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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Release

Sunday morning I woke up and dragged myself and my boys to Kingdom Community at my church (Sunday School). I got there late and was too embarrassed to go in and interrupt the teacher so I hung outside. I saw our children's minister and began talking to him. Our oldest children just graduated from high school. We started talking about their future plans and how God is leading them. I started tearing up as I told him my fears for my babies. I did not do a good enough job. I failed them in so many areas. I have not prayed for them as I should. I did not make them do things I probably should have made them do, and now, in a few short weeks they will be away from me. And my heart cries.

In my discussion with him, I realized I am scared to death. I did not do right by my children and now they were going to fail at college because of me.

So Monday. I am slogging through this fear. I cannot see beyond it. I am totally captivated and en-mired in it. I accomplish nothing. I do not go to God. As a matter of fact, I start dredging up and making excuses for all of my failures. And I mention that God failed me in my mutterings. He has left me alone to dangle in my miserable little world (of MY creation). A friend texted me and sent me encouraging words from scripture and I ignored them. Instead of paying heed, I buried myself in reading and watching Netflix. I put off thinking at all by filling my mind with something that would keep me from both fear and accomplishing what I needed to. I envisioned things that were unholy and self serving. I did it until the wee hours of the morning. I did not want to lay my head down. I was mentally and physically fatigued to the point of wishing when I closed my eyes, I would not wake up again.

Now - I am not normally a melodramatic person. I truly hate drama. And yet - I reveled in it yesterday. I drummed it up and danced around it. Ridiculous.

I slept. Finally.

This morning my heavenly father - whose mercies are new every morning met me where I was - in the mess I had made in an unfettered mind run amuck. My mind was still and I went downstairs to a pot of coffee that had been made and left for me by my husband. And I sat with it and reached for my devotional book written for moms, and it led me to this scripture:

Romans 5 NIV

I am undone. The Gospel - so simple and so rewarding -  can be so offensive to an independent mind like my own. I think it is all up to me. The Gospel says it is not. I think that if I mess up, that my life and those touched by it will not prosper. The Gospel says that is not true.

My hope lies with a God who sacrificed his Son so that I might live an imperfect yet significant life. This life of struggle is a beautiful thing - when my mind is set correctly. The law which I am so set to follow and do on my own, only points me to Christ in my failure to be able to accomplish it. My "I got this" attitude is a smelly mess and serves no one well. Because honestly, I do not have this. I WANT to have this. I WANT to accomplish and prosper by my own hand. I WANT to be a person who is admired and loved by those accomplishments. But that is not possible. I end up failing and berating myself and utterly miserable.

The Gospel says that I have HOPE in the midst of my sin - my inabilities, my failures, my stubborn refusal to trust.

And the gem that truly makes my heart relax, my mind rest is this:

Romans 5:20b, 21 But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Grace. (the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings.)  In spite of my failures, God holds out grace to me and to my children. Does God expect my perfection? My abilities? Even my consistency? No. He knows me. He knows my lack of ability, my inconsistency and my imperfection (vast ) - He sees it and loves me anyway. I cannot comprehend it. It is where I fail to trust him every time.

This morning I am praising God. He has raised me up in the midst of my misery to a new hope and fervor to be faithful to show him and his mercies to my family and to those who are much like me. They will be fine. He will show himself faithful to them, just as he has been to me. I pray they are better at listening and believing than I am. I pray they do not beat their heads against a wall in their attempt to do it all by themselves. But I am afraid they are much like me and will have the same struggles. But God is faithful. They will be fine.

I hope this finds someone and encourages them as it has me. God is gracious in his love toward us. On that we can rely.

God bless and keep you!

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