Thursday, September 07, 2006

There is still hope

Last night was a terrible night!

I’ve been feeling edgy and irritable for the past few days, with the kids being crazy, disobedient, disrespectful, and generally out of control. Maybe their behavior wasn’t as bad as I was perceiving it…I don’t know, but it hasn’t been good - For sure!

Anyway, last night my husband was gone and the kids were giving me trouble before dinner. Joshua and Elizabeth were fighting in the kitchen and I went in to break things up. Matthew came in and started scrapping too and I reacted without thinking and slapped his hand – which sent him upstairs crying. I followed him up, my own tears flowing as I apologized, told him I was wrong and asked for his forgiveness. I kneeled by his bed as he lay under his covers repeating, “Matthew, I am so sorry. I shouldn’t have slapped you. Please forgive me.” Oh, I hate when I react out of anger!

Wanting to get in the habit of reading nightly, I told Joshua he needed to read me a short story, but he insisted otherwise. When I told him it was going to happen regardless, he “ran away.” (Which always amounts to riding his bike around the block.) We argued during dinner – Matthew didn’t like the chicken, Joshua was still stewing about my requirement that he read – and after dinner we argued more and Joshua “ran away” again.

I was trying to understand, trying to believe that God is refining me, but I just couldn’t see. I ran up to my room crying, closed my door and fell to my knees by my bed as I sobbed, “I don’t see the point, God! I don’t understand! Why does this have to be so hard? I don’t see the point!!!!!”

I felt utterly broken. I hated myself for lashing out at the kids. I didn’t want to lose my composure in front of them and have them see me crying. I was disappointed in myself for not being completely pliable and flowing into God’s will for me. My greatest desire is to please Him, but I was confident I wasn’t presently pleasing.

God has shown me before, and I believe it’s true, He is using my children and my struggles as a mother to make me into the woman He wants me to be. Yet, last night I just couldn’t see it. I tried to remind myself of what is true – God is good. Always. His ways are perfect. All of them. But in the middle of my fire (and it was HOT) I couldn’t understand. I couldn’t embrace it. Lord, forgive me!

Yet, He is not only my Refiner. He is also my Redeemer. In spite of a few more outbursts by Joshua, he eventually calmed down (as did I), and was even helpful in getting ready for bed. We gathered in the boys’ room to pray and I prayed for each of my kids individually, specifically thanking God for the things I love most about each one. I sang to each of them and truly loved them. All the while I was mindful of God’s redeeming power – how He transformed the night from what it had been into a loving, peaceful time.

I still can’t say I understand the point of these intensely hard times. But I know without a doubt God is good, His ways are perfect, and nothing will change those facts.

Thank You, Lord, for hope that never ends, for grace that knows no bounds, and for love that never fails!


Anonymous said...

what a day!

Cyndi C. said...

Karen - I know you, I call you friend, I have the same reactions, struggles and thoughts. I'm so proud of you. You make me feel like I'm not alone.

Nina said...

I know this post is very old, but I wanted to go right back to your first post ... and I'm glad I did. I am where you were in this post. Motherhood just seems so hard, so challenging, so frustrating! When will I ever be the kind, loving, compassionate mother I aspire to be, with Jesus' love flowing through me? Thank you for sharing this post and writing your blog, and it's so great to see that your beautiful kids have grown into amazing young people, despite the hard times when they were little. I hope for that too.

Karen Hossink said...

Nina - I am so glad you commented on this post - as it gave me reason to read it again. What a blessing it is to REMEMBER. Yes, to remember the hard times. The days I didn't think I'd make it through to see TODAY. But here I am.
God had been faithful to me.
And I am fully confident HE will be faithful to you, too, my friend.
May grace and peace be yours in abundance as you trust in Jesus.