...His favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
I've been here before. Emotionally AND geographically.
Another Christmas has come,we've hugged and held our family; we've said our Goodbyes and crossed the ocean. We take the stockings down, and look out the frosted window to a New year. It really is a good year. I can feel it. There's frost on the grass, but a sun rising in the sky.
For a few days now, I've bundled my children up in the early morning- for a short walk to the car to load them up for the bus. School is impending. The Sun is barely peaking it's head behind the houses, not yet risen, and a crispness keeps our hands in our pockets, as a mild yet briskness starts our stride. It feels like a running day. 30 somethin' degrees F & rising....
Amongst the Jet-Lag and interwoven days since we've arrived, a swirling of ideas and jewels have been forming in my heart, and I have to concretely note this 'idea world' into some solidity.
I recently heard a message that hasn't soon escaped away from my thoughts. We were at the CC missions conference this last week, when a point stood out to me. As he was sharing a side note about Church Planting in a foreign country, his words started speaking to my heart.
"If we keep building our ministry on ourselves, then when we leave- it will turn to dust, because We are what it stands on. But if we build it on Christ, with God as the blue prints, then it will stand." -John Chubik
For some time now, I've been cognizant of what God has continually whispered in my heart, but every once in a while I like to retrace the lines, maybe even review.
I am always rehashing the wonder of my Calling in life. I'm one of those people who likes to re-invent myself, reboot, and dream a little. And step by step, He has shown me what is good, and what He requires of me. He has given me confidence to stand in it, and reflect on it.... And Know it.
When I wonder if I am supposed to be here, or over there, doing this part, or that; With this ministry or that group, God always brings me back to this:
...Along with Knowing Christ simply:
My kids are my ministry. My Call.
So if ever I begin to feel I need to be doing more, or doing different, He takes me back to those moments in those small, quiet years of tiny babies, where I cried out for more than this, he shared with me so gently, "What if it's not you that goes, Kim, but them. Are you okay with that? Am I enough?"
It always brings me to my knees, and centers my perspective. My eyes turn away from me, and the worry, and the doubt, and allows me to say "Yes, Lord."
Through the years, I have often heard Caleb share during his Self-Defense classes about being worth fighting for. 'Do you feel valuable enough to fight?' He makes note of how we can often back off or feel timid when it comes to a situation of protecting ourselves from the get-go. We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so we can end up leaving ourselves open to vulnerability, just because of it. We become 'nice, and not wise.' Or if we were in a death-threatening situation, and don't know if we would be able to stand up for ourselves, because Fear of man can overcome us, and cause our eyes to see blurry.
But turn the tables a little bit, and place your precious child there in a that threatening situation, and ask yourself the same question. Would you fight for them? It's not even a question anymore. The Mama bear in me would lay it All down for them. No hesitation. 'Do Anything to me, but don't hurt my Kid!'
Often though, God shows me the absurdity in my doubts and fears on behalf of my children, when questions in my head start to swirl around with, 'what if this happens, or what if that...?' And again, I come back with, "I would do anything, I would die for them!" God whispers to me sweetly, "Haven't I already done that for them?" And then I see clearly. They are His. There is nothing greater that I could do. He has got them in His hands.
Sometimes, we like to entertain the unfavorable possibilities and allow Fears to grip us, but God wants us to trust in Him with our most prized possessions. Do you think it's possible that God could be doing the same thing with our children? He wants to build that relationship with them too. There comes a time when all that we have learned to control with them, has got to slowly ease up, so that God can be where their trust begins and ends. He'll let them go through situations that teaches them, strengthens them, and molds them.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
As some of you may remember, for the past 3 years, as we have returned from the States, our firstborn, Charis has been going through week-long episodes of tears. It will begin before we leave and last up to 3 weeks after. We have gathered that the mixture of jet-lag, non-sleep, change, and missing of the Grandparents can add up, but the pain is indescribable. It's a deep hurt that she feels in her heart, and won't let up.
