Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Psalm 37:4

This was written several months ago and I never got around to publishing it.  But with the holidays come all kinds of memories, and not all of them are good.  I'm nervous about my upcoming extended-family get-together.  My heart has been broken many ways this year, by many people in many ways.  A small part of me wants to skip all the hoopla, that part that likes to hide and pretend that there's nothing "out there" worth it.  I know better, I have no intention in hiding from anything.  But for now...this is me.

Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.  Psalm 37:4   

My entire 36 years of existence has been both based on and haunted by this Scripture. 

"Based on" because in 1974 my strictly devout Baptist parents sat their 9 and 6 year old boys down and said that they felt a little girl was needed to complete the family.  And so they prayed, and because this was before ultrasound, they did not know until I was born that God had answered their prayers.  I was dedicated to the Lord a few weeks later, and this Scripture was my blessing.

"Haunted by" because by the time I was 8, my oldest brother who I fought with constantly was away at college, my middle brother was 15 and while he loved me greatly, he was a teenager, so...well, you understand.  And my parents got divorced.  Not a friendly divorce either--it was a full-out battle from 1984 until right before Christmas 1993 when I had to go to court testify against my father for not paying child support--during my Christmas break from college.

"Delight thyself?"  There was no delight.  My brothers went off and lived their own lives, and I was raised pretty much as an only child.  My father knew that my mother's biggest fears centered around me, so he did everything he could to torture her--not paying child support, late drop-offs from forced visitation weekends, threats galore, all breaking my heart every single time.

My mother loves me to this day, and reminds me that it's HER delight she was praying for.  But I was still bitter--WHY would they spend all that time praying for me, only to leave me to fend for myself?  My total anger at my father and my brothers has become a real problem at several times in my life, and since I believe in counseling, I always ended up being able to move on...until the next time.

At Easter this year, there was what can only be described as an explosion between all of us--and my husband and I withdrew from my side of the family completely.  Once again, I was all alone.

Let me backtrack a little, and say that my mother was an amazing single mother.  No longer strictly devout, she was still a child of Christ, and taught me both by example and education about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  She would also rant and rave at God, shaking her fists towards the sky in complete anger at God--something I considered to be a sign of strength, such bravery she showed me!  (She is embarrassed by that, and would hate me writing it, but I'm doing it anyway.)

She also showed me by example that there are times in Life when you are so hopeless, so scared, feeling so worthless, that not even kneeling before God is enough--lying prostrate on the floor is the only way to ask God for His intervention to guide your way.

So, back to this year--I had a day come where I was like that--so heartbroken, so hopeless and helpless that I literally l found myself down on the floor, begging for answers and guidance and light--and I was given comfort through Grace:

For the first time in my 36 years, I realized that it was not just my 2 brothers and parents at that table praying for me, but that JESUS was there too, praying right along beside them for my existence.  That even though my human father had done such damage to my soul, that even though my brothers lived their own lives and left me to face it alone, and that even though the explosion had happened that shattered what relationships we all had--none of it mattered.

JESUS had been beside me all along.  He'd never abandoned me.  He'd never gotten mad at me and not called for months on end.  JESUS wanted me, had prayed for me and continued to do so--and that blew my mind.

I sincerely pray that Jesus does join my family for the celebration of His birth.  And also yours.  He is also called "Wonderful Counselor," you know :)

This is still my favorite time of the year, and I've made the conscious decision to make sure our home has a merry state-of-mind. 
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