Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Gift of Grief Kinda Day

9 years ago today I thought my reason for living was gone. But here I am, still living, still breathing, still hoping, still dreaming. God is faithful.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Child of Promise

"Be glad, O barren woman, who bears no children..." Galatians 4:27 quotes Isaiah 54:1. Why would a barren woman in the Jewish culture be glad or rejoice? Why would a woman who has "lost" her children to death or addiction sing? How can an infertile woman who wants children so desperately be happy? How could a young woman who has experienced the grief of miscarriage, often more than one, rejoice?

The only way we who have lost children can sing, rejoice and be glad is to see the bigger picture. We need to try and see things God's way. We need to put Him on His rightful throne instead of our children (or our desire for children)--ouch!

If we can see ourselves from God's perspective, we see some amazingly fertile ground for a miracle! If Sarah had not been barren, there would have been no room for a miracle. She could never have given birth to Isaac, the child of promise.

So, I press on in my struggle against jealousy and envy this graduation/wedding season, I will endeavor to see my life from God's perspective--as fertile ground for a miracle. I will open my eyes to the miracle right in front of me--my own child of promise.

Friday, June 7, 2013

The Green Monster

It is graduation season. This is usually an emotionally painful season for me. We go to graduation parties for nieces, nephews and friends. We look at all their pictures, awards and accomplishments. We give them gifts of money to help them on their paths to college. Parents beam with pride and love for their kids. Tears flow. Moms breathe a sigh of relief. And so it should be.

And I have been jealous. It has been difficult for me to see what seems like everyone else's kids succeed but mine. Until this year, I felt completely justified in my jealousy. Why shouldn't I be jealous? I poured just as much time and energy into my kids as these weepy proud mamas. I did all the running to sports events, band concerts and music lessons. I was the team mom. I made banners. I went to all the parent-teacher conferences, open houses and spaghetti dinner fundraisers. I worked in concession stands, sat out in the desert heat, rain and cold as I cheered my kids on. We had dinner at the table every night, read bedtime stories when they were little and devotionals as they got bigger. I helped with homework. I laid awake at night praying scriptures over them. I took them to church, sent them to camp. I went along on youth trips and sent them on mission trips. I baked endless amounts of cookies for bake sale fund raisers. I stayed awake all night during slumber parties and sleep overs.

But I've never gotten to stand at a graduation party, beaming with pride at all my kids' accomplishments, anticipating their next step.

I felt justified in my jealousy.

But I was not.

It was still sin. And just because my life did not turn out like I planned... actually my kids lives did not turn out like I planned... that did not create a loophole allowing me to sin. Jealousy is sin... even for me.

So this year was different. A few weeks ago, as I was anticipating this trying graduation season, I realized that, instead of wallowing in my jealousy, I needed to confess it for what it is--dark, ugly, destructive--never justified.

And this year, I felt a little lighter... free from my sin of jealousy. Oh, it still tries to creep in, but the minute I sense its ugly green presence, I deal with it. Because it is so good to be free from it... free to hug graduates and their parents without the knife of jealousy turning in my gut... free to look at pictures, awards and certificates without the ball and chain of jealousy dragging me down.

Sin is a heavy, destructive burden, no matter how much we think we have a right to it... no matter how much we try to justify it. It is sin. And it's good to be free.

Now it's on to wedding season...