Friday, April 18, 2014

Challenges of Being a Planner


I am a planner.

When I was learning to write the letters of the alphabet, I knew that I had to get it perfect if I was going to be a teacher someday. I knew where I wanted to go to college when I was a freshman in high school. I got a teaching job right out of college in my first-choice district and alma mater.


This does not mean I've always gotten what I wanted. That things always happened the way I expected. Because they didn't.


First of all, I was supposed to teach second grade. I taught sixth grade social studies and switched classes every forty minutes.


I was supposed to meet the Man of My Dreams in college. He didn't come along until I was twenty-four.


I was supposed to live in the country and marry a plain and stable man. I married a city boy who was voted the class clown in high school and is still, literally, the coolest guy in the room.


I suppose you could say that things have always turned out better than I expected. God has always been faithful. And good. But it didn't always feel that way at the time.
 

You see, planners don't do well with change. It's unpredictable. Uncomfortable. If it's not on the schedule, us planners cringe. Oh, I can be unpredictable. I just have to plan for it.


Having kids challenged my idea of what felt comfortable, too. But nothing has challenged my idea of comfortable more than the past few weeks.

I am out of control. I have no idea how to plan for tomorrow, in a week or in a month. There's nothing I can do to heal my son. We give medication to make him comfortable, help adjust his body and bathe him daily. We do what we can to bring out a smile. And we pray without ceasing.

There have been times that I've asked God to make a move. Either perform a miracle or take him home. This in-between is just so painful. There's a part of me that wishes I knew how this story would unfold. To see into the future.

But reading the other day's devotional in "Jesus Calling," I was once again reminded that knowing the future is not a blessing.

"I am calling you to a life of thankfulness. I want all your moments
to be punctuated with thanksgiving. The basis for your gratitude is My
sovereignty. I am the Creator and Controller of the universe. Heaven and earth
are filled with My glorious Presence.

When you criticize or complain, you are acting as if you think you could
run the world better than I do. From your limited human perspective,
it may look as if I'm mismanaging things. But you don't know what I know or
see what I see. If I pulled back the curtain to allow you to view heavenly realms,
you would understand much more. However, I have designed you to live by faith,
not by sight. I lovingly shield you from knowing the future or seeing into the spirit
world. Acknowledge My sovereignty by giving thanks in all circumstances."

Such a humbling reminder. Once again, God is God and I am not. There is no way I could completely understand how or why God allows certain things to happen. When He decides to give a miracle and when He does not. There is no possible way I could understand His mind because my view is very limited. And my desires revolve around what would benefit me. God sees it all. God is managing it all. And God has got it all under control.

"Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD."
Psalm 27:14

Sounds easy. But to a planner - someone who takes pride in doing things for themselves and getting results - it is quite possibly the most difficult thing I've ever done.

Trust. Rest. Be strong. And wait on God to see Him do what's best.

Lord, I trust You. Help me rest in good and perfect will. And please, dear God, don't let my baby boy go from Your sight.

51 comments:

  1. very nice mindy and as a planner myself i can understand your frustration..you are a amazing strong woman and mother god bless u lil ben and your family..xoxox debi

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  2. We are praying for strength, wisdom, peace, and moments of joy for your family. May God give you a good night's rest and a blessed day tomorrow.

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  3. Uncertainty is so very uncomfortable. But in that uncertainty is where we learn to trust more than ever before. God is not leaving your side, or Ben's. And He won't, not for a moment. I will continue to pray for the peace of the Spirit to fill you in all of these uncertain times. I pray you can rest in His perfect plan and unfailing love. Believing for a miracle and praying without ceasing! <3

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  4. I wish I could take some of your sorrow..praying for you dear Momma.

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  5. Continuing to pray for your whole family.

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  6. I am a planner and a perfectionist as well. I have difficulty when things don't go right and lately have just let things go ..let myself go .. feeling almost upset that I Dont have control and let go of what matters . Thank you for being a wonderful testimony to so many of us ! I know God has a plan and a purpose .I will continue to pray for Ben and for God to keep him in his sight !

