Have you ever tried really hard to hold it all together, and the harder you try, the worse it gets?
Jesus replied, "The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
I was sitting in the parking lot of the highschool a few years ago. I was a mess. We had returned from our mission trip to New Orleans with our youth group. Our family had been in a battle for the previous several months with our daughter and an ex boyfriend. The situation seemed to be on the wind-down when we left for the trip; which helped a little since they were both on it. He had a new girlfriend, but I still felt uneasy.
I saw them sitting together on the bus, I cautioned her to keep her distance knowing things had the potential to flare up, but she felt things were okay and wanted to be nice.
Mid trip brought a conflict however, which resulted in the pastor taking them aside and telling them to have nothing to do with each other, to go through adults if they had anything to say to each other. But during our leaders meeting, he pursued her to "apologize" and she kept walking away in obedience to the Pastor's instructions. It was "just what the devil ordered" for bringing stress, pain, and misunderstanding. It resulted in rebuke from several of the kids toward Kayla and her friend. I felt the need to confront a few of the young women who were "infringing on my battleground" and knew very little, if anything, about what had been taking place in our lives prior. Admittedly, I acted out of my anger, and should have been more gentle.
To shorten a long story, when we got back, we were "the bad guys". Both Kayla and I were frowned at and ignored by several who had been on the trip. We refused to defend ourselves and chose instead to be ridiculed or thought ill of rather than disclose information that could hurt others involved.
But it hurt. Both of us. Bad.
So I was sitting in the parking lot that day, feeling the heavy weight of this burden, when a song came on by Gersh (I think he only ever made one cd, and I owned it for me. That day.) The lyrics go something like this:
I have been watching you
and this is hard to see
brave, brave player in your tragedy
you think if you're strong enough
just last long enough
well that's not enough
to calm the storm in you
you don't even realize
how hurt you'be been
the best thing you could ever do is
fall to pieces
fall into the loving arms of Jesus
well this hurts so much
we all love you so
can we tell you something
you already know
He is strong enough and
you've told others that before
you've held out long enough
this time you're the
one He is reaching for
And I did just that. I broke down with Jesus there in the truck with me. In sobs of freedom, I felt so relieved to put that burden on Him. I was in process of being that seed that dies again. Of dying to myself and not doing what I had every desire to do, and that was go defend myself.
In doing so, I was blessed to experience the sweet presence of Jesus that day, I was able to rise up and be His. To know His love would uphold me and my daughter no matter what. He proves to be our defender in every battle we let Him fight on our behalf. Sometimes like with David running and hiding from Saul, we have to wait longer than we would like, but He works in our hearts... He has in mine. I trust Him more today than before
I think all has now been forgiven. We have all moved on. Kayla is married to a man she met on that trip. God is good.
I just finished reading this book: