Monday, March 21, 2016

Season of silence

I can't believe its been so long since I have posted last. As I reflect on these last 6-12 months of my life, I feel like God put me in a season of silence while he worked on my growth. It was a time of refining and struggle and revealing and the attempt at ceasing striving and trying to rest in His wisdom and peace. God worked in tough relationships and hard situations over the past year showing me more of my own sin and drawing me closer to him in a way I wouldn't choose.
Through parenting challenges, relationship struggles, challenging forgiveness, death and loss, I found a season where I didn't know what to say or do.  God showed me so many things about myself through wise counsel and repeated struggle.
One thing continually revealed was my striving.  I put in the actions and methods and check the boxes and then I wait for the results. If the results don't happen I feel like I have failed or the person on the other side has failed me. I realized I don't even really know how not to strive. I didn't grow up in a home that overtly taught striving, but I think the undertone of my understanding of life was to do my best, be the best, say the right things, be a good girl, behave, be a good friend, do great things for God. This gets exhausting and in the end my motives boil down to self reliance, performing, and fear of not having control. So God, in his strange mercy, reminded me again of my struggle and brought me to another layer in the process of healing. I don't think I'll ever be "cured" or overcome this completely, I instead think it is the thorn in my side reminding me of my need and dependence for him. It reminds me of my limitation and weakness, because only then I can find and rely on his power.
I have a sweet and wise counselor in my life who told me :
"The lie you are believing is that your 'doing' will ensure your kids future". 
Truth that hit me right at my core. I want a good future for my kids. Not the health and wealth stuff, but for them to be kind, make good decisions, have deep friendships, know and love Jesus, serve God with their talents, be in healthy, loving marriages.  But, that lie propels me to do more, read more to them, point them to Jesus, pray with and for them more, memorize more scripture together, discipline better, pour out more to my kids.  While these are all good things, I was striving and relying on my performance to ensure my kids knowing and loving Jesus. I was putting too much weight in my methods and then frustrated when I didn't get the results.  When they messed up, I felt like I had just not done enough to teach or prepare them. When they succeeded I had a brief feeling of victory before writing more things on the mom-to-do list to ensure even better choices in the future. Again, completely exhausting. I am all for pointing my kids to Jesus, yes, very much so, but my performing and striving is not the path to get them there. Jonah 2:9 says Salvation belongs to the Lord, but my actions sure said Salvation and a good future belong to my efforts. 
I've found it's an ebb and flow of striving and then realizing I'm doing it in my own strength and resting in Him, then back to my default of performing and then wearing out and realizing I need him to lead. I would hope after this many years it would be less of a rotation but none the less He reminds me I do need him EVERY minute of every day. I think our adoption and parenting kids from traumatic backgrounds only amplified and exposed this in me even more, but it had always been there from the start. 
Thanks to my friend Macon at @writtenontablets for my art!
So I guess all that to say, I'm glad to be back. I'm hopeful to not ever show I have it all together, or am a great mom or wife to be emulated, not the case. But that He Is Enough, Wise, sufficient, and an adventurer worth following. He has it all together so I don't have to. He holds salvation and a future in his hands so I don't have to. He is great and perfect and wise and I get to tuck into his side and claim all that in Him and not on my own. He definitely speaks to me as I pour out words on this screen and reminds me of who I am and who I am not, who I was created to be and what I was not made to carry, what I was created for and not a life of performance. I hope today you are reminded that you don't have to be it all, do it all, say it all, know it all, but that you have a savior who wants to hold you together as you lean into him and fall time and time again as you press forward in what and who He has called you to.