I am so hit or miss on this blog. I would love to be more faithful about writing on it, but the truth of the matter is that my life is in a whirlwind state right now. School consumes most of the time and energy. Even if I am not working on school, my brain is thinking about what needs to be accomplished for this weeks assignments. Maybe things will slow do and I will do more writing soon. Who am I kidding anyway; it’s not like I have many who follow this. I would guess I could count those who read it on both my hands. Anyway, this morning, on my Sunday morning run, I ended up with something I thought deserved the attention to type and share. What is it about the Sunday morning run? It is usually so so so good and God really meets me there. I mean He meets me every morning, but on Sunday morning, He really meets me.
I have been being tormented by these nagging fears about my children. I went through the stupid, dangerous decision stage with the oldest one. She seems to have outgrown it and is making pretty tremendous strides toward responsible adulthood. I had to pray my way through that stage. Now it’s time for child number two to make the stupid decisions. I know that I really have no control and have to do the best I can and trust the God loves him more than I do. This time, I am plagued with doubt. I have the constant almost panic in my chest, “what if I am not doing something I need to do; what if he does something that leads to his death, or to something that will affect his record and won’t go away; what if he…..” This goes on and on. I pray for him and I know he is in God’s hands, but this panic seems to start small at my toes, then it grows and swells and if I don’t keep a handle on it, it can literally wash over me like a wave. It’s like the accuser sits on my shoulder and says, “you have messed up, you aren’t doing the right thing, there is something more you should be doing, you are depending too much that grace takes care of this.” I know that anxiety and control are things that I struggle with, so I don’t let it go unchecked. I start praying immediately. It just seems the last couple days have been relentless. The enemy has been whispering accusation, doubt and fear into me.
This morning it started as I hit the pavement and I started chatting with the Lord about it as I ran. Then the Spirit of God rose up in me and started answering all those accusation with truth.
“How can you depend too much on grace?” Really, seriously, what a ridiculous accusation to throw at me. Grace is all I have; grace is everything. I am not saying I throw up my hands and don’t do anything else with my son, but grace is EVERYTHING. Grace to endure, grace to rest, grace for wisdom, grace for mistakes, grace for my son, grace to trust, believe and pray. Grace is everything.
It was then I realized that I was going into battle. This has been a spiritual attack and the enemy is using his age-old strategy. In fact, the only strategy he has; the one he used in the garden. He comes and plants seeds of doubt in God’s goodness, His ability; he tries to separate us from God and get us to try to handle things independent of God, because he knows that the only way to get to us is to pry us away from dependence on God. If he can get us to step outside of the cleft of the rock where we are hidden in Christ then he has a chance to cause trouble.
Of course, I need God’s grace when it comes to raising my kids. I mean, really everyone does, but we really need it in deep measures. My husband and I are keenly aware of how desperately we need His grace. We don’t have great role models; we don’t know what we are doing. Most of the time we are like, “what now?” But by God’s grace, He knows that we are incapable and that we are flawed. He didn’t give us children so we could prove what great parents we are. He gave us children to drive us to our knees knowing we are flawed, we have no idea what we are doing and we desperately need Him. If it is up to us to raise God-fearing, productive members of society, things are truly and completely hopeless.
At this point, I started to re-realize why we put God’s word in our hearts. We put it there so that when the enemy comes at us with lies, we can remember the truth. It is the sword of the Spirit. It is the weapon we use to fight; it is an anchor to our soul. It tells us who God is, who we are and what the truth is. If you don’t have the truth planted in your heart you have to go look up the truth to fight with; it takes longer and the enemy has more time to whip you and torment you. The time to plant the truth in your heart is when times are good and easy, when you don’t need it to fight. If you intentionally plant the truth in your heart, it is automatic. The Holy Spirit can begin to remind you of the truth you know. He quickens your mind with the Word of truth. It is the roots that tie you to the Rock when the storms come at you.
He reminded me that my son’s days were written in God’s book before ever one of them was lived. He reminded me that my choices were fear or faith. Being anxious and fearful does not change my son’s behavior or make him any safer than walking in the faith that says I can trust God with my son b/c He loves him more than I do. He reminded me that He knew how this story ends and that He had, in fact, written that ending. He reminded me that I can’t see the details and that my “bubble” ideas about the life I want him to have is not an idea that has all the facts; God’s plan is good and brings Him glory. He reminded me that if my son is one of God’s chosen that he is already hidden in the cleft of the Rock with Jesus. No one can snatch God’s children from His hand. No matter what things may look like, God always has the last say. God has always been faithful. I have watched Him take care of me, provide for me, protect me, guide me and fight for me for the last 20 years and before that He was working, weaving, protecting, shifting, and preparing the way for me to be adopted into His family. He has protected me from so many things I thought I wanted and from things that should have killed, maimed, or seriously changed my life; then there are the things that I don’t even realize that He has protected me from.
Anyway, by the time I was done running, He had reminded me of all the truth that I knew and shut the mouth of the enemy. I had peace and the Lord, who is my warrior, had fought and won the battle against the accuser. My mind was prepared to win the battle because the truth was inside me; the Lord just had to quicken it to my mind.