Monday, October 20, 2014

Not too late

Yesterday at church I sat in my seat and cried
with my arm around  my 16 year old daughter
as I watched two parents embracing, sobbing,
at the front of the small, but crowded sanctuary.

Each the parent of a teen girl lost to suicide,
one this weekend, one a few weeks ago.

This morning I sat on my bed and sobbed
as I read the blog post of a mother whose
baby didn't wake up from his nap last week.
He was perfectly healthy two days before.

But his mother, father and four siblings
spent his 2nd birthday planning a funeral.

I'm often reminded that these kids who
live in my house, eat my food, ask me
for advice, and money, and call me mom,
aren't really mine in any permanent sense.

On loan from God, He could take them back
at any time, in any place, in any fashion.

I've had to ask Him for forgiveness for times
this was forgotten and my will became priority. 
So many times I made life about me, dragging
them along for the ride as if they didn't matter.

And while not to the degree that it once did,
it still happens more often than I'd like to admit.

Several weeks ago after dealing with an afternoon
of abnormal disrespect and back-talk and downright
defiance, I caved, crying on my bed, messaging
a friend about their behavior and my guilt in it all.

How can they talk to me like this? Who do they think
they are? It's official... I've ruined them. Now what?

We bounced back from that day, but the defeat
left a bruise on my heart, and in some ways,
a resignation to the fact that the pain I brought us
in years past, will continue to color our lives.

Don't get me wrong, as kids go, mine are awesome.
But often I wonder how much damage my bad choices
really did to them and how it will affect the rest of their lives
and if it is too late to make an impact by living rightly.

Today I thought about
what those other parents would say,
if I stopped striving for better... because I thought it was already too late.

There is only one way that it is ever too late.

I am so thankful for God who never looked at me and thought, "It's too late to help that one..." 
He saved me from the pit of destruction that I created with my own hands... and in doing so He saved them too. 

17 Surely it was for my benefit
that I suffered such anguish.
In your love you kept me
from the pit of destruction;
you have put all my sins
behind your back.
18 For the grave cannot praise you,
death cannot sing your praise;
those who go down to the pit
cannot hope for your faithfulness.
19 The living, the living—they praise you,
as I am doing today;
parents tell their children
about your faithfulness.
~Isaiah 38:17-19

18 So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. 
~Deuteronomy 11:18-20 NLT

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