When I went on my walk to Emmaus, our Spiritual Director gave the talk on sanctification. I really didn't quite understand what she meant at the time, but God did. He, in the 3 years since, has done quite a bit in the garden of my heart. The last few months have been no exception. He has been knocking about several things for awhile. My drinking, my anger issues, my lack of constant respect and support of my husband, my support of my family back home. I often fail the test. I often choose selfish behavior over grace and mercy. But they say nothing is an accident and God specializes in making beauty out of ugliness. I've decided that is He is unfathomable, but not impossible.
I sit here at this computer at the moment knowing I've hurt the very people I want to build up and encourage. And this after The Lord removed a huge tree of pride that has been growing, probably my whole adult life, about how I handle alcohol. You see, I tried to stop so many times - I've even blogged about it on here. However, I did it for me. I never did it because I love Him more than a beer or glass of wine - through His power and His glory. That changed on Thursday when I asked my Bible Study fellowship to pray over/for me. They did and WOW, what peace. I know how to move past that now and it is to "Be Strong In The Lord, and in His mighty power." (Ephesians 6:10) I am living on that instead of anything else right now and just taking that step moment by moment. The time since then has been so blessed and peaceful.
I did notice a change this morning - I know it was myself and my expectations of the ones around me creeping in. The tree was sprouting again in a different spot - or maybe it's another huge one that has to come out.
John 20:23 spoke to me today, as I cried (literally) out to The Lord after I had yet again said (more yelled) ugly words at my husband and 2 year old. My temper was out of control and I could even feel it coming. That whole fruits of the flesh "Fits of rage" pretty much sums it up today.
As ridiculous as it sounds to me, as elementary as it is, I have bitterness lingering. As I prayed to forgive my husband and sweet baby, The Spirit showed me that everything I was asking them to be forgiven for were things I expected of them. There was nothing Godly in the list. It was all pain I'd felt because they let ME down. How sad.
Turns out, I needed forgiveness and then The Lord can work on me to treat them with the respect, love, grace, mercy and in the joy they deserve (whether they literally deserve it or not).
So, this is now my prayer. Lord, forgive me for choosing the hard way. I do not want to do it again. I want you to effect the kind of change in my relationships with my family that you did over my drinking. Show me afresh that I must live in your power alone - I can only be strong in YOU. Without Your Spirit filling me, I am weak and unfaithful. Let me be the true heart of my family that you desire for all of us. Help me to be constant and faithful - to You first so I can be it, through your power, for them.
Thank you again, Lord. I know that what Elizabeth told Mary is true for me -
"Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!" Help me with my unbelief!