"The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works." Psalm 145:9~
"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I will trust in the mercy of God forever and ever." Psalm 52:8~
"Mercy and truth have met together; Righteousness and peace have kissed.
Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven."
As tears stream down my face, I type the words, "I can't do this anymore." My heart still pounds with emotion and the words are screaming from all corners of my mind. The words are to my husband. The words are about the almost daily battles/struggles with one of my daughters. One who holds so much of my heart. One who demands so much and leaves me often empty. One who rejects me often. One who clings to me in frail moments. One who can fill me with purest joy with just a smile. One who can bring up the vilest of who I can be.
This night has been hard. My voice has been raised as my heart screamed in response, defense and exhaustion. Sadness. Exasperation. Frustration. Anger. As my fingers cry upon the keyboard, crying out to my husband miles away, her door opens and footsteps descend the stairs, approaching in quiet haste.
How does she know I sit here broken? A broken pile of failure and sadness. A broken pile of a girl who tries to be a mom. A broken pile of a girl who thinks she can not do it anymore. A broken pile of a girl who thinks she doesn't even want to try anymore.
She approaches and she is bearing gifts. A small pink bowl with "food" and her favorite hand sanitizer.
She sets them down beside me. Puts her hand on mine. "I'm sorry."
Response is hard. I have no idea how to respond. Failing again. I am empty. Her previous words are ringing in my head. Her defiance flashes before me and "Thank you," is all that comes up from within.
She goes to the kitchen and comes back with more offerings... a cold cup of water and a paper towel. And she wipes my tears. "Thank you," again is all I can offer in return. I missed a moment. I missed a moment of tender heart due to my own emptiness. And I told her she should return to bed. And she did. I was still raw.
As I put on pajamas and brushed my teeth, my thoughts cried out to the LORD. Numbness still hung on me like a heavy blanket that I couldn't shake. And then the LORD did what He does best... He opened my eyes.
Words from one of my favorite people came back to me.
“Joy is always a function of gratitude — and gratitude is always a function of perspective.
If we are going to change our lives,
what we’re going to have to change
is the way we see.” Ann Voskamp~
Simple prayer offered. Change what I see LORD. PLEASE. All I can see if defiance, stubbornness, ingratitude, greed, selfishness, spewing of words, lashing out, ugliness. Change what I see.
And He did.
Ann's words echo in my mind again. Somewhere, in past posts or her book, she encouraged to keep seeking God in places you don't see Him because He is there.
LORD, where are you here? Where are you in this?
Eyes opened, heart opened, and sin exposed. There He was, in this, and there I stood, before Him, in rebellion, in defiance, in stubbornness, with ingratitude, greed, selfishness, spewing my words, lashing out, ugly. Broken again. There was the light. And I, before the LORD, was just like Abby. And yet... there He was. Mercy. Grace. Christ. Forgiveness. Love. Unfailing. Over. And over. And over. Everything I should be. Everything I am not.
Had I not just earlier sat in the car and spewed words of anger after being "wronged" by another? Had I not
"For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations." Psalm 100:5~
"For your mercy is great above the heavens, and Your truth reaches to the clouds." Psalm 108:4~
"The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, And His tender mercies are over all His works." Psalm 145:8,9~
"Freely you have received. Freely give." Matthew 10:8b
Through Christ, the LORD sees me righteous. Through Christ, I am a holy child of God. Through Christ, I am forgiven. Through Christ, I am new. Through Christ, I am no longer a slave to sin. I am so humbled. Thanksgiving should be forever present on my lips.
Those are the eyes I need to see with. Spiritual eyes. Christ's eyes. Not mine.
I must give mercy just as I receive it. Daily. AGAIN AND AGAIN. I must see it's presence in everything.
I can do it again. I can try to love her, guide her, parent her, shepherd her, accept her again and again. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Because His mercies are new each and every day. And so will be mine.