Thursday, August 23, 2012

"Mom...can you keep a secret?"

I find that I must brace myself most of the time when a conversation begins with, "Mom, can you keep a secret"? Of course Aubrey, what's on your mind?  "Well, sometimes I find that when I'm doing something fun...well, I forget about Jesus."

She told me this secret after she'd sang for me the song that she "wrote" about not fitting in with her family because she always seems to choose sin.  You know fit "in" and "sin" rhyme.  I'd planned on running to the bathroom to wash my face and put my pj's on when I walked by the girls' room and they were both lost in a stack of books (Aubrey in her Bible).  I went in just to check on them and tell them I'd be back in a few minutes to read with them when out came the bombshell.  

As I looked at her, with anxiety on her face, and wet eyes, I asked Adelynne if she'd go to the living room to give Aubrey and I a few minutes alone.  I sat down in front of her, looked in her face, and in that moment, I became extremely aware this little girl is just like me...and not necessarily in positive ways.  I battle, for a lack of a better term, demons, I fight the darkness of depression, I "think" way too much, and because of my many insecurities, I am a perfect target for satan.  She's 7 and she battles like I do.  Oh dear Lord.

I hurt, very deeply, in that moment that she would think, let alone say aloud, that she felt like she didn't fit in our family.  My precious, red headed first born, a girl I love more than I could have ever imagined ...oh how my heart hurt in that moment.

I shared with her how I very often feel like I don't really "fit" anywhere either.  I shared that Jesus, I can imagine, never felt like he fit either when he walked the earth.  If there is anyone who understands how it feels to not fit sweet girl, it's Jesus.  We talked about how God doesn't want us to be perfect because we then wouldn't have a need for him.  We talked about how God knew He would put her in our family long before she he knit her perfectly for Brandon and I...a piece of a 5-piece- puzzle that wouldn't be complete without her.

The last few weeks of getting our feet wet as a trio in a home school routine, has done a number on me emotionally.  I see now that I've been trying to do it on my own. I've been battling through, with some minimal results with Aubrey in the areas of attention and focus.  I've been feeling like maybe I'm not right for her, I can't seem to "make her tick" when it comes to school (primarily math).  Satan has definitely been using these times of insecurity to make me question God's conviction and calling, for both Brandon and I,  to home school.

As I was talking with Aubrey, crying with her, I realize that God was turning the mirror around for me to look at myself...The words I was using to encourage and reassure her, were the words the Lord was trying to speak to me. Spiritual warfare knows no prejudice.  Satan is using the bumps in the road to make me question God's purpose and plan for our family, and he's using Aubrey's tender heart who's struggling to chose right to question her fit within her family.

I grabbed her Bible and underlined for her Jeremiah 29:11-13

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart."

When you're done reading this, would you pray for this sweet girl...for peace within her heart, a heart that wants to do right but finds itself in a constant battle with will.  

Aubrey, He has a plan for you darling girl.  Be broken over your sin, as you are...don't let satan turn that into a lie.  His plan is a bright future with many blessings if you seek him with all your heart.  This doesn't mean perfection, rather imperfection held by his grace.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

When your strength runs out

About a month ago, our pastor asked Brandon and I if we would be willing to share our story about Nolan during a Sunday service.  He'd been going through Isaiah 40, preaching on what to do with suffering..."Looking Upward to go Onward."  As I checked the calendar to make sure we would be around that Sunday, I realized Brandon would still be in the Dominican Republic.  I prayed about it, and felt that the Lord must be orchestrating this opportunity, even though Brandon couldn't be present.  So, I agreed.

I am a very wordy and chatty person, but, being in front of a group is not my calling.  I'm much more comfortable hiding behind a computer screen;)  The thought of speaking in front of a congregation about something so personal and emotional was not something I took lightly.  It was way out of my comfort zone (especially since Brandon wasn't going to be there), and not something I ever hope to do again, but, I know that the Lord must have wanted me to do it.

It was an amazing and powerful sermon series, and I hope maybe those that are reading this will go back and listen to all of them.

A dear friend, Jason, who has early onset Parkinson's disease, also shared his testimony.   What an encouragement and inspiration from the Lord he is.  We're so grateful to call his family our friends.

This audio recording has Pastor Curt's brief message, our testimony, and then Jason's.  I promise you'll be blessed by these 2 amazing men.!/swx/pp/media_archives/110193/episode/32979?play=1