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.