The Journey continues..
There’s a bit of exhaustion that has settled deep into my heart. The challenges of parenting have taken their toll, and I can physically feel the pressure. The burden of the invisible weights I carry has led me to a point of surrender, and so, here I am.
Still, with all the clutter and chaos in my mind, the ‘what if’s’, the ‘if only’s’.. I don’t get a pass. This is no game show, and there is no magic button to halt the journey.
We, as parents, don’t get a pass, a do over, or a life line. We are here, in the midst of not only our life and choices, but their life and their choices, whether or not we accepted the invitation, or signed on the dotted line of less than stellar decision making.
No pass. I can’t stand up as the bystander and holler out, “No thank you, I pass!”
I can’t politely shake my head, smile sweetly, and shrug it off with an, “I pass, thank you though.”
Nope. Here we are. We are parents, and we remain right smack dab in the muck (or possibly a beautiful blue ocean-depending on the choice) of their choices until, at the minimum, 18 years old.
Then, once that mark comes and goes, we still have emotional investments in what these precious gifts choose to do. We are never free.
We can make some choices of our own I guess. We can choose to rely on God more than our own wisdom and experience.
We can choose to pray more than we lecture.
We can choose to hug instead of strangle. (just kidding of course)
We can choose to shout the words, “I love you” rather than “Are you kidding me?” (again)
But we can’t pass. We can’t give up. We can’t stop caring. We can’t stop being a mom or a dad, no matter what disaster has come.
Let me tell you, grown up consequences hurt your heart. Still, there is no pass for the pain.
For those of us struggling through the teen years, on into early adulthood, as parents, may we all press in to Jesus Christ, and be held in his embrace. May we find peace in the Word, peace through the comfort of our Father, who also chose….. to not pass.
(this post was written as part of the flash mob, Five Minute Friday)
It could be considered a small success. To actually say what I want to say, in the calm and rational way I intended to say it. I could applaud the ministry program I’m currently in for opening my eyes to being assertive in situations that require it. Situations that, in the past, I failed to do so.
Or, I could call it life fatigue. You know, when you’ve experienced more than your share and you collapse in a mental exhaustion, where you just say the words, because you are too tired not to.
Whatever it is, it feels good. And I am here now wondering, how did I live 40 something years without this strength? Without this knowledge and power? How was I capable in many areas of my life, but not in others?
Part of the problem was living many years with having a voice that never mattered. Feeling the pressure to keep quiet, keep things to myself, hold the secrets in, tightly sealed in the deep holes of my heart and mind.
Another part of the problem is being overwhelmed by my own life choices. Choices I made, with consequences that are on me. Overwhelmed wives, mothers, daughters, sisters, employees, can both rise and fall depending on their current state of mind, support, attitude, ability and trust.
This is who I am. I am a Christian, who has succeeded and failed. I’ve been a Christian now for near half of my life. I have survived, overcome, cried, cheered, laughed and loved. I am still learning, and as a matter of fact, I always will be.
I have gained more in depth knowledge of who I am in the last couple years, than I have in the last two decades. I chose to trust God. I chose to love unconditionally- sometimes from afar. I chose to pray more than complain, or judge, or be angry.
I won’t continue to feel beat up by a past that hurt me, ridiculed me, took advantage of me, shamed me and tossed me away. I will not hold back the gentle truth, no matter how harsh it is. I will not give up on people simply because they choose to give up on me. I will not be that person.
I will be strong, loving, kind and caring. I will be honest and true, authentic to the core. I will be focused, quiet and sincere. I will be the beautiful and forgiven daughter of a King. I will do all I can to be His Son to you. I will be…
Living is so much more than taking a breath, combing my hair and heading out to work. Living is so much more than being here.
Living is being who He calls me to be, living the way He asks me to live, and loving the way He loves me.
Living is not holding on, but daily letting go.
Living is truly about surrendering.
“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
My daughter and I were walking one day, and without any indication it was coming, a severe wind storm hit us. We were literally being pushed backwards, dirt flying at us like darts through the sky. I couldn’t see a thing as my own hair was smacking me in my face. Suddenly, out of my mouth came a call for God to stop the storm, “In Jesus’s Name, I command this wind to stop!” And as though it was merely a switch to a machine on a movie set, abruptly the wind stopped, and everything returned to calm. We walked home.
Today, I have no words, I have no way of helping the problem, I have very few avenues of trying beyond listening and praying. The strength of a mother seems to be unending. Our strength can withstand any battle when it comes to our children. When the storms hit, I was always able to fight for them valiantly in those younger years.
But today, the storm that is hitting, I can’t fix, it isn’t mine.
I can’t fix everything. And while my children are now grown, they are still ‘my’ children. Their pain is real, and it tugs at the strings of my heart in ways I’ve never experienced. It’s one thing to be the mommy that tends to bruises, illness, hurt feelings, ‘child-life’ failures. Mommy has those answers and can fix it. But, it’s a whole new ballgame to be the momma that sits on the sidelines watching and praying as your children experience life in ways you never wanted them to experience. And in this new role, I’m a bit lost. I have no position on their field, other than kneeling on my knees.
Where anger could be, I’ve loved. I’ve said, “I don’t know.”, more than I’ve ever said it in my lifetime. My emotions are up and down, hot and cold, here and there. I’m emotionally drained, but spiritually full. I see their pain, their broken hearts, and I concede, I’m no longer the answer. But I’m their prayer warrior, and each one of them knows it. I can listen, I can advise, but I can’t control their actions or decisions or what lies within their storm.
