My 8 year old daughter, Mae, fell apart today.
She could not get her shoes laced through...
and was waiting for someone to help her.
The house was in a flurry...
Trying to get four girls out the door early on Sunday morning,
My four girls, out the door...is quite the circus.
It does not happen easily.
Some one always seems to become a victim.
At any rate, my Mae fell apart.
No one was tending to her quick enough,
In her fragile emotional state,
she quite literally fell apart...
Clothes came off...
She ended up in a wet, sloppy pile on her bed.
Sure the world was going to come to an end.
What to do?
Three other girls wanting to get to church...
What do we do?
Wait for her to get it together...
or send the rest onward...
and deal with the consequences?
Jeff let her know her options...
and in the end he left..
It broke her heart.
It broke his heart.
As I sat with Mae later,
arms wrapped around her,
her fuzzy, long hair tickling my nose,
she poured out her grieving broken heart.
We wept over her fears of never being safe,
never being completely loved and cherished.
God came to her in her anguish.
that we have all felt before,
that deep, dark hole we cannot ever fill...
Mae got a chance to see that reality,
as an 8 yr old girl...
and the amazing treasure of an inheritance in Christ.
The only place to ever feel complete,
is that priceless gift of salvation.
She understands the gospel,
but now she is grasping the significance of how it plays out in our everyday life.
What a joy, to be there with her in the midst of it..
that bittersweet reality of living out this earthly life.
Today Mae needed to become a mess first,
for God to start the process of healing her heart.
And so did Jeff.
Jeff left completely wounded...and afraid.
Leaving his girl behind, and worried that he had caused her such pain.
Jeff is a fixer,
he cannot handle seeing any of his girls unhappy....
it is so hard for him to hand out a consequence
and then see it through.
He wanted her to bounce back out of her mood
and go to church,
instead of allowing her to fall to pieces.
And I think he kind of fell to pieces,
as he watched her head that way.
But he got the rest of the yahoos into the car and left....
....and thank God he did.
Jeff came home, hours later, a changed man.
He was quiet.
A bit emotional.
He called the girls to come sit with me.
He had something he needed to say.
He talked with us about how God had come to him during church.
How God had challenged his heart.
Had called him to serve his family.
Had convicted him to forgive,
to walk away from that anger,
and embrace the life God had given him.
He admitted how he himself was struggling to forgive,
struggling to move beyond his hurt and confusion.
He confessed that he was not serving his own family...
and that God was calling him to do just that.
Serve. His. Family.
The whole messy lot of us.
God is so good.
Life is such a mess, and God is so good.
In the middle of the mess, God was there.
And I really believe the only way we could have ever experienced God,
was to be in the middle of the mess.
If Mae had slipped on her shoes,
and jumped into the car...
none of this would have happened today.
The real pain and struggle would still be there,
under the surface,
being avoided or ignored....
Embracing the mess means trusting the Lord.
Do you know what I mean?
We try to run away from the mess.
Hide from it.
Or clean it up ourselves and fix it.
Instead of allowing God to do the work He intends to do...
in the midst of the mess.