From the beginning of our relationship, God used my marriage and three children to convict and speak truth to my heart. Believing that some of those lessons might encourage you, I asked for (and received) permission from my family to write a series of posts featuring a few of those lessons.
I offer them in the hope that God’s loving faithfulness
will speak encouragement to your hearts.
It took me a while to learn that when God’s Spirit works conviction in a Believers heart, His intent is blessing. Jesus confirmed this as He spoke about the role of the Holy Spirit:
“But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all truth.
He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears,
and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that He will receive what He will make known to you.”
John 16:13, 14
Once we have repented of our sins and embraced Jesus as Lord and Savior,
God’s Spirit convicts our hearts to free us from the plague of sin that pulls us down.
God does not “guilt” His kids into submission,
but convicts us to free us to serve Him well.
It had been a rough couple of years. Ever fearful of the potential harm that could come down on our firstborn’s penchant for excitement, I had become a roadblock to almost everything she wanted to do. Much of the time I felt as if I was a single mom with my husband, then a pilot for the US military, being away more than he was home. My lifetime dream of being a mother had become a nightmare as fear and resentment grew in my heart.
Then one day it happened: I became convicted that I had lost sight of loving my daughter. I realized that I was so busy roadblocking her every move, that I had forgotten to lean on God for the wisdom and perspective I lacked. I was horrified and embarrassed at myself as I wondered: how I had fallen into such a trap? Part of me was tempted to beat myself up at my failure. Instead, I opened up my Bible to 1 Corinthians 13, the Love Chapter. Intent on making things right with God’s help, I read each piece of instruction aloud as I committed to apply it to my daughter:
“Love is patient” . . . “Yes Lord, I can be more patient with Kara.”
“Love is kind” . . . “Yes, Father, I certainly can be kinder than I’ve been lately.
“Love . . . is not proud . . . is not easily angered . . . keeps no record of wrongs . . . .” I responded without flinching, “Yes Lord, I am willing to do all of those things.”
I continued until I got to verses 7 and 8,
Love–“always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
I started to choke (literally!) and confessed in a panic, “But Lord, I CAN’T trust her right now . . . we have a track record . . . she’s 15!”
It was then that I heard what is referred to in the Bible as, “that still, small voice”, speak softly but firmly:“But you CAN trust ME!”
It took a moment to process what had been spoken to my heart. Then suddenly, the burden I had carried far too long, rolled from my shoulders as I thought, “Yes Lord . . . YES! I can and DO trust You!”
Looking back it is still amazing how easy it was to love my daughter again. Once I handed that burden over to Him I was FREE! Oh, there were still challenges that came up, but when I responded with loving kindness and refused to keep that record of wrongs, I was freed to love and even enjoy my daughter.
Several months later a friend mentioned something Kara had done that I knew nothing about. I decided to mention it when she arrived home from school, not so much to accuse her, but to ask if she’d really done it? When she came in we chatted about school before I asked, “Kara, did you . . . ?” (Don’t ask me what it was, I’ve totally forgotten.)
Kara stood quietly looking at me for several minutes before pounding her fist on the table, “Doggone it Mom–I give up! Every time I try to get away with anything, God totally rats on me. I give up!”
Stunned, I started laughing as Kara grinned back at me.
Conviction by the Holy Spirit + Humble Repentance = Opportunity to TRUST God more.
No matter what you may be facing, run to Him and to the Scriptures for the help you need. He is totally worthy of your trust.
All to His Glory!
Dear Kathie, Super!
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I am so grateful you shared this story. Your wisdom is too precious not share! Thank you, for allowing the Spirit to still work through this … even many years later … as it is speaking deeply to my heart. Blessings to you!
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Great wisdom here, Kathie.