Monday, April 23, 2012

I have believed…

The lie(s).

I made a promise to myself this year and asked many to hold me accountable for, “NO MORE negative words about myself or the life I have so graciously been given”. 

Sadly, I dropped the ball and didn’t remind anyone to hold me to it.

Which opened the door for me to shovel on layers and layers of shame, guilt, and pain.

I shared a very personal story a few summers ago about how the book Shame Lifter by Marilyn Hontz effected me deeply. 

Yet, the past six months have proven there were still parts of my heart that were wounded and untouchable.

Even to God.

Not because He couldn’t reach them.   I didn’t open them up to Him.  

Again, this only allowed the lies to speak and the truth to be hushed.

I spoke failure into my life.  

I watched day after day our children struggle to become who I hoped they would be from the life God has given to them.   All I saw was my failure to love them enough.

I watched day after day our children look for me to play with them more, read to them more, give them more of myself, and I couldn’t.  I was empty from giving and giving and giving through the pain of adoption after adoption for the last 6.5 years.   All I saw was my failure to be a joyful and loving mom.

I watched day after day their needs mount as I tried desperately to meet the very basic for myself.   All I saw was an overwhelming need I could not meet.  Failure again.

The more failure I faced or believed I was facing, the more fear crept into my heart and mind.

I was afraid to fail them again.   I was afraid to miss the mark one more day.  I was afraid to hurt them anymore. 

But in my fear of failing, I never realized I was doing exactly what I set out NOT to do.  

Along the way, I began to see how much this was hurting me way more than them.

I stopped enjoying the little things about them and mothering.   I began to hate the small things I used to love.   I stopped enjoying being needed and putting on my nursing hat to care for the latest boo-boo.   I literally stopped living.   I was simply going through the motions.   I was so thick in the forest, I couldn’t see the trees. 

Until, the motion came to a screeching halt and I couldn’t take it another day.  

Oh how perfect this beautiful quote and photo by my new blessing and friend Stacee.

The Choice is Yours • Stacee Taft Photography  @Stacee Taft

God, has been waiting for me to finally break.   He has been waiting for me to stop fighting the life He has given me.  He has been waiting for me to say, “ENOUGH!”  He has been waiting for me to simply see how desperately I really need Him.   It is not enough to say that I do.  But to mean it and know it to my very core.

I walked deep into the valley with Him the last two weeks.   Right into the belly of my fears and failures.   I looked them right in the eyes and saw everything for what it really is.  A lie.

I’m not a failure. 

Nor have I failed our children.

Nor am I responsible for changing them.

Nor can I fix or heal them. 

Nor can I make them choose the right things and desire to do them.

Nor can I honestly be everything to each of them every single day.  

I am one woman.  

BUT GOD!

Where I end, He is ready to meet their needs and exceed what I would ask for on behalf of them.  He never asked me to be all things to them or others in my life.  He simply asked me to let Him be all things.

He simply asked me to trust that He would finish the good work He had begun the moment He brought us together as a family. 

He simply asked me to obey Him and do the hard things, because they are right and will reap a harvest for others to taste and see His goodness.

He simply asked me to praise Him, even when it hurt.  

And that is what I have done the last few years.  I have praised Him through a storm I never thought I would live to see the end of. 

But praising Him wasn’t enough.   I praised Him for the easy stuff and resisted the hard stuff.   I didn’t want another hard day.  I didn’t want another week of disciplining the same child.  I didn’t want to walk through trial after trial after trial.  My praises were shallow.   Because my walk with Him was only ankle deep.  

I don’t want praise for being a mom of 9.   I mess it up every single day.   I look at other moms who have 11 – 18 children and think to myself, “how are they so happy and joyful?”   Which fed the lie.   I allowed all the joy in others to beat me down even more.   Don’t mistake my words.  I love our children.  I am thankful for each one.  They are all part of God’s plan for my life and He continues to use them to teach me things nothing else in life ever could.   Yet, that doesn’t mean it has been easy or that I have loved this path every step of the way.   This path has worn me out.   It has been lonely.   Very lonely.    I have walked down this path it seems waiting for it to finally come to end.  I have wanted something that isn’t coming.   I have been hoping for something different, because this has never been in my plans.   So again, this path, the one I prayed for along the way, has also fed the lie.   Every time I believed the lie, I resented the path and became a little more desperate for one that would bring me joy.   Joy will never come when we are wishing away what we already have been given.

But God.

He wants me to have joy right here.   Yes, right where I am.   I just need to stop believing the lies so that I can be set free by the very truth that saved my soul.   

Here are the very truths I will be telling myself every single day until the lies can no longer be heard.  Care to join me? 

We believe what we tell ourselves!

I will remind myself of this truth as well:

I HAVE NOT FAILED.

The fast way to losing joy is in comparison.   I’m done with that too.   I don’t know the full story behind the doors of those with more children than me, and I only hear what they want the world to know.   But what I know for sure is this.  My joy can remain full if my heart is content in Him.   It will never be full if I am looking for it in anyone or anything else.   So here’s to a heart overflowing with joy and it spilling onto everyone that I truly love.    Because love truly does cover a multitude of sins and our children deserve to grow up knowing they are worth the truth that saved them too!   

Praying for all of you who have believed the lie and are needing to be set free by the truth today!   

I am ready to walk and swim in the deep end with God.   Where He will keep me close to Him and watch over me.   I can trust Him, as I obey Him.   I can love Him, as I choose Him and believe Him at His word.  

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