Monday, February 06, 2012

Out of Focus

"When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture.  The remedy is simple: Fix your eyes not on what is seen but on what is unseen."  Jesus Calling

A friend of mine gave me the devotional, Jesus Calling, for my birthday last Friday. (Thank you Elizabeth!)  Yes, I had a birthday.  No, not many pictures.  I have become oh so slack and nonblogger worthy with my camera. :0(  Sorry.

One of the local christian radio stations reads from this devotion every night.  It has often spoken to me as it takes a scripture and uses it as the basis of what Jesus might say to you about that subject.  Today, I read the entry for my birthday, and it was the above.  And it hit home... deeply.

Since coming back from my trip, I have this weight like a cloud that stays near as I feel so much of the pain and loneliness of the kids we saw and talked to.  I KNOW they are in God's hands and I KNOW HE will help them but I can't shake this feeling of responsibility I feel towards them.  I am here... doing what I do here and they are there... waiting and trying to survive with abandonment, neglect, loneliness, rejection, depression... among many other things. 

I want to just go over and get this big bus and just get them all.  I want to say the right things and talk to the right people in hopes that their hearts will be opened wide enough to let one of God's needy children inside.  I have to tread lightly around people who don't get it as I just want to scream... "REALLY????" at them and the way they live their life.  I have to give grace to others who act half interested and then run right back into their life of luxury and business and excess and selfness.  I have to smile at others who actually walk run sprint past a table covered with faces and avoid all eye contact.  It can be exhausting.  Frustrating.  Annoying. 

In addition, one of my own needs extra of me... needs patient me... needs proactive and attentive me... needs loving and kind me... needs smart and alert me... needs the me who is trying to reach her heart and help heal her from past wounds and her own destructive attempts to deal with her pain and abandonment/rejection/delays/spiritual attacks/physical attacks.  And today I blew it.  I was patient.  I was patient again.  I was patient and firm again.  I gave her two choices... try again or quit.  Her behavior was her choice and we quit.  She lost a privilege.  Then she lost control.  She lost control of her emotions and her mouth.  I still remained patient.  Her mouth continued and continued and continued.  I felt myself approaching my wall with each outburst of her mouth.  Twice I looked at her ready to spew my own rant... and twice I turned away.  And then there was another outburst and she involved her brother and I lost it.  All desire to be the adult in control, the calm and educated and controlled adult flew out of me life a raging waterfall.  She had won. She pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed and I gave in... threw all the previous hours work down the drain in 5 minutes of spewing through clinched teeth and shaking from extreme emotional overload.

I came home, put her to bed, and went to my room.  I wondered how and why in the world she can push me to the wall.  I wondered how, knowing fully what is going on, that I can still cave in and spew like a burst pipe.  And I picked up, Jesus Calling, and read the above.  How thankful I am that Jesus can speak to me in times of such need.  The visible... only seeing the visible.  Yes.  That is exactly why I gave in and lost it.  All I could see was her defiance.  Persistence.  Disrespect.  Disobedience.  Disregard.  All I could hear were her words that were stabbing me and begging me to fight back.

And I lost total focus of the real enemy.  The unseen enemy.  The one who knows I have been purposefully wooing her heart.  The one who knows how deeply I love her.  The one who knows that progress has been happening.  The one who knows our connection is so deep and yet so tried.  The one who was cheering me on to lose it... to stop with the loving eyes and give her the glare.  The one who was trying to get another dagger into her heart through my very own mouth... how cunning and manipulative Satan is at all times.  Oh how I hate him with every ounce of my being.

And I lost sight of the One who was standing next to me, the One who was ready to take all the pain she was throwing at me.  The One who had given me every moment of self-control up to that point.  Did I call out to Him during this attack?  No.  No I did not.  I had read the book.  I was trying to pull up and rely on my own strength.  And I did... for almost an hour.  The battle raged all around me in the unseen and I not once called on the One who says He goes before me.  I let pride and self reliance talk me into standing my ground by myself.  I let the circumstances of the situation blind me to the very One willing to fight it... and win.

My devotion is a good reminder to me today.  My eyes HAVE to stay on the unseen... they have to remain focused on the spiritual and overlook the temporal.  My eyes HAVE GOT to stay on the One who will walk me through fire without being burned or even scorched.  Not only in parenting... but every single aspect of my life.  I have GOT to die to me every day and let HIM live through me.  I have GOT to remember I can do NOTHING without Him.  I have to stay in communion with Him at all times.  I have to keep HIM in focus.  Everything will then become a blur!


  1. LORD, you will grant us peace; all we have accomplished is really from you. (Isaiah 26:12)

    We stand in the gap to pray peace and peace again over you. It does not matter how many times we blow it. His patience toward His children is eternal. He will dust you off again and again! He has wonderful plans for Abby and devil knows it...
    I pray strenght and wisdom over you and Don both! You are precious. You are right - it takes a heart of obedience - that is the only difference between those who do get up and fight and those who dont.

    As far as the orphans - do not take it all on yourself. God has called you to be an advocate and you are a great one. He is raising up people to carry out the desires you have in your heart - one at the time. We have to believe it!

    I am so glad I have met you!


  2. In case you are wondering if anybody hears you... in case you are wondering if anybody understands... in case you are wondering if you are "doing the right things"... the answer is "Yes" to all of the above.
    Sometimes I marvel at how perceptive, how spiritually grounded, how intuitive you are when it comes to being the mother of 3 adopted children.... three precious gifts from the Father who He knew would need a Mother who could love them fiercely, yet tenderly... boldly, yet humbly. You are precious in His sight... and in the eyes of many who love you... I am proud to be your husband.


Thanks for sharing your thoughts!