Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."
John 14:18

When we believe lies about who God is, there is always a consequence.
And a long time ago, there was a girl who agreed with the lie that she was alone.  That her Father, who was supposed to be with her always, had somehow wandered away at a critical time.  She needed Him, and she prayed and prayed for Him to come and step in.  She pleaded with Him to save her from darkness- and He didn't.  The enemy seemed so powerful, and so present.  Her Savior seemed to be absent...
And she believed that she was alone and that she had to fend for herself.

She let that lie settle and find its home in her heart.  She tucked it away and covered it up with life.
And as she grew older, she didn't really understand that she carried that lie, that orphan heart around with her.
But she believed, deep down, that although she loved and trusted God, when it came down to it, she had to make things happen when He didn't.

She ended up with children of her own.
She loved them and treasured them.
And her heart pricked her as she called God her Father- and yet felt the difference in her beliefs that didn't line up with the fierce, fighting love she felt for her children.
As she taught her children to trust her, she felt her lack of trust in Him.
She heard herself speaking to her children,

"You just have to trust me.  You have to believe that I know what is best.  It might not always feel like I am on your side, but I am.  I see the big picture when you don't.  Just trust me."

And she knew that she was teaching something that she wasn't truly believing...

She was then given a child who was truly an orphan.  A broken little boy who also believed that he was alone and abandoned.  He too believed that he had to fend for himself.
And she jumped right in and expected to love away his broken, orphan heart.
She expected to fill the hole his first parents had left.
She expected to lead him into the perfect Father's love.
And as one year led to two and then three, she saw that she was powerless to heal his heart.  That the hurting little boy was going to fend for himself and do what he thought best no matter what she did.  No matter how many times she told him and showed him he could trust her.
So she prayed and prayed for him.  She sought the true Father for healing.

And then- in His goodness and kindness and mercy, in His faithfulness and his graciousness- He spoke to her.

"You can't lead someone somewhere you haven't been...." 

And she knew it was true........and it was time.
As she lay awake in bed one night, she opened that hidden place up to Him.  She gave it to Him in all of it's ugliness.
And the ugliness didn't surprise Him or repulse Him like she thought it would- He already knew that it was there.  It was never hidden from Him.
"For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart."
He asked her to ask Him for the truth of where He was at that time when she thought she was alone and forsaken.
And she was terrified to ask.
But she did.
And the picture He gave her blew her mind and blew through her heart and has left her forever changed.
Her Jesus was there.
Not only with her, but with His body wrapped around hers in fierce protection.
The saw very essence and origin of that fighting love that she felt for her own children.

And you can tell her that she's a little crazy. :) You can tell her that He doesn't work or speak that way.  And she will tell you this-

I have seen it for myself.

"Now to Him who is able to do exceeding and abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be the glory in the church both now and forever..."

And now that broken little boy and I, we still have our struggles.
But there is a confidence in Jesus' fighting love and care for us both that changes things.
It changes helplessness to hopefulness.
It changes doubt to belief.

And we have so much farther to go, and so much more to learn, but I know Jesus holds it all in His hands.
And He will continue to show us the way as we grow in our understanding of Who He is and grow in our trust in His care and in His unfailing love....

"When you go out to war against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and an army larger than your own, you shall not be afraid of them, for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. And when you draw near to the battle, the priest shall come forward and speak to the people and shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel, today you are drawing near for battle against your enemies: let not your heart faint. Do not fear or panic or be in dread of them, for the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory."

Thursday, February 6, 2014

I stopped by my kids' school today to drop something off, and as I was leaving, I noticed that the first graders were all lined up and ready to test out the paper airplanes they had made.
I stopped to watch.
On the count of "three" they released the airplanes......and Tekoa's plane didn't fly. It flopped down at her feet.
Her shoulders slumped and she had that "I'm about to fall to pieces" look on her face.
And the mommy in me couldn't hold back.
I walked over to her and scooped her up in my arms. I carried her to a chair, we sat, and she melted. Sobbing.
The teacher's aide came over and whispered, "she's had a rough day."
Which pulled at me even more.
We sat like that until the students were called back to the classroom.
I carried her into her classroom and sat down at her desk- with her body still wrapped around mine.
Her teacher told the students to get out their handwriting pages and to get to work on them.
When I heard "handwriting" my heart pulled yet again, as I knew that was her least favorite subject. I knew that, unlike my other children, my Tekoa gets overwhelmed easily by a big task. And handwriting especially- because of the length of time it takes her, and the amount of writing to be done on each page.
So, I turned her around, pulled out the page, and set it in front of her.  She wiped her tears, and without even looking at me she started right in.
No complaining, no thinking about the enormity of the task in her six year old eyes. She started in on the slow process of forming each letter. Lines and curves making letters, making words.
When her lines weren't straight, she erased them and started again. No sighs, no frustration, just pure focus on the task at hand.
Every now and then I would whisper in her ear, "good job." "nice work." "keep going." And she did. Through the whole page.
She did her very best work, because her mom was with her. Her mom was watching every stroke of her pencil. That was all that mattered- the presence of her mother. Mom was in Tekoa's world- at her level, in her classroom, and sitting with her at her desk.
The failure was forgotten, and the huge task ahead was not so intimidating anymore.
It changed everything.

And as for me, I was mesmerized.
I was with her, silently cheering her on. I was watching every line and every curve. And there was nowhere else in the world I would have rather been than in that moment with my daughter.
The slanted lines didn't make me cringe, they drew me in. I knew she would correct them, because she knew I was watching.
The amount of time it took her to complete the page didn't bother me either, because I know that for her, at six years old, this is all that she is capable of. I have no doubt that next year she will be flying through a page like that. But this year, she is only six and she needs more time and more practice.
I'm not concerned, because in my mind, it was just yesterday that she was taking her first steps and forming her first words.
She has come so far from the helpless baby I changed, fed, and held.
I remember how much I loved gazing into those big blue eyes as I nursed her.  She would smile at me, and the milk would run down her sweet chin.
Those same big blue eyes are the ones that now fill up with tears at a failed paper airplane, and they are the same big blue eyes that will look at me with excitement when I someday hand her the car keys.
It will happen too fast, but I will be there through it all. Rooting her on. Being with her on her good days and in the trenches with her on her bad days.
It is my joy, it is my pleasure, because I love her. She is part of me.
She has captured my heart through her very existence and she doesn't even have to try to draw me in.
I'm drawn, I'm captivated, I'm forever with her.
Because she is my daughter.

Thank you, Lord, for being the author of that fierce parental love that doesn't hold back. Thank you for being my Father, making me your daughter, and for being right with me in all things.
The understanding of Your love for me, and the knowledge of Your presence in my life changes everything.