Tuesday, March 26, 2013

He Knows

It was the early fall of 2009 and I had just moved across the country with all of my babies and a heart overflowing with gratitude.  A good nine years after our wedding day and the raising of our Macey Girl
in the Northeast. I had waited for this, this answering of many, many prayers for years. 

I was finally going to move home. My babies were finally going to have their Nana.  Just a mere 30 minute drive from door to door. 

For years before this I had prayed and worked on myself. My angry heart. My broken self.

My heart that wanted to undo so much of what had been my childhood and my life as a whole.

I threw myself at the mercy seat daily for the Father to teach me how to forgive and how to love, the way that He loves. I honestly did not have any idea.  It was beyond my human comprehension.

He is so faithful.

He taught me how to forgive on such a level that I experienced a joy I had never known.

Because He knows. 

And that is why He commands it of us. To forgive one another.

And with that forgiveness...

He taught me how to honor. How to serve. How to be a daughter. How to accept the things I could not change. How to walk in love. How to stop wanting to change people and just love them. How to give and prefer others over myself. How to forgive down to the deepest places in my soul.  How to let go of so much that I had spent most of my life holding on to.

And joy came like I had never known.

And with it, more blessing. More creative ways to honor my Mother and bless her and do for her and just love her. He gave me compassion for her. He gave me understanding. He also gave me a love for her and a desire to honor her in ways that I had never known.

I gave her grandchildren. And a relationship with a daughter who truly only wanted to love her in grace, love, forgiveness, understanding and a new beginning.

I spoke only life and blessing to my children about their Nana.

I taught them how to honor her. They taught me what love looks like unfiltered.

Because He knows. 

He knows that children hold the answer to so much in life. He even tells us that to enter in to the kingdom of Heaven we must become like a little child.

And during these years of healing and clinging close to the Father, I saw so many of my own mistakes in clear 20/20 vision.  I saw so much of my parenting and living and learning was doing the very best that I could with what I had. And many years I did not have Him. An automatic deficit.

I was also feasting daily on the truckloads of God's grace offered to me by my oldest daughter Macey who was born into the arms of her 18 year old unwed Mother who loved her greatly but was by no means well equipped.

And I would weep. Because she loved me so much. And she didn't have to.

And I would weep at the years my prideful heart assumed that Macey loved me and we had a special relationship because like so many of us, I believed I was a better mother than my mother had been.

Generally speaking and not including the exceptions where there are horrific things, there aren't any better mothers. There is only a bigger God who offers more grace than we deserve.

And mothers who know this truth and who cling to Him daily for wisdom and guidance.

We all fall short in one way or another. 

God set it up that way.... so that we would need Him.

The grace and kindness and unconditional love Macey offered me daily would break me and humble me and mold me and shape me and keep me so close to the Father that it changed me forever.

Because He knows. 

He knows that when we extend true grace and forgiveness to people that it is a tool that He uses to draw them unto Himself.

I have witnessed this and experienced this in my own life on both sides of relationships again and again.

I have also witnessed how we have to continue to work for the ground we've gained in relationships because the enemy despises unity and relationships where God is the center of it all. 

Especially when that relationship is a Mother- Daughter one filled with mercy and grace and hearts filled with forgiveness and honor.

And I would experience the losing of all gained ground as heartbreak entered into my world that early fall of 2009 and knocked the breath out of me and left me feeling raw and angry and hurt and all of those feelings would come flooding back inside my soul.

Because we are human. We fall short. We make mistakes. We need healing. We need Him.

Just two weeks after moving to my dream place. My answered prayer place. And new dream schools. And new dream everything with the exception of my sweet husband still living and working in another state.  And my babies finally having their Nana...a dream come true for me.

I received a call. A message left on my answering machine from Mom that basically said this.

I'm done. 

And I would shake my fists at the God I loved and I would grip the steering wheel while the tears flowed after dropping my kids off at school and I would weep on the kitchen floor over the top of crushed goldfish and cheerios and babies in my lap asking me why I was crying. 

And I couldn't answer them the truth because I was in so much pain from the heartbreak.

I would hold them and kiss them and rock them and tell them that I loved them and that God did too.

And I would try and sleep at night alone with a husband working in another state and weep from the physical pain that my heart was causing me because life was just too overwhelming and too painful and I would whisper to Him these words..... 

God. How could you allow this.

God. What did I do wrong?

God. Why did you do this to me?

God. How could you? After all I've already walked through?

God. Why would you break my heart like this? Again.

And in the midst of my misplaced blame and overwhelmed and broken heart...

He would tell me how much He loved me and How I was His and belonged to Him and He would tell me to trust Him and stay close to Him and that He had me in the palm of His hand.

He would hover over me while this heartbreak unraveled me to the very core of my being.

Because He knows.

He knows what to allow and what to use for our good and His glory. And He knows how to take the things the enemy meant to use to destroy us and use them to break us so that He can build us back up the way He had intended all along.

Completely and totally and fully connected to Him.

