I was constantly measuring my value and worth by how my wife treated me or how my kids respected me. Of course this led to insecurity on my part (usually couched in self-pity) and frustration with the ones I loved most. My behavior was actually sabotaging the very thing I longed for—to protect and provide for my family.
It was risky. It was scary. It went against everything each of us is in the natural. It was God-orchestrated. It was the culmination of years of small steps forward, trust in my husband’s heart towards me, my heart towards him and God’s heart for us.
When my daughter got pregnant out of wedlock, I could not give thanks for the situation with integrity. In fact, there was a lot of grieving I had to do. However, even in the middle of my grief, there were many things for which I could give thanks.
As she was opening herself up to the depths of love and family, she began to surrender her whole self… and bask in her new identity… and the new pictures began to replace the older ones. I’ve never seen a more perfect picture of surrender.
Looking back over my life, I can’t think of one regret when I let things go and decided to stay present in a moment, savoring this season of my girls playing in the backyard, our neighbors sharing their stories, or sitting with my family as we reminisce on our own childhood moments. On the contrary, some of my biggest regret is related to my fear of presence… more-so the avoidance of pain.
I knew I wasn't watching this from the audience but I was in the performance myself. I was in the larger story, present to God, the earth, all free in it. But also, maybe in degrees more than yesterday, present to myself.
I felt significance in knowing that his heart was impacted by mine. This is what authentic community can do: create connection and, through it, spur one another on to love and good works.
I knew where the battle for my heart was going before I began. I saw the changes in my sister. I saw my friends’ head shakes of sentiments too deep to express. I knew the stories of men shedding armor or putting it on. I heard of the breaking of generational sin. So, I knew something about this experience was going to be extra deep and complex. But I was entering into the Battle for the Heart with a secret...
I found myself asking a lot of questions, but mostly my question was WHY? Why us? Why again? Why did she do it? Why did God let it? Why, why, why?
I had really kind of given up on ever using a gift I believed that I was given many years ago. Perhaps this story will help you see that God is not bound by tradition or denomination, but freely gives gifts and freely directs the use of those gifts for His church, the body of Christ.