| ||Itty says to me this morning:|
"Mom! Your baby in you is just getting taller, and taller, and taller, and taller and now you look so funny out that way! I think our baby is going to have curls like Lakelyn, and blue eyes like me and the baby's head will be so tiny and with blue-ish hair..."
The tests have seemed far too many and my grade average well below average, if a passing grade at all. Passing grade meaning calm. Trusting. Patience. Love.
I was putting the boys to bed last night. Scott had had a rough time on the basketball court playing his dad and brothers. He was curled up under the blankets and I could hear sniffles. "Mom, would you pray for me. . ." he said.
Rubbing his back I began praying, kind of stumbling along feeling like I was about as needy as he spiritually. Because I am.
I could tell Scott was disappointed in himself. He can't understand why after "all these years" of his parents trying to train him and show him how to love his brothers and not get too competitive that he still struggles and they still can't play just a regular basketball game without nearly killing each other and letting heated emotions and words fly.
And I can't understand why after "all these years" I still let what others say or think control me more than God.
Scott and I, we're in the same boat, er um, basketball court really. As we grow in knowing God it seems the more we see where we need to grow. The growing pains hurt and it seems at times that instead of seeing fine growth from the pain, we only see more areas we must grow in and more pain that must be endured.
"God, we haven't arrived," I prayed, "We won't arrive down here on this earth because then we wouldn't need You. God, this sin, this stuff we're dealing with, it's to drive us to You, show us our great need. . ." My voice trailed off.
Sometimes when I pray for my children I feel like a hypocrite because I'm pretty sure I don't "get it" yet. I want to get it though.
"God help Scott and help me to not give up. Thank You for bringing out in the open where we need to grow because then we can come to You and hang on. Thank You that You will complete the work You have begun. . ."
I hang on to that - that truth. I have learned to thank God for the times my ugly flesh rears up. It's easier to just get depressed. But that's just pride.
Being a parent is so humbling.
Over the weekend I found myself wrestling with the whole issue of hearing from God. From January until present I have been seeking and asking God to reveal His will about a certain issue. As the months have come and gone, I've prayed over different options on the issue, combined with much research and reading, and it seemed that clarification and answers were coming and peace to head in a certain direction was present.
Then there was a road block. I began to fear what others thought.
Others' consciences on the issue weighed on my heart and I didn't want to disappoint. I was afraid that my spiritual immaturity might have kept me from hearing God correctly -- after all, how could I hear as well as say, someone who has lived longer and loved God more than I?
It was a huge attack. At one point I just about gave in.
"Okay," I said to my husband on the issue, "I give up. Everyone is too strong for me, it's obvious to me that I am less wise and mature and therefore I suppose I am the wrong one and I am the one who can't hear from God. . ."
I was willing to ignore months of praying, seeking, listening and hearing aside for the sake of what others thought was best.
I have a tendency to doubt my relationship with the Lord and it's simplicity when I compare myself to others who appear to have it so much more together spiritually than I. Not sure if that makes sense, and I know it's not right, but there - that's the blunt of it.
Ever take what someone else says/teaches/preaches/writes/believes on an issue because hearing from God yourself seems more difficult? Maybe afraid you don't know how to hear His voice and others seem like they do?
If we buy into this, we will not grow in our own relationship with God. We merely live out of someone else's relationship with God. That's not the real thing and it is empty.
The other night, I was awake way too late because my mind wouldn't turn off. It seemed the easy way would be to just take what others were saying or wanting, and to let go of everything I had thought God was saying to me. I was very tempted to just make people happy with me, with us, our decisions.
The enemy seemed to be yelling in my ear, "And who do you think you are to know God's will??? You can't hear God, others think you can't hear God - you aren't as spiritual as the rest and you can't know what He is saying."
A still small voice said, "I know you. I love you. I did lead. I did guide. I do speak to you. Keep coming. Keep following. Don't give in. Don't fear. Any decision made out of fear of either the result, or fear of what others think is the wrong decision. Where I lead doesn't always make sense. It might not even seem like the best option. But I can clearly direct you and your obedience is what matters."
I fell asleep in that embrace.
And yet even now as I write that the enemy blares, "You just imagine God's voice. It's not really Him. God's best is what other people say it is."
So I must take captive these thoughts as well.
Hearing God's voice would be a lot easier if His were the only voice heard.
Most of the time for most of us though, that's just not the way it is.
There are other voices - in fact, other voices can be much louder, more constant, seem wiser, better, maybe even as if it's God Himself.
It can be difficult to know His will and His direction when other voices are speaking, even if other voices are well meaning.
It's hard to live by and even know what your own conscience is saying when others' consciences are what you are hearing the loudest. God's voice seems to be drowned out and you begin to think God's voice is the loudest one speaking, when it's not.
I believe I find myself once again in the life long process of learning what it means to hear God's voice. I don't want to give up on going to Him and asking, waiting and listening.
I must fight the urge and impulse to just take what others think is right and follow their advice because that feels a lot better to do and is a lot less work. I must fight fear. Fear of what others will think, and fear that if I don't do what others think is right that somehow I will be punished, blamed, receive consequences or hardship.
The truth is, there will always be hardship. There might even be blame, and yes, there will always be consequences sometimes good and sometimes bad.
Sometimes following God leads directly towards hardship. But it's still His will and it's even good - the outcome will bring Him glory.
I am not ungrateful for these testings that have come my way. Can't say I'm jumping up and down rejoicing just yet, but I'm restful in them. This week, with new tests coming and the other tests behind - I see how God has used my inability to pass those tests with straight A's to draw me closer to Him and face my weaknesses head on.
God, thanks for not giving up on me even when I second guess Your voice. Thanks for the small voice that remains amidst the louder voices. Give me ears to hear it. God, give me freedom from fear. Don't let me give up and just give into to other voices.
I can't help but share the summery-ness of these photos and the wonderful memories they represent.
| ||Posted 6/20/2011 4:44 PM - 1714 Views - 36 eProps - 24 comments|
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