I own land in Overwhelmed Land. I’m doing my best to keep it as a vacation home though. A “vacation” I try not to take too often. This is when life gets to be “too much” and I don’t know how to function day-to-day. This is where my 37 years as a Christian and 34 years in the ministry doesn’t buy me a ticket out of there. This is where common sense stays behind.
The last time I visited my son was named “fugitive of the week” and was missing for 22 days. Sentencing for this will be in two weeks. Well, I took another visit there for a long moment on May 2.
I’ve long been a wrestler of my faith. I haven’t had much success following “supposed to’s.” Christian clichés don’t speak to me. I. Have. To. Know. More than that. Maybe this is why I survived the 1980s as a woman in ministry. It never occurred to me that I wasn’t “supposed to” do what God called me to do. I just did it, wrestling all the way.
This wrestling mindset of mine has been tweaked recently. After yet again being overwhelmed with fear over one of my sons, I was lovingly—and firmly—challenged by a lovely lady in my life that God is big enough to fix this. That this should be my prayer. It has become my prayer–instead of praying for him and then growing overwhelmed with fear of what might happen.
Becoming overwhelmed is such a common thought process in my prayer life which always leads to prayers of “Oh God…oh God…oh God…” and nothing else because fear has crippled me and I move to Overwhelmed Land. So from Overwhelmed Land I started to pray simply, “God, you are big enough to do what you need to do.” It has almost become like a mantra so I don’t let my mind wander to Overwhelmed Land.
At first this advice came across as over-spiritual. Another Christian cliché. Certainly, I know God is big enough. Duh. But then the wrestler me started to really process this truth.
God is big enough to heal the shame in my son.
What good am I doing in the situation by living in Overwhelmed Land?
What do I really think I can possibly do to reach him?
The wrestler me continued to process. I was reminded of a true story of one of my other sons. From Overwhelmed Land I fretted about him being a godly father to his household. As my grandson turned 5, I fretted that he wasn’t in church yet. These are the years he needs to learn the Bible stories so he can have a foundation during the future more turbulent years. I fretted in prayer. I nagged in conversation (while trying not to nag). Then one random day I received a call from him. He was getting his haircut at the barbershop and the man next to him started a conversation and told him over and over again that he needs to get to church. My son was convinced this was a direct message from God. He said he heard this message loud and clear and that he was going to start attending church with him and his kids. He also said that I was not to nag him about this ever—he was going to do this, he heard God and didn’t need to hear me. Ouch. Truth. I promised him I would do what he asked. And I have.
The wrestler me is astounded by all this. God is big enough. God doesn’t always need me to do something. As I often teach, He does use the whole universe to catch our attention. This has changed my prayer life. The choice to love and raise these sons has long ago changed the trajectory of my life. Now they are changing me.
[Tweet “God is big enough. God doesn’t always need me to do something.”]
This quote has also become very precious to me.
“The brokenhearted are indeed the bravest among us—they dared to love, and they dared to forgive.” –Dr. Brene Brown
Thank God I have Someone I can trust with this broken-hearted life. I don’t always need to do something. God has this one. I just now need to follow the path bravely as I figure out this new normal.
It may be a duh to you. To wrestler me, its “mind-blown.”
(Photo credit: Greg Rakozy, Unsplash.com)