How is it that we get so caught up in the mundane things of our life and we overlook the things most important to us? I know I’m not alone in that feeling. Luke 17: 21 tells us that the Kingdom of God is in us and I have to ask Him, “What does that look like?” I know what it doesn’t look like. What I want to know is what it does look like. I don’t have the answer to that.
My heart is torn between this world and the next. A woman I treasure very much died last month. I pretty much lost it. All of August and some of September was a total mess in my home and I don’t just mean what you see when you walk in. I mean it in that way that suddenly something shut down in me. An old hurt resurfaced. I was blinded by the pains of of young 9 and 10 year old girl who had begun to lose the people she held dear to her. That young girl normally seems so far from who I am that I hardly recognize her. Yet, suddenly, there she was shutting all the doors and locking them. She was going through every part of me locking windows, closing shutters, slamming doors, and looking for the door to the bunker. I didn’t seem to know how to stop that from happening. I was sad and I was angry. I also felt very very foolish for behaving this way because my friend was gracious and loving, bringing life into every conversation.
I kept telling myself to stop it. My friend kept telling me to stop it. I couldn’t seem to stop the anger and spewing poison all over my family. I seriously felt like my words were poison acid to them. Nobody could help me, so I wasn’t really very honest in how horrible it all was. One day I was told, “You’ve really got to be done with this.” So, I called a family meeting to apologize to my family, but guess what? I couldn’t remember what I called them together for so I didn’t apologize. I asked them questions on how our home can move more smoothly. They had great ideas, by the way. So now when I implement them, they’re not just my ideas. So, the next day I remembered why I had called them together in the first place and I did a do over. This time I apologized and every single one of them were so gracious in forgiving me and moving forward. There weren’t any glazed over eyes telling me what they were supposed to say. It was beautiful and humbling.
We made some changes. I have this incredible and amazing opportunity to work from home which means I can make my own schedule. I decided to stop work for a bit when the kids get home from school. We’ll talk about their day, get snacks, make lunch for tomorrow, jobs and homework happen, and I make dinner. This has been a beautiful thing. Beautiful, I tell you. My home has been cleaner, the kids have been calmer, I’ve been calmer, dinner has been a better quality, and somehow I’m getting more work done at my job. (My job that I love, by the way!) I’ve been getting in more consistent Bible reading times, I’m also reading a Maya Angelou book (that’s messing with me and my white-ness), back to exercising, and I haven’t had any huge melt downs.
Humility and repentance are so healing.
I want my kids to feel special and loved and wanted. I don’t want them to feel like they are inconveniences, even though they can be inconvenient. I want them to feel worthy, not because of anything they do, but because I value them. Isn’t that how it is with God. We’re not worthy of His love. We can’t earn it. He loves us and values us so highly that he’d come down to this filthy world in human form and die for us. He values me so very much. That makes me worthy.
This week I had a conversation with one of my children letting her know that I love her so much and want amazing things for her that I would fight for her. I won’t let her just slip into the pattern of settling. Drug and alcohol addiction, jail, broken relationships, and victim mentality will not be the norm for my children, though I am fully aware that they may still choose that path. Yet, I will show them something different. There is something bigger here. There is something greater calling us out to be who He has created us to be.
My friends lost their oldest son this past weekend. My heart hurts for them. Another friend of mine lost her son earlier this year. On Sunday I laid on the couch with Sage and we just talked. I held him close. He’s my only youngest son, you know. As my biggest boy left the house to spend the day at his girlfriend’s house, I held him just a little longer. I took the two of them out to breakfast that morning and snapped some photos so that I wouldn’t forget these days. Their first, and hopefully only, love.
In all of this suffering and injustice I can still say God is good. I am confident in that. His word says that His plans for us are good and not evil all of our days. He has good plans for us.
I heard a song lyric today. It says, “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders”! Yes! That’s it. Complete, absolute trust. God has never failed me. I don’t understand Him all of the time, but I’m ok with that now.
Surrender it all to Him.