This post is linked up to Carolina’s #OpenMicMonday:
Writing this blog, preparing the pages of my soon-to-be-published book, and being a terribly imperfect wife and mother has not always come so easily to me. Vulnerability may appear to be my forté, but it most definitely isn’t! And this is where I see God teaching me a much-needed lesson on an almost daily basis:
John 8: 31 – 32 (NIV)
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I am up to Jeremiah in reading through the Old Testament and it is becoming evident to me just how true it is that our human hearts are desperately deceitful, that every single one of us is in desperate need of His grace, not just once, but repeatedly, even the most loyal of God’s prophets. And that only through the Truth, Christ’s Word and Spirit, can we truly be repeatedly set free from our selfish, sinful human desires.
As a mother, I am learning, slowly, to:
Psalm 55: 22 (NIV)
Cast [my] cares on the LORD [believing that] he will sustain [me]; [that] he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Rather than pretending that I am the cool, collected, rational, non-emotive mother they could do with at times, I am learning to throw myself upon the Lord in prayer, crying out for Him to calm my angry, impatient and unkind spirit and replace it with His gentle Spirit of loving kindness. You see, more often than not, I am not a patient, loving and kind person, far from it. But rather than continuing in a cycle of regretful behaviour, I am slowly learning to seek God’s help in the midst of the battle. And I’ve seen peace descend in a powerful way, not just on myself, but also on my children. What is helping me is to realize my desperate need for His grace, to stop trying to battle what isn’t mine to fight against. Lies tell me that I need to try harder to be a good mother. The truth tells me that goodness comes from Christ: as does patience, kindness and self-control…and grace! Confessing, owning up to my angry, impatient, unkind spirit, in its throes, not just thereafter, is what is releasing me from my sinful flesh and ushering God’s goodness into and through me.
I am learning the same lesson in my writing. I am learning to write truthfully, rather than adjust my words for fear of revealing my own humanity, or disappointing and upsetting people. My natural propensity is to alter my words to make myself look better and not to upset people, but I’m learning to step back and wait upon the wisdom of the LORD to guide what I share. As God tells Jeremiah (Jeremiah 15: 19 – 21, The Message):
…Let your words change them. Don’t change your words to suit them. I’ll turn you into a steel wall, a thick steel wall, impregnable.
Of myself, I am not impregnable- far from! But, as I am learning to (Psalm 62: 8, NIV):
Trust in him at all times … [to] pour out [my] heart[s] to him, for God is our refuge.
His steel wall is slowly becoming mine. I’m learning to pray for wisdom, to seek godly wisdom from friends and to step into fears, trusting He will shield me.
I have been asked to share about my experiences with PTSD for a guest blog post and I won’t lie to you: sharing about this is a vulnerable, scary proposition, despite the fact I’ve blogged on it before and it’s included in my book. But, I am stepping into that fear because God’s power shines through this part of my story so vividly, precisely in and through my own terrible weaknesses. I will “Let [my] words change [others]… [I won’t] change [my] words to suit them [or myself!]. [Because I trust that God will] turn [me] into a steel wall, a thick steel wall, impregnable.” I will choose to tell the truth, so that His Glory will shine through my weakness. And I pray that you will do the same, even where it may hurt me as a reader…because if this hurt leads me to conviction and confession, it will also lead me to the release and freedom of God’s grace.
I am releasing Love Embraced, a book about my journey in and through suffering into God’s mighty arms on May 8th (Mother’s Day: in honor of her Mum, who passed into heaven on April 8th 2014, and God’s shining Light in her). For more information about Love Embraced: A Journey in and through Suffering, head on over to my author’s Facebook Page. If you’d like a free copy in exchange for some help in spreading the word on social media, come join our Launch Team: just leave me a note via a comment.
My dear friend Emily Stephenson is also promoting the book with beautiful handmade jewelry, inspired by #LoveEmbraced. Below is an example of what you can find at The Wildflower Heart: