Friday, January 15, 2016

The struggle as old as Eve

So I decided to write the Bible.  The whole Bible.  I figured the number of verses and chapters in the Bible and looked up some chronological plans.  I have been able to sit down six different times to write and I think it will take me longer than 5 years.  But I can still hope.

It is amazing how much you notice when you are copying word by word. I've noticed several things that I never have before.  So we get to Eve.  The first thing I noticed was that God made Adam self sustaining basically.  That struck me new.  He could do everything he needed to do... except a companion. A helper.  So God put Adam to sleep and made a woman out of a man.  I'm sure you've read the story a hundred times.

We get to the tree and the serpent. Eve takes the fruit and gives it to her husband who was standing there with her.  He was there the whole time? It doesn't say specifically, but it sounds like he was.  He took the fruit.  What was going through his mind? Was he remembering what God had said? Was he zoning out so that he didn't actually hear and pay attention to what Eve was saying and handing him...I can see that happening. Was he just afraid to stand up and say "no, God said no so we will not eat it."  Their eyes were not opened until Adam ate the fruit. I knew that. Adam being the head of the home, their sin didn't produce a consequence until he ate. So in a way, did he cover her sin? So deep.

They eat, they hide and God comes.  They know the sound of His steps.  Verse 9, God calls Adam, "Where are you?"  This is where it got crazy for me.  God called Adam, and the form of 'you' that God called was singular.  Meaning, God wasn't calling Eve.  I never noticed that before.  In verse 11 God continues to question Adam, not Eve.  Then Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.  But God called Adam out and questioned him first. He was responsible for his family and the sin that was in their home.  Crazy to think that if Adam said no that even though Eve would have eaten, the fall may not have happened... yet. What a huge responsibility!

As I sat and was writing these words my mind just swirls.  There are so many huge decisions that we are walking through right now.  Three years ago this week, Mike moved to Lehigh to live with my parents and work until our house was sold.  That was hard.  The months before that move he walked two other roads to see if God had doors open.  All I could do as his wife was wait... and pray desperately.  I wanted my husband to know what God had for him and I know that my calling is to primarily be in my home.  I knew that I was doing what God has called me to do so I know that Mike had to figure out what God has called him to do.  I think that is the first time I have ever let go of control completely in our marriage.  Months separated, states away at some points. But God showed up.  He led my husband.  It was a beautiful thing to watch how God unfolded the whole thing step by step, week by week and at the end, day by day God opened new doors after so long of waiting and praying.

Looking back on those things is the only thing that help me to hold on and to trust decisions that appear to be crazy. Exciting but crazy.  Risks that require huge faith.  As I struggle day by day with these decisions and questions that are constantly coming at me from the boys, the moment I ask Mike how he is dealing with it and if he is still sure I am able to tighten my drip to hold on longer.  My husband for the first time ever has been strong and without hesitation, sure of what God is calling him to do today, in this moment.  Trusting that God holds the future and no matter what happens in the end, that God has him.  Knowing that changes everything in me.  From doubt and fear to faith and hope.  Moments of fear still hit me, but I am fighting.

Trusting my husband is not something that has come automatically.  As I know any wife would say the same.  The last 13 years there have been many failures on each of our parts. We have learned so many things about each other.  I think that the most important thing is that we have learned that we each truly wish to do the best for the other.  His desire is to love me as Christ loves the Church and he really does strive for that in every way I can think.  Of course he struggles sometimes, but his desire is for my good.  Knowing that has caused me to trust him, he doesn't want us to fail any more than I do.  He wants us to be happy and in love and have children who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.  Knowing his heart is for me makes me want to serve him and to love him. It even makes me want to submit to him and his leadership in our home and even in my personal issues.  I know those things are hard to say and to read.  They are so foreign to our culture. But as I read about Eve and Adam, I can't help but wonder. The enemy went straight to her because he knew the plan of God, and he wanted to destroy it. Adam was supposed to have protected her and offered her help. God arranged it this way. 

In my marriage I want to follow the plan of God.  I don't want to be used by the enemy against my marriage, my family or my husband.  Writing this today is hard. Mike has made another huge decision and he has his foot out about to step off the ledge of what I know to be true. From what I can see with my eyes.  But my ways are not God's ways and my plans are not God's plans.  I am so thankful for a man who follows God and desires the best for me.  I know deeply how hard that is to find.  This man helps make me into the woman that God wants for me to be.  So profound, I can barely wrap my mind around it.

