Change Your Focus {Look Forward To The Celebration}


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“Mom, I really want you to come home,” my chunka-wunka of a Princess is crying now.

She’s five years old and to her, these 11 days of my son’s hospitalization (over an hour away from home), feel like an eternity.

I understand. It feels like an eternity for me too.

Before my husband drops us off at the Children’s Hospital, my daughter and I have an imaginary photo shoot.

She smiles and I hold up my fingers in a rectangle over my eye, as though I were holding a camera. I focus-in on those big brown eyes. Her brown hair, waves cascading down her cheeks, onto her shoulders. I look closely at that beautiful smile, framed in by two tiny dimples on each side. She takes my breath away, this little one.

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“Ready?”

She forms an even bigger smile and her nose crinkles up. With a “click,” I snap the picture, “There I got it. Now it’s in my heart and it’s in my mind.”

“Now it’s your turn mommy!”

I smile big and she takes an imaginary picture of me, “There, now you’re in my heart and in my mind, too.”

11 days later, although her picture is most definitely inscribed in my heart, I want to reach through the phone and hug her tightly, “Sweetie, I know. I want to be home too. I miss you so much and I love you sooooo much.

When we get home, it’s going to be you and me! You and me- on our reading couch, snuggling, and I’m going to give you a million kisses! So you better get ready… plus, I’m in your mind and I’m in your heart, remember?”

What else do you say to a 5-year-old? How do you comfort them from so far away?

I hear the sobbing. It continues.

“…but I don’t want you in my mind and in my heart. I want you right here with me!”

I Understand

Oh my precious, I understand.

How many times haven’t I felt the same way about God? How many times haven’t I wept uncontrollably, shaking my fist at God, “Where are you?!!”

How many times has ‘having God in my heart and mind’ not felt like enough?

I don’t want to ‘just have faith’. I don’t want to ‘just believe. I want You here, now! I want You moving in this situation. God, where are You?!”

I remember what that felt like. I remember the inner turmoil of my soul as I desperately searched for God in my mess. I remember the helplessness and the hopelessness I felt when I didn’t see Him in the midst of my chaos and pain.

A Change Of Disposition

“Sweetie, I know you want me there now, and I want to be there too, but right now, Jay is very sick. Will you pray with me that God would heal him quickly? And when we get home… we are going to throw the best welcome home party ever! You get those signs ready, okay?”

Her sobbing slows down, and I hear her voice change a bit at the thought of a celebration, “But how? How can I throw a party when I don’t even have any decorations?”

“Daddy can take you to buy some…”

At that suggestion, her disposition changes. Her focus changes. She has something to look forward to.

“I love you mommy. I can’t wait for you to come home so that we can have… you know, a welcome home party!”

I hear her excitement.

“Mommy?”

“Yes sweetie?”

“I’m praying, praying, praying… so that you and Jay can come home soon.”

The Joy Set Before Us

As I sit here looking at my son laying on that hospital bed, and as I recall the conversation with my daughter, I am reminded to look ahead.

I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us, (Romans 8:18).

Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God, (Hebrews 12:2).

And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform, (Romans 4:21).

When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God,” (Luke 14:15).

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away, (Revelation 21:4).

I am reminded: Don’t get stuck here. Don’t focus so much on your present suffering, you forget the promise ahead. It won’t always be like this. One day, you will rejoice in the glory that is to be revealed in us. One day there will be no suffering. Don’t get stuck here, Darlene. There’s more. There’s so much more!

And so I lean in to the One whose picture of faithfulness and redemption I’ve inscribed in the tablets of my heart. I focus in on the many times He came through for me. I close in on His ultimate display of love, His death on the cross.

Picture after picture, stored away in the files of my heart and mind.. I remember. He loves me. He loves me. He loves me!

While I am praying, praying, praying… There’s a change in my disposition. My focus has changed. I look forward to the day of celebration.

Today’s Challenge:

  • Does your current situation have you feeling ‘stuck’?
  • Have you forgotten the faithfulness of God displayed in your life thus far.
  • Count those blessings. Write down the many times of God’s faithfulness you can remember.
  • Choose to trust in the character of God: He is faithful.
  • Look forward to the joy that is to come.

What does this have to do with parenting?

I am learning that many times God will use my children to teach me amazing truths. Pay attention.

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Posted on March 14, 2013, in 2013 {Live Life Fully Committed} Challenge, 3-5 YEAR OLDS, DEVOTIONALS, FAMILY LIFE, MOTHERING ON PURPOSE, Our Children, Our Christian Walk, PARENTING, SPIRITUAL GROWTH, TEENS and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Agreeing with you in prayer for a day of celebration and reuniting! It’s amazing what a change in perspective and a remembering of His faithfulness can do!

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