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  7. God bless you and I continue to keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

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  8. I love your prayer at the end, and I echo it with you for Ben, for his siblings, and for our kids, too. I continue to keep your family in my prayers.

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  9. Thoughts and prayers for your family daily <3

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  10. I'm also Type A all the way and even without illness, my boys have taught me that any plans I have are almost always out the window. Continue to have faith, ask God to lift you up from the darkness and into His light. My family and I continue our prayers for you and yours. (hugs)

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  11. Footsteps in the Sand....bless this child and his family. Waiting....how did Jesus walk that walk to the hill where he was crucified....

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  12. I lost my husband of 35 years almost a year ago now. He had a very debilitating disease...very much like Lou Gehrig's disease, only it lasted a long, long time. We lived day by day, moment by moment for years. He was paralyzed from the neck down for 10 years, on a ventilator for 20 + years...and the last 2 years were terrible. He was in so much pain, so he was put on pain meds that made his whole personality change. He was always so full of wonderful life...funny, smart, loving...and then came the final 2 years. The fun was no longer...the smart was still there...and the loving became different. I prayed for a miracle, as did he, but none came. I didn't know what to pray for at one point...to have him linger or for God to take him home. And then, it was as if God told him..."It is time." And he told us that...and he was gone. There was no miracle...oh, but there was a miracle, because when he left us, the relief for him was overwhelming. I know where he is, and even though I miss him terribly, I know one day we will be together again. So Mindy, I tell you this, because I can understand a little where you are coming from. I can't imagine losing my child...I truly can't. But I know how hard it is not to see the future...what tomorrow will bring. The verse that I was given time and again was "Be still, and know that I AM GOD." And that is what I had to do. God is in control...God will and does take care of his sheep. I pray for your little Ben....I pray for his suffering to end. I pray that you and your husband and children can find peace in all of this, and when Ben's time comes to go HOME, you will know that God is in control, even then. I admire your strength...I admire your willingness to share your sorrow. God has truly blessed you with an openness that blesses us. Thank you Mindy for your honesty and faith. I pray God blesses Ben, and you all in this season of life. <3

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    1. Your verse is also mine, only with more added. I pray it for myself and for others. I pray it now for the Sauer family.
      "Be still, and know that I am God. I am the God who loves you. I am the God who heals you. You are my children,
      and I am with you always".

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  13. Praying for all of you. I was reading John 11 this morning and Jesus said that because He loved them (Mary, Martha, Lazarus) he waited two days where He was. He did not go to heal Lazarus--because He loved him and had something better planned. Praying for you as you walk in faith.

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  14. As we sang this song at a Good Friday service this evening I thought of you.

    Higher than the mountains that I face

    Stronger than the power of the grave

    Constant through the trial and the change

    One thing remains

    Your love never fails
    It never gives up
    It never runs out on me.

    Through these difficult days remember that God's love will not fail you, Ben, nor the rest of your family.

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  15. You all continue to be in my heart, my thoughts and my prayers.

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  16. Faith...Faith...Faith. Keep the faith. I love how you brought out that we are protected from the future...how many people do we know that go to Lilydale and fortune tellers...? How many followers do your page gather? Ohhhh lol over 17k....Nice...Keep spreading the word and know you are speaking HIS words in ways people will listen...Makes sense, huh? Thanks Ben for being so brave while our heavenly father is using this situation to show people HIS love through your miracle...THANK YOU JESUS and Mindy, thank you for being so willing to share this experience and opening and allowing God to use you as his speaker. <3 Good Friday!

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  17. May God continue to bless you and your family...and extended families. This is not easy. Your son is on my mind continuously and I wish I could do something, anything to help you...but, that's up to our God. He is all knowing, all loving. Love your whole family....never have met you. I'm recovering from a badly broken foot and ankle...something so silly....but would have been at the fundraiser otherwise. May God bless you, one and all. I wish our prayers would heal him right now. Amen.

