Tag Archives: love

There is love

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There is love

I read today of another school shooting. God what is happening? My heart breaks. The next headline is about some sick, twisted people who abused their children under the cover of homeschooling. These people aren’t home educators they are predators and need to be put down! I look down at my leg .After my last surgery, it has not been right. It’s numb from my hip on down to the tips of my toes. That wouldn’t be so bad except for the extreme nerve pain. I wake up and go to bed to it. (If I sleep at all.)  A friend calls me sobbing. Her heart is broken. I don’t even know if I have any answers. I listen, my heart aches, we end our call. Where is there any good in all this mess? Has goodness fled the earth?

God how do I help the hurting when I’m hurting too?

I go  to grab a cup of coffee. I look at the words I wrote some time ago on my chalkboard cupboard, “ You will never lighten any load until you feel the pressure in your own soul“. Ravi Zacharias

That’s it.

I know suffering, I know heartache. I know what it feels like to not be able to make your child safe.  Watching my daughter have a Tonic Clonic seizure and sobbing helplessly while my husband performs CPR. That was helplessness. Asking God for the last 10 years to heal my pain and get me out of homeschooling. (Yep, that was my prayer) Watching my son be bullied and ridiculed by the very people who were supposed to be leaders. Watching him struggle with dyslexia and crying alongside his young mind. Feel the pressure in my own soul.

I don’t have the answer to pointless wars and murders, to twisted people who we call “parents” that abuse the innocent, to broken wills to live or pain, but I do know that I can enter into the grief of the hurting and I can feel the pressure. I can show up and speak up. There still is goodness on this earth.

I saw it the day my daughter had a seizure and a family took care of the rest of my children. I saw it when my friend called me out of the blue when I was suffering unimaginable pain and trying to cope. I saw it in the encouragement of a Youth Pastor who has allowed my son to believe that people actually care and want his best . I saw it the day I woke up and just couldn’t anymore. I had to take one of my sons to the Orthodontist and my leg hurt. Waking up to the same pain ,taking the same meds, waiting for the tick, tick of the clock so the pain eases a bit. I sat there thinking, “God I just want to hear from you.” I got in our van and drove 30 mins. to the appointment. This particular son is quiet (like annoyingly quiet) so I put the radio on. Part of the words were about Jesus calling us. https://youtu.be/rYQ5yXCc_CA I sighed and wished He would. Call that is. I was in quite the mood by the time we walked in the office. I plastered on my fake smile said, “Hi” and sat down. The TV was on and Kathy Lee Gifford was singing some song about letting Jesus be seen in me. The receptionist starting talking to me so I shifted my eyes to her. She asked me how my back was.( I’ve been coming here for years and they know me well. I probably pay her salary. LOL) She walked back to her desk and had a book in her hand. She said, “Barb this book is about my faith.” I looked down at the book then at her. She said, “I just want you to know that God is with you and He cares”. I really couldn’t speak. I’m not the kind of person to cry in front of others. She told me to look at the date in the book because it seemed to be exactly what I needed. I didn’t need anything else from the book. The front of the book was written Jesus Calling. I knew I had just been called by God through an amazing women I didn’t even know was a Christian. When I got into the van I started to sob. My son said with big eyes,” Mom what’s wrong?” So I told him and we both drove home pretty amazed by the kindness of a receptionist.

God has been with me in all this pain. I don’t know if I can say Thank you God for this suffering. It’s been 10 years and I’m just going to be honest. It’s not easy. But I do know if God can’t make it better, I just want Him to make it count. Everyday.

I have always wanted to make a difference in this world. I knelt down in a soda machine room in Bible college and told the Lord he could have my life and do whatever he wanted with it. I pledged to die if need be. I don’t think when we pledge our lives we know what we are saying. Was I willing to give up my independence? Was I willing to suffer, not die, but truly suffer for God? What if He had told me,  “Barb I’m going to pull on your nerve for 10 years to the end of your life. Will you still serve me?” Well that’s a hard answer. I’m no different then Peter. “I’ll die for you Lord but, Um, could you please stop pulling on my nerve.” How about Jobs wife? I always feel she gets a bad rap. I mean she lost those SAME 10 children. She lost everything too. Now she’s watching her husband suffer. Maybe she just wanted his suffering to end. Not that she was a wicked woman. She was clearly not in her right mind,” you speak as one of the foolish woman”. So before she wasn’t foolish. Maybe she was just broken? I have been there. I have been so broken in pain and grief that I have asked God to just take me home or cut my leg off, either will work.

