I sit here in the parking lot of Target waiting to go inside. I’m trying to breathe…to settle. Can I settle? Six months postpartum and everything is returning to normal including hormones. Suddenly my sacrifices seem overwhelming. My heart cries out in a tantrum wanting to be rewarded for all I’ve done for others. Is that too much to ask? Don’t I have the right? And as the tears stream down my face HE answers very softly, “No, you don’t. I am your right. I am your portion. I am your grace. I am your strength. I am your husband.” I want to beat against HIS chest and scream how it isn’t fair. I feel little. I feel as nothing I will ever do will be good enough. I feel failure and it feels heavy. I hear a song that breaks me down. I am reminded of Isaiah 54:5-6 “For your Maker is your husband – the LORD Almighty is his name – the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth. The LORD will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit…” And I realize HE – again – has met me right where I am at…even if it is in the parking lot of Target!
After a night of baking and hanging on by a thread, the kids snuggled all cozy in bed, I sit to feed the baby and journal. As I open to type a day pops out at me. I read and cry…again.
November 19, 2009
I prayed before sitting down to feed the baby. “Please…speak. I need to know what you want. I’m feeling irritable and harried.” Not so much in those exact words, but my heart spoke them. I’m learning to trust more and to pray before EVERYTHING for only in that small daily act comes wisdom through every source. He speaks where I am at. The laundry machine, the sink, the bedroom, the kitchen table, His word, and…yes…even the computer. I needed to hear Him speak right now.
As, sometimes I am apt to do when opening the Word, I moved my mouse around randomly, Vegas-style, until it clicked and opened this… and as I read the following called out to me:
“Let go of the failures. You see that child who did something you never thought a child of yours would do? You see that test score that is so not what you imagined? You see that house that doesn’t look at all like the one you envisioned? You see failure? I see grace. My grace is sufficient. My plan is perfect. I will take those apparent failures and in the broken emptiness, I will pour abundant grace. I will grow there. Not you.
Don’t listen to the sideline conversation about the excellent education at the topnotch private schools, the promises of intellectual rigor and growth in virtue. Don’t hear the women talking about all the good they are doing in the world outside their homes. Don’t even incline your ear towards the glowing reports of homeschooling success. Quit comparing. Take joy-genuine joy–in knowing that others are doing God’s good work. But don’t compete. And don’t compare. I want to see you improve and you will only improve if you fix your focus on me, not them.
Be prepared to set aside your plans. Oh, dear, I know you love those plans! They give you great pleasure, crafting them and sharing them and envisioning how they will come to life and bless your children. But be prepared– because life will happen. And your plans will be cast aside. I will force you to bend until you break. And into your brokenness, I will pour my grace. First though, you will have to be emptied and laid bare, without the crutch of your own design. My plans are bigger, better. My plans are for salvation.
Finally, know that you will be scorned. When you receive only reproaches and blame, when the world looks aghast at the work of your hands, if you can know that you have done my will, you will know peace. And you will know joy. Real joy. The kind that sustains you and lifts you and lights the darkness and warms the cold, tired emptiness. Do my will. Live for me. Do you trust me? Can you surrender? “
Thank you again, Elizabeth Foss for your ever-encouraging words! Oh How HE Loves Me! Why am I so like Israel…so quick to forget, so quick to turn to my own ways?