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  18. I pray that these days be shortened for you. I am also a planner, and have struggled with change and many times have thought how much easier my life would be if i didn't need to be so organized. I wonder how it feels to be more flexible and not so conscious of details and time constraints.

    Lord, I pray for Mindy to be given the spirit to understand the "endlessness" of Your time. For her to be able to see through that veil of details and the worldly need to be in control.. And to give her Your peace that surpasses all peace. To know that there is a precise season for everything and just because WE don't know the season's length, doesn't me that You don't.

    Lord it's not a weakness to be impatient for answers. You suffered in Gethsemane praying so hard you bled from the effort, because You knew what was to be. You know our frustration with not being able to control these awful things that are happening to the Sauer family.

    I know that You asked one small thing from your disciples at a very difficult time in Your life.. . "just stay awake and watch". And what happened? You experienced disappointment in them and later in another deciple, Judas, who was loved by you, yet betrayed you at the time and place that Your father planned.. Not You, You did all this while you were in "our" form and for that reason, You can understand those times when we also lose patience and are disappointed by others. But maybe more importantly, You knew that there was a season for everything...and it was to be the season of Salvation.

    This week, we acknowledge the season of your death even as I write tonight. You died, You went to Hell to conquer death for me. You fought all the enemies that would attack me and You EARNED the right to sit at the seat of judgement for all time. And when 3 days were up, You rose to sit with your Father having conquered death. Conquered Death! Where is thy sting now?

    Lord, I pray that you stay close to Mindy, to Andy, and to Ben's siblings as they must bear the human component of this season of Ben's. Keep Ben comfortable. Let all of us continue to trust in Your wisdom and rejoice at the miracles you provide to him and his family. Small sometimes, but still; from You.

    Help us to do all of this because You understand and chose to come here and experience what these frail human bodies feel when they go through all these earthly pains.

    Thank you for doing that and in doing that, understanding that it isn't always in our best interest to know the end...or how the story progresses. You knew and you suffered for that knowledge. We might not be so brave. So protect this family from the knowledge that would make all what they're enduring, less bearable than it already is.

    I still pray that Ben's season is shortened to the number of days you have planned for him to accomplish Your plan. To Heal him or to bring him home. And we shall try to watch the season and know the signs.

    Thank you King of Kings and Lord of Lord for this sacrifice that we acknowledge every year at Easter. Let us join in renewed support for Ben and his family until such time as you show us the New season you have planned for this family.
    Amen.

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  19. Control is an illusion. Praying for you and Ben. Maybe you could visualize your lives in slow motion for a while. These days will be gone so quickly and you will yearn for more moments. Slow down and be at peace with your precious child. May His grace be with all of you. xxxooo, Rosemarie

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  20. I pray for Ben, you and your family many times during every day, as I am sure countless others do. I pray for his healing and your peace and grace through all of this. One thing, that I know is wonderful...is that you have inspired so many people to have conversations with God that they might not have had. God Bless you and your family! You are a wonderful writer and an inspiration to so many ....I pray for an Easter miracle for all of you

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  21. I am a planner too and have to work not to be frustrated when one of my children doesn't take the nap I was expecting, or sleep for as long as I was hoping etc. I have thought of you often and prayed for you a lot in the last few weeks when things haven't gone as I have planned. I am sure that there is nothing in your life right now going according to your plan. Bless you to continue to find rest and peace as you continue to watch His plan for your life and Ben's life unfold. Bless you to have strength for your unborn baby.
    I am reminded of the verse in Proverbs 4:18 that says, "But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day". May your path continue to grow brighter as you care for Ben each day.
    You are ever in our prayers.

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  22. If I could trade places with Ben I would! He stole my heart with that beautiful smile and I would give anything to see him get up and go run and play with his brother and sister again! Praying God hears our prayers!

