• Broken Fathers.

    Broken Fathers.

    I’ve written several blogs about my son and our journey as parents in dealing with the trauma he has dealt with in his sweet little 8 years of life.

    It isn’t easy on any of us. A couple weeks ago we celebrated my brother in law’s birthday, but also visited my mother in law’s gravesite. It was the one year anniversary of her passing from cancer. This is a pretty accurate picture of the sort of emotional rollercoaster ride my son has been on his entire life.

    In one of my previous blogs I told you guys about his “big sad” and how he is just now starting to process the loss of the relationship with his biological dad. It’s been tough for sure but I am thankful to God, because He has not left us through this difficult journey. He is guiding us as parents and He has his steady hand on Elijah without a doubt. I know this because of how the conversation went on our way home from the birthday celebration and gravesite visit.

    We have tried talking about our “big sad” earlier on in the day to try and prevent nighttime sadness before bed. We got in the car and quite frankly he just started crying and said, “I’m sad about my daddy and I want to talk about him.”  So, we did.
    E- “Can you tell me some good things about my daddy again? Like, what do you think he’s doing tonight? Right now?”

    Me- “I am not sure buddy, what did your dad do at night when you were with him?”

    E- “Usually watch tv, or be on his phone in his room. I usually played by myself in my room.”

    Me- “Well, didn’t your dad make music a lot on his computer? I bet that’s what he’s doing. You enjoyed listening to the music he made didn’t you? So that’s a good thing you can think about.”

    E- “Yeah, he did make music a lot. But I always got in trouble if I got around his computer… like that one time when I accidentally touched it and he hit me in the head.”

    My heart began to break as I could hear his voice begin to shake and see the tears roll down his face…

    E- “I also don’t really think my daddy misses me. I wish he would miss me. He probably doesn’t though because he didn’t really spend time with me when I went to his house…”

    Me- “Well honey, your daddy didn’t have a very good example of how to be a good daddy…”
    I could hear his tears begin to flow stronger and the pain in his crying…
    Me- “He actually had a very good example of how to be a very bad daddy. Your dad now has a great dad. He had David to show him how to be a dad right? 

    E- “Yeah…”

    Me- “And I had mimi to show me how to be a good mom. But your daddy, his daddy was very very mean to him when he was growing up. He didn’t have a good daddy and really, he never knew what it was like to really live as a family either.”

    Now it was shattering…

    I proceeded to share some stories with him

    (age appropriate) about his biological dad’s childhood and his history in the foster care system and how broken and sad his entire childhood was. I told him how a lot of times in life we don’t understand why people decide to do things or choose the path they choose. I told him I don’t understand why his dad is the way that he is or has done the things that he has done, but I do know that he has a broken past and has dealt with some “big sad’s” in his life too. I told him that I understand how sad this is for him and that I hated that he was dealing with this.

    But I knew I had to turn it around. I had to be the one to show him the gospel in this tragedy in his life.
    Me- “Buddy, we have to realize one thing during the midst of all this sadness. We have to know that no matter how many sad memories we have in life or how many bad things happen to us, God has given us even more blessings. Your daddy didn’t have very many good memories as a child. He has a childhood mainly filled with all sad things. But you have God. Has God given you another daddy? One who does all of the things you wish your other daddy would do?”

    E- “Yes.”

    Me- “And I know that you wish your other daddy would do those things. I am not saying Zach replaced him or that you shouldn’t still want your other daddy to do them to. I am not saying that at all. I am saying we have to choose to look at our blessings because we have SO many of them. You have so many good memories too and so many good things happening in your life and all of those are also from God. You have a family that loves you and spends time with you and you also have some blessings from your dad.

    E- “Like what?”

    Me- “Your love for the military. You got interested in that because of your dad being in the army. Without him, you probably wouldn’t care about it at all. But that’s a blessing from him. You found something that you are really interested in and enjoy learning about!”

    E- “Yeah, that’s true.”

    The next statement he made completely blew me away.

    E- “Mom, you know I really miss my daddy. I really wish he would have had a good daddy because I think he would have been a really good one. And sometimes I wish he was my daddy. But even more than I miss him, I wish he would find God. I really wish he would find God.”

    Now,  I was wrecked.

