Being Tested

Last night, I stared at the computer screen and ended up closing the laptop with nothing to say.

“I can’t think of anything good to write,” I tell my husband.

I lay back and see something written on the wall.

“There’s something,” I say, pointing to the wall.

He laughs, thinking that I’m not serious because he doesn’t see what I see.

“No look,right there.”

He finally sees the artwork our daughter has graciously drawn for us 6 feet off the floor.

“We are being tested,” he says. This time he’s seen something I’ve not, and what he says is true. Immediately I know.

Being Tested

The image on the left shows where in relation to the floor her artwork was. It is a tiny speck to the left of the flower pot. The image on the right shows you her lovely art.

The past three weeks have been grueling, full of blood, sweat, and tears. Our children have not been the children they usually are. My son has been especially difficult, and my daughters have not been far off. Unfortunately I lost my cool with my son one day when he began to throw a ride-on toy at me. It was not my finest moment, and I regret it majorly!

When I started out as a mom, I was nowhere near graceful. I was like a Pharisee, full of rules. It was all I knew. Not only that, but I lived in a constant state of fear and negative thoughts. I had about zero confidence in my abilities as a mom. I felt judged every time my children did something out of control, and all I thought was, “I am a bad mom. I am a bad mom.” It was a thought I had on repeat, so when bad behavior did happen, I easily lost control. My temper flared. I yelled. I cried. I was ugly. I did not understand the grace that God offered me, so I had very little grace for my kids.

However, something changed and even before I totally started “getting” grace, God was teaching me how to be graceful to my kids. I would stop and think of them before I lost my cool, and I would offer them a bit of grace in the moment. This is not the same as letting my kids get away with a crime. No, they received discipline in way that it was meant to be measured.

When I lost my cool with my son the other day, I began to hear those old words on repeat, “You are not a good mom. Ssssseeeee, how you lost it.” The whispers of the enemy where getting in my head. I was tired. I was weary. I was feeling defeated as a mom. The enemy wanted me to believe that not only was I a bad mom but that I could not be forgiven or changed from old behaviors. I began to say to myself things like, “You could never homeschool. You can’t even take care of them probably in the summer.”

If it was not one major fit by one child, it was another one having a major meltdown. And plainly, I’d decided to go back to the measures of control I’d used in the past for discipline, instead of also showing them grace. Not only were the kids wearing me down, they were wearing Daniel down, and we were threatening to turn against one another.

Last night, his next words were, “I don’t know why we are being tested, but we have to stick together in this.” How true and how right he is.

It is all a matter of perspective. He was able to remind me of something he could see and I could not. We are in a season of testing. I think God is about to do something big in our family, and maybe the enemy doesn’t like it. Maybe God wants to refine us to finish His work. Maybe there is a bit of both going on. I don’t know who is testing us, but I know that given the proper perspective, I was able to discipline my daughter with grace this morning, instead of losing it on her head. Given the right sight, I now hear God more clearly whispering in my ear, and He says this, “Stand.”

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13

“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.” Ephesians 5:31-33

It is no accident that before Paul writes in Ephesians about taking a stand about the evil one that he first talks about being united with Christ and with one another as husband and wife. It is vital that Daniel and I cling to each other in the battle, instead of battling against ourselves. {How so true for the church as well.}

Are you in a season of trial and testing?

Father God, for those enduring a season of testing, I pray that you would give them the proper perspective to see what is right and good. Help each man and woman to understand and know your thoughts and your grace. Lord, help each marriage to remain united and strong and to stand together as one in Christ. Let each one of us hear your whispers of truth. Thank you for your grace and mercy. Thank for Your Son who sets us free. In Him we pray. Amen.

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Comments

  1. I love this, Jamie! I relate to every part…the kids, the testing, the need for grace and to discipline with grace…Everything!! And really, I love the last paragraph, that before Paul writes to stand, he exhorts us to be united to Christ and as husband and wife. Oh, how important this is! And I even love how you related it to the church! It has been a crazy year for my family and for our church. But we have held fast to one another and to the Lord, and we are beginning to see miracles…! Not fully, yet, but we’re definitely getting glimpses! And I think God might actually do something pretty amazing in our lives, too! I’m sort-of a pessimist, so that’s a slight miracle in and of itself :) So thankful to have found your blog and to meet you:)

    • Very weird that I cannot see your comment on the blog. I’m actually replying as a test to see if this shows up or not? Thanks for notifying me about the problem. :)

      • Yay, I got the comments fixed. Okay, now to really reply. I am sorry to hear you’ve had a crazy year, but glad that you are holding fast and seeing miracles. I can’t wait to see what God does! That is exciting! Even small changes can be big changes! I am thankful to meet you as well!

  2. I haven’t stopped by lately, but I am so glad I read this. It is so beautiful, and I am so glad that you are able to distinguish that the lies are lies! :) Also, I am so glad that you and Daniel are sticking together as a team. I’ve really been realizing lately that I need to be united with Christ to be able to stand too. It’s a beautiful theme He’s weaving through our lives!

    • Thank you, Jen! For some reason or another, I really struggle in staying united with my hubby. It is like a defense mechanism to break down with him instead of in other ways. However, I’ve been called to pray and I think we are both changing and becoming more one in spirit. I hope so anyway. That’s the prayer. ;) I’m glad He’s weaving that theme in your life and that He used my post to continue weaving it. Thanks for sharing.

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