Monday, July 1, 2013

Part Two: Realizing Restoration is a Realistic Desire

In this post, I am going to explain how my parents reacted to me being pregnant.  It's amazing how, like Robbie and Joanna, my mom and dad balance each other out so well.  I needed the harshness and the compassion, both, and between the two I got it.

My dad is such a wonderful man.  We say all the time that he's the closest things to Jesus a person a can get.  I know he was mad; but more than that, I know he was heartbroken.  I was his little girl, and here I was pregnant.  And the father wasn't even a guy I was currently in a relationship with (it was complicated; there was history there, but out of respect for him, I won't go any deeper into that).  However, he encouraged me every step of the way.  He prayed for me.  He was the rock for my mom.  She was broken as well.  She also let her emotions show a little more than anyone else.

Mothers and daughters always have complicated relationships-they fight a lot, but ultimately, they become best friends as they get older.  I love my mom; she is my best friend.  However, for a while, she didn't really like me.  She always loved me, but I had hurt her.  She went through a variety of emotions: anger, sympathy, back to anger, back to compassion, confusion... She didn't understand.  Hurting my family like that broke my heart for them.  But the two things I remember that hurt me the most: 1. When my mom said she thought I was "faking" loving God. 2. A conversation I overheard her having with my dad one day.

Up until they found out I was pregnant, I was leading a bible study.  We were having a serious conversation via email, and in it she said she loved me, but she didn't like me.   She also said she essentially thought I was faking the God thing, and she didn't appreciate it because she took the word very seriously.  Now mind you, when you are in a place of leadership like that, you have to hold yourself to a higher standard.  She had reason to doubt my intentions.  However, she was wrong.  She now points out how she saw spiritual warfare on a personal level through me; I think that now she realizes it was in fact real for me.  My problem was that I had the right intentions, but I wasn't quite letting God take over.  I thought I was.  I repented, and then I was determined to do better on my own strength instead of resting in God.

My dad and I had a conversation about it, and he comforted me by saying he knew it wasn't fake.  He and I both have struggled with the concept of "works".  We aren't saved by works, we are saved by Jesus and what He did.  However, there should be evidence of Christ in our lives; this produces change and allows us to bear fruit.  I've always had the personality where I don't want to attempt something until I KNOW I can do it correctly.  I wanted to "BE PERFECT" and be Christ-like.  The problem came when I relied on myself instead of God.  I thought I was strong enough to interact with Brody's birthfather without falling into that temptation.  And for about a year, I was strong.  But I flirted with that line; God clearly tells us to RUN from temptation.  I didn't.  I finally gave in.  I finally understand the verse, "Let anyone who thinks he stands, take heed, lest ye fall" (1st Corinthians 10:12).  I thought I could handle it; I thought I was past the days of making those "big mistakes".  I wasn't, because I thought I was untouchable.  I will never make that mistake again.  If we didn't need God, he wouldn't be God.  If you aren't depending on God and running from the things you know you shouldn't be around, then in time you will fall.

So again, my intentions were there.  I loved God, but I didn't know how to really let go and let Him take over. Even more than that, there were a few things I wasn't willing to fully let go of because I thought I could handle it.  Now, I have learn to let go.  I've always known, but now I truly UNDERSTAND that God wants us to bring our mess to him.  HE WANTS TO FIX IT!  If we try to fix it, and then go to Him, we just make a bigger mess.

The second hardest thing to get through I don't think my mom knows I know, not unless someone told her.  One day I had spend the night at their house, and I was downstairs while they were upstairs.  They thought I was asleep, and I woke up and heard the conversation they were having.  My mom called me an abominable tramp.  She said a lot of other things.  At the time, I was mad at her.  Now, I realize it was her pain coming through.  When you go through something like this, things will always be said that are harsh, and that people don't necessarily mean.  You have to understand, first of all, she was venting to her husband.  It wasn't meant to be heard by anyone else.  Secondly, she was so hurt.  I had already put them through so much in the years before.  But then, a ray of hope.  They thought the hard stuff was finally over.  I was finally putting my past behind me and running towards God.  Then poof...That hope was gone.  To put someone through those emotions is cruel.  I didn't intentionally hurt anyone, but it doesn't change the fact that I did.  I understand why these things happened and were said.

I say all of that to say that almost daily my mom now tells me she is proud of me.  She talks about how much change is evident in me and how much she loves me, and she even likes me again.  Brody is only four months old.  God brought restoration to our family quickly.  She never left my side in the hospital.  I stayed with them for a month after having Brody, and she took amazing care of my.  My dad slept on the couch so I could sleep with my mom-what a great man.  I am so thankful for my family.  I am so devastated at the pain I brought them, but so blessed for what God has done to mend the brokenness.

If you feel like relationships have been broken, and there is no hope for restoration, don't lose hope.  It will come.  Just stay focused on God, and do what you know is right. It will eventually be evident to those around you.  Restoration is coming.

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