Through this and some praying, I have learned some things. One, let her cry. It's good to cry, don't try and stop it. Agree with her in it. Two, have patience with these fears. A lot had to do with taking care of me, and not her. If I coddle her, it's not helping her. It's helping me. I let her depend on me, and I have some kind of control of the situation. That's only appeasing the situation for a moment. But instead, we read to her, and be there with her.
I soon found the few simple ingredients- that she was afraid to fall asleep. She would wake herself back up, because that is where she had some control. A Fear is feeling out of control in an area, and that is where she would begin crying, so we were finding our bullseye. I soon found that she was fearful of going back to school; it was the change of going from Familiar to Unfamiliar; that place of feeling behind the game.
The first morning back, we prepared and dressed, grabbed their backpacks, and got buckled up in the car. I drove them all the way to school that morning instead of dropping them at the bus stop. I felt their nervous anticipation of returning after a month, so I prayed aloud for them. Looking over at Charis, I could only see her large hoodie canopying over her head and face. While all the others were chatting away, I heard nothing from Charis.
When we pulled up to the front and everybody begins to pour out, she blurts out, "they're not lined up anymore!!", talking about her class line. This was normal, since we were not on the bus schedule that day, so I casually pulled the keys out of the ignition and said, "That's ok, we're still 15 minutes early." Looking over at her, I first caught sight of this frail little girl.
With terror in her eyes, she said,"Don't make me go!" "Please take me with you!!" As she grabbed ahold of my arm and began to cry aloud. Now here begins the struggle of a mama's heart. The inner conflict of wanting to comfort vs. wanting to guide her. Trying to appear unruffled, I say, "Charis, C'mon, you need to go in."
While this war is ensuing inside the car, I look out my window to see Hopie being hugged by a group of girls, while Justice is laughingly getting tackled by a cluster of boys. It was all a ball of chaotic emotion, as I had Charis get out of the car.
After convincing her to walk, and that she 'didn't look like she was crying', she began to take big breaths in and began wiping her tears away. I was trying to convince her that I can't let her stay with me... It was torture inside for me, but I am sure she was feeling it more. I walked her inside her classroom as her classmates wanted to greet her, she just began to unload her books, telling herself not to cry anymore. I stepped out as the door was closed. Knowing she was trying to 'suck it up', I began to pray outside her door hoping for a finish line. The door soon opened as she came to put her coat on the hook amongst the sea of other winter coats. Again, she began to bawl, pleading, "Please please, take me with you!"
God gave me the words as I hugged her.
"Because I love you, I am making you stay."
"If I let you come home I would be crippling you, not helping you. Cry out for JESUS, He is here with you."
As much as it was unsettling, I had to begin to walk away. And knowing Charis, I knew that she would be ok. It was just about facing the very fear in the face. She is resilient, and I looked forward to hearing the stories at the end of the day.
The Lord took her through that day, and even the night. It was the power of Christ in her. She called upon Him throughout the day, and he gave her a comfort in Him. She has slept through the night ever since. It was a rich reward.
And it showed me something too. It reminds me of my own ministry here on this earth. That with all the wonder of where & what I am purposed to be, I know that my children are given to me to pour into. It took me back to that moment that the speaker shared about planting a Church. But instead, I related it to my own ministry. The calling that always returns firmly in my heart.
" If I continue to teach my kids to depend upon me, then when I leave- it will turn to dust and collapse, because I am what they stood upon. But if we teach them the tools to put in their hands,which takes unseen moments, and patience beyond measure, it builds their Faith in Christ, with God as the blue prints. Then when times of waves and storms come, or even in still times, they will stand. "
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song. The LORD is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one.
I pray this story refreshes you! And your heart is encouraged to pour into the legacy that you are creating, day by day. God sees You.
Teach them to be loyal to Him.
You are doing a great job; Keep going!
For the eyes of the run to and fro throughout the whole earth,
to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
2 Chronicles 16:9