See, my husband is away at a conference right now for 5 days. I have all three kids to myself for that time. I'm in a new city (well we've been here for a year now) with no family nearby and no close friends yet. So, I've been feeling all-alone in this. Truth be told, I guess I've been feeling kind of whiny. Which reminds me of this post. This is from my testimony blog Healing Hope. I hope it encourages you today, and I'll try to have some new material for March! :)
The Three-Year Temper Tantrum
I was having my quiet time and Bible study on March 28, 2005 and God spoke to me in a way that I still remember three (now four) years later. I wasn't even really listening to Him at that point, but I heard Him and I understood Him.
Let me give you a little background. I had a very protected and blessed life. I can't remember anything bad happening to me growing up. No illness. No death. No abuse. Nothing bad. I truly was spoiled. Not rotten, just spoiled.
When the first and only really bad thing to happen in my life happened when I was 24-years-old, it hit hard! I got used to things going my way. I enjoyed things going my way. This was totally new and I was unprepared.
When the doctor told us that our baby potentially had a fatal defect and would not live outside the womb, the walls of my world came crumbling in around me. I never thought that I was exempt from bad things, I just took God's protection for granted. I was in His Word. I prayed. I was growing spiritually. You just don't grow through normalcy the way you grow through adversity. I was totally unprepared for how much I truly needed Him.
The next 20 weeks of our pregnancy, I poured my heart out to God. I spent time with Him every day. I communed with Him all day, every day. I knew Him in a way I had never known Him before. I had so much peace in the midst of such turmoil and such uncertainty. I was seeking Him. I desperately needed Him. The problem was that I wanted Him on my terms. I wanted Him because He could heal her, and He was the only one who could. I wanted Him because I knew that there was no other way that I could make it through.
I experienced Him with such closeness that I decided I didn't ever want to go back to not "knowing Him". I wanted to continue that closeness and grow it until the day that I was looking at Him face-to-face.
Then He chose not to heal her. He chose to do things His way. He let me down, or so I thought. Jael was born. She died. I searched for Him. He didn't answer, or so I thought. I wanted His comfort. He didn't give it, or so I thought. This continued for 3 years, until that day.
In those three years, God had already blessed us with two healthy daughters. Things were going my way again. I didn't realize how mad I was at Him. I didn't realize that I was choosing to ignore Him. I didn't realize that I had believed Satan's lies. I didn't realize that I had given bitterness a root, and it was flourishing. Time passes quickly when we allow Satan a stronghold. As long as I was focused on the here and now, I didn't notice the absence of Him, or so I thought.
I spent time in His Word. I wanted to hear from Him. I just didn't want to hear what He wanted to tell me. I wanted answers, not Him.
Our second-born daughter was almost two-years-old, smack dab in the terrible twos and very "strong-willed" as some would say. We could not find any discipline that would work for this girl. She laughed at spankings. We physically had to hold her in "time-out". It was exhausting. We finally put a baby-gate on the door to her bedroom and removed all toy-type things. Whenever she would throw a tantrum, we would put her in her room and put the gate on the doorway. She could still see us, but she couldn't get out. All that was required of her was that she stop screaming, tell us sorry (in an almost two-year-old way), and we would come get her and comfort her.
This particular morning, she had one of those episodes. I can't even remember what it was about now, I just remember allowing her to get me very flustered. I put her in her room, but was so flustered that I forgot to put the gate up. I realized this a few minutes later, but wanted to see what she would do. She screamed in that room longer than I ever remember her screaming. I kept thinking come on child, quit screaming, I am right here waiting for you to stop crying. I want to hold you. I want to talk to you. I want to tell you that I am disciplining you for your benefit. It was killing me to hear her scream and not run in there to comfort her. She didn't realize that the gate was not up. She was waiting for me to come get her.
It was in my quiet time that afternoon that God reminded me of my daughter's tantrum that morning. You see, I had been throwing a tantrum myself. A three-year long one. I was screaming at God. I was refusing to listen to Him. He was wanting to comfort me.
I felt Him telling me that all this time, the gate was not even on the door. I didn't have to wait for Him. He was waiting for me. All I had to do was stop screaming, talk to Him, and walk into His open arms. No gate involved. It was all for my benefit. He was right there waiting to comfort me the whole time, and my screaming pained Him the same way my daughter's screaming pained me.
That was the day that I quit screaming at God, I told Him I was sorry, and I ran as fast as I could back into His arms. There were still strongholds to break, and issues to deal with, but I was ready to do things His way again. No more temper-tantrums.
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