I have been avoiding my personal blog lately. I started a new adventure in a devotional page on Facebook. Whew- never knew that would lead to so much controversy or headaches and heartaches, but being fair minded here- it has also led to amazing conversation and encouragement also.
This blog has been around for years of my life and some of the hardest days, and every time I go back and read some of the posts I revisit those days and I was not sure that was a good thing. Then I made realization sitting in the crowd this weekend at Joyful Noise festival, It was something Tenth Avenue North said that really got me to thinking about it.... We are not the sum of our past mistakes..... God doesn't remember them so why do I?
I got to tell you what an amazing freeing moment!
I made a big mistake recently. I tried to explain something to someone who was not ready to listen. And as I was speaking truth she got very upset that I was not acknowledging her truth and perception. I have lost a friend, it saddens me but in reality I lost this friend over three years ago when she perceived once again I was not recognizing her and respecting her beliefs, not speaking to me for over a year. I have to tell you I respect this person, but no I do not respect her beliefs here. I could have showed her where God tells us specifically why her belief is wrong but I was not allowed that and it crushed my heart, but I knew she was done listening and anything I said would be seen as a personal attack. I really struggled with this within myself. I was heartbroken. Some people said it wasn't my fault and that if things were viewed or taken as attacks maybe she was dealing personally with these things and had nothing to do with me. I was not sure I believe that totally, I really struggled with it because why did I have to be the one then that kept bringing up touchy subjects for her. Was I doing it to hurt her? No, I really wasn't it has been things God has been teaching me recently and I was/ am excited about them and the understanding of who God is and wanted to share. The validity of that though isn't really something I can prove so it really is a pointless point. Or is it? I had this letter from my sister-in-law and I tell you God knew I needed to hear what she had to say on the subject because I was in pain but in my head I knew I couldn't help or prove anything so I was struggling to just let go. In this letter, my dear sister-in-law who has seen her share of pain in life and who lived in a very strict religious house with my husband simply said this~ If God was not using you, Satan would not be coming after you~. WOW- talk about a set free moment! I sobbed, my son came and just stood and held his Mom in front of the computer in a hug while I sobbed my heart out. In his wisdom he knew in order for me to continue and let God help me move on I needed to let the pain go.
I still was wondering though if this new journey of a daily devotional was a good thing, I mean who I am? Nobody. I am a Christian housewife who has been through many things in life that have taught me of God's grace and mercy, but really what makes any of that relevant? I am not a Biblical pastor, I have not had tons of bible school, I am not a missionary, or do I feel called by God to give up my life to ministry. I am just a Mom and wife and in my brokenness God has made me whole. That's who I am, I am flawed, and imperfect. And so I was still struggling weather I was going to continue to write or not...
We attended the next day of concerts at Joyful Noise and my older son knew I was still struggling. He watch me through the day and evening, he saw my eyes fill with tears and he prayed over me pretty continually I think because he knew of the internal battle that was raging. As we drove back to his place at the end of the evening, he looked at me and said - "you do realize, the battle is God and Satan right now Mom. "
his explanation was that satan doesn't want me to continue to write about joy, he wants me to be consumed with heartbreak and discouraged. We got back and he handed me his laptop, "Mom, just write what made you joyful tonight. You haven't posted today and I just want you to take one point from today and tell about it in your words with your insight."
I laughed but took the laptop and I sat for 20 minutes and let the words fly through my fingers onto the screen. I posted and closed the page. This son and I then had a long conversation about this issue I have been dealing with and the struggle within myself that I am not worthy to share my words.
This wise child I have raised looked at me and proceeded to end the conversation with this...
Mom, God entrusted you to raise 4 godly sons that love the Lord, you were not supposed to have children. Dad has not been able to be around as much as he would like ,but he too trusted you to parent his sons because he knew you would follow and trust God with our upbringing. You and Dad have led by example. Yes, you are not afraid to talk or discuss the Bible but Mom, you never pushed it down our throats and led more by letting us SEE you living it and what you believe than just speaking it. It doesn't matter what people say, you know in your heart you were not attacking her and you were just trying to answer her and show her that she could dump all the hurt and be truly happy, because you want that for everyone. Now I want you to see this then we are going to bed."
(paraphrased because I can't remember the EXACT words he used but that was the jist of the conversation)
He then proceeded to open his laptop and log onto my devotional page that I had posted on after midnight and it was now 2 am. He showed me just one number- over 40 people had logged on and read the devotional that had just been posted. There was also a comment thanking me.... As I sat dumbfounded he just closed the laptop and smiled saying only , Mom don't quit writing what you have to say and because you are only a housewife and Mom is why it applies and people can see how God has lifted you up.
I went to sleep that night feeling relieved. I awoke a few hours later feeling renewed.
We drove home and I couldn't wait to share my acceptance and the win over my inner turmoil with my husband. As we sat down to talk he looked at me and smiled - before I said a word , he said- God won. I asked huh? He proceeded to tell me he had a heavy hear the last couple days because he truly feels what I have to say is important and he doesn't want me to quit saying it.
I think I am finally believing it- I do have a story to tell. A story of hope. A story with a beautiful Savior that has brought more joy then I can contain into my life and it just keeps spilling out!
If I am offensive to some people and they feel attacked by what I have to share, then its something between them and God, I am just simply telling my story and I am not gunning or attacking anyone but myself and the devil as he tries to take a stand in my life that he does not belong in because Jesus has full control that I gave him and he accepted when he died on the cross for me.
Sometimes, I need a little lift from my friends and family. I rely on them to keep me in check and not let the voices of others cloud who I am.
Thank you to those I love- for knowing me enough to remind me of who I am.
WISE WORDS FROM MY HUSBAND~
there is this song by Matthew West, its called Something to Say. Colleen, you see the world unlike anyone I have ever met, Honey- you have something to say and no one can say it like you do- and baby the world needs to hear it. God uses us all in different ways and he has given you a gift. The gift is your story and the way you see it and live it everyday. Having been what you gone through many people would be very bitter and unhappy, but the story is God! You see joy where others see heartbreak, you see triumph of God's grace when others see tragedy and brokenness. If anyone had a clue everything you have been through and what has happened and the trial we have gone through they would all see you and your story as only one can~~ TRIUMPH IN GRACE <3
You my hubby are my inspiration ~ for today and many days. you are strong when I am weak and you hold me in God's grace when i feel I have fallen to far to come back. Love you <3