I first want to thank so many of you who reached out to me after my last post about my first "anything". I am so humbled sometimes with how the LORD Himself reaches out to me through you. From precious sisters at church to sweet friends on facebook, I received notes and personal confessions of... "that is so me," and "I could have signed my name to that post." I am always encouraged to continue to share my heart here when I hear that. So many of us mothers can struggle with letting our kids go and really trusting them to the LORD. Whether it is our first born going off to college, our baby around the world on a missions trip, our daughter choosing the wrong friends, or health issues... remembering the LORD of the universe holds them and is in control is sometimes very hard to remember and even harder to find rest in.
I was also given sweet words of love and encouragement and I say "thank you." The emotional roller coaster can really wear you out and love is one of the greatest forms of refreshing!
I ordered my book today... along with several others! I can not wait for them to get here... but will have to! :0) I am so encouraged by what the LORD has shown me in my effort to identify and lay down my first "anything". It always inspires me and amazes me how when you really dig in, the LORD will reveal things to you. You think I would not forget so often but sadly, the distraction of life, especially one running in fast forward all the time, will cause me to become distant and then suddenly I am dog paddling in a rolling sea of lies... and drowning. That is where I have been... drowning. As long as I keep struggling and trying to stay afloat and trying to decide where shore is and which one to swim towards, I am wearing myself OUT and the enemy pulls harder and harder to drag me under. I have to STOP, look above, focus my eyes on Him, cry out to Him, and He reaches down and simply pulls me out. He doesn't tell me which shore to swim to and then watch me struggle to get there. He shows me truth that literally plucks me out of the abyss. How thankful I am for a LIVING GOD that is so intimate with us!
The truth can be so simple yet so profound. How can I so often miss it? This past Sunday, I spent the entire day in bed. We also worship on Saturday night and we did not get home from that worship until midnight. Sunday, I just wanted to be still and quiet and soak in the LORD. I spent the day resting in Him. I read several books of the New Testament in two different versions. I praised Him in song. I journaled what He revealed to me and scriptures that really spoke to me. I sat and listened. I read a book a friend has loaned me that spoke to me greatly. It was a time of refilling, refocusing, and refreshing. I so needed it and was so blessed.
One of the simplest convictions came quickly and pricked me deeply. I love how the Holy Spirit will do that. I can say, "I am not trusting the Lord with Abby," and feel like... yeah... I should trust Him with her and am just having a hard time with it. It doesn't seem "that" bad. Kind of normal. Understandable. But when it is presented like what follows, it convicts and I am led to repent.
Saying I don't trust the LORD is calling Him a liar. Ouch. Woe. Wait. That's not what I meant!
Really? Anything that opposes the word of God, His promises, His truth, His words... is a lie. Period.
When the LORD tells me He is in control, that He has our days planned, that He will meet our needs, that He is our healer, that He is our refuge, that He is our strength, that all things work together for good for those who love the LORD, not to worry, (I could go on and on) and I say I don't trust Him... I am saying I do not believe what He says and that He is a liar and His word is not truth. Doesn't sound so innocent anymore. Wow.
I had to let that soak in a little bit. Isn't it just like satan to make us think our sin, our opposition to the LORD, is not offensive. That is almost... ok. It took seeing my "mistrust" in the above light to really see how offensive it is to God and I was heartbroken.
Then I was given an example. The example of Job. In the first few chapter of Job, we can see that Job's children are not living in a manner that is pleasing to the LORD. They are partying fool biscuits... satisfying and being led by the lust of the flesh. And what does Job do? He worries about them. He offers sacrifices for them and tries to make them right before God. And he fears. Fear opens the door to satan... opens it wide. And Job's fears come true, he loses his children to satan. WOW. Job did not let his children go and he didn't trust them to the LORD. HE held onto them and tried to be in control... he tried to become their god. Is that what we do when we think we are in control of our children/try to control our children? We think we are their god? WOW.
