Growing pains <3

I finished the book “Boundaries” in July and wanted to share a little life lesson God gave me as I was working my way through it.

It is a fact that if I am learning or studying or teaching something, God will faithfully let me live out the words I am underlining and taking notes on.

At the same time I was reading this older book, I was doing the new Truthfilled Bible Study by Ruth Chou Simons where she walked me through the discipline of preaching God’s truth to my heart in all the seasons that seem to present themselves in our Journey with Christ. 

So my testimony begins on a Saturday when Zach was working and we invited Rachel and the kiddos for some summer fun to help fill the hours until dad would be home. We went to the pool and had a nice lunch and then topped it all off with the cheapest “amusement park” known to man…Scheel’s. 

We did all the things and had a blast and when it was near time to part ways, Rachel relented to the many appeals presented and we got tokens to ride the big Ferris wheel.

Graham felt he was old enough to ride alone, Caroline was characteristically glued to her mom’s side, Emmett of course had snagged Papi and so it was only natural that my little Achille’s Heel would ride with me.

I was more than happy to be able to be a protective arm around him and knew I would draw comfort myself from holding him close. 

Only Joel wasn’t having it. 

There we stood in the line and this goober, who I have defended in the most precarious of circumstances where his innocence was non-existent…but those eyes saved him every time…started tearing up that he didn’t want to ride with Lola. 

Have you ever been standing in the middle of a normal setting and yet inside you feel like the earth just opened up and swallowed you whole? 

As he fought back the tears, I fought back my own.

I was embarrassed and every insecurity within me rose up kind of shouting…”What kind of grandma are you? Your grandson doesn’t even want to sit by you on a Ferris wheel?”

Rachel worked her magic and somehow conveyed to her first born he needed to bail Lola out.

Joel was moved to join Team Papi/Emmett, and Graham and I rode together.

As it turned out, when the Ferris wheel started climbing higher and there was a slight sway that was about to make me ill, he took my hand and said he hadn’t realized what this would feel like and he was sure glad we were riding together. 

It was sweet and it helped a lot. But there was still an ache.

And the voices that tell me often that I am not enough and I don’t do relationships well and all the other lies that have crept in over the years were hard to silence.

But God. 

God used the two books I was working on to remind me of some things and solidify the reading into application. 

When we got home I went for a long walk and I talked to God.

I told Him what He already knew. I told Him that my heart was hurting and asked Him what just happened and please fill me with what is the truth. 

His Spirit reminded me of the fruits of the Spirit first as I walked and let Him talk to me.

I wasn’t sure how this was fitting into my question, but I kept naming them, which is always a challenge because I will leave one and then another out and have to go over and over until I get them all remembered.

So I said them until I could say them straight without forgetting and then I asked Him if these were the fruits, why do I fail at producing them. Where was the peace and joy and why was I so bad at having that?

To which He reminded me that branches don’t work to make fruit.

Branches just stay connected to vines and trees and such and the roots feed them and the fruit is borne on them but their job is just to stay in their lane. Being a branch. 

His Spirit whispered to me that was what I was doing. By walking and talking to Him and focusing on truth about Him, He would bear that fruit of joy and peace in me. Gradually as I walked and just was in His presence, I began to feel at peace.

So that was the Truthfilled lesson applied. 

As I preached this truth to my soul, I was reminded of the Boundaries book that was supposedly making such an impact on me and yet I had not yet had opportunity to apply.

Now I did. 

In the Boundaries book it talks about how we have to learn what is ours and what is not and we protect what is ours and what is not by saying “No”. We need to learn what our “no’s” are and whether people like it or not, they must eventually respect our boundaries JUST AS WE respect theirs.

Joel had given me a “no” because he associates me with his being the youngest boy. 

Riding with Papi and Emmet was a right of passage into being a big boy. Riding with Lola was like Caroline riding with mommy. 

It wasn’t me, it’s what I represent. 

As I walked, I realized that my relationship with each of the children is going to change. But the changes are not a rejection.

I need to respect their “no’s” as I except them to respect mine.

The truth is the big boy that didn’t want to have to ride with his Lola on the Ferris wheel, has come up multiple times since that day when he is tired and needing reassurance and reached up to be held for a brief moment just like always. 

These times will lessen in the years to come, but his love and mine will not change.

Our love will be expressed within the boundaries of growth.

He is growing up. 

So am I.

We both find growing pains to be difficult at times, but thankfully we have a God who loves us and understands us and will guide us through <3 

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