Crazy Undeserved Grace

Ever done something and replayed it over and over in your head?  Regrets, take-backs, wishing for a time machine all soon haunt your mind.  Ever watched something happen that you didn’t take part in, yet find yourselves grieved, heavy hearted, suffering from a pit in your stomach?

Well, I am sitting with a pit in my stomach and have fought tears every-time I have thought about this situation…

Awe, social media, the place were so many people love it because they can blast their feelings and commit to them 100%, but can safely hit the delete button if they soon find themselves regretting their words.

I love social media, I believe that it is a powerful tool, my views have changed, I have picked up causes and decided to act on them, connect with friends and yes get to share my blog.  But it is something that can be a tool that creates grief, fights, incessant comparison, shame and anger.  Those latter things I try to avoid and never want to be a part of.

A little over a year ago, my husband and I decided to get a joint account.  There were multiple reasons.  I stick to it, it was a great decision for us.  Rarely do I run into second thinking the choice we made.  When I have to scroll through his trapping sites and  see dead animals that might be the moment I have second thoughts.

Then yesterday happened.

Please as you read this, know without a doubt that I believe, support and stand by my husband.  He is the leader of our household. I look to him when difficult decisions have to be made, I submit to him.  I am blessed that he is who my son is growing up to be like, who my daughters will judge character or men against.  His views 80ish% of the time match mine.  We I guess deliver them in a different way.

A post was shared, I had saw it earlier in the day, scrolled past it and knew I would neither like it or share it.  Why? because  it made me uncomfortable, it made me sad, it made everything that I am learning about restoration and redemption seem impossible.  Little did I know that I was going to find that post shared from my timeline…yay joint account, love you hubby

The “oh crap!” heart race followed with “no!” soon flooded my heart

Do I agree with the intent of the post? Yes.  But I have found over time that I haven’t had to stand on my soap box to be heard.  That people as they spend time around me personally, read my blog, read posts or watch me from afar, already have a good idea on where I stand on issues that are controversial in our society.  “in the same way let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly father” Matthew 5:16.  I have been described religious, churchy, bible thumping and one with high morals.  Eh, I can live with those thank you very much.  My point is that I don’t have to stand on the mountains and shout out my opinions, because the majority of you know deep down, you have an idea of my views, because I do try and live my life in surrender to my Heavenly father.

The post was made, I won’t share it here, because it in all honesty grieves my heart. I don’t know how we as Christians are suppose to respond to it.

Do we error on the side of “natural” or “science”

Do we error on the side of “love the sinner NOT the sin”

I don’t know.  All that I am for sure certain of is that when I am wrapped up in sin, the last thing that will turn me running to Christ is a shaking finger at me.  Instead it is the gentleness of the holy spirit speaking, leading, correcting me as I see that God is disciplining me because he loves me as his child. “My child, don’t make light of the Lord’s discipline, and don’t give up when he corrects you.  For the Lord disciplines those WHO HE LOVES and he punishes each one he accepts as HIS CHILD” Hebrews 12:6

In this day and age we see bumper signs that say “COEXIST” with symbols representing all religious organizations.  We are told that we are to be tolerant, accept everyone regardless if their views are different then ours.

Christians feel “persecuted”,  believe that we have a taste of what the persecuted Christians faced after Jesus Christ made his accession to his heavenly home.  You know something?  We have NO clue what persecution is here in the US.  Do we get grouped into the crazy Westborough Baptist Church that spews hate? yes, sometimes.  Do we get lumped with adulterous lying Christian figures that fall flat on their face after their secret is let out of the bag, leaving their famous massive family in the cross hairs.  Yes, sometimes.  Do we fear for our lives daily, running from town to town for our beliefs? No.

I will say that it is a delicate time in society for us Christians.  We, if we are living lives dedicated to “going into the world and preaching the Good News” then we desire to share this amazing thing we ourselves have experience: crazy, undeserved Grace

My heart as a mommy wants to weep when I hear the argument of “natural”.  Why?  Because for some crazy reason, I waited while I grew a child that came through a natural process and was born with a genetic disease.  Her conception, birth, disease and life are all “natural”.  Yet I could tell you that the thing she wishes more then anything, is that God hadn’t made her with CF.  She recently told me that she can’t wait to go to heaven, so she doesn’t have to do  her vest or take meds anymore.  What 5 yr old child longs for heaven?  She is carrying something she wishes she didn’t have.

