Friday, September 11, 2015

Feel the Love

When I divorced it affected a lot of people. It shocked and saddened more people than even I personally know. The ripples of who my decision hurt lapped to shores I didn't know existed. It most deeply hurt my children, then my parents and siblings, then my congregation, then my church community across my state, then friends and acquaintances across my country, and even into places across the ocean. It was a terrible realization to bear. 

In hindsight I'm able to see that much of my community wanted to spend time with me. They wanted to share my pain via conversations. They wanted to voice their own pain. And I wish I had been able to accommodate that need. I truly could not. 

Partly because I was too incapacitated in grief to properly function. But mostly because I recognized that I could not heal and recover by recounting my failure again and again, to friend after friend, with person after person. I found healing in attempting to forget those things which were behind, and by PRESSING toward whatever was before. 

I'd been a Bible study teacher for many years through my church, Souls Harbor, and through the years after the divorce, discussing God's healing Word was the only social interaction I enjoyed. I have learned to reintroduce other social engagements into my life, but still, I enjoy most a Bible study. 

Therefore, the people I'm with most often are people who want to incorporate the Bible into their lives in a social way outside of a church service. I teach Bible studies in homes where two or three single women come, I teach in homes where young families with babies, toddlers, and kids are romping and stomping in the background, I teach in a boutique where the owner is Christian and wants customers to be able to access God even in "just a store."

I feel like a new woman these days. I feel strong and healthy. It's not to say that the wounds I inflicted don't ache when seasons change. Much like an old man feeling the aches from a high school football injury. It happened. Holidays, weddings, various church events are like a cold winter that make the scar's presence known. But there's a setting that produces NOTHING but joy, strength, delight, and hope; Bible study.

I love it so much, and from the bottom of my heart I thank every friend who has helped me heal through the medicine of shared-scripture.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Your Kids' Interpretation Of Your Past

Abraham tried to pass off his wife, Sarah, as strictly his sister; twice. While it was true that she was his half-sister, he was purposefully being deceptive.

Isaac ended up doing the same thing.
Only it got worse.

Why would Isaac do this? It did not reap any benefits for his parents. In fact, it would seem to be a humiliating situation to be caught doing such a thing. Isaac definitely experienced for himself the shame of this decision. A PUBLIC PROCLAMATION of his lie was made!

It's possible that in relaying the story "of this crazy thing we did one time" to their son, they did not manage to present it in a negative light. 

I've seen parents inadvertently talk about their life before Christ in a way that makes it seem so fun, and glittery, and romantic to their kids.

I think it is very important to talk about our past with our children. They should know our mistakes. But I think we should be cautious and aware that we are not romanticizing the past in how we relay this information. 

As with Abraham to Isaac, the situation gets worse from generation to generation. Abraham was founding his lie on a partial truth; Sarah WAS his half-sister. For Isaac to repeat this behavior he had to straight-up LIE. In Abraham's case, God stepped in and intervened by telling the king to not touch Sarah. In Isaac's case, God didn't touch that mess. If the king hadn't seen them fondling each other in what they thought was a hidden place, there's no telling what disaster would have insued. And as mentioned before, when the king denounced Isaac, he did it loudly and to his entire nation. I'm not sure what your opinion is when a news outlet reveals a politician has been blatantly lying to the public about a matter, but I'm certain that's how the population felt about Isaac.

I have mad props for Abraham's endurance and faith. But I wish, for Isaac's reputation sake, that he'd have said, "Don't ever do that. Be honest and forthright and trust God to protect you, son."

Let us not giggle when we tell our kids about our foolishness while drunk or on drugs. Let us not high-five each other in conveying stories of narrow escapes. Let us soberly tell our children the damage we caused in our ignorant state. And let us wrap up those stories by telling them how thankful we are to not be living in that destructive place of darkness. Let's make sure they KNOW that because of the price Christ paid on Calvary to redeem us from our stupidity, that every generation henceforth will live in joyful humility and service to Jesus.