Lately I have been thinking about the influence parents have on their children's lives. A parent's influence is either for the betterment or destruction of a child; it is generally not neutral. I was shattered by my parents.
But God took the pieces of my shattered self and put me back together; creating an incredible, one-of-a-kind, purposeful mosaic. As only God can.
Remember when we thought Luke might have had cancer last summer? In that first week, I shook my finger at God. I was angry and I told him as much. I said things along the lines of: "I've given you all of me. I endured years of abuse at the hands of the people who were supposed to love me most, I've trusted you in my recovery, and I've committed to giving my adult life to ministering to the hearts of abuse survivors for your glory. I forbid you to place a minute of Luke's life in discomfort or suffering!" As a mom, it was unthinkable for my child to undergo a single day of cancer treatment. I was territorial. Forbidding God!
Never mind that God is the Father of all creation. That Luke is actually God's and not mine.
In that moment, I was throwing my brokenness at God and claiming that it was sufficient to cover my entire family of four!
As I look at it today, I see the sillyness (and hypocrisy) of my position. God restored twenty-seven years of dysfunction, brokenness, and sin in my life. Surely, if Luke had had cancer, God would have used it for his glory as well. He is trustworthy and ever-present. God is the only thing that can sufficiently triumph over tragedy.
Earthly parents are in a powerful position. It is my prayer that parents everywhere would opt to build young people rather than end up with grown-ups in need of restoration... But, as long as we have the freedom of choice, there will be those who make the wrong choices.
I praise God for his infinite love, forgiveness, grace, mercy, patience, healing and comfort. God has healed my heart - and mine is not a unique story. He is in the business of healing, loving, guiding and providing. For that, I am immensely grateful and humbled. He takes the wrecks that people have created and turns them into his beautiful masterpieces...and calls us his children.
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble." Psalm 46:1
"He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to his name." Psalm 23:3
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed." Psalm 34:18