I heard the words while listening to TD Jakes as I was in the kitchen tending to feeding the kids. I nearly dropped to my knees as the words hit me and echoed through my soul. You don't see me break, so don't you break. Moments of time flashed as I heard each echo of a seemingly simple sentence. Like traveling through a hail storm the last season of our lives - three and a half years - I was the umbrella that shielded my children as God shielded me from not going down but not from the hits. My daughter, 2 through 4 during this season was very perceptive. I always say children just came from Heaven not to long ago so they are so much more in tune to what is going on beyond what is seen. They don't have the layers that life brings that separate us further and further from the connection our spirits first have as the years go by. I always fought to garnish favor to shield her in particular the best I could but because of her age my efforts were minimally successful. She's just a child and doesn't understand so therefore that equated to unaffected or inconsequential. God's grace would have to be what sufficed. The storm continued - hits from every side. It nearly brought me to my knees at times, it nearly made my hands let go but His hands covered mine as I held on. At a certain early point I realized God wasn't going to stop the storm nor would He tell me when it would end. I perceived there was something He was waiting to rise out of me but I contemplated whether I was willing to pay the price it would cost.
I would have to 'die' in the process and I wasn't sure what that would look like - would I survive the pruning, seeing all the branches that were proudly build through the years be cut down one by one guided by Him but I actually had to choose to sacrifice them and not look back...what does that even look like. I would be unrecognizable...there would be scars. I don't know that I can sacrifice it all - the old me and the new me were both calling - one from the safety of the shore and the other from a place I couldn't see but I knew she was far away. I didn't know which to go after - safety or purpose. I could only choose one and so I floated with the children on my belly letting the waves carry us wherever. I contemplated whether or not I cared...was this how it was going to end. Would I save myself and sacrifice them or sacrifice myself to save them. I couldn't shield them from all of the debris so what was the point exactly. Being constantly faced with my inadequacy made me ashamed even though it was not my fault. What did it matter if there would still be damage? I don't want to nor asked to be in the middle of this. Neither did they. My daughter was very young but she knew - she couldn't explain it or understand it but she felt the hail whiz by. She knew how they felt. She'd been left to fend before. Could she trust me to continue to shield her and for how long until I too, left her to the elements. My son was oblivious but my daughter was not. Angry tears and primal moans of despair bubbled up at unexpected times that I couldn't take that away - I could only cover her but so much and yet the aftermath I only would have to deal with as while she knew there was no way for her to understand, she was too young to make any sense of it. Even I as an adult could not.
So I told her this is just something we have to do and I don't want to either but I can't stop it right now. God is fighting for us so in the meanwhile you have to be strong - the words felt like bile that I had to even have to say this to one so young. 'Focus on these particular elements, be strong and get through because I am right here. You know I'm right here and I won't move until you return'. Even going to the bathroom I held it until I couldn't and so I rushed so just in case she exited for a moment I would be right where I said I would and that would anchor her. Week after week, month after month, year after year. 'Re-balance yourself after each hit, expect it so it's no surprise and you can adjust more quickly. There is no way around, you just have to go through and keep walking. Just keep walking forward'. 'I am not enough. I can't fix this and I can't protect her - only You can but it doesn't seem as if you are and I am angry with You that you're not'. It felt sacrilegious but He knew how I felt so why not be openly honest.
If this is about me why does she have to be involved? Can't you do this another way and get her out of this? 'You can let go'. I perked up - 'really?!' But wait, what would happen to them? I perceived that they would ultimately be fine but not the way they would if I kept on. It wouldn't be the best of His intent and there would be consequential damage but ultimately He would work it for good. 'What does that mean? Good when? When they're still young? When they're 80? Will they still have a life-time of doing good for You or only a few years or moments? How bad will the damage be?' My questions fired out rapidly but there was no answer returning. But whatever answer it was I knew if I let go it would be a sacrifice of them and this was not their fault. And if this is who He made me to be I don't want anyone else to do it, it would not be the best of His intent. Technically I did say as I was soon turning 40 that was this all there was, I want to do something with lasting purpose, that really matters. Was that only if it was comfortable and convenient. Actually, yes to be honest but apparently that's not reality. I desire great damage to the enemy's kingdom. 'You'd be the thing you hate, a hypocrite', my conscience implored me.
There was a message I heard about Abraham's father - how it could be that HE was possibly originally called to leave what he knew and be the father of many nations - to follow God but he settled and stayed in a place he was only supposed to rest or be for a season and God then called Abraham who said yes with a crazy faith (hey Transformation Church:D). So if I don't do what God called me to, He would have to wait for someone else to say yes to accomplish what He needs to in their lives. What if that person also gave up - how long will this go on? So I said no, I will stand, use me - I'm all in even if it takes me out. Not only that but show me what you have in mind, I'm willing to listen now. And He did, and I stood, and I fought and lay at His feet my concern which is that He would restore her completely as only He could. And He's showing me that He is.