Tuesday, May 20, 2014
There are always situations in life that give us pause. Some things can make us feel like all is lost, hopeless, why me(?), why now (?)
I know that it's easy to get lost in the struggle, and even easier, sometimes, to just give in to bitterness and anger. It can be overwhelming. It can even be justified. Hard situations are just that: hard.
Faith has never been hard for me. I may question the why, and the timing of any number of things... but I've never lost faith. -- I'm not bragging, or boasting- I'm simply stating a fact. God gave me the gift of faith. I know that God is in control. I know His timing is perfect (even when I think about how awful the timing might be). I know God sees me, and hears me.
It's taken me a while, though, to figure out forgiveness. It's really a tough topic for most of us grown-up type of people (people with and without faith). Why must I forgive so-and-so for such-and-such? Here's the easy answer: because God commands it. He also demonstrates it. We forgive because He forgives. Everyday. All the time.
So- what is the point of all of this?
Well... I'm in one of those type of positions. Again. I'm so not trying to sound like a toddler, but I feel that way... Again? Really? And it hurts. And I am angry. It pretty much just stinks.
Now- I can choose to hold on to all that (after all, I'm right... Right? I have a right to my anger...right?)...or...I can choose to give all of that to God... (What?)...Just let it go. Really.
He will take care of it. He sees you. He hears you. He has you.
Forgiveness releases me from the insidious bitterness that hangs out in my heart when I don't forgive. As difficult as it may seem, God takes it if we let Him. This doesn't mean to let just anybody trample all over your heart, and it doesn't mean forgetting (although we can be confident that God does).
It is the act of obedience that gives you (me) the peace. Step into your faith, forgive out of obedience (because, if the hurt is big enough, and if you are in any way like me, you won't feel like it), and then the peace will come. God's mercies are new everyday. I can't even explain it very well with words, even though I'm trying to... But I had to share this. Because it is actually pretty amazing.
It's actually supernatural.
I don't need to cite all of the "studies" that prove this to be true: when you forgive, you become less angry, and that makes you healthier, happier, and more likely to be resilient in every other area of your life. It's true. You can google it.
So- you want to be like a superhero?
Forgive. All sorts of un-natural (supernatural) things will happen. And not just for you- but for everyone around you, too!
Thursday, May 8, 2014
Do you ever feel like you are in crisis mode? Like, all the time? I know I do. I know that most of the crisis modes are really just I'm-stressed-I-have-no-idea-what-I'm-doing mode...
Not really a crisis.
Mind you, I have two teenagers and a 10 year old. I should know what I'm doing by now... Right?
In the time span of three minutes yesterday, I went from having three kids in their normal cranky-before-dinner-and-why-can't-I-have-ice-cream state, to nuclear meltdown state of we-need-to-evacuate-now. There are no fall out shelters nearby...
This is what I see: my sweet child (the super sensitive ten year old) having a panic attack (this is not an exaggeration- she really has them), running away from our home, down our street, snot running out of her nose, tears freely flowing (and it's allergy season), carrying a little sack containing three green apples (slung over her shoulder) so she "wouldn't starve to death" - Praise God, she had the presence of mind to think about provisions, and make a healthy choice- as I am driving back up my street (just in time to catch her) as she was fleeing from the house (I had driven the middle child to piano- 3 minutes earlier, remember, everything was fine....). And I can't understand what she is saying...we speak english... I'm pretty sure she wasn't.
If I were famous at all, the paparazzi would have a field day with me. It would be not pretty.
So, I get her (crying, screaming, heaving) into the car (please, God, no witnesses!), and then into the house, I think before anyone could see us. Yes, it was like that. We have drama, people. It's a family trait that spans generations.
Tommy, meets us at the door (God bless him. And me.)- flapping, all six feet, 170 pounds of him- quivering.... I'm not sure he was speaking english either, but I kind of heard 'iPod' and 'bad' and 'sword' ...yikes!
It was like there were two feral cats (the big kind) hissing and screeching at each other.
Still- not exaggerating- I separate my children, but now I'm hissing and screeching, too; I'm sure to gain control of this situation? I'm the adult, right? What do cats (or banshees) do to show that they are the alpha?
Well, now... Nothing too crazy, actually... Loud (like,very) prayers are effective, after the "you both go to your rooms and sit on your beds" command. It turns out that everyone is still human in the end, and we are all capable of english.
The story does have a happy ending- the curtains are all back where they belong, the iPod has been restored, no one is missing in action, the apples are back in the fruit bowl, the only sword brandished was wooden, and it attacked an old birthday balloon...
So... Crisis? Yep, think so. I had wine with dinner last night.
Here's the thing, though... My little mid-week epiphany....
God is still good. My "crisis"? It interrupted a good day, it made me morph into a banshee (or a cat, still not sure), it even had me thinking I don't understand how to parent... which, actually, I may not, but I'm still trying... But it was just a distraction- just an interruption ----- of crisis proportions, maybe, in the perspective of the day, but not in the perspective over a life... Why?
Because, God is bigger, and better. All the time. Not changing.
I'm really wanting to do things right, so I need to turn to the One who has it right. He created us, and pieced us all together, just so. I may not think God has it right (like, really? What are You thinking?), but God knows He has it right! That's why God is God, and I am not.
I'm learning and reading that to learn to hear God, and be obedient to Him, I have to know Him, and accept Him. Completely (thank you, Priscilla Shirer).
And the crisis? Well, this too, shall pass. Usually with even bigger blessings on the other side.
My kids losing it and tantruming are not the biggest crisis ever, not even currently; although for about 15 minutes yesterday I was sure someone was going to see my not perfect crisis moment and call for back up. (Not really, though.). I just don't like having not perfect moments- but life is full of them. Again, I am not famous for big reasons... Instead, I'm just trying to live out life, and raise my family and my marriage, the best way I know how.
On my knees.