees and flowers grew wild and free.
Messy, but beautiful.
I followed the person ahead of me as I tried to make sense of everything that I was surrounded by.
“Wait, God, why are you showing me this when it doesn’t answer my question?”
He stopped to pick the flowers. He collected it in His hand, one by one.
“But, really, God, are you going to answer me??”
He stood up, and handed the bouquet of flowers to me.
“Child, it’s spring time. The sun is breaking through the clouds. The crocuses are pushing out of the snow. New life is blooming. Beauty is coming out of hiding. Yet you will still experience snow, hail, and maybe dust storms too. It’s a season that doesn’t make sense, but one filled with beauty.”
A season that doesn’t make sense, but one filled with beauty….?
Recently, a friend spoke to me about the process of baking – the baker gathering multiple ingredients that are required, and how they all need to work together to make that tasty treat. On their own though, they taste disgusting (hint: baking soda). But the baker uses all of them, together.
I gave it some thought, and how that correlated to my past few years with God.
The events of the past few years of my life do not make much sense to me.
The plans that failed.
The many questions to God about what would be next.
The excruciating waiting periods.
The unexpected deaths.
The people who walked in and out of my life.
The choices made and its consequences.
The heartbreaks and heartaches.
The riddles in which God spoke.
I like knowing. I like things making sense to me. I like feeling in control with foreknowledge.
And obviously I get crushed when I don’t have that luxury. Uncertainty has crippled me one too many times.
I’ve probably interrogated God about His intentions behind the various events that took place. Okay, not “probably.” I definitely have. I’ve wondered if I was set up for disappointment. I’ve questioned how it was meant to be for my good. I’ve made it clear that I didn’t wish for things to turn out the way it did.
I guess if I were to look at those events individually, none of it would make sense. There is no resolution for it. And it bugs me not to have resolution. It’s like having a song stuck in your head for an entire day, and it never comes to the ending chord.
Yet, He’s God and I’m not. I can’t see what He sees. I can’t decide what’s truly the best for me, because let’s be real – I’ve made enough mistakes on my own accord, and so have others. It was Him who picked up those pieces to make it work out in ways I wouldn’t have expected. He was that good, to ever do such a thing for me.
Maybe He’s been baking a cake and I’ve been fixated on only a handful of the ingredients. There’s a process of putting all those pieces together. There’s a story He’s written for me, and I’m only living out its early chapters.
Fullness is promised, but in His own time.
I don’t remember how, but my conversation with Mindy came to an end. Maybe it was when food was served, or maybe we just knew that’s where it had to end.
I leaned back on my seat and stared at my reflection on the screen in front of me. I sensed an invitation being presented to me. It wasn’t an invitation to the answer to my multiple why-s that irrational season. It wasn’t an invitation to an outcome I desired.
It was an invitation to the next adventure. An adventure of coming alive in a garden in spring. Except, I didn’t know what that really meant.
And it was up to me to decide. All I had to do was say, “I surrender this to You, whether or not I gain understanding. You know better.”
So I closed my eyes and whispered those words.
I didn’t think that soon after, I’d arrive in Nepal only to receive news of an undesired outcome. I didn’t think that I wouldn’t fall apart despite not understanding why. I didn’t think that instead, I’d be whisked into one of the sweetest times of my life. I didn’t think that God would give me excitement about the future He has for me.
It was as if spring had come, along with its complexities and randomness, and I couldn’t help but notice its beauty.
I guess that’s what adventures are made of. A pinch of longing, a spoonful of challenges, a dash of heartbreak, a few drops of sweat and tears, and a whole lot of butter…of trust in His goodness, to bring it all together.
For now, I’ll lay off the nasty baking soda, and just let the Baker do His job.
(P/S: Thank you Mindy, Liv, and Sandi)