have you ever found yourself in a moment where the ugliest part of your heart was completely exposed?
well, my moment came.
graham and i were in his room after bath time. it was the umpteenth time i had called his name to listen as i tried to get him ready for bed. i grabbed both of his shoulders, pinned him firm to the ground and yelled with the ugliest tone “graham just stop it! STOP IT!”. i feared that even the neighbor had heard me, my anger had erupted so loudly. and if once wasn’t enough … it happened a second time with graham’s face streaming with tears as he cried, “mommy hold you, mommy hold you”. that night we finished with apologies from mommy. i read several chapters of his story book bible and we prayed that Jesus would help mommy be more patient with graham and that graham would be a better listener.
that night i lay down in bed and was reminded that that very moment in graham’s room was one of the many moment’s Jesus died on the cross for. i need not feel ashamed or unworthy. i felt in dire need of a savior. i felt grace and knew that His mercies are new every morning. i needed a new morning. my heart felt incredibly tender and still a bit in shock that i had such anger surfacing in this way.
the next day at lunch with my husband, i tried to make sense of where this anger had come from. i was a bit lost with where to even start processing. i was honestly oblivious to where this anger had even started. it felt like without any warning it just showed up. josh started telling me how i had seemed off for the past couple of weeks and how i’ve been focused on my own agenda. he had noticed that things had been feeling like he and graham had been getting in the way of my to do list. it was in that moment that i realized what was going on in my heart. and so, i confessed an incredibly saddening truth.
“i see graham as an obstacle”.
tears slowly streamed down my cheeks.
my heart broke.
i felt a sadness in a part of my heart i didn’t even know existed.
how in the world did i even get here? i felt a bit blind sided to be honest.
earlier this month i had asked God this question – “will you show me where i store my treasures?”
do not lay up for yourself treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
i had listened to a paul david tripp teaching about where we place our treasure. he said, “the thing that is your treasure will control your heart. and what controls your heart will control your words and behavior.”
so what was my treasure in this particular instance with graham? it very obviously effected my words and behavior. well somehow my completely good desire to maintain my home became a bad thing because it became a ruling thing. paul david tripp also said in that same teaching, “a desire for even a good thing becomes a bad thing when it becomes a ruling thing.” my treasures became the order/organization in my home, a beautifully decorated home, cleanliness, a beautiful fruit bearing garden, simplifying my life by getting rid of things, and downsizing my wardrobe. as you can see, all of these things are perfectly great things to aspire to have and to do. somewhere in the day to day my life’s purpose got lost. my identity and purpose shifted and it victimized the relationships with the people i say i love. i invested more emotional attention and care on my physical surroundings than the people i say i’m committed to.
this, is where i find myself on my journey of restoration.
but, the beauty in such ugliness is that i belong to a Heavenly Father who chooses to love every part of me. and because he rose again, i have access to his spirit here on earth to help shepherd me as i try and figure out how to not elevate things in my heart that were never meant to be elevated. i know that the answer is found in my identity in the Lord but what does that look like when the reality is i need to get things done in my home? i decided to release the things i was holding on to so tightly. instead, i spend quality time with graham and when the opportunity presents itself i get a couple of house things done. i can feel the difference in my heart when i’m ruled by my to do list. and i can feel the freedom that comes with letting go.