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Jesus is everything you need

being a parent is a heavy responsibility. 
and that's the biggest understatement of the century, right? 
it requires all of you: your heart, your mind, your physical body. 
it evokes every emotion: heartache, frustration, intense love, desperation, sheer joy. 
it takes planning, creativity, wisdom, supernatural strength, and mostly a lot of prayer. 

sometimes i feel like i can't give my daughter everything she needs. and i can't.
but the beautiful thing is that i was never meant to.
that's not how any of us were designed.
Jesus is the only one who can give us everything we need.
over and over again.
if He's the answer for me, then He's the answer for my daughter
even though it may look differently at her age.

as she's getting older, i'm realizing that i can't protect her from every little thing
like i could when she was a baby.
she's interacting with other kids, other adults, she's away from me frequently.
i can't control every little thing that happens to her.
i can't direct and orchestrate her environment.
i know this will become increasingly true as she goes off to school
and becomes an independently functioning little human.
if i'm really honest, this reality scares me sometimes.
it makes me feel out of control.
especially when i let it consume my thoughts,
independently of God's Truth that He will never leave her or forsake her.
that He will always be everything she needs.
that His grace is sufficient for her.
that He orchestrates everything in her life for her good and His glory. 
and that it's not about me.

i wanted to share this song with you. it's what got me going on this train of thought:

the following excerpt is something i wrote last march, but it's been on my heart lately 
and totally helps drive home what i'm trying to say here:

we were on our way to Disneyland yesterday. as we pulled out of the driveway, my current cd of choice was playing in the car. it's a compilation of all those songs that i gave to my worship pastor, that i'd be preparing in case he needed me to sing any of them in the near future. so they're on repeat in my car all the time. one of them is Kathryn Scott's "Beauty for Ashes". every time it comes on, my daughter will say "song, sad" with a big frown and furrowed brow. i'm not really sure why she thinks it's sad, maybe it's just in comparison to the other songs on the CD?

anyway, she started repeating the lyrics. after each phrase was sung, she'd repeat the key words:

"I'll trade these ashes in for beauty" [ashes for beauty]

"And wear forgiveness like a crown" [like a crown]
"Coming to kiss the feet of mercy" [kissing mercy]
"I lay every burden down" [burden down, lay down]

when i finally realized what she was doing, i interrupted my husband to clue him in. we agreed it was the cutest thing ever, but then i found myself thinking about what she was proclaiming at less than two years old.

a quick flickering desire passed through my heart, that i would wish nothing less than for my daughter to know first-hand, from experience, what she was singing about. as soon as i wished it, i wanted to take it back. i was instantly reminded of the prerequisite for healing: hurting. you can't be healed if you don't need to be. you don't qualify for healing if you aren't sick, if you haven't been tossed around and set aside and hurt. i was instantly reminded of my own life, and the things that were necessary to bring me back to fellowship with God [my own sin] and then necessary for complete and utter reliance on Him [others' sin against me], and then for the beautiful and redemptive fellowship that is sweeter than anything i've ever known [lots more heartbreak and lots of hard work].

though i don't want to wish harm, heartbreak, sin's stronghold, satan's lies, or anything bad to ever happen to my daughter, i also do want to wish them. in this human experience, those things are inevitable. besides, how would she ever know the One who gives her beauty instead of ashes, who gives the oil of gladness instead of despair... how would she ever know the sweet intimacy with Christ, that i myself have only known because of heartbreak. heartbreak over my own sin, over others sins against me, over injustice, over the pain of this human experience.

i would never want her to miss ou
t on a deep, filling, far-greater-than-everything-else-this-world-has-to-offer relationship with the Healer, because life was so easy and wonderful that she never needed His healing.
and furthermore, as i underlined in my Breaking Free study this week, "...getting to know the Healer is more important than finding healing."

[photo credit]
seems crazy, doesn't it? backwards. to pray that our kids will go through trials, be hurt by others, sin against God. but really it's just praying that they'll need Jesus, allow Him to bind up their broken hearts, trust in Him for their very breath. you can read about how i decided to pray for rain in my own life [and God answered that prayer].

He's already taught me that i'm not in charge. the only thing i control is how quickly, how often, and how honestly i come running to drink of the endless depth of His love. the Love that's ready and available in the middle of the night, hour by hour, never depleted, its quota never met, always there, unfailing. the Love that can heal all hurts, drive out all fear, fill up and make whole again. is there anything more precious, more sacred, more longed for? why would i want my children to miss it all?

this is all wrapped up in the process of letting go. letting go of control [that you never had to begin with]. letting go of my daughter's life. giving it up to God, to allow Him to work and move through me and through her. He'll do it anyway, without my permission, but it's part of the process of trusting God, giving up the facade of control that i never really had. it brings me closer to Him, it binds me tighter in His loving arms. knowing how deeply He desires relationship with us, i think that's what this whole process is about anyway: relationship.

linking up with casey


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