As I sat by the fire on one of our last nights at camp, I could see my dad through the flames, sitting there in silence. I knew back at home Mom was packing up some things so the move out wouldn’t be as much of a hassle. My heart ached for him. Yeah he let his anger control him at times and wasn’t the loving father everyone desires, but he’s human just like me.
We all mess up, some just make bigger messes than others. “Jesus looked at him and loved him.” (Mark 10:21) Jesus looked at my dad and loved him, not for the lifestyle he lived or the choices he made, but because He can see past those failings and a heart, a heart He desires to beat for Him.
Through the flickering flames of that cool October night, I saw a father who let his anger control him and didn’t show his love for his children, but God saw a dad who needed help and a heart that needed healing. God can make the impossible possible, the unloving loved, the broken see healing, the anger-driven become compassion-driven.
Don’t stop believing.
God can show favor toward you no matter what your circumstances. Joseph was seventeen years old when his brothers sold him into slavery. Then he was falsely accused of sleeping with his master’s wife and thrown into prison. Imagine how lonely Joseph must’ve felt. His own father thought he was dead, yet Joseph never became bitter toward God and God showed great favor on him.
“…but while Joseph was in prison, the Lord was with him, he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden.” Genesis 39:20-21.
You may feel like a prisoner to every-other-weekend visitation, accepting a new step-parent you don’t particularly like, or feeling rejected by one of your parents. Wherever you are, God is laser focused on you and your challenges. He knows you didn’t create this chaos. Acknowledge Him and ask for His favor.
Joseph was a teenager thrown into one stressful situation after another, through no fault of his own. His faith was rock solid throughout every ordeal. Ask God for the same favor He gave Joseph, in every situation and every relationship. Keep a journal so you don’t forget all the ways God works on your behalf.
Know I’m praying for you,
Music for your iPod: God With Us by Mercy Me
Sometimes in dealing with divorce it is hard to really comprehend why it is happening or how do I forgive my parents for the decision they have made. The impact it has on our lives is one that you only understand if you have faced divorce yourself. But how do we learn to forgive our parents and love them in spite of this huge change in our lives?
The only way to truly get to that point is to pray that Christ gives you the love that only comes from him. We have heard the “love” chapter time and time again, but this month it has been something that I have been memorizing and really taking to heart. To be reminded what true love is and to be able to lean on that and show it, is a freeing thing. It goes a little something like this: “Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong. Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices in the truth. Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseverses. Love never FAILS. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a.”
Love is much more than a feeling, it is a Verb, an action. My prayer for you is that this week, you will find ways to love your parents and those around you, despite your circumstances.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Luke 6:38
What are your needs today? A single parent home can sometimes rob your Mom or Dad of precious time to spend with you. Are you craving some attention? Or maybe just a listening ear? Whatever it is God has an incredible path to get you there.
Luke 6:38 is not just about money. It’s our very own measuring stick for many areas in our life. Do you long for a really good friend? Seek out someone who needs a friend (you know the ones) and be a friend to her. Do you need joy in your life? Find ways to make someone happy.
The list goes on and on. If you need mercy, show mercy toward someone. If you struggle with body image issues reach out to someone who struggles with the same and encourage her.
Give and it will be given to you. You decide. God will use the measuring stick you choose to return the blessing to you.
Make sure your motives are pure when you help someone in need. Give or help someone anonymously. God knows when no one else does. Remember, you can’t out give God.
Know I’m praying for you.
Music for Your Ipod: From the Inside Out by Hillsong
“Peace I leave with you; peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Are you in a dark place? Worried? Angry? Stupid parents. Stupid coach. Stupid new house. I like my old house. Dad’s stupid new girlfriend. Every other weekend.
The disciples found themselves in a dark place the night Jesus was brutally carried away to be crucified. Peter pulled out his sword and cut off a guard’s ear. He was angry. Then fear set in and he denied knowing Jesus later that evening. (Talk about Jekyll and Hyde) Life as he knew it had changed forever.
Fear’s the common denominator for this kind of action. What are your fears? Jesus gave us the best departing gift ever. Peace. Speak your troubles to the Lord. Ask Him to take your fears away. Then let go.
Every stage of divorce creates new situations. Every holiday. Every family event. Different. Don’t go it alone. Only God knows what’s ahead. Trust Him to prepare you for any situation so you don’t lose your peace.
Know I’m praying for you.
Music for your Ipod: Love Has Come by Mark Schultz