God is first in my life, finally, my first priority. It has taken a lot of years, many experiences, several mind-bending events to convince me that I am not in control of my life. Every outcome has been the direct result of a decision I’ve made.
I was introduced to God and church in my pre-teen years, taking part in choir and summer camp. But when my brother drowned, my father was so mad at God and the forces that be that he took us out of church. Then, when my parents divorced, I lost hope in life, in general, and went on a self-destruct path which lasted for many years.
Through the child-rearing years, I was so busy planning, scheduling, shopping, schooling, cooking…all the every-day necessities of getting through each day…that I felt and believed that I was the glue that held everybody and every day and every event together and functioning. Then when I divorced, I had the four high schoolers to keep fed, sheltered and nurtured, with no help from my ex, and the focus was definitely on me to keep us all afloat. Me, me, me. I was running five lives ‘all by myself’.
Which brings me to my second priority, my children. Everything stops when they say they are coming to visit. I lost my only son some years back and have ‘my’ beautiful, talented and God-fearing daughters and their children in my life. They are God’s children. He has allowed them to pass through my hands and rearing, but He has them. He has my son, so the term ‘lost’ is a favorite way of speaking to the fact that God has taken one of our loved ones. He is not lost, he is with God. It took about four years for me to get to that point of thinking.
I was mad at God. That statement says two things: 1) I believed their is a God and 2) I felt confident enough to be mad at him. My eldest daughter got me over that ‘mad’ by reminding me that we each have our own path with God, and my son had his. His death was not about me, not a punishment, not a warning. It was the outcome of my son’s journey in this life. I had to picture myself standing apart from the event and seeing it for what it was, God working with my son and taking him home. Just two weeks before the fatal accident, my son asked me if I believed in God and why. He had denied the whole concept of God and faith and prayer, but was opening up and God revealed Himself.
I have had visits from two of my daughters these past two weeks, and have put this blog on the back burner, which is why you have not heard from me. I guarantee this will happen any time one or more of my family members comes to visit. Just so you know.
I thank God for ‘my’ children. I did not do the best as a mother, did not give them the perfect up-bringing by the models on television and in magazines, but whatever I did must have been the type of raising God wanted for them because they are fully and deeply committed to living for Christ. Their decisions to follow Him had nothing to do with my influence on them. I took them to church for a time in their youth, and each decided to be baptized during that time, got away from Him but went back and are seeing their children involved in church and faith and living with God at the core of their lives.
God knows what He is doing. I staggered through my early years without His guidance, but I firmly believe that He was watching and helping and guiding from the background. He had to be involved or I would not have made it this far. I feel He watched and waited, knowing I would be back. I thank God for my life, the good the bad and the ugly. Life’s experiences form us, make us who we are.
The hardest part about following God sounds the easiest. Let go…and let God. To drop the reins, stop trying to run everything, just open our minds to ask the question, “What would you have me do, Lord?” If I am secure in my outlook, I am more capable of being a parent, a loving entity to all around me. The peace and calm this attitude affords is what I have looked for all my life. The loss of stress is so life-affirming! The quiet in my soul is so enriching. I have everything I need. I want for nothing. I am grateful for everything, the simple things; breath, sight, loved ones, food and shelter. If we can not find gratitude for the simple things, we don’t deserve anything else.
My prayer for you is peace in your soul. God first, then loved ones. Everything else are the condiments of life. I thank God that He has given me another day in this realm to live for Him and to enjoy my children, but I am ready to leave this world whenever He sees fit. Death is not the end, it is the beginning. I believe we are in training here. My training has not been completed.
God bless you all.