Heart. Spirit. Mind and soul.

So that when people stand on the sidelines of our life and criticize and judge and gossip and whisper about whatever they know nothing about, or about how we do not even talk to our families....without having a clue the price that's been paid or the heartbreak that is going on behind their judgement....

We will not collapse.

Because we are rooted and grounded in Him.

Because when we seek to live a life free from heartbreak or difficulties or lack or loneliness or fill in the blank.....

We only seek to fill ourselves up with more of ourselves.

But when we lose those things and choose to fill ourselves up with Him....

We really gain.

Because He knows.

He knows that we have to be willing to lose our life to find it.

And so in my time of losing I chose to stay close to Him. And because He loves us too much to leave us the same. To leave us unchanged. To leave us stale and stagnant and caught up in our selfishness and He loves us too much to leave us full of hurt and pain and bitterness and resentment and unforgiveness.

He simply will not allow it when we draw near to Him.

And in keeping with that truth, earlier this year He asked me to do something that I did not want to do.

I wrestled. I argued. I stated my case. I justified. I insisted on my own way. For a while.

And then in the midnight hour earlier this year,  He poured into my heart His great love and led and prompted and gently asked me to make a call to my Mother. The first one in three and half years.

He asked me to call and offer forgiveness to her for all of it. For anything and everything.  He asked me to call and also apologize for any wrong doing on my part or any hurt or offense I may have caused over the last 41 years. He asked me to assure her that I did not want anything from her. That I did not expect anything from her and that I was not calling to re-hash anything.

It was not easy. It did not go exactly like I had hoped. 

But I was obedient.

Because He knows.

He knows the blessing is in the obedience.

And He also knows that one day, as a Mother of six precious children, I will need to hear those very words in some form or another, for one thing or another, from one child or another....

And so it went that later that very week, two very flawed people who love God very much and who have survived and overcome a world of hurt, found their way in God's great love and into each other's arms where His glory fell in the likes of mercy, grace, forgiveness, apologies and His immeasurable love.

I love you Mama.

Thank you for choosing to give me life in the midst of incredibly painful circumstances. Thank you for raising me the best that you knew how to do.  Thank you for loving me the best that you could then and the best that you can now. Thank you for your humility. Thank you for your redemptive words. Thank you for trying and for giving to each one of us in special ways. Thank you for asking for forgiveness even though you were already forgiven. Thank you for trying to start again when it would have been easier just to walk away. 

I chose this picture of you Mama, because it is the only one I have of you wearing pearls. And I would be amiss to spend my life telling God's precious daughters that they are His pearl and not ever share that beautiful truth with you....

You are His Pearl Mama. He loves you and so do I.




Love Being A Nonny said...

What mother would NOT want to read these words? Precious words from the heart on one who loves Him.

Love God. Love people. You do both so well. So very well.

Deborah said...

I am so happy for you and your family. Since I first heard your life story on your blog and at the pearl event last year in Nashville, I have prayed that you and your mom would find forgiveness. What a blessing in time to celebrate this Easter.

paige said...

oh my friend...i am spent...having known some of your testimony and your story, this is THE most powerful display of who HE is in YOU....i'm just spent....spent....
HE is doing and has been doing mighty things in and through YOU.
what a legacy , a NEW legacy of love for your babies you are creating. despite the abandonment and hurt...
i'm so glad for you
and her too

jessica dixon said...

You often give me happy tears! You make me push back my shoulders, take a deep breath, and turn around feeling refreshed and renewed.
I love hearing of your strength and courage - it passes though the wires!!!
I am completely amazed with your passion and determination for life and your beautiful commitment to your children- and, your power of forgiveness and compassion.
I rely on those words when needed and it helps to lift the unnecessary angst - we don't need it!!!
loving you!!!!!!!!!!!!!! xoxo!!!!!!!!!

Courtney said...

What a precious story for you and your family. You are such a beautiful inspiration and encouragement.

KTG said...

Beautiful story. I can relate to this and I'm inspired, big hug dear sister.

Design with Grace said...

I lobe this Sibi!!...absolutely beautiful! :)

AnnieMac said...

Beautiful words from a loving heart. Thank you for sharing.

Maria said...

I have been thinking about this post since I read it, nearly 24 hours ago. What an incredible testimony the Lord has given you, beautiful Sibi. Praise God for the times we obey and see results. I can not get over it! Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you so much for using your gift of communication. This is absolutely amazing.

GrannySmithGreen said...

Thank you, Jesus! A prayer answered in His perfect time!

The Avery House said...

Sibi, I just want to curl up at your feet and talk for hours with you. I again can not express the ways in which this post has spoken to me. I feel as if I am listening to you speak words from my own story. Thank you for sharing so freely about how God's grace has blessed you. I look forward to meeting you and hearing more about our faith journey.

Mrs.B said...

Amazing. I have walked a very similar path with my mother. You have a beautiful spirit and I hope to be able to get that point...some day. I'm not there yet.