This is where I stood last night – between to 2 small rooms housing 2 not-so-small-anymore children struggling with heavy hearts.
One awaiting the potential consequences of an innocent error – an accidentally missed school deadline that could have extreme consequences.
The other caught out in disobedience that struck her sneaky, tender heart to the core.
I stood there because I could not sleep. My forehead against each door, I prayed for their minds to find peace, for their bodies to sleep, for their hearts to recognize that individual moments cannot name them.
There is only One who names them in truth and love. He names them according to their whole story – or rather their place in His grand story.
As my tears hit the wood floor, it occurred to me that my love shows up bigger when they blow it. It’s not that the love wasn’t there moments before, but their struggles pull my fierce-ancient-mama-love to the surface in a hurry. When my kids mess up, I might get sad or mad or temporarily discouraged, but what I feel the most is crazy, hopeful, passionate love for them, for their story, for their future.
Last night as I secretly, silently loved on them through the sheetrock, I had a flash of memories. I saw in quick succession numerous failures and heartbreaks of my own. I remembered being curled up alone on my bed feeling like the world was caving in on me. And I see now that God was there, right outside the door of my heart, not barging in, but waiting, loving, hoping, knowing that there was so much more to my story, calling out to me by my real name – not the horrible ones I was calling myself.
My love for my kids in that moment filled me to bursting. That love is the biggest thing I’ve ever experienced. And I have a Father who loves me like that, but multiplied beyond any exponential factor I can imagine.
The friends I enjoy most are living reconstructed lives. That means they first had to experience deconstruction – the breakdown of dreams, love, security, pride, family, and self. Piece by piece, they have been – they are being – put back together. But this time, all of those pieces are infused with GRACE, and it oozes out of them as they interact with others.
As much as it hurts me to see my kids hurt, I know what I want for them is the kind of reconstructed lives that only come through suffering and surrender. I know that on the other side of the suffering is a life full of real love, life that is vibrant and joyful and authentic. Embracing the deconstruction/reconstruction process is the only doorway to such a life.
HGTV has become one of the top cable channels. The biggest episode of all time for them? Fixer Upper – no surprise. We all love to see beautiful things emerge from the rubble, and Joanna and Chip can work some magic inside a broken home. They are pretty cute making it happen, too. On a much bigger scale, the Creator of the universe can work miracles in the secret rooms of our hearts.
I told my son this morning as he walked out the door to learn the fate of his AP English grade:
“You are a character in a grand and fantastic story – your story – and all of us who are watching your story unfold are rooting for you to find your way and get the girl, no matter what crazy plot-twists you have to wind your way through.”
This morning, his teacher showed mercy and grace. She saw him, the real him, and I hope he remembers.