Monday, March 7, 2011

Heard it. Yes, I heard okay?!

I have been wanting to link up Hear it on Sunday, Use it on Monday with Michelle over at Graceful for quite some time now but between being snowed in at hockey tournaments and computer crashes, I haven't quite gotten that done. Hopefully this is the day.

The fact that is has taken me this long may also have to do with the fact that as a general rule I need to hear things SEVERAL Sundays or times before I really HEAR it. This is no exception to that and I am still struggling. I am hearing, I just don't want to listen.

A few weeks ago I received what I assumed was a random text message. It contained a very nice Bible verse and I read it, smiled, and thought that was lovely. And moved on.
I then went to get the mail and was quite surprised to find a letter from Charlie Brown's (yes, that's the name I'm going with for our foster baby for the sake of this blog since I cannot use his real name- if you saw his head you would confirm that it is quite a fitting title. Ahem.) mom. I was a little bit surprised. Okay, a lot surprised. I didn't think she would have access to my information. Guess again! I wanted to tear it open to see what she could possibly say, and I wanted to tear it up and pretend she didn't actually exist. Turns out that she really is a real person with a real story- whether or not I hear the truth in her story doesn't matter. She is his mom. I still had no desire to talk to her or write her or be nice or anything. I was still ready to tear up the letter and take Charlie Brown and my family and head to Figi. (not really so please do not report me to DHS, they already have my number thankyouverymuch. )

Are you curious about the verse yet? It was about the time I was browsing real estate in the tropics (*ahem*) that the gentle nudge came to reread that text. Fine. I will read it. "Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive so that you will have the right response for everyone". Col. 4:5 NLT.  Nowhere in that verse does it tell me to pack up and flee the country so I decided to re-read it. Make the most of every opportunity. Yes, you certainly did give me the opportunity to present the gospel to an unbeliever, didn't you God. Just like I asked not that long ago. Let your conversation be gracious and attractive.  So...sarcasm will not be appreciated in my response to her then?

I would like to say that all of this alone was convicting enough to change my heart and attitude, but for those of you who know me, I just don't sway that easily. I did promptly text a "thank you" -of sorts- to dear Erin for her oh so timely Bible texts. And I did find a lovely card with some nice verses on it to send my letter back to mom in. On ther surface I do believe I looked quite gracious.

Enter in Sunday. A few Sundays later mind you, but there it was none the less. Let me just share with you a sampling of song titles, if you don't know the songs, google them.
 I Give You my Heart
The Potter's Hand
Have Thine Own Way Lord (mmm-hmmm)
We are an Offering
Make Me a Channel of Your Peace
Take My Life and Let it Be
and of course ...
I Surrender All. 

Now. I like to think I catch on pretty quick. But. I don't always want to.
I am not sure how much more clearly our Heavenly Father could say to me "This is NOT about you. This is not about "the mom". This is not even about Charlie Brown. This is about ME. This is MY story. You are an instrument in MY kingdom to bring people to ME. Whether you like it or not."

Do I know what is going to happen with Charlie Brown? No. Do I know what will happen with "the mom"? Nope. Do I know what will happen to our family? Not a chance.
How do I go on? Because I do know that despite all I don't know, GOD KNOWS. And He will take care of everyone. My only job here is to be a gracious speaker and to show kindness and compassion where I don't want to. My job is to show the light of Christ to a very dark place. I know that I cannot do this. But I do know that God can. And that is all I need to know right now.

To meet Michelle, click the box above to see more great inspiring stories. You'll be so glad you did!


Anonymous said...

Some days I love how God presists until we listen & other days, when I don't want to hear it, I hate how God persists until we listen! Thank God he doesn't give up on us.

Amy Sullivan said...

I haven't been bouncing around in the blogging world as much, and I've missed your voice. I feel as if we are just hanging out chatting.

I pray for you, for Charlie Brown's mom, and your family. Thanks for sharing a little piece of your story with all of us.

Jensamom23 said...

You are such a blessing in Charlie Brown's life as well as his mom. I am certain that you were chosen by God to be their safe haven. Blessings.

Leslie said...

This sounds like a difficult situation, and I appreciate the honest way you wrote about it. I would want to run away, too! May you continue to have grace, wisdom, and love for every step...

Bina said...

Oh sweet I know where you come from on this post as I have been there a time or two myself. I love that He is using you...your heart and your show Himself to those put into your life for a reason (even her).

I love you big time...cuz you are simply beautiful!!

Diane said...

Beautiful story and just wanting to be used is sometimes enough. God is in control and you are His willing(slow at times, just like me) vessel. Hugs :O)

Graceful said...

Oh wow Alicia, what an incredibly convicting and honest post. We've all been in a similar place -- resisting grace and compassion, wanting to dig in our heels stubbornly and go our own way. You are wise and brave to listen to and heed Him. I know you and your family are in a very hard spot right now -- I'm praying that He will continue to speak clearly to you and guide you in His ways.

And thank you, dear friend, for linking today with this important lesson about listening and heeding. You teach us by example!

God Is Enthralled By Your Beauty said...

O Alicia...sigh...this is so timely and so true! This truly penetrated my heart, "This is NOT about you. This is not about "the mom". This is not even about Charlie Brown. This is about ME. This is MY story. You are an instrument in MY kingdom to bring people to ME. Whether you like it or not."
I praise God for you and your obedience to listen; in your listening, you have bid others to listen and to also obey. So lovely sister!

Gabby said...

I do the same thing, shamefully, some Sundays I teach the very lesson I am positive God put on my heart not for THEM but for ME, and I still don't quite live it right away.
So proud of you for opening yourself up to really hear and live God's word.

He will give you the strength you need when you need it.

I absolutely love Charlie Brown's nickname! Ha!

Connie Mace said...

"But I do know that God can. And that is all I need to know right now." obedience, you did what GOD put on your heart...when we love GOD, we will obey Him, and you did...not based on our own feelings, but His, and that carries us through...well done Alicia

alicia said...

@tcsoko- Amen! I am so glad that He doesn't give up on me!Thanks for stopping by today!

@Amy- I have been a little sparse myself and have missed my bloggy friends... its good to "see" you again!

@Jen- thank you so much! Your encouragement is so greatly appreciated!

@Leslie- thank you for stopping by today and for you encouraging words!

Bina- I would say "who knew" that we would be walking such similar paths... yet I already know who knew. Love you so much!

Diane- Thank you and yes- slow at times is so very true!

Michelle- Thank you so much for hosting the link up party and for being such an encourager! I love the way we get to know so many thru this and it forces me to pay attention to the things around me! ;)

Teresa- Bless you for you words and for stopping by here. I am so far from having it together, but I do hope that honesty will bring others to see Him

Gabby- Amen! I can be so dense some days I am sure that God is sitting up there going "is she for REAL?!" Thankful as always for grace.

alicia said...

Connie- Thank you so much for stopping by! I am a humble and wretched servant of His, I can do nothing apart from Him, so I will not even try to pretend.

Anonymous said...

Alicia - Surrender is so hard. God has you right where he wants you though . . . helpless and looking up to him!

Blessings on your journey with foster care!

Cherie Hill said...

Hey sister! Thanks for dropping by today . . .it was a relief to hear an "amen!" WOW this post was awesome . . . I cannot imagine the rush of feelings that flooded over you!!!! We think God is working diligently in our lives and situations . . . but what He's really working on is us. He's using every situation to transform us into the likeness of Christ. It's ALL for good . . .although it doesn't always "feel" good! :/
Praying you have a super blessed weekend!
Blessings and Big Hugs!