Yesterday was Father’s Day 2020 and I was alone, as I was on Mother’s Day, and our own son didn’t even acknowledge his Dad just as he hadn’t acknowledged me on Mother’s Day. This was not like him but given the times we are in it wasn’t a shocker either.
Being alone is good for every one at times, but being alone all of the time is not what we were created for. God created people to mingle. He even scattered us all about and gave us all different languages so that we may not understand one another. Look it up and read it! It’s scriptural (Genesis 11). God created one race, the human race, yet made us all different on purpose and ordered us all to love one another FROM A DISTANCE! From the beginning, God made us all different and told us to love one another in and through our differences. In our different genders, different skin tones, different languages, different areas of the world, different countries that we live, etc.; in all of our different everything’s we are called to love one another. It’s a commandment from our Lord and Savior, NOT AN OPTION. He did not give us the option to pick and choose who we love amongst our differences, He simply said to love one another PERIOD.
Now, back to my yesterday.
I had a very rough day yesterday both physically and emotionally. I went through different stages of emotion all day long. It began with regret that my husband wasn’t here with me; that led into blaming myself for the way our family has been separated; that led into pure anger toward myself and even toward God; that led into me questioning everything that I’m going through as an individual, wife, mother, and even as a new grandmother; that led into me wallowing in pure self-pity for most of the evening; that led into me being mad at God for allowing all of this to happen and not stopping the hurt when He’s the only one that can; that led into me losing ALL hope that anything and everything will work out let alone turn out for good; that eventually led into me going to bed to sleep the pain away WITHOUT even being thankful for what God is doing in and through my life. I went to sleep without praying because I felt so overwhelmed with emotions that I didn’t even know what to pray about. I even had a brief “break down” over text with my best girlfriend and I don’t like to let others in, especially to see me at my lowest.
Through out my texts of “upset” and her texts of “encouragements”, I found myself questioning God. I found myself doubting my abilities to overcome the heart ache. I found myself blaming myself, other people, and even God for things going off balance in my life. I found myself spiraling out of control to the point of hyperventilating with a grief-stricken cry session. Briefly, for how ever long the texting back and forth lasted, I was a total hot mess! It wasn’t until I pulled myself together and finally got into bed that I found myself losing focus on God and His abilities to help me. By turning my focus onto myself and believing more in my own “feelings” (selfishness) than what I had “hope” in God for, I was just at a total loss for anything and everything. I found myself so hopeless in what Christ was doing in and through all of this that I felt so lost and confused as to why I had even allowed myself to get this way. If I couldn’t trust God to take the hurt away and to “fix” everything, then I have no trust or belief in anything. I lost hope because I lost my focal point! I lost sight of Jesus! I turned my focus and attention toward myself rather than keeping my eyes on God. When we take our eyes off of God, we lose all hope and in that very moment last night, I was totally hopeless!
Every day I receive daily devotionals by email. I often see notifications from emails, texts, and even a few YouTube channels that I follow on my cell phone screen before I even unlock it. There’s also a couple of churches that I get notifications by text messages from when they upload to their YouTube channel. All of these notifications will show up on my screen without me even having to unlock my phone and most nights they add up. So, when I wake up of a morning, every morning, the first thing I do is simply pick up my cell phone and look at the lock screen to see which notifications are showing up on the front of my phone from the night and early morning hours while I was sleeping. I do this every morning, as I’m sure most of us do these days.
This morning one of the notifications by text that I received is from a church that I follow on YouTube. There’s a link to touch that sends me to the video. So, I watch it, it’s only 3 minutes long and won’t take up too much of my morning time, right?
Well, once it’s over the next video in my list of follows automatically starts. It peaks my interest because of what it shows on the thumb nail for it. For those of you that don’t know “thumb nail” computer terminology, it’s a small picture glimpse of what’s inside the video. This one shows James 2:14-26. For those that don’t know me personally, when I gave my life to Christ in 2009, God used the book of James to help transform me. While I don’t have it all memorized, any time I see scripture as a headline from that bible book, I want to check it out. So, I clicked the thumb nail and watched the entire 28-minute video, not even caring that it’s going to put me further behind.
