29 Weeks Past the Cross (Reestablishing Family)
By Terri C
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.~Jesus quoted by “Matthew” KJV (Matthew is in quotation marks because “Matthew” wasn’t who wrote “Matthew”. But that’s a subject for another post, go ahead and research it if you don’t want to wait)
When I read those words for the first time my heart broke! There is nothing in this world that I love more than I love my kids. Even though I was an atheist when I raised them, I can still remember explaining to them that they were welcome to look for God themselves, but I just couldn’t find Him. Maybe the spark that is my soul knew the truth even then, while my mouth was denying Him. But I digress. My kids were grown when I started my journey on this Narrow Path. Two of them were parents, themselves. They were shocked and surprised at the huge changes that were occurring in me. Some of the changes, my kids celebrated with me. The peace and joy I found were abundantly apparent in my life. My kids were happy to see me happy! After all, they were raised by the version of me that worried, despaired, feared and leaned toward hopelessness. This “new” me was the opposite. Some of the changes, though, put a huge wedge between my kids and me.
Suddenly, I was this woman who thought (at that time) that what is commonly called the “great commission” was my comission. I was determined to see all four of them “accept” the one Christianity calls “The (big T) Messiah (big M). I never missed an opportunity to remind them of that! If they came to me with a problem, he was the solution, I’d insist. But you know what? They just stopped coming to me with their problems. The more they avoided conversations with me, the better I thought I was doing, according to the above passage, but the worse I felt. I missed ten years of them sharing their heart with me because they knew what my reply would be. That “he” was their answer, and the only way they could touch God. It didn’t make sense to me then that I should have to lose my close relationships to follow that guy, but there it was, in what I thought then was Scripture! I had to take it all on faith, you know? It didn’t need to make sense, they told me. And none of it made sense! A god who told me to hate my family if they didn’t follow Jesus? A god who impregnated another man’s betrothed? A god who would delight in the brutal, painful death of the innocent to atone the brutally guilty? There was something I wasn’t getting, and I knew that with every fiber of my being! But I was trying (however unsuccessfully) to take it on faith.
It was only when I was willing to be wrong in exchange for truth that truth washed over me in waves. The truth that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is ONE. The truth that worshipping another is idolatry. The truth that each one of us stands before Him alone. The truth that the writings in what is called the “new testament” are far removed from any personal accounts of encounters with the man called Jesus. The truth that God will deal with each one of us, including our children, exactly how He sees fit. Who was I to ever say He is so small, there could only be one door to Him? All these waves of truth left me in a place where I don’t have to accept anything “on faith”. Without the Jesus Glasses, and #LookingThroughaNewLens, my journey on this Narrow Path makes perfect sense!
I’ve apologised to my family for thinking I knew the all the answers and expecting them to believe me, even though my answers didn’t make sense. I have repented of thinking (and preaching) that anyone only has “one way” to touch God. I have learned to trust God to deal with my family as He will, and to protect them on the path that I know will eventually lead to Him. Do you know how I am assured that all paths will lead to Him? Because He said so!
~By Myself have I sworn, The word is gone forth from My mouth in righteousness, And shall not come back, That unto Me every knee shall bow, Every tongue shall swear.~
(Isaiah 45, JPS Tanakh)
Little by little, my kids are sharing more of themselves with me. Little by little, my grandchildren are sitting with me, and asking questions. More than ever, my honey is willing to discuss a circumstance we face from a Scriptural standpoint. The REAL Scriptures, the Tanakh. Do I still talk about God to all of them? Count on it! But I do it in a different way. I let my actions speak louder than my words, and I let my words be few and carefully chosen. And I love my family, exactly where they are in their own journey. No longer do I lay awake at night and wring my hands concerning their salvation. God in Heaven has shown me (and my family) His salvation, over and over again. Salvation, in the real Scriptures, is a very literal (and physical) thing. There were times we should have died, but He showed salvation. Without any action on our part whatsoever, we got His grace and salvation, instead of what we deserved.
I trust God with my eternity and with the eternity of my family. I know there is a world to come, and that’s wonderful to imagine! But my focus while I’m wearing this flesh should be on navigating this world. On being Light. On doing good. On doing right. My focus should remain on my God in the realm just above mine, but not out of my reach at all. When I am going about achieving these things, others will naturally be drawn to the Light that shines from within me, which isn’t coming from me at all, but from He to whom I am anchored. When they are drawn, He will give them a door, and handle things from there. The most important thing I can do for my family is to pray for God’s will to unfold in their lives, that they may achieve His purpose for their lives, all to bring Glory, Honor and Praise to His Name alone!
“See” you next week, and until then remember….the messiah who is coming will bring peace in his wake!