Conversation No. 2: I am not Loki.

There are times when I reflect on the moments of Kensi’s surgery remembering the peace beyond comprehension that had generously covered us. She was having a brain tumor removed . . . a BRAIN TUMOR, but at times we treated it like she was having her appendix taken out. There truly was a peace that surrounded us, reminding us that God was completely aware of what was going on, and that He had no intention of abandoning us. After all, I had already been told that I wasn’t Job.

But I had seen the movies and read the books. I had watched the hospital scenes, the grand crescendo of teary music where the smiling patient looks at the doctor and says, “I’m going to be okay, right doc?”

The doctor does not smile. He looks at the loving family members whose joy is fading to a solemn understanding of the news he is about to calmly reveal. “Ma’am. There was a complication.”

I could see it all running through my brain—maybe because my mind has a tendency to create plot lines on a whim, or maybe because I have always had a flare for the dramatic. I pictured the team of surgeons that frequented our room somberly entering with their clipboards in hand. They would smile gently at Kensi, and then the head surgeon would say, “Mr. and Mrs. Brandenburg, may we speak to you in the hall.” I had already been through one of those moments a few days before. I would know that a talk away from our child meant bad news. Then . . . BAM! They would drop the news on us that would change our lives forever.

Several years ago, I watched a dear friend live out Philippians 4:8 – the verse in the Bible that tells us to think on things that are true. All the signs were there that she was miscarrying her third child, but being miles from her doctor, she chose to think on what was true. As far as she truly knew, she was pregnant. When she got home, the doctor confirmed what she had chosen to believe—she would deliver a healthy baby girl. Since that moment, despite my flair for turning every situation in my life into a novel, I have tried to pull out the absolute truth in the moments of my life—to separate the facts from the “what ifs”, or the “what could be”. But sitting in a hospital room, with a child who you had raised on organic foods, had never had a need for an antibiotic, and had always had a perfect check-up, was now resting in a bed with a tube coming out of the top of her skull and a series of stitches running down the back of her head. This was my new truth.

I let go of the hold I had on my thoughts, allowed them to wonder into worry to the point that I felt like I would suffocate if I stayed in the room much longer. I took a break, a walk to the “bathroom”—to think, to cry, to get a hold of myself. It was in that moment that God and I began to talk again. It was clear, and kind of funny, but I knew what He meant as soon as I heard it. I AM NOT LOKI.

The first image that popped in my brain was the Marvel movies epic portrayal of the Norse god—thin faced, pale, with two large gold horns on his head, his long cloak flying open as he walked towards me and his black hair blowing angrily in the breeze. That was the Loki I saw. At first it made me giggle, but I got it. I knew what God was saying.

In Norse mythology, Loki was the god of trickery and deceit. He was usually portrayed as a scheming coward whose motives were purely selfish. I believe in a loving God, who has never deceived me. If I choose to believe on what is true, then I can believe on that. Numbers 23:19 says, “God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change his mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill?” God is not a god of lies; He is the God of love. John 3:16 declares that He loves the whole world . . . why would I have any reason to believe that I was not a part of that?

The surgeons had told us that she was healing miraculously. They would enter the room and say things like, “Well, all we can say is that you’re doing great!” They were amazed at the ten-year-old girl who was eating on her own, making crafts everyday, and ordering Pad Thai for dinner! So, why had I believed that God was suddenly going to write a dramatic twist into our story? Had he not carried us this far? At that point, we hadn’t heard the results of the tumor’s biopsy. We still had a hurdle to jump, but God had just told me that he wasn’t a trickster. He wasn’t going to let me go. Even if the results were not what we had hoped for, He would be walking with us just as he had been since the moment we realized He was there!

Bad things may happen in our lives; we were never promised that they wouldn’t. The truth is . . . God is not Loki! He is not a god of myth who seeks to pull the proverbial rug out from under you . . . the world might, but He won’t. He is the one true God who will be there to catch you, brush you off, and stand you back up again. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. (James 1:16-17) – LHB


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