Sunday, August 16, 2009

When Saten tempts me to despair....

I know.... it has been forever since I have blogged and most of you will probably think that I have given up on it! I really haven't-- life is just so busy that when I do actually have free time, I am just too tired to really think, and well, a blog like this takes thinking!!!

With school starting next week and the summer quickly drawing to a close, I step back and realize that it has been a difficult summer on some levels. Paul and I are doing great-- growing more in love every day. But my dad got sick right as school was ending. (BTW, he is doing remarkably well considering the level of stroke he had!) There has been multiple battles with both exes through the summer, but mainly with Paul's ex. Pray for us this week as he goes to court on Wed. I have learned all about the GAL (having a guardian at lit em) process. We have learned to take meticulous notes about the smallest of conversations. There is also the ongoing battle relating to the settling of Paul's father's estate. (You might remember that his dad died a year ago this month). We have learned much about the world of probate. Pray for this as well for Paul has a court hearing next week that will hopefully draw that to a close.

Probably my biggest trial of the summer has been with my stepson. He has struggled to find his place in our new family. So many people told me when I got remarried, I gained a new son. I began trying to retrain myself to think and talk of five children, not four. I tried my hardest to treat him just as I do my own children. But instead of my relationship with him growing closer, it is doing just the opposite. There are so many factors that contribute to this and I will not get into details here. But he is struggling. There is much upheaval in his life, and he is showing a lot of anger, and I get to be the lucky target the anger lands on!!! This week, he told said some things to his mom about me, to which she in turn called Paul fuming. These things stung me to the core. I struggled through it. I wanted to hate this kid right back. I wanted to reject him the same way he was rejecting me. But I knew I could not do that. I care, yes love, this little boy too much. He is the flesh and blood of the man I love. And ultimately, isn't Christ our example? Doesn't he love us still even when we do not love Him back?

This struggle, coupled together with multiple other events of the summer has left me feeling very much like a failure of a mom. I have battled this ever since I entered motherhood. I gain victory over it for a time, and then fall.... I have spent the better part of the summer beating myself up mentally for my shortcomings as a mom. Unfortunately, my down times manifest itself in a very defensive manner. A recent situation caused my pastor to lovingly pull me aside and chide me for it. Naturally, being the sensitive person that I am, I fell apart. I made things right with the person that I needed to, but continued to berate myself for days after.

My title for this blog is actually a line from a song. Our church choir has been practicing a song for many months for our big anniversary day. Today was finally the big day and we sung it well. The song is "Before the Throne of God Above." I had sung the song so many times, the words just flowed from me with out much thought. But when Pastor asked us to all sing it as a congregation, I had only the words printed on a paper in front of me. It was the second verse that almost jumped off the page and bit me!

"When Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of the guilt within. Upward I look and see Him there-- who made an end to all my sin."

It was all I could do to keep my composure. Despair. That is where I have been the last couple of days. I have allowed my failings to beat me down and then it crushed me. You know how you can read something a hundred times without it really meaning anything, and then one day you read it and it is like a light bulb goes on? That happened for me today! Those closest to me keep reassuring me I am a very good and capable mom, and I know this logically in my head. But I can magnify the smallest failure and before I know it, I am the worst mom that has ever lived!

This is Satan at work on me. I have sung that song probably hundreds of times, but never fully got the "upward I look and see Him there--who made an end to all my sin!"

As the choir made our way back to our seats with the congregation singing our church favorite "Wonderful Grace of Jesus" I silently prayed for forgiveness for allowing Satan to tempt me in this way. I allowed my joy to be robbed for the last couple of days. I cried and beat myself to a pulp for my short comings when Christ has already forgiven them. I just had to look up!!

Being defensive will probably be a life long battle of mine. I will gain victory again, and I am sure I will fail again. But instead of staying down, I hope next time, I will remember this wonderful song, and not allow Satan to have my joy.


Ann-Marie said...

Oh my, how I love "Before the Throne of God Above!" We started singing it at Morning Star ages ago, and it is still one of my favorite songs - it captures so much about our lived. I will definitely pray for you and your stepsons and the "exes." I wish I could be there to stand with you, but I'm standing here and thinking about you all the same. Lots of love headed your way!

robert said...

Thanks for your frank personal comments. Your blog caught my eye because of the reference to Haldor Lillenas's hymn, "Wonderful Grace of Jesus." (He also wrote another that we ought to sing more than we do, "The Bible Stands.") Today is the 50th anniversary of Lillenas's death. God bless.