Shelter Safe

Our church has some amazingly talented people, especially in music.  Last week as this song was sung and the words flowed through my heart, I did stand in awe.  It is based on Psalms 46, and says:

You’ve been our home, You’ve been our shelter safe
For young and old.  For generations past.
We stand in awe, Of a God so great.
We stand in thanks, Of your faithfulness.
Oh Lord, you’ve been our dwelling place.

my aunt, JoAnn

I’ve heard it many times, but I needed the reminder that the things that I’m battling, the issues my family is dealing with and our friends are hurting over, that those are not new.  30 years ago, my grandmother had already seen heartbreak and loss greater than I’ve been able to imagine.  My God is the same God who watched over her and the same God she worships today in heaven.

He was shelter for my parents through losses that included my Mom’s sister and my Dad’s twin brother, both as teenagers. Even when they didn’t want the comfort or couldn’t see it.   

I hurt for friends who hurt today, I ache over my own tired and worn out spirit, and I can so easily get self focused on that.  But my pains and struggles are no greater than those before me, and I think to the end of my Grandmother’s life and the fact that after all of that, she still knew the true joy and peace that knowing Him brings.  God was her shelter and will be mine.

My own family legacy of losing those we love at a young age can sometimes grip my heart with fear for the future, and for what my boys’ will need shelter from.  But I read those words and know that God will protect them and be their home, just as he was for generations of our family.   

What are you facing?  I encourage you to look for comfort in the shelter of Him.  

One Shoelace at a Time

My little guy (the one more like me than I usually admit) went to his first day of 3rd grade with different colored shoe laces in each shoe, and no one walking him to class.  “Mom, I’m not five” is exactly what he said.  I hadn’t made a comment about the laces, because what do I know about cool?  But not walking my son in and taking a photo of him in front of his desk?  Come on!  You can’t really expect a mom to be okay with that.

Watching him walk away

But we must.

We must let them grow, giving them independence in safe and healthy ways.  We must let them be their own person, not a miniature version of us (though its scary just how much like us they are).  Even when they make decisions that cause them pain.  We guide, we love, we teach through it all, but we must let them find their way.

I know more and more about how my parents felt as they raised us, but especially as they still loved and guided Austin towards the end of his time with us.  Like what I did with him as a sister, wanting the best for him, but knowing he had to choose his own way, no matter how much pain it brought him or us. 

I think that God must feel something like this.  Giving us the tools, love and support we need and knowing that he could choose our way.  But He lets us.  He loves us enough to want us to come to Him out of our own will, not because he forces it. 

So I let go, just one shoelace and walk at a time, so that one day Drew is able to make his own wise choices.  But I think like today, I’ll always be watching closely with my heart in my throat.

**I have to add in here that I have some wonderful friends that demonstrate this all the time and just a few days ago discussed this very topic.  It helped me today as I watched him go, so thank you dear friends!