So is God so mean He would cause my suffering? No, I don’t actually blame God. I blame Agent Orange and another senseless war. My sister and brother have terrible backs. My father was in Vietnam and was in an area of high concentration of Agent Orange( Who on earth ever thought that was a good idea???) My Dad has had 9 back surgeries . That is not a coincidence. But please continue to put it in our food. Stellar idea. So mankind is evil. Not everything is God’s fault. He has been here in this pain and is completely capable of healing me. Should I shake my fist and say ” If thou art the Christ get off that cross or Heal me” . Either way it’s the same thing. We all want free will but when we get it ,we don’t like the results.

I am not like you anymore. I have been given a glimpse of what entering into means. Sometimes I wish I could make you see. When you carelessly comment about someone’s pain medication, when you think someone should just get over whatever hardship is in their past, when you carelessly tell an abuse victim to just forgive the abuser, when you stand before people and tell them to trust God yet you know nothing of suffering, when you brag about helping people( really?) ,when you tell someone” let me know if there is anything I can do”. ( please), when you say to a chronically ill person” God is good all the time” and they are living on pain pills wondering where God is. Friends enter into their suffering. Feel the pressure. Clichés and idioms don’t help. Be there for the long haul. Don’t be a fair weather friend . Some people’s storms never blow away( only their friends do)  . It’s easy to say I’ll pray for you, but will you be there for the long haul?

Part of homeschooling for me is teaching my kids we are not here to serve ourselves. I don’t always excel at this. I sometimes have to pull myself out of a massive pity party to show them service. This world needs love. This world needs hope. This world needs people who feel the pressure in their own soul and lift burdens. Be there. Give hope. Show the world there is still love. I sometimes pity you. I have an insight you will never have, yet I have a pain you will never want.

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”

Fred Rogers

If you can’t make it better God, Please make it count.

 

Hannah Forgotten

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Can you imagine it? Dropping off your young child at the Prophets house. I mean this is the child you cuddled, held at night when his cries pierced the silence. This is the child you nursed at your bosom, and  the child that made you feel whole again. For this child you prayed. All the hope wrapped up in this boy. So much potential. Watching him grow, listening to his giggles full of life. The running, happy son, so full of life.

Woman-Praying

I think it’s probably the hardest scenario for me to read. How did she do it? She must have been some woman. I think I’d never stop the ache, the longing for sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. How do you ever get over it?

Friends we have forgotten about Hannah.

I remember when My first son was born. I told the Lord that He had all of me and I promised I’d give my son to Him. Somewhere along the way I forgot about the job God gave to me. My kids do not belong to me. God gave me a job to do for a little while. I should be working myself out of a job. 

But God I have to protect my kids, I have to micromanage their lives, and at all costs I need to make sure the family unit is together, no one breaks the family, it is first.

I don’t really think like this, but that’s what has happened. I mean I teach my kids about this Living Savior and I trust Him with my salvation, but then I become fearful. If I really believed what I say I do, wouldn’t Christ be sufficient? Why do I, you,we grab on for dear life and don’t let go?

Recently in a Home school group the discussion of the infamous Duggar scandal created like 43 different posts with a zillion comments and opinions back and forth. OBVIOUSLY if you read my blog at all, I am not in favor of the perpetrator . How can I? Anyway I was kind of appalled at the Christians saying what Josh Duggar did was “just a mistake“, “teenage Curiosity”, and “no big deal”.  I thought Lord don’t you say,

But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.

James 1:14temptation-apple-and-snake

I just shook my head. Then I just thought, “but that can’t be it. Is there more?”

I think there is.

I think we have made our children our idols. (I know inflammatory words in the home school community)  What if we have forgotten Hannah? I mean I think what those moms were getting so defensive about was the fact that he could have been their son. They could be suffering public humiliation. They could have been the ones to decide if they should call the police and put their Dear son in prison, thus ruining his life and the image of their family. I totally get it. I have four children and I cried almost every night after my daughter told me she did not feel safe while having seizures. I mean what an awful feeling for a 6-year-old to say. How could I help her?

The only problem is we don’t get to decide what constitutes justice. If someone breaks the law in a way that harms another human being, then for the sake of others in society we should definitely go to drastic measures. That might mean you feel like a traitor and turn in that boy who once gave you sticky kisses and soul melting hugs. The boy whose first smile lit up your world. I don’t think that is easy. I think it is the most devastating choice a Mom or Dad could make. How do you turn in your own flesh and blood?

I don’t know.

I do know what it feels like to have the same reoccurring nightmare of a two-legged panther, who steals you away. I scream and scream. The back light collects moths and night insects. My brother has his tackle box on the picnic table, he can’t hear me. My neighbor is in his yard and my voice is gone unheard. I’m so scared because he’s heading for the basement. I know what that means and I claw at him I scream and scream and wake up thanking God that this time it’s not for real. I know what it’s like to have to shower after a family campfire because the smell makes my heart race reminding me of a 16 year old I’d rather forget.. I know what it feels like to not trust people, to know when that “spidey sense” goes off and you stay away from certain individuals. I have extra special warning system for abusers. I know what it’s like to have my husband morph into a monster after spending the best day in the world with him. I know what it’s like to be on the other end.

