Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Got any Strength?

Over the last several weeks I have found myself in a mess not of my own making that involves our youngest son.  In fact, it is a mess that I spent a couple years trying to prevent.   It is a mess that affects many aspects of our lives and has hurt many people.  It is a mess that has kept me off Facebook and a mess that will require me to continuously offer grace, mercy and forgiveness as I ask others to extend that to our son and to us.

For those of you who have been curious, this situation is why I left Facebook and stopped posting things about my fundraiser and my exercise.  I felt like I was wearing a scarlet letter that I hadn’t earned and for weeks I couldn’t post anything online for fear it would be used against us.   

We have been through many situations in our journey where our children have made huge mistakes that have damaged them and messed up their lives.  There have been times when their decisions have tarnished our reputations slightly and there have been people who have been harmed as a result of their choices.

However, this is the first time that the mistake of one of our children has hit so close to home.  It has had an effect on nearly everyone that we know in the city in which we live.  We are heartbroken and grieving and yet because our son is the one who screwed up, we haven’t been able to say much.

I tell you this simply to encourage anyone in the middle of situations you did not create and finds themselves wondering if you’re strong enough to handle the fallout.  You need to know this:   in God’s strength you are.

Slowly but surely, God is giving us the strength to make it day by day, to forgive ourselves for things we could have or should have done to possibly prevent this, and to forgive, love, and extend grace and mercy to our son and anyone else who has contributed to our pain.

This morning as I was driving in to work I heard this song.  I have heard it multiple times but the first line caught me off guard.  It was as though I was speaking directly to God.

“You must think I'm strong
To give me what I'm going through

Well, forgive me
Forgive me if I'm wrong
But this looks like more than I can do”

I have had many thoughts the past two months that are similar to those.   Thoughts like, “We’ve been through a lot, God, but this one — this might be more than I can handle.”

But the song does not end there.  It says:

I know I'm not strong enough to be
Everything that I'm supposed to be
I give up
I'm not strong enough
Hands of mercy won't you cover me
Lord right now I'm asking you to be
Strong enough
Strong enough
For the both of us

The good news is that He has been.  His strength has been made perfect in my weakness (I Corinthians 12:9).  I’m definitely not sharing this to brag or to suggest that I am special.    I have had days where I have stared off into space, replaying this situation over and over in my brain, unable to do even move.  I have absolutely NOT been strong enough, on my own, to make it this time.

But God has.   And if He has done so for me, He will do this for you… no matter what mess you find yourself in. 

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