Everyone has a story to tell. When we make the connection between our story and God's great story, we come away with HIStory, which involves each and every one of us.
Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” - Mathew 17:20
I was a few blocks away from the girls' school and found myself 10 minutes early. So I pulled over before getting too close and I made sure no one was around me. I took a deep breath, swallowed hard and then allowed myself to feel for just one second. That second turned into five minutes and before I knew it, I was crying uncontrollably, weeping like a baby, cradled in the front seat of my car. Since I couldn't make it stop (and I tried) I decided to just let go and I gave it all I had. I didn't realize all that I had been holding in: sadness, worry, confusion...
When you hear words like divorce, cancer, addiction, you tend to feel disconnected from them. These aren't topics you ever think you'll need to discuss in your home. On this particular day I found myself struggling with all of these - several people close to me were dealing with one of the above. How did everything spiral out of control? Out of control is all I could think. How do you move forward?
Yesterday was a special holiday: Martin Luther King Jr. Day. A day celebrated by many throughout the U.S. I decided that I would listen to the "I have a dream" speech with my girls for the first time. I thought we could have an enlightening conversation afterwords - after all I saw all my friends posting about it on FaceBook and writing about the conversations they were having with their children. Well little did I know, the positive attitude I had would take a turn. Driving back from a beautiful weekend in the mountains, we were exhausted and ready to get home. A minor setback turned major rather quickly. We approached the toll booth which was usually just a 10-minute drive to our home and found that it was closed. ALL of the lanes! Cars were stopped and no one was moving. The level of anxiety in the car grew slightly worse as we came to a sudden halt. Quickly we turned on the news radio, got out our iPhones and searched for some news. Well, MLK demonstrators had decided to protest on the bridge and were blocking all westbound lanes (yes the direction we were headed). My anxiety quickly rose even higher: what if we get stuck on the bridge for hours, what if the girls get hungry (we were approaching dinner time), what if we have to go to the bathroom. Empathy for what the protestors were doing quickly turned into anger and confusion. What were they gaining from blocking regular citizens from getting to their destinations?
All of a sudden all lanes opened and we were in the clear. Hooray we were on our way. As we approached the demonstrators drivers slowed down as we had to merge onto one lane. But we were moving. We were a few feet away from leaving the mess behind us when all of a sudden they close the one lane that was opened. We were so close. Standstill again! Now the level of anxiety is through the roof. My daughter is crying worried she isn't going to get home at all tonight. I find myself cradling her in the same car I was crying in just a few days earlier. I embraced her and told her everything would be ok. She was with mommy and daddy and God was with us. We managed to get through after a very long wait.
As we finally drove through and passed the bright blue and red lights flashing from the cop cars and seeing the large buses being loaded with arrested protestors, I saw the faces of the protestors being handcuffed. All was in order as the policemen arrested in an orderly fashion and the college-aged demonstrators cooperated as they were handcuffed and loaded onto the buses. But I couldn't help it but feel compassion and love for these students. Yes, they had caused my family a lot of discomfort, but I felt their pain, anger, confusion in what they were protesting. Their eyes filled with disappointment as they were being removed from the site. See, we all have pain, discomfort, anger, confusion we are suffering at the present moment. Although it may look different for all of us, these emotions are real and our desire to receive peace is one in the same. However, the way we go about attaining that peace is where the difference lies. Whether or not we set our eyes on Jesus is where the answer lies.
That day I found myself crying uncontrollably in the car, I found my peace and love in Jesus. As I cried, I called out to Him and asked Him to take the pain away, to reconcile the confusion, and to lead us on this journey. In the same way my daughter cried last night confused, worried, anxious about being stuck on that bridge, we ought to cry to Jesus; letting it all out. The truth is we need Jesus to bring order back to the disorder here on earth. Without Him we are lost, wandering sheep. He is looking down on us waiting for us to look up at Him and beg Him, cry to Him, scream to Him to bring order back into our lives.
Whatever you may be facing today, nothing is too small nor too large for Him to fix. Let Him bring you peace! Come into persistent prayer.
"Wrestling prayer is a foreign concept to many of us. It is the complete opposite of the American mentality. Yet, it is part of the Kingdom life. When we need something from God, we are told to keep coming. To ask for what we need. To seek more of Christ. To knock at the door of heaven." - Natasha Metzler
Pray this today:
Father thank you that we can enter your throne room of grace with confidence. We come to you in our anger, confusion, worry, anxiety and ask that you send us peace that surpasses all understanding. Please bring order back to the disorder in our lives. Reign here on earth, reign in our hearts reign in our lives. May we seek you in all that we do. We ask that you lead us in this journey. Our hearts are heavy. Please carry us through these difficult times and may we enter your great peace.
Worshipping our High Priest,
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Song of encouragement:
Damaris U. Avila lives with her loving husband and their two inquisitive and sweet girls. Through personal storytelling, she invites women to share and see themselves in God's story. She leads young girls through BeYOUtiful Girl Time, a sisterhood where girls are encouraged to become the women God designed them to be.
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."