“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you.”
"As though something strange or unusual were happening to you ..."
This scripture indicates that fiery trials are just part for the course in the life of a Yeshua pursuant believer, that this is our "new normal"... And yet, we are told to find His JOY in the sufferings! I am learning a whole new level of this concept in this season!
As I attempted sleep last night, between fighting my own symptoms, (we've contracted what I believe to be round two of "the virus"); and listening to Gene struggle, I did manage to drift off into a season of restful sleep! But also there came some wonderful spiritual revelation on the current struggles we are in right now. The Spirit of God clearly brought comfort to my aching heart (and everything else) by assuring me that this illness, though meant for evil by the enemy was being used to strengthen us in all ways possible! Beginning with our immune systems!
As I dreamed The Spirit was talking to me about how He was preparing all who would trust Him to overcome this second round of attack, so that we will be invincible going out into the field for the harvest. He wants us to endure and conquer, so that He can get the glory, and we can walk in a new level of Faith. He was showing my newly renovated room, and talking of what will come forth from here, the books, art, and blogs, which will strengthen His Body, and bless our finances, so that we are free to travel where ever HE deems fit to send us! It was a sweet reprieve from the otherwise tormented night we seemed to be having! I was so thankful, and awakened from it encouraged, uplifted and revived.
This renovation project (de-popcorning the ceilings, and getting this old carpet gone) has proven to be even more challenging than I bargained for. It involves a downsizing that has been needed for decades! The only real issue being that I am too sentimental. Especially when it comes to the children! I cling to everything they ever touched! It's pathetic and ridiculous, I know! But the struggle is real.
I think that may be because I perceive that I failed at so much of what I set out to do. I think it was partly because I had suppressed memories that the poor kids triggered just by existing! It wasn't their fault! It wasn't mine! But regardless of the blame, I wasn't always present! I was constantly fighting to keep painful past shadows suppressed and out of consciousness. So I came across distant, self-absorbed, uncaring, and angry – really angry. And though my anger was not directed at them, they are the ones it came out on! So a level of trauma occurred, which breaks my heart, because I was SO determined that they would not be traumatized as I was, and yet, my trauma managed to leak out on them anyway. So frustrating! But it is a known fact that people who suppress painful incidences do tend to cling to things for their memories. All memories are attached to things. So things are constantly triggering memories, the good, the bad and the ugly! But we are hesitant to let go of things lest our entire past evaporate before our eyes.
I was constantly struggling to NOT make my kids' childhood into the nightmare that mine was. I was constantly struggling to let them BE CHILDREN, not micro-adults. Yet I wanted them to be responsible, thinking, adults when the time came. I just wasn't in any hurry for that time to come! I was constantly struggling to improve upon the only model I had been given. I spent a lot of time seeking help, listening to endless cassette tapes, reading mountains of books. But it wasn't until I finally found some pastors actually operating an anointing based deliverance ministry that I found any real help with the issues. And by that time the kids were grown, fleeing home as quickly as they could, and had already judged me, and set me in the tiny place in their lives that they felt I deserved. Which, I can tell you, hasn't been much!
But then, I don't pursue them a lot either. Mostly because of a cowardly fear of more rejection. The pain is prolific! Plus, I want to respect the distance from me, which they seem to need. I understand that they have to work through their trauma on their own terms.
So that is why seeing all their stuff is so difficult, and parting with it even more so. When I am going through all the stuff of all the years, it is like being on the Galilee when she is not in a friendly mood!!!! Everything is a storm of emotions. The gift I made them, that they loved then, but which was clearly subpar. The cards they wrote me as little guys, contrasted with the way they feel about me now (which most of them don't know I know, they really try not to hurt me. They know the whys of who I was then, but that doesn't negate their pain and experience! However, not much gets by me. I wish it did.)
But, the toys they played with, the clothes they wore, the art they did . . . all of these things just scream at me … that I wanted to do more, BE more, have more....
And then that is mixed with the GOOD memories that I have, even if they don't, because, I remember lots and lots of pretty good days – at the library, the theater, the parks, the horse farm – taking them to stuff they wanted to be part of. The many days we spent, with me just reading books to them - or watching fun, educational movies we got from the Library. It could have definitely been worse.
I know. All grown up kids sort of go through a “woe is me” phase, and being that mine was EPIC, it certainly could have overshadowed the good that was. I do hope though, that eventually, as I have been able to do, they will be able to separate the good that I was from the bad that I was, and also give credit for the work I've done to make it better.
But in the meantime, I am just having to grasp hold of God, The God of All Comforts, with all that I have left! I have to at least pack up this stuff and store in away, where it doesn't need to be addressed every little bit. I need less to take care of, be distracted by, clean around! I need to minimize my life again. To get it back to Gene and I, and what we will need for this next season.
Empty nesting has been quite the challenge for me. Part of that is because our marriage also took hits over the last decades, and there was just this gaping void when the children left! Whether I did anything right or not, they were my focus for so long! Over 30+ years of our 38 year long marriage! So now we are recovering our marriage (which will involve some resurrection in some areas, things DIED). And we are recalibrating our lives. Renovating our home. And working on getting our work together, so that God can indeed “Bless the work of our hands”.
All of this is just part of the moving on process. Forgiving ourselves, each other, and the kids, where they may have struck out in their pain. This is the cleansing and readjusting necessary to prepare for this next, and last, season of our lives. We must seek God, for whatever the enemy has meant for evil, God can and will use for our good if we simply trust Him to do so! He is that Good and that faithful!
Despite the obvious struggles I am encountering in this process, I am also filled with a great sense of new hope! I am honestly looking forward to this new season ahead. I want to make it count as much as possible. Like Moses, my own way of dealing with life may have excluded me from certain “promised lands”. Who can say? But this I know, I am beloved of God, kept by His Spirit, and led by His hand. I will make it in to THE PROMISED LAND, His Awesome Presence, in His timing. So with that in mind, I press on! I press on toward order, toward getting rid of all those things which “lie behind”, and pressing on ... “toward the mark of the high calling of God in The Anointed Yeshua”! Because, ultimately, that is the goal of my life and the reason for my existence.
Selah & Shalom Haverim