Natural is a defense that I struggle with.

I have friends and know people who are living the lifestyle this post was opposing.  I actually know someone who lived the lifestyle for many years and after finding the TRUTH realized they couldn’t any longer.  They wished they were never born with the desire to live in their past lifestyle.  Where they miraculously healed from their life of sin? No, but they have and still surrender and ask God to help them when they feel the old sin rising up trying  to shackle them. 

To my fellow Christians out there.  Can I ask you to do something with me?  Will you start stepping back and thinking about the woman in John 8:7?  Will you fight the urge to promote our Christlike views to a level of self-righteousness? God wants us to be his ambassadors (2 corinthians 5:20).  Are we being asked to quiet our views and accept and promote the worlds? Yes.  The world gets to declare their views and we are to accept them, but they refuse to accept ours. Is it right? No.  Yet I believe God is still going to get his glory.  I believe as more of us get to a point of seeing sin and not allowing our self-righteousness to win, but instead see sin and our hearts are literally broken for the sinner, THAT is when a revival, a movement of our faith will sweep across the nation.  Isn’t that what we want?  Don’t we want to witness the day when “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess He is Lord”?  It can only happen if we ask God to show us how to love the sinner without elevating ourselves.

I am not perfect, I don’t know how to love the sinner.  But the few times that God has placed someone wrapped in sin at my door, through the power of God’s grace he has given me his Spirit to reach the person.  I don’t have the answers to this topic, I don’t know the proved and tried way, I only know that God will show me and you how to bridge it.

To my friends, acquittances or strangers that were offended by this post.  I am sorry.  I am sorry that my views and my husband’s views evoke those feelings within you.  I can’t and won’t change my views, it’s a conviction deep within my soul.  Yes, my husband and I both share this view, but if I had had the chance to sit with you, share it personally, with my bible, with my transparency I would have.  I would have told you my redemption story.  I know that if you were offended, that there probably is little to say to you to make it better, since we will most likely disagree.  Will I give up hope that you might see why God says this is a sin? No.  But I can promise I won’t sling the sin at you.

At the end of the day, my heart is heavy as a momma, who sees her child living a life she didn’t get to choose.  Yes, there is a mom out there wondering why their child is living this life.  There are family members who love their child, sister, brother, ex husband or wife wrapped up in this lifestyle.  My heart is heavy for the modern day Christian who loves the Lord God with all their heart but feels as though everything that matters in our lives is put on trial and has to be stepped on so that other’s world views can be elevated, remember John 15:18-20.  My heart is heavy for the person who is living this lifestyle, that saw the words that pierced their hearts and brought anger or shame.  To you, the person that got offended will you please know that what was shared is something that I support, but wish that it was said differently.  But that is only because I try and live my life using the Word of God.  BTW that very book has labeled me a sinner too.  I have lied, cheated, gossiped, judged, not kept the sabbath holy, had other gods before him, caused dissension, had unwholesome thoughts and promoted myself to a place of elevation.

You know how I wake up everyday?  Thankful that his mercies are new, that his grace is sufficient for me and that I am a child of God.  I wake up knowing that my Redeemer lives.  I wake up knowing that the shackles of sin are broken because I have a victor fighting to keep me spotless until the day I stand and meet him face to face.  Guess what, he is your victor too.

“He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant.  This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit.   The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life” 2 Corinthians 3:6

His Relentless Love

Some how the school year is upon us, am I right?!?  The last few weeks I have seen FB flooded with happy, stressed, ecstatic and nervous parents posting pics of their little ones entering an environment that takes them out of their safe little bubbles at home.

I am embracing this season.  I don’t know how I was able to sleep the night before school.  Here I was getting ready to send out into the world 3 little souls that have chipped away at this stubborn soul.  The day before school I was found gathering the remnants left over from all the other well-prepared parents down the isle of the school supplies at Wal-mart.  Personally, I kind of liked the way it turned out, less options means less time having your child agonize over things.  We packed their back-packs that night, unable to fit all the required things on the school supply list and went to bed.  BTW those school supply lists can be a little crazy?  Right?  I was torn at some of the required things, but the things like soap, germx, tissues, lysol wipes, etc…you had better believe that my kid’s were sent with more then the recommendation. 

