From Brokenness to Redemption

Sometimes I wonder how I got here.  Sometimes I wonder about God’s ability to use me.  He insists He can use all of us.  Even me.  I can’t help but scratch my head at that.  It’s beyond my ability to comprehend.  Redeemed?  Me?  But…Lord, why?  My sins are multiple and compounded:

A judgemental attitude.

Affair with a married man.

Child out of wedlock.

Covetousness.

Anger issues.

I could go on and on.  I open my life and show my brokenness to the world and instead of the judgement I expect I get love.  I get love and support.  It’s simply beyond my comprehension.

How do you get from brokenness to redemption?

Have you ever arrived at a destination not remembering how you got there?  This is like that.  I remember bits and pieces, but I marvel that I’m here.  I’m amazed.

I’m simply amazed.  It’s unbelievable what He can do.  He can repair the broken.  He can lift the fallen.  He can give strength to the weary.  And he’s done all that for me.  As a young mom I said to myself nearly every day:

You don’t have to be stellar.  It’s okay just to survive.  Just keep going.

Motherhood is HARD.  If anyone ever tells you different they are LYING to you.  Motherhood is hard for all of us.  For those of us with a child that has Autism it is slightly harder.  I’ve fallen apart so many times over being a momma.  Each time, God knits me back together again.  Until the day I realized I couldn’t do it without Him.  I simply can’t do this motherhood thing without Him.  It’s impossible.

Let’s face it.  I can’t do LIFE without Him.  So my failure is His glory.  That’s how it works.  And suddenly you wake up one morning and you’ve been redeemed and people tell you that you’re inspirational.  You’re like

Wait!  What?

Because all you remember is the brokenness.  You still remember the pain of the sin and loss of trust.  You still remember being on your knees, crying, telling God you couldn’t do this.  You still remember anger and a hand raised.  You remember all of the brokenness.

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That’s the miracle of redemption.  Sometimes it’s a storm when life gets hard, but mostly it’s a soft, gentle rain.  A knowing.  A voice whispering in your ear

It’s okay.  I got this.

You wake up one morning and you realize it.  It just hits you.  People understand brokenness because they’re broken too.  

Wow.  Who knew?

It’s not behaving like a perfect Christian that saves souls.  It’s showing them our brokenness.  It’s showing them how much God can restore.  What He can do if you rely on Him.

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So how do you get from brokenness to redemption?

Only with the power and love of a risen savior.

Becky

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/48503330@N08/5482313271″>Escaped Souls</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>(license)</a>

Don’t Discount the Cost of Sin

As a parent of a child with Autism, my son makes frequent social mistakes.  Sometimes terribly personal social mistakes.  D frequently walks down the middle of a hallway, forcing others to jump to the wall to avoid running into him.  He has no filter and at times calls people “fat” or “old.”  As his parent I have to call him on his mistakes, autism or no autism and I do.  I explain why his behavior is wrong.  I tell him he needs to apologize.  Most people are kind people.  Frequently, they say the words, “It’s okay.  It’s okay.”  Probably thinking they are doing us a favor.

They are not.

Since his behavior wasn’t socially acceptable, then it wasn’t “okay.”  By giving him an out you discount the cost of his behavior and make it more difficult for me to teach him appropriate ways of dealing with the world.  D is like all of us and would much rather have an excuse for his current behavior than change.

This mama doesn’t give excuses.

I’m not in the excuse-making business.  Not even for myself.  I got pregnant with D on purpose and without his father’s consent.  I almost lost the relationship as a result.  I didn’t, but there’s always, always a cost to sin.  And I don’t mean on judgement day.  There’s a real, personal cost to sin.  For all of us.

For D, discounting the cost of his poor judgement means it’s more difficult to make connections with people.  His ability to make connections with others is crucial.  It’s generally the reason we are successful at business, have friends, and stay in long-term relationships.  My dream for him is that he finds someone that loves him as much as I do.  That dream is lost if he doesn’t understand his mistakes and doesn’t try harder.  So no, It’s really not “okay.”

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There’s always a cost to sin.  The cost to D is loss of a dream and a good job.  The cost to me was the loss of trust in my relationship to his father.  If I discount the cost, then I’m in danger of repeating the sin.  We always want to make everything okay, but it encourages us to sin when we do that.  We WANT to believe that we live in a gray world, but God sees sin as black and white.

Sometimes the cost of our sin is manifested in others.  Choosing poorly in relationships can mean absent fathers and broken-hearted children.  Sometimes it means bitter fights and custody battles.  The sin of poor choices affects ALL of us at one point in time or another.  We ALL make poor choices at times in our lives.  But, I believe, that if we acknowledge our sin then the chance of repeating that sin is lessened.  The  problem is that it’s easier to discount it.  Make excuses.  Blame genetics.  Make it about someone else.

Don’t make excuses.  Don’t discount the cost.  Acknowledge the full weight of sin.  Count ALL the cost of it.   So that we can grow in our faith and encourage each other.

 

Becky

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/122594368@N03/14828527245″>3 Keys for a Healthy Conversation</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a>

The Growing of Boys

I’m losing my boys.  Slowly and surely, they’re slipping from my grasp little by little.  I can do nothing but watch it happen.  It is as inevitable as the tide.  What is happening has happened to millions of other mamas as well.  It’s part of the growing of boys.

When they were little they needed me to nurture them.  To take care of them.  I was the source of food, comfort and sleep.  Their day ran on a clock that I wound.  I thrilled to their need.  I smiled at their discomfort and sleepiness.  I knew I was the only one who could fix it.  I was the one who soothed them.  Fed them.  Rocked them to sleep.  Dressed them. Took them out to see the world.  Played with them.

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But they are boys.  And boys grow to be men.  That means us moms have to let go.  It’s time for someone else to take over.  It’s time for the one in the house to take over to teach them to be a man.  Since I’m not a man it can’t be me.

It has to be a man.  A good man.  A strong man.  A man who can show them how to protect their mom.  How to tell the truth.  How to stand up for what they believe in.  How to look out for each other.  How to walk.  How to talk.  What to say.  How to tell what’s important in this life.  It’s their dad.

They are blessed with a good one.  He’s honest, good and upright.  He’s faithful and walks with integrity.  He’s gentle, kind and helpful.  He’s all they will need to teach them.  Guide them.  Show them how to be a man.

He’s necessary.  Dad’s are necessary.  Even in this day and age.  Especially in this day and age.  Rampant divorce means nothing to a child.  ‘Unreconcilable differences’ is meaningless to a boy who needs his dad.  His presence is vital to the boys’ psyche.  There’s no alternative to an involved dad.

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So, I’m losing my boys.  I’m okay with that.  They need their dad more than they need me.  Oh, they will still need me from time to time.  To dry their tears.  Bandage their boo boos.  Fix their snacks.  But from here on their dad will be teaching them how to be man.  That’s a good thing.  I get to sit back and be a proud mom.  Because if they’re anything like their dad, they’ll be a good man.

Becky