Friday, August 21, 2009

Fully Committed

Did you realize the level of commitment it would take? When you made that decision, did you know what it would involve?

I am facing that now. I've been a parent for nearly five years and I'm just beginning to realize the personal sacrifice that it takes. My role is to teach - to guide Gabriel toward the proper behavior. And for me, that means introducing him to Jesus Christ for wholeness, healing, and serving others. Yet, I can't even seem to serve my own family. When it says in the Bible to die to self, I've cringed at that thought every time. It's like I want to do it half-way.

God knows our hearts. He knows when I lash out that I didn't want to act that way. Yet He also knows where I'm holding back and refusing to surrender.

Everyone needs compassion, love that's never failing. Everyone needs forgiveness, the kindness of a Savior. These are words from one of my favorite songs, Mighty to Save, by Michael W. Smith. It's true, and I'm so glad that I experience God's Spirit. Yet, everyone needs someone who will tell them like it is. Someone to put them in their place and hold them accountable for their actions. God does this, also. And He sometimes does it through a person in our life.

I am so grateful to have such a dedicated life partner, and to share in raising a child with such a committed and loving man. As I feel completely naked - exposed - with awareness of my self centerdness and pride, I realize that I'm not just being discovered. My behavior and way of being has been known for a long time. If not by many people, definitely by God. How can His knowing not make me so ashamed that I turn from my ways?!

Most people probably don't realize the full extent to the commitment it takes in marriage and in parenting. Most of us whine and complain about our kids and what they go through. Yet, we're in these roles to teach and these humans of our kids will test us, they will test life because they can, as humans. We do the same thing - we act like we're 4 - at 30, or sometimes even 80. Our spouses will frustrate us and we'll scream and shout at their imperfections, and how much they aren't meeting our needs and desires. They, too, are human and therefore not perfect. We all are in need of a Savior, and we can't be that to ourselves, or others. We simply aren't.

It's an awful place to be in right now for many reasons. To realize my failures and shortcomings, and to fight through the thoughts that I am such an awful person and should just give up. These are lies and I know it, despite my temptation to believe them.

The joy comes in hearing the words that come to my heart that sound like this...I wouldn't allow you to experience the pain of this moment, if I didn't provide the strength for you to overcome rise above and fulfill my purposes for your life. There is hope in where I am right now!

So, even in my weaknesses to fully grasp the level of commitment each decision requires - most importantly my choice to serve the Lord of the Earth - I choose faith in the words of this song:

David Crowder Band - How He Loves
From the album Church Music

He is jealous for me
Loves like a hurricane
I am a tree
Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy

When all of a sudden
I am unaware of these afflictions eclipsed by glory
And I realize just how beautiful You are
And how great Your affections are for me

And oh, how He loves us so
Oh how He loves us
How He loves us all
Yeah, He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves us
Oh how He loves

And we are His portion and
He is our prize
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
If His grace is an ocean, we're all sinking
And Heaven meets Earth like an unforeseen kiss
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest

I don't have time to maintain these regrets When I think about, the way...

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