I have prayer and I have faith in a God that is always bigger than high winds that toss us around in life. I’ve taught them who to call out to from the darkness. I’ve pointed them in the direction of the healer, comforter, supplier and friend. They know Jesus Christ. He knows them. They may not be familiar with the battles they face, but they are familiar with who fights for us in the face of our battles.
My daughter once stood amazed at a simple prayer in the wind, and she never doubted my prayers again. For even when the wind is whipping around us loudly, He is in the midst of the storm with us, and hears our call! It’s time for them to stand and shout above the wind, it’s time for me to kneel and quietly seek His face. Both will be done together, in the Name of Jesus Christ.
I was reflecting the other day, as I have been for some time, and I was thinking how small a year really is. Time is extremely small in itself. What may have seemed like something that lasted forever, was really gone in a blink of an eye.
I spent much of my youth in a very toxic and abusive situation. Up until recently, I never realized how short of a time those years were in my entire life. I may have taken decades to overcome what I lived through, but still, those particular days are few in the grand scheme of things.
And it didn’t end there…parenting, life circumstances that were both good and bad, they have come and gone and make up such a short part of the entire plan.
As I sat and thought about it, I felt led to tell myself,
“Do not worry about tomorrow..
each day has enough
trouble of its own”
I used to worry about tomorrow as a child. I worried because every day was similar to walking through a haunted house, I had no idea what was around the next bend.
I worried when I was a young adult, because he never went away.
I worried when I had children, because who doesn’t;
I worried in my marriage, because from what I saw, marriages didn’t last, and the few that did, seemed to be people who were very different than I.
I worried about aging because, as a young woman, I was hurt by words from others about my physical self.
I have worried my entire life. I didn’t know how to not worry.
I’ve not mastered the art of not worrying by any means, but something has changed. As I noticed how short the days, weeks, months and even years are, I have accepted that, every second, I am lovingly held in God’s hands. And those are good hands to be in!
We have seasons that pepper our entire lifetime. Not every season is pleasant, not every season is bad. They just are. What matters most is that we firmly believe and know that we as we make the journey through time, we experience life. And in those experiences, we never have to be alone, we never have to doubt the presence of God in each moment we live.
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
**(please leave your thoughts, comments, and prayer requests below. You can also use the contact page! Thank you for stopping by- Lisa)
When was the last time you heard a bold, impactful and life changing speech? Can you remember? Do you remember if you were somehow influenced by those powerful words? If so, can you close your eyes and see the passion that came as a result, can you see yourself motivated and moving in new ways?
Now…ask yourself, “Am I still that passionate? Am I still moving? Am I still motivated?”
The year was 1997. Wow, almost 20 years ago! God met me where I was, which at the time was an assistant at a dental practice. He used a charming young lady as the conduit, and He gained the victory as another soul chose Christ! I remember those early days well. I remember a certain feeling of acceptance, something I never knew in my entire life. I recall the tears, the release of all that I was once, and the joy of the new. I was new. And with that new me, came a ferocious passion to serve the Lord.
I became a writer of change, of freedom, hope, joy, love. I became a teacher to children, and co-leader of adult classes. I was on fire for Jesus! A fire that burned brighter, higher and hotter than anything I’d ever experienced.
But, somehow, along the way, the fire began to subside, the flames once miles high, slowly retreated. The day to day obligations took over, and while I longed for a reignited passion, it became lost in the life I was living. Little by little, the lack of passion went unnoticed, and within a few years, when passion no longer became my priority, another new ‘me’ emerged. She wasn’t adorned with fire and thrill. Nope. What I wore looked more like something I’d call ‘content’. Content to follow the routine my life became. Content to wake up each day, move, sleep and then do it all over again.
I remained committed to Christ, through my best and darkest days. But that commitment was in another routine I called ‘church’. Gone were the days of stepping out in faith, and that once ferocious passion to serve the Lord. I was ‘content’ in just showing up. The problem with this kind of content is the affect it has internally feels like a death of sorts. An internal death of that intensity, devotion and zeal I once had to share the good news!
What happened to me? Where did I go?
Life happened to me. I became lost in the art of growing up, raising a family, and continuing to build a marriage. I experienced heartache, trials, failures and frustrations. As a new Christian, I misled myself to believe that these things were behind me. I was a ‘new creation’ after all. I tried to stay positive, and focused on the good news, but when my bad news overwhelmed my mind and troubled my heart, I lost my grasp. As the years fly by, my passion flew with them. Until 2014.
And that brings us to today. This last year has been remarkable, even though it wasn’t perfect. I’ve matured in my faith. I know that my time on earth isn’t going to be a time of perfection, and with that knowledge, I have a renewed energy. I look around at a very lost world. I thought I was lost, and I was beginning to lose track of my purpose. For over half my life, I thought my purpose was easily defined by everything around me.
What joy I stand in today, as I’ve realized my purpose has absolutely nothing to do with what is going on around me, but everything to do with who is residing within me. As I challenge myself to move forward in the undressing of content, and put on the rekindled fire of passion, I fall deeper in love with Christ than I ever thought possible. He is filling me with desire and a longing that can’t be overcome by worldly obligation, trials, or pain.
Jesus came so that I might live, and through his blood being shed and by his resurrection, he won the victory over death, eternally and internally. I’m alive because He lives!
**(please leave your thoughts, comments, and prayer requests below. You can also use the contact page! Thank you for stopping by- Lisa)