What exhilaration for the little boy when he's climbed the tree, he's waiting till the water is clear of other swimmers and he propels himself off the tree and swings out over the bank and lets go...and flies!!!
Well, I chose not swing off the rope into the Guadalupe river yesterday, but I did let go of a rope today that had me bound for a long time...a rope wrapped so tightly around me, choking the very life from my heart and my relationships...the rope? The lies? (These are such ugly lies...lies on top of more lies becoming stronger, squeezing and stealing Life and time...)
The first strand: I am really not valuable:
"Love has conditions, expectations, limits...and I've screwed up too many times; I'm sooo emotional; I'll never measure up."
"In order to be a 'good' mother, your children should love God. I mean, come on, you've invested years into this work and where's the fruit? Are you wasting your time?..."
Your value as a mom is dependent on how your children behave, especially around other 'family' members. As though my kid's behavior determines whether I get other people's approval and get the validation I need. How ugly, masked by religion, pride, arrogance and stubbornness.
What a strong rope it was and when it began to unravel, I wanted to hang on...just swing precariously from it and believe the lies because if I did let go, then I'd really have to be willing to believe something I didn't want to face-the truth-that these are lies and I've listened and believed lies rather than His Word.
1. I'm bought with the blood of Jesus. Therefore, I am loved, not based on my behavior, my failures, performance, kid's performance or my successes. He gives me His value. Priceless. Period.
2. Fruit comes in season...how long is not my problem. My 'goodness' or 'badness' isn't the issue. There are lots of 'good' moms out there, but are they godly? He makes me godly, I don't make myself godly. I abide. I trust, believe, persevere by His grace, not my effort. His truth tells me that I am not to grow weary in well doing...in due season I will reap if I don't faint...
Jesus, please pick me up, I've fainted and forgotten that it's a season I'm in.
3. What extreme pressure this one puts on little one's hearts. This one is a killer and the one that causes more children to rebel...that they are loved, conditionally, based on their performance and since they can never measure up, they give up and rebel.
How I've lived in this place before, Father; I never want to wrap myself in this rope again.
The rope started swinging out of control when
I started noticing how disrespectful and spoiled the boys appeared to be and began to pray about it. How they were daily complaining about their 'chores' and how they have been constantly talking about getting more 'stuff', i.e.: Legos, Bionicles, and tonight while watching Home Makeover, one asked, "Do you think we could get a limo for our birthday?" I laughed at that only because I've let go of the rope, but if that had happened yesterday, I would have probably given him a speech about why asking for a limo was an extremely selfish, spoiled question and then given him another speech on how he needs to be grateful, and on and on.
What I saw with their attitudes and behavior I saw in myself. The same disrespect came from me today when my love showed me something he was going to purchase (something we needed) and I immediately tried to correct him and argue with him about his decision. It's not my job to correct my husband, any more than it's my children's job to correct me. And because I took offense at his comment back to me, I needed to be corrected.
The Father began to minister to Love about how that was to occur and when we got home from church, I saw with my 'spirit eyes' the rope unraveling. He and Love confronted me with the truth, although at first I didn't see it that way. I saw it as Jef showing me a weakness that I knew I had and I griped that that didn't "encourage me or help me, dear!" But the more he spoke the Truth to me, my heart melted and the rope began to unravel...do I let go or do I keep hangin' on? Let me die, God, so I can really live...
The bottom line is that God is for me, He is changing me, He loves me unconditionally and He doesn't condemn me for my failures, selfish motives or my inadequacies. He loves me over and over and over and He tenderly speaks the truth, exposing the lies and I am more free than I was yesterday. I can do the same for my children. They are children, not grown-ups. They are in training just like me; yet I've been so hard on myself and them because I believed lies.
Thinking that if I let go of the rope I might die really was true. For to live is Christ, and to die is gain. That word die in the Greek is 'to die off'...my real life is hidden with Christ in God.
Maybe the next time we go to the river, I'll take the literal rope and feel physically how my spirit felt today when I let go...can't imagine it'll feel any better!
I believe my new thoughts need to be: "Follow me as I follow Christ" and invite them to watch, listen and learn as I die to Daune and live hidden in Jesus.
Daddy, thank You for unwrapping me and giving me freedom.