     

    My 8 year old son desires for his dad to find God because he knows that God is the only one who can change him.

     

    He is so selfless and I really wish I was more like him in that way. I do believe 100% that he meant what he said. The strength in his voice came back when he said it and he meant it with all of his heart. Even more than he wants to see him, he would rather him find God. Wow.

    We finished up the conversation with some heart-filled prayer for God to find his dad and bring him to Him. We always pray for him in this matter. We pray over his life and his choices and his finances, but we mainly pray that God would change his heart. I truly do desire this would happen. I desire to see my son get to have the same kind of relationship with his biological dad that he has been blessed with in Zach. I desire to see the healing in my sons heart, and in the heart of his father. I sincerely pray that God would come and redeem all of the horrible stuff my son has had to deal with in his short sweet 8 years of life thus far.

    But the truth of the matter is God does all things for His glory.  His redemption is for His glory, and His judgement is for His glory. He promises to work all things together for the GOOD of those who love Him, but His idea of good for us isn’t always the same as what our idea of good is for us. We trust God because He is God, and we are not. 

    We hope for redemption. We trust in his justice. And we work every day to surrender our ideas of good to the one who gave His life for us. He knows what his dad needs, and He knows what Elijah needs. I have to trust Him.

    He is the only Father that is not broken.

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  • Truth Seeker.

    Truth Seeker
    I’ve been in church for a long time and I know that all the years of  hearing preaching and bible stories plays a part in my belief system. 

    We’re taught so much in life from a young age, but what does that mean for us once we’re older? We have some life experience and start to realize that some of the things we were taught aren’t true. Some may be, but some has been twisted into something that it was never meant to be.

    _We have a responsibility as we get older to pull these things apart and test them.

    We have to find out if what we’ve been taught or experienced is actually the truth. Why do you think the way you do? Likely, it’s because you were taught to think that way or something you experienced in your life made your heart believe a certain way.

    I’m here to admit that for so long I’ve relied on the knowledge that has been placed in me by man. As children we rely on adults to teach us right from wrong or good from bad. We ask questions and look for answers. As we get older we want to know which way to go in life. It’s easy as a child because we just listen to our parents or authority figures. 

    We then hit high school and college where most everything we’ve been taught is questioned. Or someone in your life gives you a different view and you think to yourself… “WAIT. Wait just a second. That’s not what I’ve been told for my entire life!”. So, the journey begins. 

    To find the real truth, we have to humble ourselves and realize what we’ve always believed could be incorrect.

    Nobody wants to be wrong. I had to open my heart and say, “God, show me where I may have believed wrong. Allow me to have Your eyes and see things as YOU see them, not how I’ve been trained to see them. Give me wisdom and what YOUR truth is.”

     
    I have to confess that as I have had these conversations with God, He has been bringing so many controversial things to my heart. I am unpacking them and He is bringing me people who are more than willing to share their experiences with me. My faith has been tested and renewed. I am learning what GOD says about things. I am getting a picture of the Father. Light is being shed. The biggest truth I am finding in all of this journey is this: 

     

    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35 (ESV)
     

    If we could love. If we could seek to understand one another. If we could be more like God in the sense that He meets us exactly where we are and meet people exactly where they are. If we could be humble and listen. If we would earnestly seek truth. I will be wrong about some things. Don’t ever take my word as truth, but look to the WORD of GOD. Surely I am right about this one thing- We are all utterly wicked in comparison to the ALMIGHTY GOD. We are all sinners who need a savior. We all need to recognize our sin, realize Jesus Christ died to bring us back to GOD, and surrender to a life of repentance and following Him knowing that our life is no longer ours.

    The Bible is clear on this:

    We must preach Jesus Christ crucified,  
    because Jesus is the only way to find the Father,
    _ and because he loved us, we have no excuse to not love.
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  • RAW.

    RAW.

     What comes to mind when you think of the word RAW?

    Some minds will travel to cucumbers and carrots and uncooked meat. Some of you don’t really think of much at all, maybe it just goes in one ear and out the other. Another person who may have a little baby may be thinking of their little ones diaper rash. Maybe you think about when you have blown your nose one too many times when you have had a cold.

    I’m thinking of the rawness of the heart that comes from being rubbed against over and over again for a long period of time. Maybe you read this today and your heart is raw. You feel if you rub against one more surface one more time the protective layer that is barely there is going to split wide open and everything is going to spill out.

