Driving down the busy interstate, the continual nagging continued. On and on and on went the repetitive nag, nag, nag. You see, no one else was with me, but the nagging became intense. How can there be nagging when I am alone? That's easy ... the nagging was from within me.
When we are around someone who produces negativity, we usually, and at least, eventually, begin to distance ourselves from them. Surrounding ourselves with positive people is a blessing. But, when the negativity is in our own head, there is nowhere to run nor hide!
It is strange how the mind can become fixated upon some "scenario" and run proverbial circles around it. I must confess, this was me for many years concerning a situation. I, by the grace of God alone, had forgiven people for some horrid actions, walked an unfathomable grief journey, through God "carrying" me (and, we all know it really doesn't end til "we meet again") and persevered through some difficult - to say the least - circumstances. Again, this was by the grace of God alone. However, my fixation was upon a certain situation of "guilt." I always strive to be transparent with you and in my being transparent, I share my struggles with the hopes of helping someone else who may be struggling. My guilt seems foolish now. Hindsight is always 20/20, isn't it? So, imagine my surprise when one of our pastors preached about this seemingly insurmountable "problem" I have struggled with for many years.
Lamenting to my husband once again, I whined: I only wanted my children to have a "home." You know, the Norman Rockwell style home where you grow up in and return to the same house, bedroom and familiarity of a true "home" with the aroma of freshly baked bread? I wanted them to be secure and all the while point them to Christ. Yet, it was not to be. I have berated myself, struggled with and cried that my children didn't have the type of life I so yearned to give them. Then, on two different days, God spoke loud and clear as to "His plan" concerning this obsession I had created in my own mind. The first was an article written concerning children and their roots. Now, before I go on, I must add, if you have raised your children under the same roof and never realized what a blessing it is, then thank God and be happy about this. It is a gift from God. But, for me and many others, this was not His plan. The article spoke of roots and how oft times "uprooting" and "replanting" children actually gave them stronger roots. This is likened to replanting a plant so the roots go deeper and wider than it ever could have gone in a little pot. The article gave perspective to me, and I meditated that children's roots actually go down deeper and stronger, and realized this was a truth I had never discovered!
Then, it was time for church! My husband and I absolutely love our church! We look forward to the services much like a child looks forward to their favorite holiday. Our senior pastor was ill and one of his assistants preached one Sunday. I'll call it my "freedom sermon." He spoke of security in a person's life and stated that security should lie in Christ and Christ alone. He laughingly told of he and his wife's plan from the beginning of their childrearing. They wanted their children's security to lie in Christ. We all know that people pass away, houses burn down and material places and things do not make us happy, nor should they make us secure. Therefore, our pastor and his wife determined that their children not plant their security in a house or a bedroom, but rather in Christ alone. Also, they determined to, what I like to call, "give them roots then giving them wings." The natural order for an adult is to leave home and have a life. I know in this day and time that's not always easy and sometimes kids need to bomarang back to mom and dad's, but ultimately our goal is to raise independent children as we give them roots and then wings. So, our pastor and his wife moved from a very large house to a somewhat smaller house, and then to an even smaller house and moved purposely every three or four years as their children grew up and became adults. All the while emphasizing the only place for their children's security was Jesus Christ. Ding, ding, ding, my husband looked at me and smiled. Tears flowed as I realized, in that 20/20 hindsight I always am talking about, that God's goals for them were my goals for them, and that was for them to grow into adults who placed their treasure in things eternal and that the only thing that really matters in life are "God and people." Wow. Talk about a weight lifted! I, like you, love my children beyond words! I also love my children beyond words, as four of my children are in heaven and two on earth. I always have wanted them to look to Christ for all things so they might have hope and peace when I am long gone! I have preached to them that material possessions will never bring happiness, but only momentary pleasure. I did not realize until our pastor's sermon that I needed to practice what I preach. Sure, we have strived to "simplify" and downsize our "stuff" as I shared in recent weeks, but the longing to have that Norman Rockwell warm and fuzzy home also was something I needed to let go of and continue to point to Christ for our one and only security. Again, enjoy the blessing of a home, if you have been so blessed, but I challenge you to continue to point to our unwavering God as our ultimate security and "home."
"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven , where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." Matthew 6:19-21