This week has brought a lot of unexpected happenings our way... Things that most people aren't generally prepared for, and things I would definitely not even have allowed myself to deal with as recently as a few weeks ago. But, the LifeGroup and Bible studies we've been a part of since August have led me to a place where I'd begun praying specifically for a change in my heart, for a softening and compassion, towards people who have hurt me and scared me away from them. Knowing my tendency to begin down this road and then u-turn at the first sign of trouble, I shared this prompting that the Lord has laid on me with the women in my LifeGroup and Bible study; asking for frequent accountability and encouragement no matter how many excuses or justifications I might give for retreating again.
By all worldly standards, I have every reason to keep up walls and refer to them as "boundaries". Yet, I have been the recipient of God's abundant mercy, forgiveness and grace. No matter how many times I mess it up with Him, he awaits my return with open arms and compassion. I want to be that for those in my life who have hurt me.
And, so... I began to pray. And my friends began to pray. And I committed to allowing them into my life; thinking of them as key people who I want to share Christ with.
And then they called. Needing things that I could never have offered up just a few weeks ago, but that I am willing to wade into now; trusting that God's healing in my life is legitimate and that I am capable of handling this and not losing sight of who and whose I am. I pray, sometimes minute by minute, that God would pour grace out on me, turn my heart towards them, and allow me to LOVE them in a way that is only possible through Him.
As I look at God's perfect timing in this... How he has been tapping me on the shoulder for months, yet allowing me to agree to His prompting as I was ready. And how I no sooner began praying and asking others to hold me accountable, that these people need me in ways that I could not have been used even a few weeks ago. His timing is uncanny. Not at all coincidence, but planned masterfully. I cannot believe that He cares for each and every one of us so deeply; that he orchestrates things like this in every one of our lives.
And then Zach came home with this...
He nominated his Dad for Father of the Year.
I am overwhelmed by the love that my kids know. I am so very grateful that they have no first hand knowledge of the emptiness that I once knew. I am hopeful that their view of their Heavenly Father will never be skewed by anything we will do as parents; but that they will always know that their Daddy and I love them with all our hearts and souls, and that God loves them even more. Talk about your father of the year!