I woke up this morning so aware of my humanity... Just last night, I exploded with anger at my two eldest sons which ended in a pow wow of forgiveness and repentance from my end. I mean, they were only acting as 8 and 6 year old boys do... All pumped up after bath time, and not listening to a word of what I had asked them to do TEN times. But last night, somehow their lack of regard for my words, and lack of respect really pushed me over the edge and I let it rip. It wasn't pretty. We got to a good place, prayed together and talked it through, but a black cloud of guilt was hovering over my head that I couldn't seem to shake.
After all my kids were safely tucked into bed, and peace had once again rested upon my household, I fell asleep clutching my covers up close to my chest with hot tears streaming down my face dripping onto my pillow. I wanted to tell God I was sorry, I mean I was sorry, but I didn't feel like sorry was good enough for how I had treated my sons. The anger that rose up in me wasn't meant to touch anyone. It was supposed to be controlled... Hidden... For me alone to deal with and not be seen, and especially not unleashed on those that I love the most. But unfortunately it exploded out of my heart in a violent barrage of hurtful words that brought fear and pain into the hearts of my sons. The look in their eyes was not one of love, but of fear. And they were afraid of me.
I asked one of them; "does mommy scare you?" and I waited for the answer already knowing what it was. "Yes, sometimes. But only because when you get mad I don't know what you're going to do and I don't understand why you're mad. I just want to know why you're so mad so I can understand."
I felt a whisper from heaven say to me; "This child is very special and has a voice. A voice that will change the nations. And if you're not careful, your anger will silence his voice and cause him to go inside himself. When you give into anger, you are a weapon in the enemies hand that cuts off his rightful inheritance."
You could cut the air with a knife... It was like I had left my body and was spiraling down into the depths and waves of revelation that had just hit me like a sledge hammer from heaven.
This was one of those moments. One of those moments that will either mark you forever and cause you to change, or one of those moments that catapults your life down a dangerous slippery slope causing you to loose control of your senses and become someone you never dreamt of being. Let's just say the pain in my sons eyes moved me to a place where I know I can't afford to stay the same. I don't want to see that look in my kids eyes... Ever. Especially not caused by me.
I asked for their forgiveness and it was freely given. Children are so resilient and loving. It blows my mind. Right after, hugs and laughter ensued, but I felt the severity of what had just happened. And if it were to became a regular occurrence, this could have a lasting and damaging effect on my children, not to mention my own destiny.
I had just broken my own moral and ethical code. My own "law of the land". Be angry but don't sin right? Well... I had just been angry AND sinned. So now what? My toughts were spiraling out of control, so I just went to sleep... tears streaming down my face, and heart aching in my chest.
Morning came too soon. I shook it off that groggy feeling, put on my slippers, and grabbed my Bible and journal. After the coffee had brewed, I went into the study to pray. I was literally on my face worshiping and I felt The Holy Spirt say to me over and over and over again in a peaceful whisper... "Forgive yourself.... Hey Andi, it's okay... Forgive yourself." And then a few minutes later again, and again... "Forgive yourself."
OKAY! OKAY! I will already! Here goes... Father God, as an act of my will... I choose to forgive myself. (long pause... Am I sure I want to do this? I mean self loathing feels right in this instance... No. Shake it off, and keep going.) I forgive myself for loosing control. For scaring my children. For allowing anger to rule me instead of your love. For being a weapon in the hand of the enemy to hurt my children. Father God, I forgive myself and I repent of my ways and turn from them and ask you help guide me in the way of everlasting. I so desperately need you... I want to raise children that don't fear me, but know my deep love for them. I want to raise children who have a heart connection with me and and know YOU. God I am so imperfect and I am so sorry.
Peace entered the room, and softened the rough edges of my heart. As waves of His great love crashed over my life, He reminded me that He had it all covered. He always has. I just have to remember, and accept it.
So Good Friday is this Friday. But why would we call such a dreadful day good? A day marked by the gruesome crucifixion of the one my heart loves the most...
As I worshiped to a song called "Forever" this morning, I sobbed as I sang out the line "The weight of every curse upon Him". EVERY CURSE. Not just the ones we pick or choose or deem worthy! EVERY CURSE!
That moment last night when I lost control and hurt those I love the most. That moment. That disgusting, dreadful moment... COVERED. REDEEMED! PUT ON THE CROSS! He bore the weight of my sin in that moment, and every moment before, and every ugly moment to come! ALL OF IT!
So what is this "code" that I seem to live by, that when I stray from it, I feel condemned? Well, it's the law. My own law. The one I made up that makes me feel safe, and when I stray from it, I'm a dirty rotten sinner that needs to suffer for what I have done. Well... who says? The accuser that's who. The accuser that has been defeated by our Advocate, our Rescuer, our Redeemer!
The law was given so that our trespass might increase. So that we would see we couldn't do it without a rescuer and redeemer. The law showed us how impossible it was to be perfect. We couldn't do it without The Perfect One. We cannot do any of this without The Cross. But look what it say's Jesus did with our debt:
Colossians 2:13-14 (NCV) "He forgave all our sins. 14 He canceled the debt, which listed all the rules we failed to follow. He took away that record with its rules and nailed it to the cross."
So if this is true, and it is... Why do we create our own laws, rules and regulations that box us into a life we were never meant to live? We've got to stop it! This Friday is SO GOOD because the law with all it's rules that we've failed to follow were nailed to the cross! Our debt is paid! Your debts are cancelled! Done! Covered!
I think Passover is just so amazing. And on so many levels, the prophetic symbolism blows my mind. As I was reading in Deuteronomy 16 this morning (through my snotty, ugly cry) I saw in verse 1 it said this:
Deuteronomy 16:1 NIV "Observe the month of Aviv and celebrate the Passover of the Lord your God, because in the month of Aviv he brought you out of Egypt by night."
When it said that "He brought us out of Egypt by night" It hit me... He didn't bring them out with glorious singing. He didn't bring them out on their best day. He didn't bring them out at a time they were proud of... He didn't bring them out at a time they thought was right, good, perfect and on their terms. He brought them out BY NIGHT! And not only by night, but when they were slaves to a life that they were never made for. And He "brings us out" by night, in our night season, in our darkest hour, when we feel that we don't deserve it because we are slaves to the disgusting sin that HE is able to deliver us from!!!
This Friday is SO GOOD because He stepped in. He bore all of our crap, ugliness, imperfection, rebellion, disregard, and all our SIN on the cross when we least deserved it. We have done nothing to deserve it, but by His AMAZING Grace, He gave Himself fully for us, and to us
Isaiah 53:5 (NLT)But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins.He was beaten so we could be whole.He was whipped so we could be healed.
There is a debt we cannot pay. And last night in that moment with my beautiful sons, I was made so keenly aware (again) of the debt that I owe, and absolutely cannot, and will never be able to pay without forgiveness from The Savior who washes me clean in His blood. When I repent, forgive others, and forgive myself, I step into the grace that was freely given to me. When I don't, I just think I can do a better job, and my pride keeps me from my prize.
I don't want to live by my own checks and balances. They make me feel safe, but really that's just control. And control is fear in disguise. So what am I so afraid of? Sometimes I don't even know, except subconsciously I believe I can do a better job than God at taking care of business... So it's time to let go again... And again, and again...
As we reflect this Friday - on this very, very Good Friday, may we remember ALL that He has done, is doing, and is going to do. He finished it all, took it all, and stepped into the place that you and I should have been, and instead He bore it all for us.
"The weight of every curse upon Him..."
And that is why this Friday is SO good.