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Monday, November 9, 2015

Mercies in Disguise

I only post when I feel led to do so and honestly my spirituality has been on a seesaw over the past several months. If you live in my area and listen to 103.3 WAKG in the mornings you know who Brother Bob and Tabernacle Time is.  Brother Bob talked this morning about how we distance ourselves from God by putting  up walls to “protect” our hearts and our emotions. I know I am guilty of this and it was yet another divine message. I received my first message Friday night when both of the kids snuggled up and we started watching Disney’s Inside Out. We were up early Saturday finishing it. It had a profound impact on me. I was totally with Joy trying to get rid of Sadness and then at the end it was clear that they both belonged and had to work together. They could indeed co-exist. In fact, when they co-exist Fear, Anger and Disgust aren’t quite as active. So many times I feel bad for being sad. I feel like I should always be “happy.” Well, that just isn’t possible. Sometimes our sadness leads us to joy. Sometimes we have to experience sadness to appreciate joy.  The sermon on Sunday and Sunday school went hand in hand. Am I seeking Him. When I pull up in the church parking lot am I looking to see Him and grow in relationship with Him or am I there because that’s where I’m supposed to be. Is Jesus looking down wondering why I can’t see all the ways he is trying to talk to me? Am I allowing him to open my eyes and my heart so I can see Him and carry his light out into the world?

Most mornings in my house are spent trying not to be "that mom" who has to yell first thing in the morning. My husband leave at 6:10 and before he leaves he gets our daughter up and brings her downstairs. The rest of the morning rituals are left up to me. Unfortunately, the three of us who remain at home are not morning people. I try to get Mary Emma up to get dressed and she lays there like she can’t hear a word I’m saying . I go to get Michael up and the whole way to the bathroom he yells, “back to bed.” (Thanks Ted and Fred!) When it is time to go it is like herding wet cats through a mouse hole to get them out the door. So, needless to say many days by the time I get in the car or van I am already emotionally drained. We won’t even discuss the battle between riding the car and the van!!!

So, today on the way to school I was thinking about my son who is three and still in the two year old class. He was kept there for many reasons. He is comfortable there, he wasn’t potty trained when he turned three. He was developmentally a little behind and his speech was certainly delayed. Thank you, Apraxia of Speech . It is a comfortable place for our family too. Both of my children have been richly blessed by these teachers. I refer to his lead teachers as his security blanket. As I thought about how comfortable he is in the two year old class I started thinking about him moving up eventually and how we would make sure he had all he needed in the Pre-K class before going to Kindergarten. At that point it hit me….eventually our little man would have to leave the SAFE, COMPASSIONATE, CARING AND LOVING walls of this wonderful preschool. One day he wouldn’t have these individuals who had, in fact, known him since he was born to protect him. As my students say, I was in my feelings at that point. The tears flowed freely and as I looked in the rearview mirror I saw these two precious babies of ours and was sick at the thought of this sometimes cruel and dark world tainting their spirits. (It doesn’t help that one of my classes at school has been doing extensive research and projects on bullying and that alone will make you sick. The reality of bullying is not a pretty one.) So, as I dropped off Michael I had eyes filled with tears and his teachers being the angels they are were concerned and offered hugs. They asked if all was okay and all I could manage was that I was just having a moment and that I would message them later.

As I returned to the van a very special song was playing and it was a melody meant for my heart. Blessings by Laura Story was introduced to me several years ago by a good friend. It hits both of us at the most needed times. I was instantly reminded that these times that seem so tough might really be His mercies in disguise. When the darkness seems to win the pain reminds my heart that this is not my home. My healing comes through tears. Sometimes it takes these dark moments to feel him near. Just like in the movie sometimes the sadness helps us experience the joy more fully. Thank God for my family who lets me be me, for my mom and dad who constantly help with juggling the kids and still take time to love on me and support me. Thank God for a sister who listens to my struggles and supports me in ways I cannot express. Thank God for the rest of our family who supports and encourages us. Thank God for our church family and the love they pour on our family.

My friend, today you might be joyful or you might be feeling things that aren’t so joyful. In our walk with Christ we aren’t always on the mountaintop. Sometimes the valleys of life are what lead us to the mountaintop and there we can experience true joy. As you sit there today reading this own your feelings. Share them with someone close to you or you can share them with me. In this world we are almost trained to suppress our feelings and just keep moving. Do yourself a favor, take a moment to get in touch with yourself. In that moment you just might find where sadness meets joy. Our God hears you, He loves you and he desperately wants you to seek Him first. Jesus is our Superhero, our best friend.  Nothing in this world is our Superhero.  

Will you pray with me? Father, as this child of yours sits and reads this please help open our eyes and hearts so we can see you more fully. Give us the courage to address our feelings and fears so we can be freed for joyful obedience. Help us share those feelings with you and to come to you with our fears. We praise you for Your mercies in disguise. Grant us wisdome and the ability to hear your voice. Help us, Father to remember that in all things we should seek You first. Remind us that this earth is a temporary home and that through our relationship with you we will have everlasting life in our eternal home. Praises be to you God, the Father. Amen!


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