Father, take me and use me to bring glory to You in my marriage and in my family. Help me to always remember that You are the One who leads my husband as he seeks You. Thank you that You are my good Father. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

To take away their pain.

Going through difficult things, I always look to my boys. I want them to know I am always there. That I will do my best to protect them or to make sure that everything is going to be ok. Watching Josiah tonight make me realize how little control I have over things that make him sad. I remember being 12. It was the hardest time of my life. All about fitting in and meeting new people. He just sits waiting. I wanted to go sit with him, but would that make it worse? I was always the dorky one, the one who was different from everyone else. I want to make sure he is not that. I want to protect him from people making fun of him or leaving him out. I want him to not sit quietly missing his friends. Oh my heart breaks for my boy. I know they have to walk through these things on their own to make them stronger. But it feels harder than letting my toddler struggle to learn to walk. Why is it harder to let this one go? Is it because of the emotional pain being harder than physical pain? Or is it that it is a different kind of letting go, so they have to figure it out on their own? Or do I feel to blame for causing his pain because of our decisions? He has to deal with the consequences. 

I don't like it at all. Not because I don't trust him, I know he is able. He makes good choices, hard choices at times. He is brave. I am so proud of this almost man. I feel like the foundation has already been laid and all there is to do now is all the exterior, things that can easily be changed. He is who he is and not much can change that now. Have I done a good job? Have I shown him Jesus? Have I taught him how to make good decisions based on the gospel and love for other people. 

This is harder than teaching a baby to walk. I know how to do that all day. This boy is growing me up again. He has done so much to make me into the mother that I am. I am so proud to call him mine. My boy. Eldest of 7, my joy. 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Even while you weep, you are still doing it.

Most of my life, fear has been my motivator. Afraid of authority, afraid of being hurt by people, afraid of disappointing someone, afraid of punishment for messing up, afraid that I wouldn't have what I needed. It goes back as far as I can remember. There was a time in my childhood where I was filled with terror. From what I can remember about it, it was at night. I was afraid that demons were going to pull me down into hell. It also affected my days, my handwriting even changed. The Lord delivered me from that specific fear, but fear has always fought to torment me.

I battle it constantly. As I have begun to write and know that people have read my deep thoughts and struggles, I fight harder. What will they think now that they know. 

Today Mike was helping Malachi practice riding his new bike without training wheels. Malachi is just like me. Mike took him to the grass in the back yard to practice and in three tries or so Malachi was keeping balence and riding really well. He decided to take him to the road so it would be easier to pedal the bike.  As Mike started walking to the front Malachi began to protest. Mike told him to get on and off they went, he obeyed his father.

I was in the back yard and couldn't see or hear well but it sounded like Malachi had fallen because he was weeping. I walked to the front and he was still riding and Mike was still right beside him. The second time I jogged on the other side but he kept crying, the ugly cry, while he was riding. When he stopped I got eye level with him and tried to get him to tell me why he was crying. I asked if he had gotten hurt, if it was easier on the road or if he was afraid to fall. He admitted he was afraid. I told him that though he was afraid, he was stil doing it. He couldn't hear me over his fear. Mike was holding him by his shirt the whole time, if he had fallen he wouldn't have gone all the way down. As he rode I kept cheering, "You're doing it! You're doing it!!" But he was still weeping. When he stopped in the grass in our front yard he stopped crying and he jumped off and was so excited to finally realize he had done it on his own the whole time.  And was ready to go over and over again by himself. It was amazing to watch.  

As I was telling him over and over that he was doing it, watching him weep desperately in his fear, I saw myself. I wanted to tell him that I feel the same way. My fear has blinded my eyes to see the victories that I have in my life every day. So many victories. So many fears cover them. Fears of letting these boys down. Of failing them and not giving them the best of me and of things. Fear of others and opinions they have of me. I want this stronghold gone. I've heard it said that fear is the absence of trust. I have fear because I don't truly trust my Father to provide what I am needing, acceptance, physical provision, or someone who understands my struggle. These things only He can fill. Man could never fill any of them. I want this truth to soak deep down into my soul.

Oh his sweet little face with huge tears pedaling away but filled with terror. He was doing it. My Father sees me this way. Bawling my heart out and pedaling away, doing it the whole time.  Brave. He is there to catch me when I fall, I know I will. His Father heart is that I trust and obey.  Walk in faith and let go of the fear. To walk brave, because sometimes you just keep going and keep going even if you are afraid.