Just hanging on
Every year around the end of the summer and through the fall, our family seems to go through "changes". Completely fitting for Fall right?
I have been in a swarm of nostalgia as I think about our youngest, Gwyn, turning 3 this week and our oldest, Jude, turning 8 just a few weeks after. As I was driving and thinking about this season we are in, I couldn't help but laugh to myself as I saw such parallels between a couple of our current situations and my life in general during this season.
A couple months ago, Jude and Lila were wrestling when Lila bumped into Jude's mouth and shifted his front tooth creating a large enough space in his mouth to where it appears as though he lost a tooth, when in fact he has not. The tooth is very loose, yet he refuses to pull it. We have tried every bribe we could imagine just to get the silly thing out, but Jude would not have it.
He just keeps hanging onto it.
Then we have our sweet baby girl. She is about to turn 3, still wears diapers and has absolutely no interest in wearing big girl panties at all. She knows when she needs to go, wants to be changed out of a wet or dirty diaper immediately and still refuses to use the toilet. Honestly, it is almost a bit sad because she is terrified to use the potty. No matter what size, shape, color or musical tune it will play as a reward. I know with this one, we will be waiting it out until she is ready, but I will admit this is hard for me. Part of me has a hard time knowing that she is going to be 3 and still desires to wear diapers.
Then I have to take a moment and look at these issues through their eyes.
Not only does the unknown terrify an adult, think about what it must be like for a sweet tender-hearted (almost) 3 year old. In her little world right now, she feels like it is one thing she can control. One thing she can expect to be the same as it always has been. Not that our lives are out of control in this moment, but building a new home and adding more adult responsibilities to our plate does create an atmosphere of change and that is something I need to be sensitive to when considering the actions of my children.
For Jude, he knows what it is like to pull out a tooth and it was a very uncomfortable feeling for him the first two times. It has been twenty-something years for me since I last lost a tooth, but I can still vividly remember the feeling. Only, he needs to be reminded, if he lets go of the tooth that is not useful for fulfilling it's purpose any longer, another tooth that is stronger and made to last the rest of his life will fill it's place.
How often do we as adults still hang on to something out of comfort? We hang on to something that needs to be pulled away from us, just to keep from feeling the momentary pain even when we know the benefits we could gain in the long run.
We just keep hanging on.
I saw this in myself as Josh and I were having an "adult conversation". I could not even adequately communicate to him the feeling of anxiety I was experiencing over something that I knew would be great in the long run, but trying to logistically wrap my mind around it felt terrifying and out of my control. I wanted to hang on to the thing that always felt familiar, the thing that I knew had worked for our family for so many years.
The funny thing is that this very change is a direct answer to prayer. It may all sound very vague, but I know we can all relate to these changes in one form or another. Whether it is making the decision to homeschool your children, or build a home, or change jobs, or have kids. There are so many choices in life that can be so familiar yet the unknown can leave a ball in your throat and a knot in your stomach when you realize there is so much out of your control. God has such a sweet way of reminding us that even the things we think are good, if we do not completely surrender to Him, these things are not beneficial for accomplishing His will for our life.
I feel like my and Josh's life can be summed up by taking one leap of faith after the next. It is saying, "God, I don't know what the end result will look like, but we are trusting that you are steadfast and faithful. You. Never. Change." Even though I have been all about these leaps of faith in the past, my feelings are trying to tell me otherwise and that is when I need to remind myself that my feelings are not absolute, but God's word and His truth is.
By hanging on to something by our own expectations and not seeking God's will on the situation, we put ourselves in bondage and leave ourselves vulnerable to the ways of the enemy.
The devil who walks around like a roaring lion, would love to see you stay in that place of comfort. He would love for you to choose your earthly comfort and desires, because when he can shove fear and lack of control in your face, he knows there is a good chance that he can keep you in the place where you are not choosing obedience to Christ and therefore ultimately not choosing a life of knowing how much God loves you and how much He desires to bless your life.
"Christ has liberated us to be free. Stand firm then and don't submit again to a yoke of slavery—For you were called to be free, brothers; only don't use this freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but serve one another through love. For the entire law is fulfilled in one statement; love your neighbor as yourself. But if you bite and devour one another; watch out, or you will be consumed by one another." —Galatians 5:1, 13-15
I can just see Jesus saying, "Sweet Bre, (I like to think I am sweet sometimes-especially to Jesus ;) why do you constantly put yourself in bondage by hanging on to little things that do not matter? I have set you free! Be free in me and I will show you so much more than you can even imagine."
When Jesus called all of His disciples, they had a choice. They all could have stayed in their current occupations and in the life they had always known. They chose to fix their eyes on Jesus and through faith they were obedient to whatever God had in store for them. They were exhausted and many times they needed direction, but they always had what they "needed" and Jesus prepared them for a legacy of leadership, purpose and abundant blessings they would have never known if they chose fear or comfort.
What are you still hanging on to? Is it pride? Un-forgiveness? Selfishness? Your own insecurities? I can list these things because I am so very familiar with them.
If you are in Christ you have already been set free!
To be completely honest, I have struggled lately with making time to blog. However, God laid this so heavy on my heart and it was not something I felt that I had to make time for, because as much as I love sharing about our family, I LOVE sharing about the Lord and what he is doing in our lives. I love when he lays something on my heart and out of obedience I can type up these words knowing that this is the reason God called me to blog in the first place.
Grab ahold of your bible, seek the Lord and even if you have to go through growing pains, it is so so worth it my friends. His truth will set you free.
All my love,