Last week, I posted on this blog about suffering, and shared that I felt that the words came directly from the Holy Spirit Himself. I have always been amazed at the way He works in my life. The Lord truly does goes before us, it is up to us to recognize it.
I’ve written previously about my relationship with my mother, or lack of relationship, most of it residing on my previous blog. I’ll summarize here; my mother and I have had a difficult relationship for years. She is an alcoholic, and has been in a relationship with an abusive man who threatened me with and my older boys with physical harm the last time we went to my mother’s house. Because of these and other reasons, we do not have a relationship. It is very difficult to live this way, because one never gets to old to want their mother’s love and approval. I have had to spend a LOT of time with God to let go of the feelings of unworthiness that come with having your mother emotionally abandon you because of her own demons. Over time, I have learned a lot about narcissism and I’ve spent countless hours in counseling. I love my mother, and it is very painful to be estranged from her, and not be able to mend the relationship.
There is beauty in it too, though. What the devil means for Harm, God uses it for good. Over time I found myself with love that I wanted to give, but had no where to place it, since I didn’t have access to my mother. The Lord used this painful place to show me how to love children who needed it. He opened my eyes to the hurting children in my own family and in the community around me. Because of the pain I was feeling, my husband and I started on the path to adoption. Now, we have 4 adopted children who require a lot of love, and who teach us more about love than we could ever learn another way.
So, back to last week. A few hours after I posted about how we are never alone in our suffering, my sister, (who lives next door) came over to tell me that our mother is coming to visit her in February for 9 days. Immediately I felt the rush of the old hurts, the ones that I keep in a box in the back of the closet. Those feelings of unworthiness, the feelings that if your own mother doesn’t love you, how could anyone else?, the feelings of fear, the feeling of abandonment…. It was like someone opened the floodgates. I was overcome.
God reminded me that just a few hours earlier He spoke to me in regards to this very thing that I didn’t know was coming, but He did.
God place angels around me in the forms of the people I love.
My oldest daughter reminded me how much she loves me and gave honor to my pain.
My husband reminded me that he knows me better than anyone else on this earth, even my mother and he loves and respects me. He reminded me of the work God does through our family, and the task we have been called to do in loving our children.
My dear friend and prayer partner reminded me that God is truly in control and that He is already working out the details on my behalf and I need not be afraid, but keep my head up and my eyes on Jesus. She reminded me that I answer to no man, but only to Him.
My oldest son reminded me that I don’t have to have it all figured out, and I can just follow what the Lord leads me to do. He reminded me about forgiveness, and how much I am forgiven, and that the Lord loves us all right where we are.
I don’t know where I would be without these and other people in my life, but that’s the beauty in the church. (I mean Christ’s church, not a building here). I don’t have to know. God has placed the people in my life, and spoken into them and through them to remind me that He has me here for such a time as this.
“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”- Deuteronomy 31:8 NIV
Fear comes when I don’t trust His goodness.
Fear comes when I take my eyes off of His plan.
Fear comes when I try to take control.
Fear comes when I operate in what I see in the physical, not what I know to be true in the spiritual realm.
Faith resides in the spiritual, that which I can not see, in the daily walking on the path He set before me, one step at a time.
When I trust in His goodness, I find peace.
Maybe you have something troubling you, too. Maybe you are being called to something bigger in your life, but you’re afraid to leave the comfort of where you are. Maybe you have brokenness that the Lord is asking you to deal with. Maybe you are ministering to a friend, or a child who is in distress in some way. Maybe your marriage is not where you want it, or your career isn’t where you want it, or you don’t know how you’re going to pay your next mortgage payment or rent payment. These are real problems here in the physical realm. Where we get tripped up is when we look only at the physical, and don’t take time to talk to the spiritual. We forget who we are. We let man say we are not enough, when the Lord is saying we are. We listen to the shouts instead of the still, small whisper in our soul.
Friend, if you find yourself relating to any of what I’ve said, know that I’m here for you, and happy to pray for or with you.
“The Lord himself goes before us”