Mom’s Angle: Looking Up

This is the fourth post written by my mom, with my permission. First article “Looking Back” was posted on November 2, 2014; second article “Looking Around” was posted on January 15, 2015; third article “Looking Ahead” was posted on May 25, 2015.

eye-looking-up

I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.  Psalm 121:1,2

This verse has been my signature verse for as long as I can remember. I don’t know when or why I chose it. But I do know it fits my life. My life – the good and the bad – is what makes it special. It belongs only to me, so I persevere in the day-to-day grind and wait to see how God is connecting all the dots. It is going to be beautiful in the end.

The last four years of my life have been the worst years of my life. But nobody can tell that. See, I’ve become good at covering up the hurt I still feel. The sadness of my son hurting our family never goes away. I’ve just learned to put a mask on and no one can tell I’m hurting. They say time heals. It’s true in a way but it doesn’t heal completely. When you’ve had a great loss in your life, you are constantly aware of the loss. Satan would like us to believe that our lives will never get better….that nothing good can come from our sorrow or pain. But that’s just not true. What Satan means for evil, God turns into good. God sees my story….and Craig’s story…. and recognizes the beauty in it. He can and will bring joy into the future. I know this.

But the Enemy likes to taunt us. I hear him say,

  • “You have been completely devoted to God your entire life and have never turned away from Him, but He still allowed this horrible thing to happen in your family. He must not love you.”
  • “You are a complete failure as a Christian woman, a wife, and a mother. Look at your friends. Their children are turning out just fine, but your child is a felon.”
  • “You raised your son to know God, but what good did that do? You are a total failure!”

When you are going through stuff, there is a mighty battle going on for control of your mind. Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where your world was shattered and there were layers of disappointment, pain, hurt, anger, or even depression. This can happen through health issues, an accident, a job loss, financial crisis, a struggle with infertility, a child’s wrong choices. When this happens, the world pulls down on our thoughts. We must stay in continual communication with God. We must refuse to worry, because this form of worldliness will weigh you down and block awareness of God’s Presence. We must stay alert, recognizing the battle being waged against our minds.

Choosing to trust God is the most important decision we can make, especially when we are living in a pit….the pit of self-pity. Life in the pit stinks. But when we are in the bottom of the pit it forces us to look upward.  Troubled times will tempt us to forget God, but don’t. God hasn’t forgotten us.  God is at work in each of us whether we know it or not, whether we want it or not.   Sometimes we forget that. The hardest part is trusting Him through the waiting season. As I look up, I can see Him…and I know and believe that He can bring good, He will bring good, and He is bringing good.

I’ve learned a few things while waiting on God. I’ve learned that God answers prayers but sometimes differently than we expect. My prayers for Craig have not been answered in the way I hope…..freedom outside prison….but I have seen an extraordinary change in his life, a faith that is unwavering, and a more personal relationship with God. He is following God’s lead right where he is. I’ve learned that God does not always protect us from pain. I’ve learned that just because we go through an intense trial in our lives does not mean that we will be free from more storms in the future. There is always something right around the corner that can bring us down again and again….because we live in a sinful world. I’ve learned that just because we are faithful to God does not mean that our life will be pain free. Satan is out there and is constantly on the prowl to bring us and our families down. I’ve learned that prisoners long for mail and visitors, that nothing thrills them more than a note in the mail or someone taking the time to visit them. I’ve learned that the longer they are in prison, the less and less mail and visitors they receive and that it hurts them. I’ve learned that people disappoint. People mean well when the tragedy first happens but then get busy with their own lives and forget we are still living in the middle of it all, years later.

Most of all I’ve learned that when life is looking down, that I just need to look up and find God’s deliverance. Instead of looking inward in times of trouble, we should look up to Him. By looking up you must raise your eyes which raises our perspective on things. What should we look at? We can look at the mountain. Now there are no mountains where I am, but I look up to the clouds. I look upward to heaven because that’s where my Lord is and that’s where my help comes from!!! When I look up, I get peace, grace, mercy, love, direction, clarity, strength, hope, encouragement, goodness, support, and blessings. In other words, I get help! Why would I look anywhere else?

 I lift up my eyes to the mountains, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1,2

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