My first reaction was to get all fussy, bitter, and yell for him to leave me alone. I mean, I worked all day and was loading the dishwasher – shouldn’t he try to not frustrate me instead of add to my irritants. So I thought for second and decided it was best not to get mad but to get even. I proceeded to take the sprayer from the sink and soak Brad. We laughed as water went everywhere and I glanced across the room and noticed our youngest son watching with a huge grin on his face. He began laughing loudly at watching his parents play and laugh together.
I learned yesterday that I can get mad and irritated when I get frustrated or I can play along. I also learned how important my reaction to Brad is to my kids.
Playing along brought smiles to all.
This weekend I had the opportunity of speaking at Girl in the Mirror. GITM is a weekend where high school students gather at one of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen and spend time falling in love with Jesus. I loved so many things about this weekend – time in the Word, getting all dolled up for a photo shoot, endless questions about how teenage girls can love Jesus, and meeting new friends that I already love and miss. One person stood out to me, Mrs. Glow. Mrs. Glow is the momma of the host family, who I already love more than words, that started and run this event every year.
Mrs. Glow worked all weekend long in the kitchen feeding over 50 people. She hugged on girls and grabbed our faces and told us she loved us. Her hugs were meaningful and her cookies made my mouth water. She served out us out of a heart full of Jesus.
She taught us more things by her service and her cooking this weekend than I did all weekend. She showed us in a weekend what a lifetime of walking with the Lord looks like, faithfulness shined on her face.
At the end of the weekend, she walked up to me and looked right into my eyes and told me she loved me. I hope she knows how much I love her. I wanted to beg her to be my grandmother since mine just went to be with Jesus. I imagine I am not the only one who longs for a precious woman who has walked many miles with Jesus to hug our necks, tell us they love us, and maybe even feed us some cookies.
I’m afraid these ladies who have faithfully served our Lord for years don’t know how much we need them. I am scared my generation doesn’t realize how important these relationships are and how necessary they are for us to form them. So I challenge both women to find each other, enter into their world, and tell them that we need them.
What do we do? How do we fight when we are wounded?
Both Job and David did this as their response to the death of those they loved dearly. 2 Samuel 12: 20 says “Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped.” Job 1:20 says “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship.” When faced with terrible circumstances, both of these men reacted in worship.
After the death of our son, I didn’t have the words to worship. I was completely empty. An album called “Psalms” by Shane and Shane became my worship. Each psalm became my cry to God - I wore this album out. I started running right after the accident. There was something about putting headphones on and going out and pounding pavement that I needed. It hurt and it felt good all at the same time. I would blare music in my ears and just run with sweat pouring down my face. God used that to release the pent up tension, anger, and aggression. It was a practical way to vent my frustrations.
There were times I had Steven Curtis Chapman’s Bring It On blasting in my ears and I would sing at the top of my lungs, daring Satan to touch us. Then I would run with tears streaming down my face singing “I will run when I cannot walk, I will sing when there is no song, I will pray when there is no prayer, I will listen when I cannot hear...I will fight when I cannot feel.”
Through song, I could say openly to the Lord that I felt like I was in the waiting room of silence. I was choosing to run when I didn’t feel like getting out of bed. I was making a point to talk when I had no prayers inside me. I was deciding that with each step, I would wait until His silence had ended and He had chosen to respond. Music was giving me a voice to the desperate cries inside.
Step after step, I beat the pavement with my legs, weeping and asking God, “How long will you hide from me? How long will this last?” Verse after verse, I shouted “He has torn us into pieces, He has injured us, come let us return to the Lord. He will heal us, He will bandage our wounds, in just a short time, He'll restore us. He will respond.”
These songs, Scriptures daily rolling around in my head is what changed me. These prayers and cries offered up to God began to heal my heart. I now firmly believe that one of the key factors in God healing my heart was my time spent in musical praise and worship. These hymns played over and over in my head changed my heart...These Scriptures set to music transformed my thinking. These songs helped me to survive.
Take some time today and create your own list of songs that help you survive when your world has been rocked, share this someone you encounter who is experiencing great loss. This is a practical gift of encouragement that we can offer to her. Take your own top ten survival playlist and give it to her along with an Itunes and Starbucks gift cards. Music and some Starbucks coffee can bring a temporary dose of joy that leads to a healed heart.
Kasey’s Top Ten Survival Play List
- Songs For The Storm (album) by Brad Ewing
- Psalms (album) by Shane and Shane
- Declaration (album) by Steven Curtis Chapman (especially God is God and Bring It On)
- I Will Rise (song)by Chris Tomlin
- On The Road to Beautiful (album) by Charlie Hall
- I Will Overcome (song) by Charlie Hall
- Better Than A Hallelujah (song) by Amy Grant
- Blessed Be Your Name (song) by Matt Redman
- Beauty Will Rise (album) by Steven Curtis Chapman
- One More Day (song) by Lonestar
- Revelation Song (song) by Kari Jobe
I quickly confronted him and he calmly explained how it wasn’t his (of course) and he was being a good friend the previous night and driving home a friend in need. I knew that trouble was brewing with him; he had been acting differently, and seemed to have an air of an attitude about him but I didn’t really want to push the issue. Frankly, it was easier that day to believe him and move on.
Then I wake up one Sunday morning and while getting ready for church, I check my email. My son’s twitter account is tied to my email so I begin reading his direct messages. My heart drops as I read one from a friend of his. It read, “Did you make it home ok?” I knew we were in trouble. The messages went back and forth and my immediate conclusion was right, my son has been drinking.
This revelation has led to some needed punishment for my son and deep pondering in my heart. I have learned more about myself in those weeks then I have in a long time. First, I realized that it is easier to deal with problems when they are small. I am thankful my son got busted early on and we can teach our son about alcohol before it is a habit. I also discovered that I had gotten lazy in praying for my kids and a friend suggested that I pick a day and fast and pray for my kids each week. I love this idea because I feel like I am partnering with God in His redeeming work He has planned for my children.
However, of all the lessons looking back over the past few years, I realized the biggest mistake I have made as a mom is interfering between dad and son. I would swoop in to referee or defend and I ended up causing more harm than good. I thought in my heart that I knew more than my husband about what was best for my kid. After all, I am the one who reads all the parenting books, that makes me an expert right? I saw in my son’s eyes and felt in my husbands guarded voice that I had made the biggest mistake of all - I had under minded my husband and allowed my son to create a wedge between us. My interfering had given my son an arrogance that eventually leads to his destruction. I thought of Ecclesiastics 4:12 in a new way, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” I realized that God, leading my husband and I, would create a strong fortress between us for our kids.