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  23. "oh honey, please take EVERY sceond of the in-between as it is th most precious time you will evet get. These moments are the one's to never forget and always cherish. Worry on nothing else~it wiil be done & truthfully, do.not.care. These are moments that are being given to you. EMBRACE every laugh, smile, cry, giggle, frown.dance.....remember everything.....THIS (the living) is what it is!! Please PM me if you wish. But please take this timd to make his & sibling wishes #1. Let Ben see what amazing parents he has...you guys are the srength behind us all!

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  24. Standing in agreement with you, in a faith that moves mountains, for a miracle,for more time ,for complete restoration and healing,in the Mighty Name of Jesus, for ben. I believe the scriptures,100%. i love how God speaks, at times both literally and figuratively. i pray Gods perfect plan and will, for the supernatural love,joy and peace of our almighty Heavenly Father to fill you up and surround you,and for your faith to increase even more through this time. i love when we are told in the scriptures that God gives us the same power that raised jesus from the dead. power and authority to move mountains. that we can speak life or death. i recently listened to dr sandra kennedy. she gets a little wild, but it blew my mind.she preaches on speaking to circumstances,to sicness,to illness,to make it flee,by the blood of Jesus. I know this message,and to me it used to sound like trying to charge God, but the way she presented it, was right on. then God showed me. test all things and hold to the good. the prophets in the old testament were looked at as mad men. ill get crazy for Jesus all day. because it all is for his honor and glory. i encourage you to speak over your boy, with the power and authority of the word of God. we will continue to pray for you,bind our faith and agree with you.for restoration, for complete and total health in bens body. we will not lose hope or stand back. it is always Gods will that be done, but i have no problem with boldly asking in expectation for a great ,mighty,powerful blessing and miracle, because that is who we worship,an all powerful,almighty,rockin,awesome Heavenly Father.please be blessed. you are awesome and God is using you in a mighty mighty way.

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  25. "Eternal God, in Whom mercy is endless, and the treasury of compassion inexhaustible, look kindly upon us, and increase Your mercy in us, that in difficult moments, we might not despair, nor become despondent, but with great confidence, submit ourselves to Your holy will, which is Love and Mercy Itself. Amen"

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  26. i know how it is to be out of control..i lost a son that I watched struggle with mental illness and in the end I couldn't save him....but God.... He did what was best for him and for me...I had to trust....and He saw us through

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  27. Oh the frustration of not being in control when you're used to being in control....Our Ryan's diagnosis has changed us forever. I was asked the other day how we're doing. And I responded "you know, we're happy today, we're grateful for this place of healing our son is at, but, we don't know what the future holds, so, we can only be grateful for today and the time that God gives us, whatever that may be." The man I said this to told me he didn't think he could be as positive as me. And I said "listen, I have had my days, however, if I allow myself to start down that dark road, I'm afraid I won't be able to find my way back." So I trust God, and I try very hard NOT to think about what the future holds, and to focus on what today has given us. Love and light keeps the dark out. Prayers and hugs to you my fellow planner. <3

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  28. You are an AMAZING mom and an AWESOME person. We are blessed to have people like you in this world. Prayers and God's love for you ,your family and your precious Ben.

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  29. I know you're not catholic, I am kinda. I've gotten away from it for the past few years, but I still always find myself being drawn back through the saints. I don't think it matters exactly how we pray, just that we do. I am praying 2 novenas to saint Jude and saint Peregrine for a miraculous healing of Ben. may God bless all of you in this time. I believe in miracles. May God grant this one.

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    1. Mary- Thank you. I'm Catholic too, and so if you can put in a word to St. Anthony of Padua too, that would be great, because I am asking for his intercession for Ben. Thanks.

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  30. Once again you continue to let your heart and mind flow into beautiful, honest words. I can relate to the planner piece because that is me 100%. I too can be unpredictable, as long as it was written on my to do list. Lol. Thank you for letting us go on this journey with you and your family and mostly for all the lives that are being touched by your incredible trust in our God. Continued Prayers.

