P3: Psalms, Proverbs, and Prophets
I have been surprised by what the Lord has laid on my heart to share. I consider myself to be a person who is real and vulnerable with her friends. Yet these words the Lord gave me to share, make me feel naked and exposed. I am not comfortable.
But, in my experience, when does He do “comfortable” work in my life that produces real fruit?
When I think about Him teaching me something new, it often starts with an area in my life where I don’t want to go. I usually feel a nudging to open a box that I would prefer to remain sealed and hidden under my bed. At that point, prior to the seal being broken, I would prefer to go on blindly through life as if there were no issue at all. “God’s got it all anyway.” Right??
I currently find myself in a new stage of life as a mother of two young adults almost completely gone from the nest, and a freshman in high school. When I first held those babies in my arms, I had no idea the journey I was about to embark on. I had the crazy notion that I would raise these children until they were twenty-ish and then they would go their own way. My husband and I would raise them in a Christian home, with their Heavenly Father blazing the trail ahead. So, there would be bumps of course, but no real land mines!
Our children would live upstanding lives, meaning that they would get good grades in school, have great friends, go to college, have wonderful jobs, marry the perfect person, and go on to have a wonderful family, etc. I am sure you get the picture.
When people told me to enjoy them while they were little as “it goes so fast” and that as they got older it would be hard mentally. I have to admit, I never believed them. I look back and laugh out loud at what I thought I knew! The Lord has humbled me many times over the years of raising my beautiful children and thankfully, He isn’t done with me yet!
I have lots of stories to tell. But, the one I am about to share, is the one He has impressed upon my heart for this occasion.
My daughter met her boyfriend when she was seventeen. She was very secretive about this meeting, in that she would say that she was going out for ice cream with a girl friend I knew, but omitted some of the details, like the fact that they were meeting up at with two guys as well. I trusted her, as I had no reason not to.
The first recollection I have about her boyfriend was when I was sitting on the runway at 5am about to take off for the Cayman Islands with my husband. I received a call from our babysitter sharing that our daughter was not in her bed and was gone from the house.
We came to find out that this boy had picked her up in the early hours of the morning to meet up with friends who’d been at an “all night party.”
When invited to meet us, he drove up in a large monster truck. We asked him about his schooling; he was not in college due to financial reasons and had an hourly job involving manual labor. He was a nice kid, only two years older than our daughter. I learned that he came from a broken home and that he did not know Jesus. My husband and I thought it would never last!
Now I want to fast forward a year. They were still dating. I reminded my daughter that she was dating a non-believer. She was insistent that the Lord showed her that he was honestly searching for Him….Really?? I was skeptical!
Six months later, he came to know Jesus, which was very exciting. He started coming to church with us and even brought his family along too. He got baptized. If I’m honest, we still felt like this relationship was going nowhere (or perhaps that is what I had hoped?).
Let’s fast forward another year, which is actually a year ago, when my daughter started to tell me that this is the man she wants to spend the rest of her life with. I seriously thought that she was immature and had no idea what she was saying. I look back and realize I never asked the Lord about it. I didn’t want to deal with that unwrapped box; I just wanted it to go away.
My dearest friend told me that I was in denial about what was right in front of me, that my daughter and her boyfriend were headed for marriage. That “he was a beautiful person, and what was my problem??” I was so irritated with her–how dare she challenge me in that way? It was alright for her to say those things when it wasn’t one of her daughters! She just didn’t understand…
Understand what? Did I have a problem? Finally, I asked, “Lord, what is my problem?”
I was reminded that I had prayed Psalm 26:2 not long before this:
Prove me, O Lord and try me;
test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes
and I walk in your faithfulness.
I happened to be in my daughter’s room doing some deep cleaning and came across a total of 4 letters from her boyfriend. I found them in different places at different times. I sat on her bedroom floor and took the time to read each one as I came across it.
In a nutshell, they were so beautiful.
Each one was about the cares of her heart, and how he was praying for her and what he felt the Lord was saying to him concerning her and her growth. His heart, full of nothing but love for her poured off the pages he wrote and I sat there as her mama and wept! I sat there crying out to God, “So, Lord this is really going to happen? These two ARE going to be together?”
The Lord was so incredibly kind and patient with me. He let the truth gently sink in and let a little time to go by.
I decided to put those letters in her nightstand, a better place for them than strewn all over her room; as I did, I found many more letters!
As I spent time with the Lord, He showed me so much. He got me to look at the tough questions concerning these issues. He got me to face myself and what was at the root of this turmoil, and it wasn’t pretty! I wept at His feet when I realized that I actually had to admit some personal truths:
1: I didn’t think that he was good enough for my daughter. The package wasn’t what I had expected. He had me face what package I did expect and Jesus wasn’t at the top of that list…Ouch!
I wanted someone tall, dark and handsome, a great provider with an amazing jet-setting career with a fantastic salary with a little Jesus thrown in. At this point in my journey. I was face-planted before the Lord, sobbing. I realized the naked truth of who I truly was inside. I was exposed! I honestly had no idea. I thought that I was a different person. I had raised my children to love and accept everyone.
That was, until he was on my back door step.
2: It wasn’t the right timing, I thought she was too young. The Lord reminded me that I had been sixteen when I met my husband.
3: Her boyfriend was too broken; his family had so many issues. Forget the fact that my parents are divorced and that we have issues of our own, but are perhaps able to mask them better.
As I wept I asked the Lord, “Is it wrong to want the best for your children?”
And as the Lord so often does in scripture, I felt him answer me with a question: “Sara, who do I choose as the perfect bride for My Son?”
Wow, that was convicting. The lost, the broken, prostitutes, tax collectors, sinners, those that humble themselves.
He took me to the book of Matthew, “When Jesus was choosing his disciples, who did He choose?”
He chose fishermen. Seriously, fishermen were first on His list? Fishermen obviously work in manual labor, and probably don’t have college degrees. They were obedient to their calling. (Matt. 4:18-22)
When the Pharisees asked his disciples the question, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” Jesus heard it and answered, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Matt. 9:11)
So much conviction came, yet He had one more question for me: “Is your daughter’s boyfriend good enough for Jesus but not good enough for her?”
I was weeping again, marveling at His amazing patience and kindness toward me.
Not once did I feel shame or condemnation. I was saddened by my shallowness, but so grateful that it was exposed. My blindness in that situation was lifted, as He opened the eyes of my heart.
I have to tell you that the victory is oh-so-sweet! My daughter and her boyfriend were engaged a few months ago and will be married next August. He continues to pursue his relationship with Jesus and guides my daughter in the same way. When she struggles, he prays with her, and just the other day prayed with me when I was struggling. He has one of the kindest hearts of anyone I know, and I am so grateful that next year I get to call him “son!” Not that it matters, but I should tell you that he is very successful in his new found career and he has an amazing work ethic.
I cannot imagine anyone more perfect for my daughter and am so proud of him.
This is the true work of God in my life. This complete change could only be brought about by Him. To Him be the Glory!
Sara Luccock grew up in England where she married her husband Andrew. They emigrated to the U.S. 25 years ago and have three children who are almost grown. She fell in love with Jesus in Oregon and desires to truly honor Him in all she is and does. Her deepest desire is to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and pray for the brokenhearted. Sara wants to bring Christ’s freedom to others and live a life of ministry.