I was so pierced. I have been trying to be/become Abby's savior. Without really realizing it, I was trying to become her god. I was not releasing her fully to the living God. I was looking/striving for answers. I was trying to pray the right way... enough. I was trying to change her. I was trying to change the situation. I was trying to grab control of something that seems SO out of control. But it is NOT OUT OF CONTROL. It is in God's control. And suddenly, that precious, precious, precious peace that surpasses all understanding flooded me and I felt rest for the first time in a long long long time. I sank into it. And I smiled. GOD is SO FAITHFUL and SO LOVING to want us to find HIM and experience HIM like this. I felt as if an iron coat has been lifted off my shoulders and pulled from soul. It was good. The LORD is good. (I am not saying, in any way, not to care about what happens to your children, look for medical help, advice, answers or pray for them! But it can not consume you, become your focus, idol, identity. You can do those things while trusting the LORD with all of it.)
"Love her." That is what I hear from the LORD when I ask what I can do for her. Two words. Two simple words that hold SO much. "Love her." In my efforts to change her, rescue her, heal her, help her... I have not loved her the way I can/should/was created to do so. You see, satan knew if he could keep me wrestling with all the above in my flesh, I would not be able to do what God had created me to do/wanted me to do/needed me to do... love her. When you are frustrated, wrung out, exhausted, depressed, stressed out, and empty... you do not love very well.
How simple can it really get. "Love her." Whether she is behaving like I would like her to behave, "Love her." Whether she is responding like I want her to respond, "Love her." Whether she is treating others like I want her to treat others, "Love her." Whatever the circumstances "look like" with my physical eyes, "Love her." Those two words... over and over. "Love her."
And so that is what I am clinging to. Those two words, along with His word. And my faith in Him and His words. And I will trust Him to do the rest. Whatever that may be. And I may slip back into that ocean of lies, but I hopefully will remember to lift my eyes up to Him much quicker than this last time. And I will be strengthened with what He reveals to me in the process.
Thank you LORD.
* One of my most favorite ways the LORD speaks to me is to give me scripture. It humbles me and builds me up and draws me so close when He is that intimate. Last Saturday, I was on my bedroom floor in tears crying out to Him. Begging for Him to speak to me, begging Him to let me feel His presence. There are times when He feels so close and there are times when He seems so far away. I find comfort in reading the Psalms to see that I am not the only one who experiences these feelings. Even though I "feel" He is distant, His word tells me He is with me... always. So I was begging Him to just show me that He was. I so needed to see Him/feel Him/hear Him. And He came... "Psalm 118:5,6" When scriptures pop into my head from "nowhere"... I run to my Bible... knowing they are from the Holy Spirit. Sometimes a 56 is 5,6 and sometimes 56. In this case, the five six, was 5,6 as there is no 56 in Psalm 118.
"I called on the Lord in distress; The LORD answered me and set me in a broad place. The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?"
I was flooded with emotion. I cried to see the LORD clearly acknowledged my distress and He clearly reminded me... "I am here. I am on your side. Do not fear." I then soared in joy because He answered my begging to see Him/hear Him/feel Him. My faith was so encouraged... He was there... right there... in that moment with me. On the floor, with me. I started praising Him and thanking Him and "Psalm 117" popped into my head. So I looked it up.
"Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, and the truth of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!"
I found it remarkable I had only gotten "Psalm 117" with no verses. The entire chapter is 2 verses. In the midst of my praising Him, He gave me this scripture on praising Him. It was almost too much! (never enough!) After this precious, precious gift... I cranked the praise music and sang to Him with all my heart. Worship that night was very intimate and blessed and all this is what prompted me to spend the day with Him Sunday.
Some may think I share "too much" or "intimate moments" that should be left private. For those who think that, I am sorry. But the reason I share is this: THIS kind of intimacy with the living God is what God wants with all His children and is available to all His children! How can I contain that? I can't. My spirit leaps now as I write this as I know at least ONE will be encouraged to seek and find Him in this way! So I share so that another woman, in her exhaustion and striving, can be encouraged to fall on her face before Him and ask to see Him/hear Him/feel Him and that she will be encouraged to wait... be still and know that He is God. Because He will come! He is there! And I will shout that from the roof tops! (or this blog!)
We are starting a new medication with Abby. And I have such peace. Whatever happens, there is this peace. That is a gift. That is a promise. That is a blessing. That is the Holy Spirit alive inside me and doing "His thing". Oh how so very thankful I am for that!
Oh my prayer is that you are encouraged! And that you are maybe led to start identifying your "anythings" and lay them down! There is freedom in the word of God. We just have to remain in it and focused on it.