Tuesday, December 20, 2016

... but do you actually believe it?

 My rough journey as a mother to trust God with my children.

When most people come to a crossroads of learning something new or being brought to the jumping off point on a cliff, they are focused typically on one thing. Overcoming fear, anger, addiction or learning to believe God for the first time, dealing with a situation out of your control, or the joy of taking a leap of faith are all centrally focused on the one thing at hand.

This season of mothering that has come is literally testing all of my fortitude and believing God that I can muster. Not in just the normal way of letting go and releasing my grown children like parents do, but actually not fretting and trusting God with them, not meddling and trying to control the situation but allowing room for them to make mistakes and learn, grasping tightly to the joy of my salvation and embracing the new season of life.

Let me give a quick intro to my family. I am married to my best friend of 20 years and we’ve got 4 teenage kids. A 19 year old son, a 17 year old daughter, a 16 year old son and a 14 year old daughter. We knew years ago that this time would come. Like an avalanche unable to be controlled, they’d be growing up, graduating and leaving all within a short period of time.

It’s like merciless crashing waves over my head that just relentlessly keep hitting and keep coming .

We are extraordinarily proud of these kids, they’ve grown to be mature, respectable young adults who respect authority, have a great work ethic and try to honor God with their lives. They’ve got bright futures ahead and I’ve got a nagging feeling in my heart that they aren’t going to live close by. Our oldest, pictured here, is off in 3 weeks to Australia for Bible college. To say that this has caused some heart ache is an understatement. To add to the party of releasing, our 17 year old daughter also will graduate 5 months after that and leave for college in August.

Time is racing ahead of me and is no respecter of my 
panicking feelings.

Life, as we know it, is basically done. 
The season is over and the abrupt halt of it is harsh.

I’d like to be very vulnerable in my raw honesty here because I feel like someone else needs to know about this process and how to make it through.

When the subject of my son going to Australia was brought up, it was a leading from God. We strongly believe this. Too many things aligning, prayers answered, and confirmations given to doubt it. However, when it first came up, my comment was “My son is not going to Australia without his mother coming along to help get him settled so I can see with my own eyes that he’s going to be ok”

Yea.... I said that.
Where, you ask, was my trust in God? Nowhere.... it was no where .
It was residing in my abilities alone.

Fast forward many months later, lots of bridges crossed and prayers answered. The moment where my claimed faith crashed into an unforeseen trial and I have to put on my big girl pants and decide to actually believe God. This is not a fun exercise in trust, by the way. It sounds poetic to say let go and let God, or leave it with the Lord etc.

It is not pretty. Lots of proverbial stomping of the feet, clenching fists, toddler style crying and pouts and finally choosing to surrender and accept that the God of the Bible, the God of the Universe, my Savior and Redeemer actually does sit on the throne.... and I do not.

My husband came to me and said he sensed God was leading us to not go with our son. Not only that, to choose to give that plane ticket money as an offering to the Lord, as an act of faith and trust that He will sustain and care for our son. (Any men reading this can understand the care and trepidation my husband had in bringing this up to me.)

Can you hear the whoosh of wind knocking out of my stomach?

This placed before me so many things to overcome in a short amount of time in order to be successful. 

~Do I choose to support my husband’s direction and leading? 
~Do I do this, but wait in expectation for God to give us the    money back as a blessing for obedience? 
~Do I give it with abandonment not expecting anything in return?
~Can I do this with a heart of gratitude for all that God has done to  restore our family? 
~Is it possible to get my heart and mind straight, remove the anger, indignation, sorrow and frustration and truly walk forward in obedience and faith in God?

Well, it has happened, and frankly all to God’s glory because this isn’t something I want, it is not a path I’d ever choose myself. He has worked nothing short of a miracle in my heart to bring me to a place of not only joyfully giving and overwhelmed with gratitude, but shreds of confidence in His ability to carry my child.

It grows little by little, this trust in Him.

It’s so crazy, I believe God for all the amazing miracles of the Bible, I believe and know personally and intimately how he transforms wretched, broken lives into something beautiful that glorifies Him.

Yet... when it comes to loosening the apron strings.... ALL the way to Australia...deep anguishing struggle ensues.

I have 3 weeks of precious time. We are choosing what we do wisely and with purpose. I am temporarily stuffing the sadness of not having my sweet boy’s face coming up the stairs, bleary eyed in the morning for breakfast and devotions. I am refusing to bawl yet for the things he will miss here at home, and for no more having his deep spiritual conversations and questions. I cannot mourn the longing for the fun we’ve had, silliness and laughter from him that has filled our house. The things that drove me crazy will be the things I miss most. I am stuffing the strangling fear of what- ifs. I am setting panic on the back burner for now.

Lord, help me get through this one day at a time. Drawing on Your never-ending strength alone to sustain my broken heart. I believe You have great things for my boy, and You are good....ALL of the time.

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