You have knee surgery. You spend weeks trying to figure out how to be wife, mommy, and home-school teacher again (not to mention learning to walk again, or even stand up again, for that matter). Once you ‘forget’ to sit down and type away…you never sit down again. The cyber world already ate you up for breakfast and now they’re wondering what to have for lunch. And the world keeps turning. And the bloggity world keeps posting and you’re forgotten in the midst and you want to quit.
But I’m here. It’s not quite 630 in the morning (on a Sunday no less) and God woke me up this morning with a nudge to get at it. To write.
“I don’t want to,” I say.
“I know,” he says.
“But I’m afraid of trying to be something I’m not, just to be accepted in this crazy, fast paced, beautiful, bloggity world.”
“Do not be afraid. Do not be dismayed. I will never leave you. I will never forsake you.”
“But what do I say?”
And then I hear it. I sit in a Sunday-school class about Joshua. I’m always drawn to the classes that have anything (or everything!) to do with the Israelites and the crossing of the Jordan. And Joshua is right there in the mix. I couldn’t pass it up.
We sit there talking about all the places that Joshua and the Israelites have traveled (Egypt, the wilderness, Canaan, Babylon) when a voice from a lady’s head full of short brown hair says, “But I want to talk about the wilderness. It’s NOT just this land of disobedience and rebellion. It’s a place where moms are raising up a new generation of God-followers who are free from the shackles of slavery (for the first time!) and trying desperate to free themselves and their children from the chains of idolatry. It was a place to remember what the Lord has done (and continues to do!) so that they can shape this new generation WHO WILL enter the Promised Land.”
Then it rang. The clarion bell, like a crisp, single sound of the finest crystal ringing out over a movie landscape. I heard it clear.
“You may have grown up in a world enslaved to the law, but you My Dear, can raise a new generation set free by Grace. You not only know what shackles looks like, you know what they feel like and you have been set free! The effects of sin are still strong and you still suffer from thinking like a slave. But remember: When the Lord has set you free, you are free indeed. Raise up this new generation in that freedom! You have broken free from the chains which held you and you family in sin, now break free from the chains which bind your thinking…and raise up the next generation to do so as well. Teach them not only to walk in freedom, but to think and speak in freedom too.”
The law in my life was not Moses’ Pentateuch, or the Muslims’ Koran, or even the Jews’ Torah. My “law” came in the shape of a German immigrant turned Marine Corps sergeant, and with it followed the distinct smell of Pabst Blue Ribbon. Law, not grace, flowed from his lips. And the life? It felt like slavery. The master holding the reigns. Jump when commanded. Keep quiet when He says so. And carry on…
I grew up under the restrictions of the law. Follow the law and you live. Break the law, and well…let’s just say things didn’t go very smoothly, or stay whole for very long. Chairs broke often. Relationships broke more frequently. And hearts not only broke, but quickly drew cold, and turned frigid, and then shattered right through.
A broken heart. A broken spirit. A broken perspective on life. And there, in the middle of this mess, Jesus came and set me free. I was 17.
Now, more than those 17 years later, I’m still breaking free from the chains which bind my thinking. I easily revert to the “law”. What Momma says goes. What Momma plans must happen. What Momma thinks matters most. My inner law-giver has no trouble rearing its ugly head, and my four precious children reap what the years of lies and law have sown.
But Jesus brought freedom, and with that freedom he also brought Grace. A foreign language to a sin sufferer and a sufferer of sin, but not a language impossible to learn. I have learned to speak of hope and forgiveness, of perfect love and the blood of the Lamb. I have learned to parrot the Truth about who I am and about who my God really is. But I fail to really believe. And here in my failure to really believe, I unintentionally teach my children to hold on to what I do “know” – an ugly slavery to the law.
So here I am again. Walking into this bloggity world with a renewed commitment to follow my Lord’s leading out of slavery. To replace the lies of the law with the Truth of Grace. To etch His words into my heart and teach the next generation diligently. To talk of Grace when I sit in my house, and when I walk by the way, and when I lie down and when I rise up. And I shall write Grace on the doorposts of my house and on my gates (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). I shall speak the language of Grace, and by Grace, raise up a new generation of God-followers who are free from the shackles of slavery to the law.
Will you join me? Will you be a witness to my journey through the wilderness of motherhood – carving Grace into the trees grown by seeds of the law? For His Grace is sufficient – even for me.
Words of Affirmation
Wouldn’t you know it? The words of this Sunday’s church bulletin. Do certain words sometimes become bold, italicized, and underlined all before your very eyes too?
A voice cries:
“In the wilderness (you!) prepare the way of the Lord;
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;
the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all flesh shall see it togher,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 40:3-5)
Might I Pray for Us?
Dear heavenly and mighty Father, I am not, but I know You are. You are powerful enough to shatter the shackles of slavery to sin. You are grace-full enough to gently lead those with young. You are mighty enough to save. Save us from our sin. Save us from our bondage. Save us from ourselves – the chains of wrong thinking, false beliefs, skewed perspectives. By your Grace and mercy, give us eyes to see where we are bound to this world, a desire to break free from its bondage, and the freedom and security to lead the next generation over Jordan in to the Promised Land. Amen.