I don’t know why Sunday mornings have to be so difficult. Trying to get ready and out the door for church can produce so much ugliness in me, its a wonder that I don’t get banned each week. Sometimes I cannot shake the feeling that a heavenly alarm will go off as I pass over the threshold alerting everyone to the fact that I have just been very mean to the most important people in my life.
Yesterday was one of those mornings. I just woke up ‘off’ as my husband and I both agreed that we are heading into a season of change within the next few years. We do not know exactly what it will entail, and it is not necessarily ‘bad’ change. But we sense we’re on the eve of a ‘different,’ and I detest different.
I woke up earlier than normal and began looking for my bible. I’ve walked long enough to know that I can endure most anything as long as He goes with and before me.
I looked in the normal places for my Bible and could not locate it. My oldest has taken to reading it quite a bit. She likes the translation in modern English. (NLT) But I’ve also worried, because she has a tendency to misplace and lose things. I began to panic. I “knew” that she was the last one who had it.
Now I could spin this and tell you just how special this specific Bible is to me. Because it is indeed…very, very, special. It has been with me though the past 7 years of my life that were also some of the most difficult I have ever had. The Bible was new then but now speaks more accurately of the journey I have been on than I can.
It has answered many questions for me. They weren’t necessarily the questions I was asking, but they were the answers that I needed the most. The Word has spoken to me in some of my more terrified and desperate moments. So I have underlined things and put a date by the verse/s I knew could only come from a God that was real, living, and active.
Like the time I was sitting with my grandmother, “Memaw” the day before she died. I was so frightened, because she wasn’t responding. All I could do was say Psalm 23 over and over again. The Spirit began talking to my heart all around that familiar passage. It showed me what was going on inside of her, since she was unable to with words. Until she finally called out, “Oh, I’m SO Happy!”
This is when I was so scared because my friend Sydney, wife, mother of three, and a friend to many had just been diagnosed with a brain tumor.
There are so many other times, but the ones that will always anchor me are my life verses. This will always tell me who I am and who God is when I lose my way. It assures me that all that was wrongly taken from me will be given back to me. One day.
And though this book has walked with me through a lot of hard things and tears, it was not what was inflaming my anger when I could not locate it. And my poor daughter was just collateral damage. I had so much fear and angst going on inside of me thinking about the change looming in the distance, and I just needed someone to take it out on.
I told her very coldly that she was not to do anything else until she found it. 10 minutes went by, then 20, then 30. Then it hit me. I knew exactly where it was…. because I was the one who had it last. My heart just sank. I’d like to tell you that, I immediately went to her and apologized. But it was not my first thought.
My first thought was to get it out of my backpack (where I put it) and plant it somewhere random, and ‘discover’ it later. I’d rather lie than confess. That lasted about a minute (well maybe 5) …the grace and mercy that I have received over the years kicked in, and I went to relieve my daughter of the burden I had unfairly placed on her shoulders. I called her up to my room, and she was so upset. The pressure of disappointing me was destroying her.
I let her talk first after I told her that I was sorry and the one who missed placed it. And the tears began to stream down her face, because I’m pretty scary when I’m mad.
She was so brave and honest. She said, “Mom, I prayed and prayed but just couldn’t find it. I was so scared I lost it.”
Then it hit me. She was praying for me and did not know it. I know her prayers were instrumental in my confession and apology. They gave me insight into where I had put it and helped soften my heart in order to apologize and ask her for her forgiveness for taking my fears of the future out on her. It was a wonderful moment. One that I would have missed in order to protect myself and my pride in order to become ‘mother of the year.’
We were restored and later that morning was able to receive communion together. Her walking in front of me. Checking over her shoulder to make sure I was there as she still is timid receiving this blessing. I smiled at her and wanted to encourage her to receive it the same way that I received her forgiveness that morning.
open-handed. open-hearted. undeserved. grace and mercy. freely given. for us.