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  31. I believe GOD will do what's right, yes it will be in his time. I pray every day for a miracle or that he does what ever is what is his way. I won't go up hope, nor do like to see so much pain in every one. My prayers & thoughts are with your family every day, I will sat it now and again tomorrow Happy Easter

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  32. As I was reading Mindy Sauer post about her being a planner, it reminded to me, yesterday while at the Good Friday Mass. St. Amelia's church did a reflection on Jesus' last 7 words. As I read this post, I remember the reflection, God, why have you forsaken me and Behold your son. Although God might be silent as we pray for a miracle, we need to be reminded, He has a much better plan than we can even imagine. Probably thinking, what and why can't a healing miracle be provided to Lil Ben. I see this situation as very powerful. Mary had to watch her son suffer, and there was nothing she can do, God's will will be done. Mindy is a strong testament of God and her Faith, and although she might not realize, look at how many lives her lil Ben has touched, and how many people are following her/him.. Just as they did Jesus. I have no idea why God chose this beautiful little boy, but there will more to come for this family once Ben is taken home. So, I continue to pray for this little man, and his mom.. Look for the miracles daily, because although God is silent, he is so near. God Bless

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  33. When I think of your day-to-day lives I am overwhelmed by sorrow, but you've given us such a gift by reminded us that there is so much we don't know and to live with faith is such a challenge...but oh, how wonderful is the promise of life everlasting in heaven! I have been talking a lot with our kids about heaven (because of a recent and sudden death in our fam) and I'm not sure if its brought them comfort, but it sure has soothed my aching heart a bit. Thank you for sharing with all of us- we never stop thinking of, praying for, talking about and loving all of you.
    *Kierstin

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  34. God will NEVER let your baby boy go from His sight. Of that I am 150,000% positive! I know that because of what you and Andy have done in terms of turning to Him from the very beginning, and all those who are praying for Ben and your family.
    Being out of control--one of the most uncomfortable and upsetting feelings in the whole world, especially in dire circumstances.
    You are being challenged to trust where you would like knowledge. This is the hardest things for us humans. We love certainty. Ambiguity and uncertainty really bother us. Over a long time, it wears us down. But this is what Jesus often spoke of. Peter stepped out of that boat and walked on the water because he trusted in Jesus' word. But when he saw he was doing something that cannot be done (walking on water) he doubted, and began to sink.
    You and Andy are walking on water. You are in a storm, and Jesus has told you to get out of the boat. You are afraid. Have peace. Trust Him. Push down your very human fears, accept His will, whatever that may be, and force yourself to have peace.
    He will NEVER let go of your son.
    God bless. I pray Ben will live to see his children and great grandchildren, and take care of you in your old age. For nothing is impossible with God.
    He is risen. Truly, He is risen.

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  35. As I read your post and pray for all of you this post is so familiar to me.
    I remember the time we were told our daughter would not make it through the weekend, we stayed with her every minute and told her, no more pain, no more tubes just go to sleep. It was hard, the hardest thing I have ever done but the peace that came was welcome to not have her suffering anymore.

    I admire your faith so much and the way you are recording all of this, I wish I could have done the same.

    You are not walking this journey alone so many of us are with you, praying for your strength, peace and understanding how difficult this is.

    My thoughts, prayers and heart are with you everyday.

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    1. Janet - I am so sorry for your loss

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  36. O Jesus, stretched out upon the cross, I implore You, give me the grace of doing faithfully the most holy will of Your Father, in all things, always and everywhere. And when this will of God will seem to me very harsh and difficult to fulfill, it is then I beg You, Jesus, may power and strength flow upon me from Your wounds, and may my lips keep repeating, “Your will be done, O Lord.” O Savior of the world, Lover of man‟s salvation, who in such terrible torment and pain forget Yourself to think only of the salvation of souls, O most compassionate Jesus, grant me the grace to forget myself that I may live totally for souls, helping You in the work of salvation, according to the most holy will of
    Your Father. Amen (St. Faustina Kowalska #1265)

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  37. Praying stronger than ever for you right now...

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  38. I have been reading your posts and am sorry you and your family are having to go through this trial. I, too, am a planner, always joking that I am a triple A personality type!

