January 14, 2015

When Mama's Prayers Literally Change The World

 Prayer is the catalyst to change the world. Even if that 'world' is the place that only your life touches. 

John Wesley said it well:  'Prayer is where the action is."

Early each morning, Love leans in and whispers, "I love you," while I stretch, closed-eyes, and we hug and I tell him to have a great day and to take over the world.

That's how this day began; just like every other day. 

Yes, this man that I love was working on the Friday after Christmas and I was home with not two, but three boys because a friend was coming that day and these twins hadn't seen him in months. 

Continuing to sleep meant a later time in the Word, but Joshie wasn't coming that day and I had longed to sleep...so I did.

After their friend came, they decided to go for a walk.  For some reason, I texted my Love to pray for the boys because they all went on a walk.  I had no idea that THAT day, prayer would be the very thing that kept them safe.  I am convinced of it.

Sitting on my bed, coffee in one hand and my Bible and devotional in my lap, the door flew open and one of the boys yelled for me and asked, breathless, "Is Cory here?"  Now THAT was a strange question since they left together and I didn't think they were playing Hide and Seek!  

Fear engulfed me initially as Isaac proceeded to tell me in a rush how they were chased by five kids. Cory kept running and he couldn't keep up so Caleb turned around to be near him when Isaac told him to just ask the kids what they wanted.  Their response was they wanted their '_ _it', to which Caleb responded that he didn't have anything on him.  One of these troublemakers punched Caleb. Dear Isaac, in response, pulled out his knife, a brand new Christmas present that THIS mom purchased for him! The kid put his hand in his pants as though he were pulling out a gun, but he didn't have one, glory to God~  

All this information came out in a matter of seconds as he headed back out the door to search for Cory with Caleb and their big brother Josh. (Caleb had flagged down a truck and told the driver the kids were chasing them, throwing rocks and bottles at them and the driver told them to jump in and he took them to the corner of Josh's street.) They had run to Josh's, told him and he sped over to our home.  

Scripture says, "If you faint in the day of battle, your strength is small."
At that moment, I had a choice.  Do I succumb to the fear that is attempting to engulf and swallow me or do I speak THAT name, cast down fear and speak life over this situation?  To say I literally felt a tangible fear would be an understatement.  YET, I also sensed a greater strength, despite the shakiness, and spoke "NO, all is well.  Cory will be found, and thank you, Jesus, for your protection on the boys" or something similar.  It happened so fast, I honestly don't remember.  But I do remember faith rising and fear fleeing.  

What seemed like an eternity ended rather quickly.  I called the police, the driver of that truck also called, Cory had called them, and Cory's dad did, as well!
Cory texted me the address of the bushes he was hiding in after I texted him and said, "Where are you?" As I headed over to Cory, I spotted Isaac in the middle of the street, so I flagged him down and we picked up Cory.  

The boys pointed out the truck that had helped them and the driver told me the police caught the kids. He told me where they all were and I drove over there (the momma bear was now on a rampage!)  I introduced myself to the officer and he politely told me to go home, that they would catch up with me when they were finished dealing with the boys.  I left, but not before I gave each one of them a good look over.
...Part of me wanted to give them a hug and say, "I'm sorry your parents don't care about you and you have no motivation in life...let's get together and I can help you because I'm a mom and you need a mommy...and another part of me wanted to go over and smack each one so hard for messing with my sons and their friend!

The twist in this story is that I'd been asking God to reveal Himself to the boys for a while now. Being homeschooled, their involvement with 'the world' has been very limited to what they watch in movies and the things we speak about.  I have to believe that in God's grace, He protected them, revealed that one has to be wise, discerning and I am so proud that Caleb calmly stood up to them and did not retaliate.  Five or even three against two (two of the kids were probably around thirteen yrs. old!) aren't good odds.  The detective told them they did the right thing.  

A mother's heart is to protect her kids.  I get that.  I got that.  But that day, I also learned that they can't be protected from everything and that God is able to keep them.  I need to equip them with truth, not knives, and then PRAY!  Thankfully, I did that.

A detective came to our home that day.  He spoke to both boys, and then left and came back an hour later. He told us the boy that hit Caleb was only fifteen so he couldn't even talk to him.  

He spoke into their lives.  He reminded them that the world isn't like it was when he carried a knife and a gun in his truck to shoot squirrels.  He said, "You guys aren't turds.  You're good kids.  Stay away from that area and don't go near the drainage ditch!  Inside, I was cheering.  This was another touchy subject with Isaac that I finally was able to say, "See, I told you!  NO drainage ditch ever again!"

This is what entrusting our kids into God's care is all about.  I knew this time would come,  But I also know whom they belong to...it has been a daily habit of praying for them, something I'd not taken too seriously when they were younger. 

Regrettably, one of the boys drove by with a parent or some adult while we were outside that day and now know where we live.  This has been a constant battle to cast down fear.  I choose nightly to believe and agree with  my "PS. 91" weaponry to fight against any attack!  Do I struggle with this?  Absolutely.  But am I going to live in fear.  Never.  I wake almost every night and pray...for protection, for whatever fear is hitting me and then I eventually am free and fall back asleep.

While it would be nice to hide away and keep the boys 'safe', it's not healthy or wise.  
Caleb began his first job today at Taco Bell and tomorrow Isaac goes through the same training.  
They're growing up and that is a great thing.
May we continue to equip them to stand strong. 
May they discover on their own that God is faithful, able and more powerful than any attack or lie. 

These times have drawn us closer as a family and opened doors of great communication between all of us.  I can't describe how grateful I am that, despite the struggles, what the enemy meant for their/our harm has only served to reveal  the truth that we love them and are for them.

Raising kids to love God actually means great challenges, tests and at times, sorrow.  
But God.  
Is He not the most perfect Father? Yet, He has kids that are selfish, lie, indulge, disobey but He pursues them, believes the best, never gives up and His love never fails.  
What a great reminder when I want to hold my kids up to a standard that I don't always keep myself.  

Grace and Truth...the next post...as I'm learning how to flesh that one out.

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