A thief is thief. A thief is still a thief until he stops stealing, gets a job and give back. God uses human angels to bring comfort to those around us. I walked into church this morning after many weeks of medical trials and I felt the euphoria I had so missed instantly transform my shell and overflow in places that have been hidden for so long.
We began in 2 Corinthians: 5-7. In fact, when we came into Macedonia, we had no rest. Instead, we were troubled in every way; confliction on the outside, fears on the inside. But God, who comforts the humble, comforted us by the arrival of Titus and not only by his arrival, but also by the comfort he received from you. He told us about your deep longing, your sorrow, and your zeal for me and I rejoiced even more. In the translation paragraph at the bottom of the page was the Greek root word Lupe describing Paul’s writings. I felt God’s faithful wink as to say I have seen your lupe: pain, grief, sorrow. That simple word that can cause such grief, reminded me that I was not doing this by myself. Paul also used the word to explain Christian giving should not be motivated by regret (lupe) but by a cheerful heart. I have been surrounded by many words and praises but as I saw my husband and children continuing their walk with God I knew I had an emptiness that nothing could fill. The Christian walk is so much more than sitting in church. We have an obligation beyond anything we could give ourselves.
Summer is upon us. The routine school days that are usually packed with schedules and soccer now turn into lazy, long and hot monotony that can be grueling for parents. My children have usually attended afterschool programs but this year I will be home with them through the summer. This is going to involve a massive dose of mommy magic!
Mommy magic involves a little tug on a closet door that magically locks when I try to open it. I am the only one who can lock the scary, dark unknown lair where cloths seem to become a dark evil force that my children cannot get out of their psyche before they go to sleep. Fear of the unknown and mommy holds the magical lock. My oldest child is beginning a new phase in his school life. He has become increasing anxious and lately. his fear has become apparent. I see his younger brother is stepping out on his own. He has been quietly pulling away from the domineering personality of his brother. But, as I have learned, a child with ADD doesn’t know he is bossy. He does not know that his self-esteem is being tested with every new relationship he tries to form. These children have often been in a constant cycle of negativity that can overwhelm any family.
This summer is going to challenge me. I will be right in the line of fire and I will be the mediator for the neighborhood brawls. It is actually going to test all of us. They will not have to stick to a tight schedule . I am sure the chore list will some how magically disappear on some of the long, lazy days of summer. I have learned to expect the unexpected. I hope to document the transformation this summer. I hope I can be a witness for some of the children. Growing up in a family of girls was hard I thought. That was before, well …. hopefully you will return to read some of these adventures. 🙂
I grew up with performance based grace. I was separated from my father at ten years old. I have lived my entire life trying to please him. I grew up under his watchful eye as he scrutinized my every move. I was never quite good enough in the things I did. I have started to look at my relationship with my sons and I wonder sometimes if they can feel my insecurities. I know my mood shifts and my temper can get the best of me. I wonder if what I am saying to them is a mirror image of what I learned as a child. I learned that it was easier to stay in the shadows. It was easier to avoid confrontations. I would end up with hurt feelings and a self-image that I would suffer with my entire life.
My relationship with my husband has started down the same path. I feel like a timid child when confronted with a problem. My intimate, loving response to his touch has grown cold. I feel the quick, angry, disposition from him the way I felt when my father was disciplining me. I do not look to him for his leadership role in the house as I should. Our marriage has become out of sync with what God had planned. We both suffer everyday trying to grasp hold to the root of foundation he laid out for our marriage. My resistance is causing rejection in everyone around me. My husband feels rejected because I cannot find grace in my life.
I have struggled to maintain a productive life. I measured my worth by my abilities. I was successful at my job but, in every relationship getting below the surface became very painful and scary. Now, being unable to work and produce predictable income has torn open my flesh and exposed me to various levels of pain. It has also peeled open a joyous thirst for God. I can sing praises and give thanks even though I cannot see around the corner.
I am thankful that my marriage has been bonded by God. Even though I stubbornly, and selfishly follow God, I know that my rebellion will be met with Grace. The real value of a person is inside not on the outside. Our performance in life is not what is appealing to God. It is our heart…..Thank goodness my husband has a HUGE one!
¨He saw it fit to see me through another day,¨ This is just one of the statements Oklahoma residents are mulling through today. The devastation and emotional terror that overcomes you is unexplainable. I know this devastation all to well. I lived through a tropical storm that dumped water over our city for days and eventually caused a levy to break. Our city was downstream from raging water. In a matter of hours, streets and houses were flooded. The rescue effort brought boats and rafts to evacuate us and whatever we could carry. Nobody could get in or out. Our cars and homes were held hostage by red Georgia clay water. The city water plant flooded and we had no water for three weeks.
I know as we see this devastation, we wonder what we can do. What good do we get from this? It is hard to know on a personal basis, but have you ever thought about starting over? This can bring a transparency of sorts, leaving you vulnerable to deception and attack. This battleground can have a devastating aftermath that can linger even after all the destruction has been visibly removed. I wanted to have my stuff. That made me hopeless and lost and only God can replace that.
God gives us many ways to reclaim our relationship with him. Unfortunately, we continue to bring destruction back into our lives. The bondage we carry around is to hide our transparency and leave our relationship with God detached. The intimacy we are so graciously given will always be there. The purpose for such tragic situations can be Satanś greatest instrument of deception. We all will face defeat and challenges but it is how we choose to walk through them that matters to God.