So what of Hannah? Do we trust that what we taught our kids will keep them? Do we give our kids to God and say no matter what I will do right, or do we decide based on appearances  embarrassment to the family, and the fear of losing our children?

How can we  say we are called to a” higher standard”  then forget the suffering and hurting. How can we make excuses for sinful behavior?

Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.

Proverbs 20:11

How can we sit in sermons and hear how our children belong to God and,  “AMEN!” when Hannah prays to give the child to God, then when God asks us to do the same, we( bow at our man-made idols) keep our children to ourselves out of fear?( I realize at this point you may be saying” There is nothing wrong with protecting my kids from the world”,. or There is nothing wrong with defending my kids). No there is not, but we have long since left the protecting from the world and created a very introverted lifestyle. It is no longer about reaching this world, it is about keeping our little world.It is about how many children we have and the image we want to keep. It is all about us.We think love is holding on, but really that is not love. It is fear.

The two are not compatible. Perfect love casts out fear. We live as if what God says He does not mean. We are so afraid one day with Grandparents ,who have different standards, will poison our kids. (Forgetting that our parents once raised us, deserve to be respected and a part of our children’s lives), We think that going to church instead of sticking to a schedule, a nap routine, will hinder our kids for life( Forgetting the Bible says not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together). We think that going to the church fellowship ONCE a month and eating with the church family will forever shatter our kids healthy eating.( Forgetting that their are hurting souls who just might need us there).We are so fearful for our children that we won’t even allow the other children in church or neighborhood to play with them, thinking they will be corrupted(Forgetting that we are to be light to the world and maybe they need to see and know your family to see a real Christian home) When did it become about us and ours. Whatever happened to them and theirs? 

I can think of no better thing then for my son to hear the voice of God.This is what Hannah paved the way for when she gave up Samuel.

I mean I definitely have failed my kids. Who REALLY does their best? We ALL could do more. I know that when my kids talk to their friends about Christ, invite friends to church, when they come to me with their failings and we get it right, when my kids are mad about what makes God mad, it makes me think of the day I gave them to God. I think of the hard moment of opening my hands and saying” here God, they are yours”. It’s kind of the defining moment when you realize you can do everything right and they STILL could choose to go a different way, maybe even a way that goes against God.

Let’s give our children an authentic life, built on love and not fear. Teaching them to do what’s best for those who are suffering, for the lost and dying world, for the child who does not know unconditional love, who never had a dad, who wants more than anything to have a real home. This world needs us so bad. Please remember, “you are not your own, you are bought with a price. Therefore glorify God..”.. Glorify God in your home, but don’t make your home your idol.

For this child I prayed and well for this child, I. Let. Go. 

hand butterfly

Don’t forget Hannah.

Just as I am.

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We all sat around the table drinking coffee, sharing in holiday goodies and chatted.I listened to an all too familiar story. I can see his face, feel his shame. I’m so stupid.( I want to go back, go back andtell him. You are not stupid.You are created with a wonderful gift. You do not have a learning disability. You have a reading and spelling disability.Jesus does not care if you read the Bible out loud. Find your gift. Excel in it.) That’s what he knows though. That’s what they have told him. No-one spoke it. They did not say it out-loud. No words are needed. He sat in class. He had to read out loud. Because of course what would happen if he just sat there and listened ? I mean we are the church, we could not possibly come along side the struggling and help them. Do we see the need and stop the shame or enforce our control and insist, no demand perfect obedience? Because we all know every child is disobedient who does not want to participate, right?Did they consider how he would feel reading in front of his peers? Now it’s too late. The damage done. Facing them is worse than reading. Now his parents take the hit. ” Why is Dyslexia so strong in our family? We had him come out of that class. He was so embarrassed.” I brushed away the tear and shook my head. “I am so sorry. This happened to us too.“I sure wish I had the answer to that one. I know it’s hereditary, but really? To watch certain children struggle is so hard. . We didn’t know that it would affect all areas of life. People are so ignorant. Dyslexia is real. I will always fight for my kids. I will always teach my kids to also endure hardness. People will be ignorant and I can’t help the way they respond. I honestly don’t need my kids to be under the influence of controlling, ignorant individuals. I’ve taught my son it’s never going away. Allow them their ignorance. Be better. Love better. Rise above them.I think back on our struggles and I watch my son ,just when I want to give up on people (and I think some people should spend a little more time trying to use Google) an older fellow comes over to my son at church. He puts his arm around him and says, “I wanted you to know I’ve missed you.” He smiles. Someone misses him. (and that’s all he needs to know.) That’s all it takes. There is no shame in Dyslexia. Only shame in Church leaders who can’t see past their pride in taking in the least of these. eeyore http: