Wednesday, February 3, 2016
I so wanted to give up. This time last week, I was wondering what we had gotten ourselves into and was ready to throw in the towel. Over the last few months our family has been in a horrible rut of loud, chaotic mornings ending with everyone late to everywhere. So when Tuesday morning ended up with everyone in tears, I told the kids, “Tomorrow is going to be different!” I stayed home from my class Tuesday night to instead clean out closets and organize everyone’s room. We made sure homework was done, clothes were laid out and everyone was in bed on time. We all needed a good night’s sleep in order to carry out our new mission: “Operation: Morning of Excellence!”
Well, morning rolled around and everything was beautiful. I even had time for a cup of coffee with Chad. Our goal was to be in the car by 8:30. At 8:25 I was marching the troops out the door. We were all hype and giving ourselves a pat on the back until I realized that my keys were locked in the car.
The day before, Tiny Human had dumped out my purse in the floorboard while I was trying to clean out the car. That night, before bed, when Chad went out to make sure my car was locked it gave him the “you’re locking your keys in your car” warning honk. He came back to bed and said, “You need to go make sure you have your key”. Did I? Nope. I just took his spare key and locked the car again.
So now, here we are, locked out with all the kids ready to load up in the car. Tiny Human was trying to run down the driveway and everyone was discarding their coats and backpacks in the yard. School starts in five minutes.
Chad was on his way back to rescue us, but had already made it fifteen minutes across town. I looked over and our next-door neighbor was backing out of their driveway. They have a child in the same school as our kids. Without even thinking, I started waving our neighbor down. “Can you please give my kids a ride this morning?” I was basically shoving my kids in her car while the words were coming out of my mouth. She looked hesitant and said, “Uh, my car is kind of messy.” I laughed a nervous hysterical laugh of dismissal because I couldn’t care less at any moment about the cleanliness of her car as I did right then.
Basically, I flashed my “mom in distress badge” at this woman and commandeered her vehicle. David was looking upon me with disdain the whole time as only an 11-year-old boy can. He later told me that he sat in something wet, but knew it would be impolite to say anything; so I count that as a parenting win.
After getting the little one off to day care, I came back to my office, sat down at my desk and surveyed the diapers, toys, books and humidifier. Honestly, I got a little angry. “How am I supposed to get any work done today? How am I supposed to accomplish anything EVER AGAIN?!?”
And then I spoke the most honest words I’ve spoken to God in a long time. I spoke them loud and spoke them clear to make sure He heard me. “I CAN’T DO THIS GOD! I Can’t do any of this!”
I am confident the new challenges we’re facing are from God, but boy have they thrown our life into a tailspin. That’s why I was praying so hard, but the throne room of the most-high God is the wrong place to go if you’re looking for an “out.” Instead of permission to give up on the task He's given, you’re more likely to start seeing things from His eternal perspective. So after a long stretch of silence, there at my sticker covered desk, I tried my prayer again. “Lord, I am yours and I am so inadequate. I want to obey you, but I can’t do this without You.”
Pastor Chad and Pastor Kelly are preaching through the book of Acts. On Sunday, Pastor Kelly preached from Acts 4:24-31 where in the face of persecution and imprisonment, the apostles unanimously lifted up their voices to God in prayer. They didn’t pray to be delivered from the task of preaching the Gospel, they didn’t pray for a safe place to hide. They prayed for BOLDNESS! They prayed for God to equip them for the task at hand. And guess what! God shook the ground they were standing on and filled them with the Holy Spirit!
After the sermon, conviction lead me down to the altar to pray. “God, give me the strength and power I need to obey You in all these things.”
On Sunday night, on the eve of a new week, Chad and I gathered the kids around the table before bed. We acknowledged that things have been a little crazy over the last few months, partly because we’ve taken on a difficult task, but mostly because there are some things that need to change. I was amazed as we went around the table, how each kid shared their heart. We were all able to recognize things we need to do differently to help one another.
Then we prayed for each other by name. I can’t tell you what it did to my soul to hear these children, who have been at each other’s throats, begin to pray for each other. We all together confessed our mess to the Lord.
This is growth that needed to happen, and I will always treasure this turning point in our lives.
Are you trying to navigate through difficult times? Have you reached your breaking point? Let me encourage you, if you know the task is from God, don’t listen your flesh telling you to give up, instead pray in faith; then wait on God to shake the ground under your feet and fill you with His power!
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 says, “16 Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. 17 For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. 18 So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”