Hello Friends!!! I’ve been plugging away at the Create in Me online bible study but haven’t set down with my laptop in awhile. Since today is Good Friday, I really wanted to take the time to update my personal book of Psalms here and remind myself of how good God really is. Life isn’t always good, people certainly aren’t good (there’s no one good, no not one), but God really is good. Like great good.
Amie Dockery’s video on this topic was nothing short of fantastic and I want to log some things I took away from it so I can read them in the future when I need a reminder.
I’ve read and heard about “guarding your heart” and not following your heart many times. But the way she illustrated it really helped me understand it. She explained different types of guarding. For example, a body GUARD protects you from others but not necessarily from yourself. You GUARD a weapon with care so not to hurt yourself or others. A court appointed GUARDian makes sure that your interests are protected. Working in the legal field for 20 years, I worked with so many Guardian Ad Litems who were appointed to children to make sure that the actions of parents were actually in the best interest of the children rather than in their own self interest but I never considered guarding my heart in that same way. What a great example that makes sense. Though our hearts can be cleaned, they can also be corrupted so we should guard our heart as a precious jewel because it’s valuable but also watch over it like a prisoner because it’s loaded like a weapon.
She also described the enemy attacks on Jesus (and on us) in a way I’ve never heard. I’ve always been taught that the enemy uses temptation in 3 forms: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. She expanded that with this: (1) physical need (Jesus – hunger), (2) attack on your identity (if you are who you say you are), and (3) intellectual fear (look at what I can give you, are you sure …).
It’s not so much temptations or failures that damage us, its the FEAR of rejection and FEAR of failure and because of FEAR we do not push forward.
It’s no secret that in our personal life we have tons of “blended family drama”. Though I am a very confident and vocal woman, I do actually work very hard to avoid conflict if at all possible. Unfortunately, that fear of conflict has become a habit that has created problems in the lives of our children. For example, my ex was released from prison a couple of years ago and I have intentionally avoided him in order to avoid conflict (I had a restraining order on him for 6 years so we have not had contact in a very long time). But, avoiding him also meant avoiding my kids. When my son graduated, I sat apart from the rest of my son’s family and quickly left when it was over so that he could go mix and mingle with his dad and grandparents without me in the way. Earlier this month he told me he was planning to move into a new apartment and I told him I would take the day off to help. My son then told me that his Dad was going to be there so I quickly told him I would just stay home (fear of conflict) and would stop by the next day.
Hubster’s kids attend youth group at their moms church. They stay the night with the leaders. They participate in Sunday morning performances. His daughter is part of the choir. They’ve asked us several times to attend or to take them and we’ve always declined. Why? FEAR. Fear of conflict. Last week the 17 year old asked us to take her to the Easter event with youth group this weekend since she will be with us on Easter and our first reaction was no. Just in case Hubs’ ex was there which could create conflict.
We are done living by FEAR and missing out on our kids’ events simply because the ex spouse could be present. No more. That ends NOW.
And guess what? My son told his Dad that I would be helping him move and that I was always welcome at his apartment and I did show up but his Dad did not. I was able to participate in my son’s life and there was nothing uncomfortable or awkward and there was no conflict because his Dad did not even attend.
Tomorrow we are taking Hubs’ kiddos to the youth event at their Mom’s church. Whether she is there or not. We are tired of missing events with our children due to fear of conflict. Of course we hope there is not conflict. But my goodness the FEAR has got to go and go now. It’s been going on far too long already. Surely our love for our kids is greater than our fear of conflict with our ex’s.
Who knows? Maybe the more we are all present at the same place the more the kids will be used to it so that future graduations, celebrations, weddings, etc. won’t have to be so awkward and uncomfortable for the kids. It’s been a long time coming but better late than never.