Thursday, April 30, 2009

an untroubled heart: Chapter Five: Family Matters

The authors words are in red

I apologize that this chapter is so late, it was a hard one for me.

I'll be honest when I first began chapter five it was difficult for me. In the first few sections as Micca speaks about building a strong family I couldn't help but once again visit the "what did I do wrong" pit. A pit that I have had to scrape, scratch, and fight my way out of.

How did my child, the child I prayed over, led to Christ, took to church, loved unconditionally....
This child, how Lord? How did he wander so far away? How did the ugly claws of the enemy get so deeply embedded into this boy?

My daughter came home from college last night. It is always such a fun time when she gets here. There is always so much to share. I revel in listening to her and the younger two boys swap stories of their friends and adventures in each of their respective lives. The love and affection they have for one another is genuine. (That is something I have prayed for, thank you Lord.)

 Somehow the conversation turned to years past when they were small. They spoke of favorite video's, Veggie Tales, the Mcgee and Me series. I laughed as they began singing familiar bible verses learned from a tape that put verses to music for children. Blake was racking his brain to remember the title of a video about some kids that were being chased by a bigfoot. I vaguely remember a christian series about a group of kids who were amateur detectives and I believe the bigfoot was someone in costume. Sadly my memory has failed me much to Blake's chagrin as he couldn't remember it either. I recalled a video we have of our oldest child singing bible songs as a three year old. Deep and Wide, Jesus Loves Me, This Little Light of Mine.......

That child is not here to share.

I loved reading of Micca and Pat putting God's word in the foundation of their house. We know there is such power in God's word what a wonderful way to begin a life in a new home. 

Micca writes " A mom's most precious treasure is her family.....I can't think of anything in this world that I love more or would fight for more than my family.... Yet, we're not alone.
Many influences in this world are also fighting for control of our families."

Yes there are. Unfortunately in my family a terrible influence came while I was unaware and snatched up my oldest child. As I read this chapter I was tempted to get into defensive posture. After all, I did everything right. I prayed, I taught, I took them to sunday school, we prayed as a family, had weekly devotions as a family, learning biblical principals. I have Christmas scrapbooks filled with pictures of the children gathered around the creche during advent as we tried to point them to the true meaning of the season. Each Easter was a joyous time. Easter baskets lovingly filled with wholesome praise music, bible stories and games. Easter services at church followed by fellowship with good christian friends.

Yet, as I look back I can see that I did indeed let my guard down as he grew up, in fear of being too strict, too overbearing I believe I gave too much freedom. It was harder as they grew. The age difference from the oldest to the youngest proved a difficult barrier to group learning. Activities crowded our schedules. There were signs I didn't want to see, nor did my husband. We thought he would grow out of it. Surely it is just a phase. 

Many of my close friends have encouraged me to not blame myself, "you are a good parent", "it was his choice" etc...
"Parents are not called to control their children. Controlling is a faulty method of parenting brought on by fear. You and I are to guard and guide our children by leaning on God as He, in turn guards and guides us in all wisdom."
Yes! It is when we step out of His daily presence that we can so easily fall into our own thinking, or victim of fear based parenting that usually does nothing more than drive them away.

God has been so good to me. Full of mercy and grace. He alone knows the depth of my heart. My desires, my failings. There is no fault, no blame. Only grace, forgiveness. My daily prayers now always include this "Oh Lord, please do not let this suffering be for naught, for Brett or for us".

While I can see the past mistakes more clearly, God has also been faithful to remind me of the foundation that was laid. The foundation that still stands. 
The truth is that Brett as a young man,walked away from the loving God he knew from an early age. But, just like the parable of the lost sheep Jesus went after him and has brought him home. 

I am sad that he is not with me here in my home but I rejoice that he is no longer lost! I know he is resting in the arms of his savior. 


Van said...

Tina, We give out children roots and then we give them wings. Your precious son made some bad choices. He KNEW the difference between right and wrong. You did it all well - I mean you taught him how to sing those Sunday School songs - what love, what a special gift you gave him. I am praying that his time in jail will parallel Joseph's. There are people everwhere who need to see and hear the gospel. May God give him confidence to speak up for Him and make a difference in the life of one person.

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Gail W. said...

"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it"
Proverbs 22:6

I have to remember it says "when he is old". God did not mention how far afield the child may go in the meantime. I cling to this verse as my daughter explores whether this faith thing is hers or mine. Blessings and God's mercy on our generation and on the one to come!

Carol said...

Tina, how I thought of you through this chapter. You are such a loving mother, and wife. I thought about the posts you shared where Brett says he looks forward now to raising his hands in praise, and how he calls you moma. He know that you love him so unconditionaly. I pray for you and him all the time.

God is using this time with Brett to prepare Him as a vessel, a vessel that will bring a message of hope to others who have walked the path, but didn't have the love a parent and didn't know the love of our all mighty Father. I've seen it with my Brett, people at church who knew him before he turned his life over, get excited to see the transformation God has done. Nothing we go through is lost on God and He can make beauty from ashes.

I also wanted to thank you for your encouragment in your comments. It's so true, I know my daughter shines Jesus, I'm told that over and over again. I believe God wants her in public school to spread His light. I pray she'll be a friend to someone like your friend was to you. I so needed that encouragement, I don't get it very often from those in the private school sector.

Lot's of love to you my friend.


Hey was the big foot costume maybe from Salty the Singing Songbook. Brinn had that tape as a hammy down from her cousin who's 18. There was a big foot chasing kids. Be careful little ears what you here. Or maybe it was a big ear. Sorry rambling here.