His Garden of Grace
Well, another milestone in the life of our family- #1 son is off to school. We spent the last week getting him ready, and then moving him to Orlando to attend Full Sail University persuing a degree in Recording Arts. So now we are down to a "normal size" family- 2 adults, and 2 kids.
But I have to admit- I am feeling very lonely and meloncholy today. And a bit nostalgic as well. As I reflect back, I miss it. I miss the crazy, zany, hectic life of 5 kids and 2 adults eating, sleeping, playing, yelling, studying, and just living all in the same house. I miss the hugging, kissing, teasing, tickling and laughing. I miss the crying, screaming, yelling, hollering and messing up. It all went by too fast. Really, it was over in an instant. I didn't know it would be like this. It is all too quiet. Too peaceful.
And in all this quiet reflection, I found myself nearly drown in a sea of regret and sadness. I was feeling guilty for so many mistakes. So many. Until. Until God brought to my mind the memories of all that I have learned.
I was doing the laundry, of all things, (God uses the laundry in my life to teach me a lot. But that is beside the point right now) when I was reminded of how much God had taught me over the last few years. And then I thought about my whole life and how God has used my kids to teach me so much. Even my mistakes with them. The huge mistakes, and even the tiny ones. All of them. He reminded me that growth generally does not take place unless there is pain, or failure or both. And as I began to rethink all the mistakes I had made, the ones which had a direct effect on my children, their precious hearts and minds, I was also reminded that those hurt places are the very places God can use to make them into the followers He wants them to be. And it was in fact, those kinds of holes in my my own heart and life that He used to draw me to Him in the first place. Those were the very reasons I needed Him. Without them, why would I even need Him, or be drawn to His mercy and His grace.
And on top of that, He reminded me that He does not use guilt as a weapon. He convicts. He does not guilt. That is either my own gig, or the enemy's. I can't blame God for that. But that is the part I have the most trouble with. It is what keeps me away from God. It is not generally His conviction, but my guilt that works against us. And again, He is usually the one who uses even that to remind me of what His Son has already done, paid for and buried. So I don't need to fear, worry or otherwise feel guilty. I can come to Him anytime, and I really should because He is already with me, and already knows how I am feeling and what I am thinking, so why not just let go of my silly pride and let Him help?
I honestly don't know why not.
Maybe it is because after all He has done- after all He has brought me through, I still don't trust Him. Or Believe. Or know. Maybe I just need to "Be Still" some more. So I can know He. Is. God. And that is just what I am going to do right now. Be still with Him. I will let you know what happens.