Thursday, September 1, 2011

All is Grace?

All is grace?  Really God?  Even this?

The words in my inbox were pure anger in Times New Roman beat out on a keyboard in the rage and fury that is a wounded animal mauling the vet trying to save her.

A former close friend, threatening now to try to turn me in to DFS.

My head knows she's lashing out, not knowing if she is going to lose her own children.
My head knows that I have friends in the local DFS office who would find this funny.
My head knows that opting out of some vaccinations as a personal choice is perfectly legal and not a reason for DFS to investigate.
My head knows there are many, many people who would call her unstable and hundreds of people that would give me a character reference.
My head knows that she has left her faith and is running from God and hates those who serve Him.

But for just a second, my heart squeezes and I can't breath and this question echoes through my being, "All is grace?  This God?  This?"  It doesn't matter that she has said that I am hated, or that she has taken every personal thing I've shared with her as a friend and pistol-whipped me with it.  It doesn't matter that she has mocked my post-partum depression.  Oh, well.  But threatening to try to have my kids removed from my home?  This?

He answers in a gentle whisper in my heart.

Yes, even this.

And as I ponder how this threat could possibly be grace in my life and why God allows those who minister to be beaten down by those they minister to, it comes to me.....

.....Suddenly, after months of feeling down, fighting the doldrums and the exhaustion that comes with having 4 little ones and endless trials and tribulations in the lives of those around us, after many nights of laying my head on the pillow feeling like an utter failure as a mother, I see it.  It's the answer to the prayer I prayed just last week, for God to give me strength and patience in my mothering.


I suddenly feel what has been missing for a long time, like the sun coming out for the first time after a long, cold blizzard.

I'm a good mother.  Not a perfect mother.  Not the best mother.  Not a hero.
But, I'm a good mother.
....I love being a mom.
I'd rather be Alathia's, Jeremiah's, Justus's, and Katrielle's mother than anything else in the world.
It's hard, it's exhausting, it's often thankless, and sometimes looked down upon, but I wouldn't change a thing about my life.

And with this clarity, I have empathy and compassion for my friend, instead of harshness, vengefulness, and disbelief.

She is losing her children.

And while I don't think the safest place for her precious children to be right now is with her, I can understand, even just for a minute, why she has resorted to this animalistic rage.  I forgive her and I choose to love her.

And the next day, and the next, and the next I wake up with a smile.

I squeeze my baby Katri and linger over her morning feeding.
I pray for Hannah, in prison unjustly, and missing her babies.
I take the extra time to put another bandage on Justus (the 5th today?)
I praise the efforts of my big-boy Jer Bear.
I take the time to talk with Ali.
I pray relentlessly for my friend, that God would pursue her with the tempest of His love.
I thank God for the cross, and for forgiving me, and loving me, though I have scorned him worse and loved him less than this.

It doesn't mean that life is magically easier.
There are still toys underfoot, dishes to wash, and sticky messes everywhere.
There are meals to make, mountains of laundry to wash, and errands to run.
There are tantrums and fights, and screams, and ouchies and dirty pants, and accidents, and runny noses.
There are still little kids we love going through a vicious court battle, a friend at church dying of a disease, and in this world there are churches splitting, children dying of hunger, and people fighting everywhere.

But I have seen the grace that comes in pain.
And that pain has its' purpose.  A lesson I have to keep on learning, it seems, every year.
When we are pain-free, we watch TV.  We eat chocolate cake.  We worry about how our hair looks or if we can afford to go on vacation or are irritated that someone didn't flush the toilet or that we can never win an ebay auction.

When God allows us to experience pain, in whatever measure He chooses, we hit the floor with our knees. 
We cry out to him in desperate need.  
We dive into His Word like those dying of thirst discovering a pure well in the desert.
We set our sights on what truly matters and the superficial little things in our day fade away.

And He has us right where He wants us:  in His presence.

All IS grace.

Go here to listen to the song All is Grace, on Shaun Groves new album, which I LOVE!!!  This song was inspired by Ann Voskamp, whose blog I also love and read daily.

Side note:  Might you join me in praying for the children involved in this serious and difficult situation?  Pray for God's hand to mightily move on their behalf.


Thia said...

It's a punch to the gut for sure. That threat was thrown at us too by someone who was trying to show off and manipulate us. It's hard to see the grace in some situations. It's hard to have grace for ourselves.

Marcy said...

Praying for you Lindsey.Thanks for sharing what you are going throught and doing it with graciousness and forgiveness flowing.I am praying for you alot.

LS said...

I'm so sorry you've experienced that Thia. That's awful and you are right, it is very hard to be gracious in the face of something like this. It takes supernatural strength. Only by the Spirit! What happened in your situation Thia?

Thank you ever so much Marcy! I need it! And so does the situation and the kids involved. Blessings to you!

Anonymous said...

You all should really get a grip on reality and learn to deal with things like a grown up, why do you need the supernatural (God) to to be able to deal with or explain everything in your lives. Religion is for the weak that can't deal with reality. The bible was written by men with an agenda in mind. If someone came to you today and said they were the son of god would you just take their word for it, as you just take the word of the bible? If someone now wrote a book full of contradictions would you take it for the truth. Just because it's old doesn't make it true. Do you believe in Greek Mythology? Why is that any different than the bible? Riddle me that.

Catherine said...

Dear anonymous...indeed, all is grace :)

Thia said...

Well, as I said, it was someone who was trying to throw their weight around. They said it and we didn't know if they meant it or not. So we spent a long time waiting for the knock on the door or the phone call, but thankfully it never came. We were able to finally resolve the primary situation and have no further contact with the person who threatened. This was...1.5 years ago now.

Dem said...

To Anonymous: This is Lindsey's blog and she is allowed to say whatever she wants. This is her space, not yours. Surely you can respect that. Your comment was out of line. You are the one who needs to grow up. Lindsey, I love your blog because you are so real. You are such an inspiration to me. Keep up the good work!

stamplady said...

I agree anonymous, find another blog to read that doesnt annoy you so much, and by the way, I have a fairly good idea who you are. Lindsey, you have such a way of accepting and trusting Gods timing and purpose, even when you cant see the results, thank you for writting about your struggles, it always help me improve my own perspective!

Anonymous said...

Well stamplady, you definitely don't know who I am, you do realize this is a a public blog that anyone can access? I hope you aren't treating someone differently because you "think" you know who I am. Sometimes I like to read this because it's just so interesting that there are really people in this world that are so naive to believe blindly in a book of fiction. But then I feel so bad for these poor children that are brought up with only one point of view, the world of make believe. That they should live in fear of a puppetmaster's judgment. That aren't taught to be kind to fellow humans through empathy, but instead because of fear of "God". The reality is that none of you will ever answer my questions because there is no logical answer when it comes to religion and you don't want to face this reality.

Pin It
Pin It
Pin It