I recently watched the film, It is Your Life: The Moss Family, and moments into it I felt my world crashing in. I had settled in comfortably to view it, fully expecting to walk away blessed and encouraged. And I was, but not before I found myself in tears of disappointment and shame.
You see, the Moss family has a vision that’s followed them from the foundation of their marriage. They want Christ at the center of their everything. Their extended family members describe them as “heroes” as they have raised children who don’t bicker or complain and take the greatest joy in each other. Maybe I was exceptionally emotional that day, but I’ll be honest…it was all just too much.
My family has been torn apart and while I am now the crazy-happy wife of a wonderful man, the residual effects of divorce still nip at our heels. I can’t ever sit here and claim to have the family unity depicted in that video. I’d be bold-faced lying to say my children never fight or fuss. We’re striving to learn to keep Christ firmly in the center of our days, but watching that precious family made it so clear just how far we still have to go. And then, in spite of myself, I gave into it…
I began to cry out against God. Why had He allowed me to get married in the literal infancy of my spiritual walk, when He knew it wouldn’t last? Why had He allowed five children to be born into what would eventually become a broken home? Why didn’t He honor the desire of my heart, even if I went about things the wrong way? Why, why, WHY???
The tears just kept flowing as I lashed out at the One who could have changed the course of events, preventing all the heartache and years of wandering. I want so desperately to be that family. My heart literally aches for what I cannot have.
But as God always does, He allowed me to vent and rage and then He slowly drew me into His tender arms. He reminded me that my marriage failed due to choices that my ex-husband and I made, not because of anything He did. Yes, He could have kept us from making those decisions, but in so doing would have been revoking our freedom of choice. He lovingly showed me that while my children have suffered, they have also grown. They have known heartache and adversity and will walk with a greater depth because of it.
But most importantly, He placed before me hands scarred from a love so strong that nothing could have kept Him from that cross. He hung there tormented in both body and spirit, for ME. I was in his heart. And as wave after wave of pain ripped through His beaten body, He held fast to ensure a way out for me. But all that isn’t enough…it means nothing if I won’t accept it.
I renamed this blog with a purpose. I didn’t just like the way Walking Redeemed sounded, I craved sharing with others how it can be lived out. But while I want to reach out and encourage you right where you are, I am human. I, too, stumble and allow my eyes to drift from the prize. I get discouraged about where I’ve been and where I am, in contrast to where I want to be. But there is no redemption without forgiveness. And forgiving takes two…one to offer and one to accept.
So this morning I am claiming the promise found in 2 Corinthians 5:17-18:
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation.
I am releasing myself from the bondage of guilt. I’m accepting myself for who I was, who I am, and by the grace of God, who I one day will be. We are not that family. I am not that mother. But I am just as truly His!!
If you scroll back to the top, you’ll find a link for “Bible Study”. Simply click on it, and you’ll come to this page where you can access the topic study on Forgiveness. Feel free to print it or share it…it is 100% free for your use. And as soon as this old girl learns how to convert it into PDF format, I’ll make it available that way for your convenience.