So far school has been going on for 3 weeks and we finally have a system down.  It requires for both Richard and I to do our parts and I can say as each day passes we become like a well oil machine, rather then the frantic parents standing outside our porch, laying hands over our babies as we had just a few minutes to spare and say a prayer before school started.  That first morning there might  have been a few mumbles from the parents about the difficulty of getting 3 kids moving early in the day, but we quickly got over it. 
 Unlike last year, I wasn’t plagued with the debilitating fear that I had in regards to Ezzy.  Even though we did end up having to readjust all the the end of the school year events and spring gala for ballet thanks to Ezzy’s unexpected hospitalization.  I wasn’t walking with fear hanging over my head.  Was it thanks to the fact that with each battle we get a little stronger? Maybe.  Was it thanks to the fact that God was giving me peace, meeting my need before I was running to him and begging him for it?  Um, yes…

This is my season right now.  I am watching God unfold his relentless love for me, thanks to my amazing Bible study group.  I say relentless because he is pursuing me and meeting me and providing in ways that show me that he knows my needs, my heart and how to reach me, before I find myself needing to go to him, Amen!

It is crazy to have a steadfast faith right now with my “fragile” child and yet I do.  I was informed that so many extra measures, that we didn’t ask for in her 504 plan are being taken and in-acted with a seriousness that leaves people doing it with care and not frustration.  I have parents changing party locations to CF friendly places, sending out request to not bring sick kids, because they want Ezzy to be able to attend.  I have parents texting me when they see their child under the weather, so we can decide if it is worth the risk.  
Today was the icing on the cake.  It was a normal school morning.  Having to ask each child atleast 5x to do something, grumbles about the breakfast menu, discussions on the attire selected by said children, threatening punishments for the obnoxious older brother and a snuggly baby that just wanted momma…

I always hug Ezzy when I drop her off.  Not just because her arms fling wide open and she has the biggest smile on her face, but because my soul needs it.  I need her to go with the affirmation that I will hold her tight, tell her I love her and say “have a great day baby”.  I need to claim joy for us parting, joy for her growing up, joy for her living and thriving outside of my care and joy for the road we are on.

When we hug, I breathe her in.  I squeeze her just enough where she has to exhale all her air and tap me out in a sense.  Why?  Because I need her to know that I want her safe in my arms, but that I trust God enough to hold her close and choose to daily let go let him do his job.

Well back to today, sorry for my tangent.  Today we parted, said goodbye and I watched her run to her line like every morning.  My super competitive child craves to be first in line, will settle for second or third, but won’t be happy about it.  Well, first was taken so she bolted for second before anyone else claimed it.  Right when she was less then 5 ft away the child in front let out a horrendous cough.  All the air around me sucked in tight and I froze.  She froze.  Our minds flooded with thoughts, our feet stayed grounded.  My heart said run, move her away.  My feet stayed.  Then that sweet brave little face turned, looked up the hill and yelled “mom!”  She quickly motioned to me through hand gestures that the child was coughing.  I motioned to move to the end of the line.  Her shoulders sank, she turned, head hanging a little low and found her despised spot in line.  When she looked up she didn’t see her momma with tears on her face thank the Lord, but saw my thumbs up and a big smile to reassure her bravery.  Her head lifted, she nodded and gave me a thumbs up back.

Folks, this morning sucked in less then 1 minute.  But in less then 5 minutes God was already taking care of the unexpected.  He has proven to us that He created her to handle this journey with his help, she will never walk it alone.  But as we learn to let go, loosen the reigns we get a chance to see that he is creating in her a spirit that is strong, courageous, not timid.  Even though she may have cried at every shot she had to get for school, she met it with more strength then most children. 
 I have been met by a few tender hearts that have asked me with a perplexed look on their faces of “how is ezzy?”  “she is in school right?” “how are you?” “we haven’t read anything lately”.  I think that last year my mental state of school might of prepped people for another unstable momma.

Ezzy is in full-time school, away from me all day.  Its strange, its crazy how much peace I have and how the moments are filled with God’s relentless love for me as I continue to trust that He will take care of her.  I will say that with hearing the coughing child and knowing the kids are starting to drop like flies in her class that I am getting nervous.  I am not scared, just nervous, not ready to see a sick Ezzy again after her last bout of sickness.  So I am asking that all of you who love to pray for this special child, that you will amp up your prayers.  Ask that God will keep her from harm, she will continue to advocate for herself and that she will be seen as a gift to all the people who are going above and beyond to care for her at school.  I will leave you with this prescious picture of her brother holding her close as he escorts her safely across the street. Is not the pure joy on her face infections?