    I’ve been there more than once and I am sure I will be there again. I’ve felt the intense eroding of my heart as I waited on the LORD to come and intervene in my situations. I have wondered when will the new skin begin to cover up this pale, pink, rough, unprotected heart of mine? 

    The truth is

    we cannot sit around and declare all of the promises of GOD expecting Him to change our hearts and heal them when we aren’t willing to lay it down before Him and say, do what you will with my open wound. Our healing is not always going to come the way we expect it to.

    I cannot with the understanding I have of GOD and His word (which is the standard for truth) tell you that GOD is going to heal your cancer. I cannot tell you GOD is going to swoop into your marriage and change your spouses heart. I cannot tell you that GOD is going to get you a promotion in your career. I can however tell you that the One True GOD is CAPABLE to do anything and everything that He wants to. His purposes will be accomplished. He can take your raw heart and make it strong again. He can heal every disease.

    I have said it once and I will continue to say it for the rest of my life… GOD is most concerned with you getting what will bless you the most, and that is MORE of Him. Our LORD does not cause or purpose our trials or suffering but He knows if it gives the opportunity for us to know Him deeper, there is no greater gift than to allow us to rely on Him to endure them. So what is your end goal? Is your end goal more of GOD, or is your end goal for your idea of healing to come the way you want it to?

    GOD can give you a new heart. GOD can heal every disease. But the disease He is most concerned with is the disease of sin which has separated us from Him. This is the most deadly and painful disease of all.

    Are you ready to be healed today?

    He is ready to heal you of your sins when you are ready to accept His free gift and trust that it’s only by Jesus’ goodness that you can be redeemed. When you are ready to lay down your life and admit that no other thing will any longer be your LORD, He is ready and EXCITED to bring you in. GOD the Father will take the raw and use it to show you just how much you truly need His healing love. Surrender it all to Him now, it is the greatest thing you will ever do.

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  • Know Him.

    Know Him.

    Do I really?

     

    I think I do because I grew up in church. I think I do because I’ve read a lot of books about Him. I think I do because I know some verses.  I think I do because I went to a lot of church camps. I think I do because people always tell me I have a lot of wisdom for my age. I think I do based off a lot of things that have to do with me and what I have done or what I have learned. So, do I really know Him?

    All of what I said above is true but when I sit back and think about GOD and his GREATNESS I am completely overwhelmed. We can attend all of these camps and conferences and read all of the books and take all the notes and never truly even know GOD. We have so much information at our fingertips ready for us to search out and fill our brains with.

    I have come to find that the best knowledge is the simple knowledge of who GOD is and what He wants to do. When we are able to get to the attributes of GOD and really learn about Him, as best our carnal minds can comprehend, we begin to see everything else in life from the right perspective. 

    “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.“ Proverbs 9:10

    I don’t think GOD made a mistake when He purposed for that to be in The Bible. GOD knows that we need knowledge of who He is.

    Not only what He is capable of doing, but His very essence.

     

    GOD is one being, made of 3 parts… The Trinity. He is self-existent and needs no person or thing to exist. He is self-sufficient and needs no person or anything else to do what He wants to do either. He is eternal. GOD is infinite, never ending.  He is immutable, divinely omniscient, and the definition of wisdom. GOD is omnipotent and divinely transcendent above all. He is faithful and good and just. He is abounding in mercy and grace and love. GOD is HOLY and sovereign.

    The depth and knowledge of each of the attributes of GOD will take us further in our life than any worship song from Bethel or any sermon preached by Steven Furtick. 

    Those attributes make the gospel so much more full of flavor than any man made idea or “At The Movies” sermon could EVER accomplish. The fact that a GOD like that would do what He did, so he could have ME in heaven with Him for all of eternity, absolutely blows my mind.

    To think rightly of GOD is to get your mind thinking rightly about              E V E R Y T H I N G else in life. I can’t possibly think right about a single area of life if I have even one attribute missing or if I have learned about GOD wrongly. I have got to find out who GOD is. I need to find out what all of those attributes are. I promise you there are no greater riches in life to be found than to find the richness of GOD.

     

    He is waiting for me, and He is waiting for you.

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