In the beginning of the video I laughed out loud as I was taken back to a child hood memory of my brother and I embarrassing our Mom inside a grocery store as we begged for “name brand” cereal. So it started my day off with laughter, which God knew I needed after the day I’d had yesterday. As I kept watching, throughout the entire sermon, God began to teach me about what I had felt and gone through yesterday.
My horrible emotions and feelings from yesterdays basket of hormones began to take shape within me. I began visually seeing and thinking about how Mary must’ve felt as she watched, in helpless agony and heart break, her only Son hanging with nails in his hands and feet on the cross as He was being tortured and mocked. In that moment, God made me realize that while my own son doesn’t seem to want anything to do with me/us right now, I am so thankfully grateful to God above that he isn’t being put to physical death while I watch kneeling at his feet helpless and hopelessly in anguish. I am so thankfully grateful that we live in a time today where I can see, even if only from a distance, and know that he and his immediate family are safe and well. In that moment, I began to appreciate the things that I could not see yesterday. For Mary, while Jesus was moving about the earth living his own life, she was left behind not knowing for sure that her son was okay or not minute by minute. Mary, a mother second to being a child of God, felt more anguish and heartache than any mother should ever have to endure in life, yet she never lost hope on what came first in her life and that was God Almighty. By the end of this sermon, not only had I been laughing but I’d had a realization of what true mother hood was like (in a sense) for Mary. While seeing the physical pain her child was in, she never lost hope of what God was going to do with her son Jesus.
Once that video was over, the next one automatically began and I found myself “sucked in” once again. The headline on the thumb nail for this one is “Why Do You Push People Away?” Yet again, God showed me a glimpse of my life in a very fast vision and how I do that so often. I push people away from me and, more often than not, without even realizing it. It’s not my intension but it’s happened with so many people in my life. So, I watched that video too. Again, without a single thought about it pushing my day behind. I watched the entire video and I didn’t have any thoughts, other than those that God had intended for me to have. He orchestrated my morning to go exactly as it had. I wasn’t distracted by time, Facebook, emails, texts, work, or anything. In this very moment, just as God had ordained, I was totally focused on Him and His teachings for me. As I watched this video the lesson that God showed me is in Romans 8:25-28; faith grows in the things we DO NOT KNOW. I don’t know why things are happening the way that they are in my life but God knows and His plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11), we aren’t supposed to know. It’s in these moments that our faith in Him grows and we begin to lose sight of ourselves. In the words of Steven Furtick; “Hope is a focus, not a feeling.” We must, in ALL THINGS, focus on Christ alone so that we do not focus on our own feelings of pain, hurt, anguish, etc. When we focus on self rather than Jesus, we lose sight of His goodness for our lives, even through the hardest of times. I’ve always told our kids (still do) that, no matter what situation you are in, there is good in any and every situation your facing but often times we must dig for it to find it. It’s through the digging that we learn the most about ourselves.
I eventually do get to the checking my email part of my morning only to find that today’s “daily verse” email is Proverbs 22:6. That verse from the amplified bible says it this way: “Train up a child in the way he should go [teaching him to seek God’s wisdom and will for his abilities and talents], Even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
God showed me, once again, this morning that I shouldn’t lose hope in Him and what He’s doing through all of the changes in my life. I should never focus on my own doubts and “feelings” because it will cause me to lose site of Him. While our children’s raising wasn’t perfect, they were taught and witnessed first hand the Word of God and how it changed our lives for the better. They were taught that we should live as Christ like as possible even through our imperfections. Whether they stray from it or not as adults, they will return to God as they get older and mature in life.
In summary, what I was reminded of this morning is that it’s not up to me and my husband to necessarily be active “in” the lives of our adult children because, ultimately, it’s their choosing as to whether they allow us to be a part of their lives or not. We no longer have control over or are held responsible for what they do, say, act, or how they treat us or any one else for that matter because our part is done; they are now raised. The only thing that is still up to us is how we show others that Christ lives and dwells in our own hearts and souls even through heartache and that, my friend, is THE MOST IMPORTANT thing anyone can ever see in any one of us, especially our own children.