Needle in a Haystack

I’m pretty sure I found it this morning.  It was hiding, like a needle in a haystack.  I didn’t realize it at first because I was too busy reeling from the pain of finding it, but I did .. I found hope this morning.

See, I fell again yesterday  ….  pretty hard.  I was certain when I started that I knew exactly what I was doing and my intentions were right.  I was moving forward and I was going to take charge of this thing called the enemy.  I had a better image of what he looked like and I was not going to tolerate him invading me and my family.  Unfortunately, once again I found that despite my best efforts, the enemy got the best of me.  It got ugly and it certainly wasn’t my proudest moment.

After doing what damage control allowed to me, I really felt defeated.  I’ll spare you the details, but I will tell you that this is an area that I am constantly struggling with .. parenting teenagers.  I could go into all kinds of justification about how as a parent, I have all kinds of challenges that face me.  Truth is, I’m just scared of messing it up.  Having seen some of the darker things in life, it’s a place that I don’t want my children to go.  When I see them heading down that path, I have fought tooth and nail to put up every blockade imaginable.  Not only am I exhausted, I found that for every obstacle I put up, the enemy seems to find a way to create a manuever around.  It seems to be a relentless cycle and despite my best efforts, my children have made some mistakes that one day I know will grieve them.  As a mom, as a Christian, as a human being … this sickens me.  Seriously, who wants to see their kids make devastating choices?

Perhaps I should be one of those parents who just trusts that everything will be okay, smile and say ‘kids will be kids.’  I’m not wired that way.  I’ve seen too much devastation in my own life and have also been the recipient of others’ poor decisions.  While knowing Jesus provides forgiveness and a washing away of those sins, it also leaves a pit in my stomach that makes me want to scream out with every ounce of my being .. ‘NO!  DON’T GO THERE!  I beg of you, please trust me.  That is a place you don’t want to go.’

I still haven’t figured out how to gracefully say this.  I also haven’t figured out exactly what is my part and what is God’s.  To me, it’s easier to minister to someone that is not your family.  It’s easier to see your part vs. God’s part.  As a parent, it’s an entirely different story.  I didn’t realize it because I was still reeling from the chaos of the evening, but last night I was pricked with a needle of hope.

This morning, I can look at the events of last night and see how, yeh, I messed up; but I can also see where God stepped in.  I experienced God picking me up, placing me back on my feet, and directing me.  I experienced God’s holy spirit working through me to do what He would have me do.  I’ve experienced this before, but something was different this time.  The thing that is different is that when  I looked in the mirror this morning, I didn’t chastize myself and go into the cycle of self defeat.  I simply looked in the mirror and knew, ‘I’m probably gonna’ mess up again.’  I’m too passionate about not wanting people I love to go the place of darkness to not find myself in a position where my intentions get ahead of God’s direction.  But I also have the reassurance of knowing that God’s going to be there to pick me up again.  We really are in this together.  I may not be the best at hearing the exact directions of what God would have me do, but I have this hope that God shed His blood on the cross because He too doesn’t want His children to go to that dark place.

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