Tuesday, August 13, 2013

By His Wounds We Are Healed

All of us have wounds. I wish that wasn't the case. I think I have less than most people because my parents are still married and I grew up in a very loving home. I have a husband who has shown me the love of Jesus Christ and loves me in a way I didn't know possible.
I am SO grateful for that. But, I have wounds from people that have left marks on my soul.
Rejection, abandonment, betrayal, neglect, controlling, etc... We all encounter those things.

My heart hurts as I watch my daughter enter into a world of girls who aren't always "nice". I thought Tim and I were relational but our DNA has produced a little girl who loves people like I have never seen before. She loves making new friends. She loves talking to people. She loves going to people's houses. She just loves people. As I watch her, I realize that she has been made more in the image of God than of me. I think of how God so loves the world and how He loves people. How God desires relationship, not religion. Not a phony love but a real one. 
Last night, Hope asked if she could go play with some girls. I said, "sure, honey". When one girl saw Hope coming, she grabbed all their toys and said to another girl, "Don't play with her. C'mon. Let's go."
Then they looked at Hope and the girl said,
"We don't want to play with you."

Oh, y'all. My heart sunk. My mother bear came out as Hope is running toward them so naively and innocently. Why would they do that? They don't even know her. The not-so-nice girl was older.
I yelled for Hope to come back when I realized what was happening. I couldn't bare to watch them as the girl continued to be not-so-nice. 
Honestly, this is only the second time I have seen girls act like this. I am new to this world. Boys don't do this stuff. In 10 years of having boys, I don't think I have encountered boys who use words to hurt. They are simple. They just have fun. There aren't cliques. I know this is Motherhood 101 for all you moms of girls out there but it is a whole new ballgame for me.
I think the most painful part was feeling the pain with her. God has given me a love for people also. I have a heart for "whosoever". We let "whosoevers" in our house and pour ourselves out 100% into people we really don't know. We never really thought twice about that. It was natural. Until we were repayed evil for good. Until we encountered impure motives. There are also the people who simply want to slander or tear down our family.
It is times like this when you begin to feel the heart of God. The heart of God that loved people so much, He sent His precious Son into the world to save them while they hung him on a cross. The ultimate return of evil for good.
Love demands a cost. It is vulnerable. I have felt the sting.  If you have done ministry, you have too.
I don't think we can truly "know Christ and the power of His resurrection" without being rejected, abandoned, slandered, betrayed, etc...
It is part of getting to know Jesus and what He experienced for us.

"I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him,"
Phil 3:10

Because of life and experience, I have lost a lot of innocence which makes me sad. I don't want Hope to lose hers. I don't want her to be robbed of reckless love for people. Yet, at the same time, I think we have to learn to be wise in protecting our hearts and our families. Are we called to maintain relationships with toxic people? Sure. But maybe from a distance. Even Jesus didn't "entrust" Himself to all men...
"But Jesus didn't trust them, because he knew human nature."
John 2:24
I absolutely believe there are times to use wisdom in relationships. I also think that as we walk with the Lord, He desires to be our best friend so He will allow friends to disappoint us in order for us to get our eyes back on Him.
The Lord has had to teach me over and over again that He is my TRUE VINE. That I can't seek from people what only He can give. He will never abandon, never lie, never slander, never disappoint, never fail. But, how often do we look toward friendships (especially girls) to be our "true vine". 
I feel very overprotective of Hope as I steward her heart. But, I have to equip her and teach her to continue to love even when it is scary.
If you have been wounded and struggle (like me) operating out of fear... ask the Lord to make you whole. He was wounded so that we could be healed.
 "He was beaten so we could be whole."
Is 53


I haven't figured out exactly how to walk in this yet. It will be a constant prayer, I think.

I know I have pulled way back from people out of woundedness and fear. But, I want to love hard. I want to be genuine. I want to invite people into our lives. Just as my daughter does.

May God give us both wisdom to know how to navigate this world with His heart. His heart for people that loved until its last beat.
I was reminded of this today when we were at Costco and I turned around to find Hope holding hands with an elderly lady and talking to her. It was so beautiful that tears came to my eyes and I prayed, "God, please don't let anyone take that from her. Give us both hearts like yours."

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son"
John 3:16

"God our Savior, who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth.  For there is only one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus.  He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone."
1 Tim 2:3-6

"God, give us your heart to love people the way you do. Knowing rejection, slander, disappointment are going to come. Yet, we want to love with Your pure and vulnerable love."

***************************************************

My bones are beginning to shift and ache. My body is tired as I inch through the third trimester. Days are getting harder for sure. I am trying to get as much school completed as I can so we can enjoy our beach vacation and time when the baby comes. Motherhood is hard. I keep asking the Lord to help me 
"Learn from Him" how to be a parent and meet so many needs.  
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls."
Matt 11:29

I love this version of Matt 11 my friends sent me in The Message...



“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. 

Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” 

(Matthew 11:28-30)


I believe that there is a way to do this in the chaos of motherhood. I want to LEARN FROM HIM (not books). To walk with Him, watch how He does it, & to get away with Him
I want to learn His unforced rhythms of grace
It is such a dance, girls. He leads, we follow. 
Be Blessed~
Steph

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

amen. :)
I've a lot of extroverts in my wonderful crew of kids. I have felt their pain, and I have known mine. I feel your heart here. I have also noticed in the Word there are certain types of people we are actually to avoid. We are to love them yes, but I'm not always sure what that means when there are clear passages about those to avoid - the complainer, the liar, the gossiper, one who flatters with the tongue, boundary crashers (those who want to replace God in our lives), and those who profess to be believers but live a life far from it. I am wanting to learn of HIM, like He walked here on earth. He is our example. I find His example interesting. His words not always "gentle," His actions not always what I would think of "as comfortable" for others. This is such an interesting thing to think about, to mill over, and to seek the Holy Spirit on. I like your side of the conversation ;) I love how iron sharpens iron.
Blessing to you as you mother and love, and seek Him.
<3 Alyssa

Rebecca Betts said...

Hi Stephanie, it's Becca Betts (used to be Umstot)- Crystal Shields' college friend, she commented on your blog on Facebook- and I clicked on it and have been sooo encouraged, out of the blue! I will need to read more you've written, as it's hitting right at my heart. I remember we visited you when Reece was only 1 week old and you were completely exhausted but had the biggest smile on your face at this new adventure of motherhood. I now know why (both why you were over the moon AND exhausted!). Anyways just thought I'd let you know I enjoyed reading your blog and can't wait to read more- needed the pep talk! Becca xx