Last summer, a baby deer wandered into our neighbor’s yard. At first I refused to go down there because I knew if I saw it, I would want to keep it. I love animals, especially baby animals. But after a short time, I couldn’t stand it any more so down the road I went.
We immediately knew something was wrong. The little buck appeared to be blind. He kept wandering around aimlessly, bumping into things, and getting hung up in vines. We were all very worried because there are fox and coyotes were we live, so we knew his chances of survival without his mother were not too great.
A rescue team was quickly put together and a plan was formed. One went for a bottle and formula while the others stayed back and kept a close eye on the baby. Let me tell you, NOTHING was going to get to that baby.
We worked hard to get the deer to drink the milk. When it was over, the deer was covered in milk, we were covered in milk; even those not involved in the feeding had milk on them.
This blog is from my young friend, Ben Jackson. After reading his blogs and hearing his story, I wanted to share one with you. He is a testimony to the powerful influence of Godly mentors and to the incredible influence of a Godly mother who pointed him toward Christ and who never gave up on him, even during the tough years.
Instant gratification and contentment are daily stumbling blocks in my life.
Boy, that was a depressing first statement, wasn’t it? Let’s try that again.
When I was a little boy, I always wanted to be a big boy. When in middle school, I couldn’t wait to be a high schooler. In high school, I couldn’t wait til I graduated. The X’s and O’s changed through the years, but the desires never did. I’m going to try and assemble my thoughts as well as I can here – what the Lord is showing me in my life currently – and it is a strange blend of rest, seasons, thankfulness and his holiness.
This past year brought more challenges than I bargained for. The physical, earthly things were manageable – full time job, full load of college classes, volunteering with Young Life – but I battled contentment inwardly. I did not want to live in Sumter this year. I was unhappy, and felt like I was missing out from all the “big college” fun that so many friends of mine went off to experience. It doesn’t sound like I battled too much – it may sound like I was simply feeling sorry for myself (which I was). But what I came to realize is this: for weeks and months into this year, my sin was dominating me.
And then comes Jesus.
Have you ever had times in your life when it felt like you just couldn’t go on? Maybe you weren’t considering suicide (or maybe you were), but life had dealt you a hard blow. I think we all have been there or pretty close to it, at one point or another. So, what do you do? How do you manage to get out of bed each day in the midst of stress, turmoil, and pain? Well, I am glad you asked.
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since Chris died. It seems like not long ago, I was in the ER waiting for them to tell me that they’d have to fly him out for further evaluation, or maybe even surgery. I knew he had taken a pretty bad lick to the head. I called to him at the scene of the accident and he didn’t answer. So, ok doctor, let me have the news. Which hospital are you going to fly him to? What’s broken? What type of surgery will he need?
“...Excuse me? Did I just hear you say…he didn’t make it? Do you mean to tell me that I have a three-year-old son and a five-month-old baby girl who are now fatherless?
Instead of which trauma hospital, I was being asked which funeral home.
I can still see the image of that car rolling towards us, even ten years later. There was no place to go, we were on a bridge. We just watched and waited for her to hit. How could I even be angry with her? Her two year old died at the scene.
It is so hard to move forward when you feel like you can’t go on. I prayed. I cried, and then I did it all over again. Life seems unfair at times we; all have our share of ups and downs. But God did not intend for us to remain in those down times. He will catch us by the hand through His spirit, and we will feel His strength in our times of weakness. We will never know how strong He is, and how weak we are, if we never ask Him to hold us, to carry us through.
The question is often asked why God allows bad things to happen. I don’t know that I have the answer either. I too believe that He has the power to speak or wave His hand and things will be or not be. All I know is that when they happen, during those times of stress, trouble, and pain is when I learned so much about my God. I don’t want to go through things just to know His power, but when I do go through them, I learn more of Him.
He will give us the strength, the will, the ability to move forward. We can go on; we can make it through this, make it through that. I don’t know your battle, but I know who will give you victory over every spirit of hopelessness and depression that comes along with it. God can, and He will. Although He knows, talk to Him. Tell Him all about it. You don’t have to have any fancy words to get your point across. He may detect a little anger or anxiety in your voice, in your heart; but it’s ok. Just keep the line of communication open. Let God know what you are feeling and ask for His help to keep going. Before you know it, you will have made it through a lot of yesterdays. The tomorrow that you thought you couldn’t make it through, will become yesterday. Our God remains the same today, tomorrow, and forevermore. He can get you through it. Ask Him to help you. Speed up when you can, and slow down when you have to, but don’t stop. Keep moving forward.
Back in May, I wrote a blog to moms who had children graduating from high school and heading off to college. And now, here we are. Some of you have already moved those precious babies into their dorm rooms, while some of you are finishing up the packing and getting ready to head out.
I'm right there with you. We move our child in on Sunday. This is child number three. You would think I would be a seasoned mom by now. Full of advice on how to handle this process with grace and dignity… While I do have advice because I have walked this road before, I'm coming up a little short on the grace and dignity part.
Several of you have asked me to repost the blog, so here it is. The only thing I know to say at this point is:
One, I will trust my God to accomplish His purpose in my child's life - and in my new season of life as well. Two, for those moms not here yet, cherish every single second because it goes by way too fast.
To Moms of Graduates
Another school year is coming to an end. Thank goodness. It’s time for summer and all that goes with it – laid back schedules, sleeping in a little later, boiled peanuts, no homework or tests.
If there were ever a Momma who lived for summer, it would be me. I cannot adequately explain to you the absolute joy I feel on the last day of school. I feel liberated, probably more so than my children. I have looked forward to every single end of the school year…except this one…and two early ones.
This year, I have a son who will graduate from high school and head off to college in the fall. A chapter in his life will close.
A chapter in my life will close.
I know you’ve heard the quote, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”
Of course, we understand that we shouldn’t allow the hurtful words of others to harm us, to define us, or to shape us. Of course we shouldn’t. But what we know we shouldn’t allow and what we are actually capable of not allowing are two different things.
Not long ago, an incredible woman shared with me the way in which she saw herself. The woman she saw herself to be and the woman that I saw were two totally different people. As we talked, she told me about some very hurtful words that were often spoken to her as a child. Sadly, those cruel words have followed her into adulthood. She believes them.
How do you respond when your world gets rocked…really rocked? Me… not so well at times. To say that I have been known to come completely unglued would be putting it mildly. I have this tendency to react first, and then seek God’s perspective on whatever has done the rocking to my world. Responding in this order has never worked really well for me.
The writer of Proverbs suggests a better way. He says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your path.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Sometimes, directing my path involves redirecting my thoughts.
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