Thursday, February 8, 2018

Faith of a mustard seed, got four or more years worth?

I sat in my living room this afternoon, the sun pushing through the blinds and dancing on the floor.  I looked around this space where we let our crazy hang out.  
This space that if the walls could talk would tell stories of laughter and joy, heartbreak, disappointment, frustration, anger, fear and hopeless nights.  

But that sign above the couch, well, it is true.  In the good and the bad, the truth that it is well has become ever important to us.  

In the rare few minutes of quiet today, just me and the sun I thought about how the last few weeks have been a little easier.  A little more peaceful.  A little sweeter.  A little quieter.  

 Four years ago this week, the giant who wore no shoes, my eight year old son, was being admitted for his first inpatient psychiatric hospital stay.  We had said it before, but continued to verbalize our burden for him to be able to understand and accept love.  It was beyond his ability. 

That year our world fell apart in ways we couldn't have planned for.  By fall, our son had been in the hospital three separate times, and was now in residential care.  We were seeing small answers to big prayers, and we fought to believe, while we doubted.  In our hearts we knew that he was not too broken

God's word tells us, (check out Matthew 17) that if we have faith of a mustard seed (the tiniest of the seeds) we can tell a mountain to move (my paraphrase) and it will move.  Not literally, but the gist of the story is to know that true faith in God will grow us and influence those that come in contact with us.  

Why is faith so hard?  

I remember praying to get pregnant.  Eight years we prayed. After a devastating miscarriage, I again got pregnant.  I remember sitting there watching the nurse smile and give me the thumbs up sign as she ran the test, hearing her congratulate me and still I struggled to believe it was real.  We celebrated and shared our news while I waited in fear of losing what I had been so blessed to receive.  
I birthed a son, who grew into an amazing man.  

Even then, my faith for my middle son was like a mustard seed.  Just barely there.  My fear of what the early trauma might do in his life was bigger than my faith.  And in the midst of our praying and hoping we grew tired.  There was no mountain moving.  We simply wanted to survive.   Aren't you glad God said the tiniest amount of faith is what we need?  

In 2015, with renewed hope we felt like we were watching love win.  Our hearts know that God's love is stronger (truth) even when our circumstances tell us differently, so we grabbed onto truth and hung on.  

Mustard seed faith.  We believe, oh Lord help our unbelief (check out the gospel of Mark).
Our son wasn't yet ready to accept our love, or God's. 

We had moments of hope.  Growing faith.  And a lot of reality. 

2017 was another year full of reality that kept me on my face praying.  My tiniest seed of faith growing. And God moving what I couldn't yet see. 

Four years later. 

On Sunday, January 21 the mountain moved in our living room y'all!  
Elijah figured it out- love.  The greatest love.

Elijah prayed and asked Jesus to be his Savior. In true Elijah form, he didn't want to follow us in prayer, he did it on his own.  
One day, I'm telling you, God is going to use that boys mouth to do great things! 
But on this night, that mouth that has spewed so much venom and hatred toward us, from that mouth flowed the most beautiful prayer.    
What a sweet gift to listen as he asked God to change him.  To tell God he was sorry.  To ask for forgiveness and to spend eternity in heaven with Him. 

His Daddy and I have known that for a RAD kid, who cannot accept love from people he can see and touch, to have faith in who he can see and feel- how much more difficult for them to to grasp love from God, who they cannot see.  

Elijah told us a few hours before getting saved, that he didn't feel changed.  He was talking about when he had gone forward during VBS a few years earlier but hadn't shown any interest after that night in pursuing a relationship with Christ or making that decision public.  Honestly, I wondered if God could reach my son.  What if he never really got it?  What if it was too hard?  What if trauma blinded him forever? 

But nothing is too hard for God, who kept pursuing Elijah. 

We're on a grace high in our house right now.  Elijah got it.  He is worthy.  He was worth dying for.  His hope is secured.  He is so loved.  We knew it.  Now he does too. 

I won't ever love Elijah like his God Daddy does.  I've tried, and failed so often.  And we've told him that salvation is not a magic pill.  He still has RAD.  He will still struggle to understand math.  He will still get consequences for bad choices and I will still fuss and yell at him.  

But he is not alone.  God will walk with him and make a way of escape.  This is not his home, there is so much more.  

Elijah has faith the size of a mustard seed.  That's all it takes.  

Happy Thursday y'all!


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