The air was drunk with moisture. And every time sun’s rays pierced through, steam would rise from my son’s canvas. I was perched on my front steps, Bible opened to Luke, as I watched my boy practice his lowercase with green chalk.
Gusts of wind found their voice. Wisps of hair escaped from view as the page rippled in time to nature’s symphony. And that’s when I saw it. Not an entire verse, just part of one. One that appeared highlighted just for me:
“What good would it do to get everything you want
and lose you, the real you?” *
And just like that the breeze whisked my breath away. For I knew He was answering the question I had posed the night before.
Friends, I’ve had this thing. Burden if you will. Something I’ve asked for/wanting for a long time. He’s asked me to let go of it repeatedly. And I’ve asked Him why. Pleaded with Him to show me how this couldn’t benefit the bigger picture. Begged Him to either take the desire from me all together or honor it. I’ve even had the nerve to remind Him of life’s time-table. Clarify the circumstances as I see them.
Don’t worry — I’m embarrassed, too. I know better.
But I just want it that bad.
I blink hard and breathe in deep as I begin Luke 9 again. What is He trying to say? That I’m losing myself?
It doesn’t take long to see the rest of the message intended for me:
“Self-sacrifice is the way, My way, to finding your true self.” *
My son has moved to uppercase now as I close the Book of Luke and reach for my journal. You all know this by now. I’m a list-maker.
There have been a number of instances where things haven’t gone my way. Where I clearly didn’t get what I want. And with the gift of hindsight, I’m now able to see why.
So on this day I set aside to give thanks each week, do you mind if I share with you some events that didn’t go my way? Because I see now how these circumstances helped define my true self.
I turn my journal to a new page and write “Hard Thanks” in the margin.
- My parents’ near-divorce. I was about the age my oldest is now and still remember the pain. I’ll never forget how my dad found Christ. And so did I.
- The loss of loved ones too soon. I list them all individually, but I see each one made me cling tighter to my Redeemer and live more purposefully.
- It took nine years after my wedding day to add the title of Mother to my name. Not all of those waiting years were easy for me. And yet I see now how He was preparing me for the mother He intended me to be. Thank You, Father…
- Receiving an abnormal newborn screening with my firstborn. It started my parenting on the right path — relying on Him through my everydays. Sacrificing myself for the betterment of my child. What a gift! (and friends, He healed my boy from this a year later-Praise God!)
- The loss of my second son to stillborn. There’s no other way to describe it other than Christ carried me through. Although I miss Elijah every day, I see how my faith was sharpened while placing my child in the arms of my Savior.
- Blowing out my knee, placing me on a form of bedrest for 6+ weeks. Then recovery. With a toddler. This event required me to be at the mercy of others. And literally forced me to stop and listen to Him. Why, it’s when He first asked me to start a blog.
The lump in my throat rises while I write down my one thing now. This thing I want so badly to be different. Because I see it right there on paper. The common thread between them:
When I don’t get what I want, I cling.
I draw closer to Him.
And as a result, I find my true self.
The one He crafted me to be.
Oh how He pursues me.
What grace. What love. What a gift!
My son finishes ‘Z’ and looks to see if I’m impressed. He skips over and touches my cheek.
“Mom, we better go inside now. The rain is coming–
I see raindrops on your cheeks!”
How about you, friend? Can you think of instances where you didn’t get what you wanted? Do you see how they shaped and molded you? How they allowed you to find your true self? I’d love to hear.
Thanks for sharing your time with me.
* NOTE: These passages were found while reading Luke 9:19-34 in The Message.