Heart Of The Matter
When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought,
“Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it.”
He was afraid and said, “How awesome is this place!
This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.”
Like all good mothers, I started at a very early stage in my children’s lives to imagine what was ahead for them. They would grow into fine young men and women. They would conquer the world, and create new possibilities. All the while serving and glorifying Jesus. I could imagine a world of doctors, nurses and CEO’s, because I served a God of just such possibilities.
I felt as a mother I did all the right things to ensure they would fall in love with Jesus. We prayed before meals, they attended VBS, youth camp and sang in the Children’s choir. We provided opportunities for them to explore their God given talents and share it with others. But what I wasn’t prepared for was a child that would question and challenge my beliefs. Not with skepticism or unbelief really, just with an unwavering attitude of “not yet.”
Yes, I even lowered my expectations of free will and debased myself by using guilt and shame. Throwing questions out like, “You know if Jesus were to return today you would be left behind!” or “By not choosing, you wouldn’t get the choice of heaven.” Not my proudest moments, but how else was I going to ensure the imaginations of their future residing within me to become a reality.
Her repeated responses, “I know.”
“I know!” That was just not acceptable for this mother’s heart. No way!
I honestly felt I had exhausted all possibilities and that’s when I found this scripture in Genesis. As I was meditating on that scripture and letting Father speak to this wounded heart I saw something I had missed.
Jacob too had grown up with a father that did all the right things to ensure a relationship with YHWH. Isaac had offered his son all the opportunities and truths to show Jacob the way. But we all know that Jacob had made some choices to live contrary to his upbringing. I mean he was running from a brother who’s birthright he had stolen.
On that night, as he laid his head upon that stone, he encountered YHWH for himself. His comprehension that YHWH was real took root in his heart. The promises spoken were for him as much as they were for his father. This experience brought to Jacob’s voice an exclamation, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. How awesome is this place!”
When I silenced my voice and let Father speak through this story I understood that I had expected my child to believe because of my encounters and my faith. I had not allowed for her to live out of who she was created to be. I was so sure I could save save her that I failed to give Father a chance.
I would like to tell you the very next day everything changed, but I’m sure you know it didn’t. My child continued to question and live life out of her own perspective. She didn’t choose the life I had imagined at all. She married an unbeliever, had children and moved 6,000 miles away.
The thing that changed was me!
With my new found revelation, I got out of the way. When we would talk I would embrace her honesty. Which I found allowed me to talk of my relationship with Jesus and how trusting in him, for me, was what got me through. I began talking to her about my best friend and my life. All the while letting her decide who she would choose to help walk her through.
It’s amazing what Father can do when we get of the way. When we untether the ideas we hold others captive with. I believe it is in that space of freedom we give permission for others to be exactly who they are, created beings searching for their creator. It is in that place of searching where encounter happens and acceptance is embraced.
It is in that place of freedom where they meet the Way, the Truth and the Life.
My daughter and her husband are now both serving the Lord. They have had their own encounters and embraced the great I AM. Not because of me, but because of Him.
This chapter with my daughter has taught me to just be me. A girl with a best friend who happens to set hearts free. And that is what the world really desires.