Sunday, August 30, 2009

Black Belt Testing & Trusting God's Timing

This last week (or two or three) has been awfully hard on the mama. Silly, huh? I'm not the one who took this incredibly hard test. I'm not the one who had to spend days blind, mute, or in a wheelchair. I didn't have to write essays on the "Art of War" and "The Book of Five Rings."

Nope. I had the pleasure of postponing all planning for our family for the coming fall. September's calendar page remained untouched, quietly begging for a clue or two to what our schedule would hold... I had no clue. And that, my friends, inexplicably stresses me out more than you can imagine.

Yes, I learned a lesson (I'll explain at the bottom of this post) but the real story here is Rhys! He passed! Black belt testing is a long, draining process designed to test physical skill and stamina as well as mental strength. Testing was impressive to watch, although I cried through a good part of it. (We mommies can do that... especially those of us that cry very readily!)

Lining up during the test. Rhys is in the middle.

Blocking strikes from three attackers. Those are all big, bad, black belts picking on my baby...

Sparring with three opponents. I laughed when he ran away, but was quickly reminded that "running away" is indeed a strategy. (I'm guessing, it'd be my ONLY strategy!)

This test is for an adult black belt. He passed the test. Because he and some of the other candidates aren't yet 16 years old, they received a red/black belt. They each confirm in 6 months to be certain they truly know their skills and maintain the physical condition of a black belt. When he turns 16, he'll receive his "black" black belt, but will not need to re-test.

(Hoping Kim has a better picture to put here...)
He did it! 3-4 days/ week for FOUR years. Lots and lots of hard work. Now, he gets to cut back (at the mama's discretion) to 1-2 days/week. I don't know who is happier he passed?!
My lesson learned:
I really struggle with not knowing... particularly scheduling. I know it's a false sense of control. Without a plan, I panic. (I don't have to follow thru on every plan, I just have to have one!) In any event, I am 100% aware that God is in control. My calendar, my MOTH schedules, my to-do lists might reassure me but God's timing is perfect.
This week was very stressful for me while Rhys was preparing for his testing. I knew not what this coming Monday would hold... I realize that karate class or no karate class is not a big deal, but this fall's schedule weighed heavily on my mind.
On Tuesday, some friends of ours got a call saying they had been chosen as the adoptive parents of a baby boy born the day before. They were to pick him up the next day at 11:00am. Can you imagine?! I've only talked to my friend thru e-mail this week, so I'm sure there's all sorts of amazing details... but the few I have give me goosebumps.
I keep thinking of her brushing her teeth on Tuesday morning, planning out her errands for the day, wondering what to make for dinner... She simply had no clue that she was already a mommy; that in a few hours she'd get a phone call that would change her family's life instantly and forever. She didn't know.
It finally occurred to me: I don't need to know how everything will go. I don't need to know all He has planned. I simply need to rest in the knowledge that "in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28) and that my plans are not nearly as important or necessary as God's.
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the
purposes of his heart through all generations.
Psalm 33:11


Sharmi said...

Amen, Karen.

becoming minimalist said...

you ought to be proud of the self-discipline that he has shown to achieve this accomplishment. congratulations.