Sunday, April 27, 2008

I Am More than My Mother's Daughter

I walked from the truck holding the hands of tousled 2 year old boys. He was on the tractor and shouted a greeting, "This is the first time you've come all year."

"Hi Dad", I called back.

He gave a chuckle as he watched the boys scramble to stomp in puddles and I realized Dad was right. I've been only twice since last summer, or just this once in 2008. He didn't know I would've rather not come today only "duty" and "should" won out over my aversion to being here.

It wasn't him, it was mom.

The criticism, the constant push and pull and the strain of our relationship made it easier for me to simply stay away. They come regularly to our home- all holidays, birthdays, celebrations, and the children's music recitals and events. It was easy for me to ignore my absence. This fact obviously wasn't lost on Dad.

I love my mom. I appreciate all she's sacrificed and given in raising me. I have much to be thankful for. She is resilient, generous, and knowledgeable. She is a lady of integrity and grit and conviction. She has her own pain and disappointments in life. In the past few years I understand her more and have come to peace about my own hurts and longing for what has never been.

I realize I too struggle with quickness of temper, irritability, and resentment. I know the truth of the sins of the Fathers being passed to the second and third generation as spoken in Exodus.

My eldest daughter said to me on Friday, "Mom you are quick to anger like Grandma." There was no judgement or animosity in her tone. She was simply sharing an observation with her mom. I hope she never stops.

But oh how those words stung. I wished desperately, that there was no truth in them. Instead I faced the ugly truth and shared with Hannah how it grieves me that I struggle with it. I told her I am working hard to overcome. I told her that I hate the way my sin affects Daddy and her and all my children. I pray daily to overcome and pray they will not fight this fight. In Jesus, we will be victorious. I told her that I want her to be witness to my overcoming, just as she has been witness to my sin.

I have already overcome much self-loathing for who I am, my heritage, and my sin. Sometimes it's easier to accept generational sin in our lives than it is to overcome it. I believe Christ wants more from us.

I am my mother's daughter. That is true. I struggle each and every day to be more gentle, patient, compassionate, humble, and kind. There is victory in the battle. One day I will be like Him for He is faithful to complete the work He has begun in me. I am weak but He is strong. His power is made perfect in my weakness. Where sin abounds, grace abounds even more. These are promises I claim several times a day as the battle over life and death rages in me.

I am my mother's daughter. Yet, what's more...I am a daughter of the King.

There is freedom, peace, victory, and redemption from the sins of our fathers. The ones that threaten to rob us of our peace and victory in our new life in Him.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before Him. In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.
In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace, which He lavished upon us....In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ should be to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:3-8,11-12. NASV

Through His adoption, I am His child - a heir to all that is His. I have victory, redemption, and freedom because He has conquered sin already on my behalf - on your behalf. We have freedom and peace if we allow the power of truth to live in our minds and in our lives. If we allow ourselves to be deceived by Satan and death and we don't speak truth into our lives, we rob ourselves of victory.

Thank you God for your grace, mercy, and faithfulness. Your lovingkindness is everlasting. Thank you for the new life we have in you. Thank you because You are, "able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us". Ephesians 3:20 NASV

4 comments:

Belinda said...

Dear Joyful,
How true. I've been there! Things that hurt me as a child, I find myself saying and doing, like a script that I learned well subconsciously. I hated it when I caught myself defaulting to dysfunction.

Realizing it is huge. The other thing Paul and I are trying to get our heads around is accepting and appropriating the finished work of grace, not just for our past sins but for our present actions. I believe the Word says that it is no longer I that lives, but Christ that lives in me. I don't see that yet, but I believe it. And I want it to be so.

Night Owl said...

A very good friend of mine showed me this picture:
"I am no longer your child - I am a child of God"
I'd post it here, but I'm not sure how to do that. But your post reminded me of it today, Joyful Fox.
Sometimes I hate myself for falling into the same traps I see my mom fall into too. But I still love her and I so want her to love me back and be affectionate back. It doesn't always happen that way.
I thought it was a horrible burden to be child of God and to have to depend on solely God for comfort and protection. Sometimes it seems like maybe He has too much to do, and maybe too many adopted children. But I've come to know that He is there whenever we need Him and call Him. And I guess that's all I need. (God knows what I need!)
I hope that God will continue to guide me and strengthen me to stay on the path that is good and the path that He wants for me.
I wish I could help my mom do the same, but I guess all I can do is ask God to do the same for her. Not completely helpless, though sometimes it feels that way...
Anyway, thanks, Joyful Fox, for sharing that. :) (((((hugs)))))
Let's pray for each other, who are enduring similar struggles. :)
Love, Night Owl
P.S. I'd still like to share the drawing, so if anyone can help me. Thanks!

Belinda said...

Night Owl; if you can take a photo of the drawing with a digital camera and email it to me, I can post it on the blog.
Love,
B

Joyful Fox said...

Belinda and Night Owl,

Both of your comments touched me very deeply and I could not respond right away. Sometimes I write from a core of a very painful place and I did that on Sunday.

Belinda, your comment at the end spoke into me. The grace for now. To forgive myself and appropriate God's grace right now is not a freedom I have yet found. The knowledge is there and the truth exists in my mind but not in my heart. I wish I could forgive myself daily and find God's grace in the now for my failure in resentments, sinning in unholy anger, and quick irritable responses or a place of momentary frustrations. The well seems so deep.

Yet I know His grace is enough and the victory can be mine in Him but I am discouraged by the weight of failure and the rate of it.

Night Owl,
The picture of that girl is worth 1000 words. Sometimes I still feel like her. She looks alone, discouraged, helpless, and hidden, broken and neglected. Yet she is a child of the king - a child protected under the shadow of His wings - such as the post for Monday April 29 implies.

Night Owl, your words touched me too. You are right, you can only pray for your mom and trust God for change in her. I know I tried so hard to change my parents in days gone by. I look at them now as so many wasted energies, days, and a huge season of my life. As hard as it is, we must let go of that which is not ours, no matter how we are linked by blood.

Bless you both for your comments have given more clarity, insight, and understanding into this painful issue. Your words bless and encourage.