    Our family went through similar times with my youngest son, who had a rare cancerous brain tumor. The verse that meant so much to me going through the rough times is Phil 4:6-7 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. This verse came to me during the times when I wondered if we were making the right decisions for his treatments, wondering how this would affect his future, our family’s future, wondering what tomorrow would bring, etc. There were so many times during those first months that we would make a decision to proceed one way and then because of an emergency with my son’s health, our decision would be reversed. Things were changing so rapidly, it was hard to keep everyone abreast of where things stood. Instead of feeling frustrated, I began to feel that peace and comfort that only God can give, knowing that He was still in control of things. If we did make a decision that was wrong, He was right there to correct that so that it fit His plan. This personality that wanted to be in control, was more than happy to place her trust in God as never before and be comforted that He was in control.

    In Isaiah 55:8, the Lord declares, “My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways”. For this reason, we trust. But I felt blessed beyond measure when God would let me see a small glimpse into some of His reasons for allowing our family to go through this trial. My faith certainly grew, others were able to see something in our family that only God could do. Your posts show your faith and show you becoming strong, because as Paul talks about the “thorn in his flesh” in Corinthians 12:7-10, and how God says “My grace is sufficient, for power is perfected in weakness . . . for when I am weak, then I am strong”. People will think of their own kids and how they would react and see that there is no way you could be this strong on your own. It only comes from God. What a witness you are for your Lord and Savior. What a witness Ben is with his personality and endurance.

    I pray that in this time, you continue to focus on your son’s needs, making him comfortable, and forgetting about tomorrow, and that God will give you this peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray that Ben will not be in pain and the family will continue to have quality time together.

    If I can be of any help to you – even just talking to someone who has been there, please let me know.

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  39. Accepting God's way is one of the most difficult challenges of the Christian life. Thank you for sharing the "Jesus Calling" meditation. I am praying daily for Ben and your whole family.

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  40. I hope you guys have a wonderful Easter Sunday. God Bless

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  41. You are definitely one of the strongest women on earth. My heart breaks for Ben, you, and your family. I believe in the power of prayer and mine are sent your way.

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  43. Unfortunately I can so relate to you on this point. There is nothing more humbling than having to put all control into God's hands and wait. My daughter was in the hospital for 6 months straight when she was 4 months old. Every day seemed like a new nightmare to wake up to and nothing ever seemed to change. I am a planner too so it drove me crazy!! We sat on the edge of life and death so much that I didn't even think straight anymore. I finally broke and decided that He does give us more than we can handle, but we are to rely on Him to get us through. There are some lessons we can't learn in this life. I think that we are to be taught endurance and faith in those moments. You are a wonderful example of endurance and faithfulness! There were times I took it 10 min. at a time because that was all I could count on. I am sending out prayers for your family for peace and comfort. It is truly awful for your family to be in this position right now, I am so sorry you have to deal with these "earthly" heartaches. I know you will all get many Heavenly blessings for being so loving and devoted to your sweet Ben and also to your belief in God and His plan for your family.

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  44. Dearest Mindy,
    As I look for your every postings many many times during the day, ( like many others), my heart goes out to you and your incredible family

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  45. Sometimes when I read your message I feel like Jesus is working through you to give people faith and to show people what love and perseverance looks like. I truly believe that God has chosen you to help everyone who reads your impeccable words!
    I promise you one thing, when your heart it full of unsteadiness and overwhelming sadness
    I will be there to help pick you up and refill your cup!
    I don't know you but I do.... I will never forget you and your family!
    Ben will be one of God's brightest star's!
    If you ever need anything, I will be there!
    My name is Donna Stewart.
    Ps. I will continue to pray for Ben and your whole family!
    With much love,
    Donna

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  46. Thank you for sharing your most initmate thoughts.... you and Ben are touching so many hearts, could this alone be the reason? I dont have the answers but im sure its even,a far greater and better plan that the Lord has for Ben, and that is a blessing. Xo

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