Tuesday, August 16, 2016

What I Learned From My Toddler's Tantrums

Tonight I went for a walk. I had my Pandora going and "Christ in Me" by Jeremy Camp came on. This song is pretty popular right now on K-LOVE so I hear it all the time. I already knew I liked it, but tonight it really hit home with what I'm going through.
In this obsession with the things this world says make us happy
Can't see the slaves we are in all the searching or the grasping
Like we deserve much more than all these blessing we're holding
So now I'm running free into an ocean of mercy unending

So come and empty me
So that it's you I breathe
I want my life to be
Only Christ in me
So I will fix my eyes
'Cause you're my source of life
I need the world to see
That it's Christ in me
That it's Christ in me

Done with what holds me down the things I once was chasing after
Throw off these heavy chains that I have let become my master
So now I'm running free into an ocean of mercy unending

Every line of this song spoke to my heart and my struggle right now. We place so much emphasis on what "things" will make us happy. For me, I've felt food will make me happy. That friendships will make me happy. That being liked will make me happy. That pleasing people will make me happy. That having it altogether will make me happy. In trying to live that life, I became a slave. Definitely a slave to food, but also a slave to other people's opinions. And here's where I switch to present tense because heaven knows I'm still strugglin'. I keep searching for something to fill the space that's solely for the Lord. I keep expecting blessings to rain down while I squander the ones I have in front of me. I keep pretending I'm "all in" while holding onto what's familiar. I'm a slave to what I've let food do to me. But I'm desperate to be "done with what holds me down... the things I once was chasing after". Christ has broken the chains for me and Satan CANNOT win my heart. "So now I'm running free into an ocean of mercy unending". Christ is not finished with me! Praise the Lord! This story is not complete! 

Ella has been in a phase lately of kicking and screaming when we put her in her car seat. She throws these horrendous fits that totally test my patience and leave me at a loss for words. There's no consoling her. There's no reasoning with her. There's no making it better. She just screams and pitches back and almost seems like she's not even there anymore.  As I wrote the paragraph above, it became clear to me that I am acting like a toddler. Christ is trying to fasten me securely into my place with Him. He's trying to reign in my arms and legs, to keep my body safe, to love me in His protection... But I'm kicking and screaming, so focused on what I want (food) that I can hardly hear His words to me. I can hardly stop long enough to focus on what His plan for me is. I can't give up control of my body because I don't know what will happen if I do. I want what I want and I want it now. I don't want to listen. I don't want to behave and make good choices. I don't want to focus on Christ. I want to throw a fit and still get what I want. 

I love Ella more than many other things in this world. She tests my limits and my patience, but my love for her is unending and unchanging. Praise the Lord, we serve a God who loves us even greater than we can love each other! Praise the Lord, His patience for my fit-throwing tendencies is so much greater than mine is with Ella's. Praise the Lord, His grace and mercy are for me! As I continue to seek His will and continue to die to myself and live in Him... I'm thankful for a God who is never-changing and never-failing and whose plans for me are ALWAYS good. My story with food addiction will be of victory, not defeat, and I have Jesus Christ to thank for that!

Do you know God's grace? Do you know his love for you? No matter what struggle you are facing... No matter how long you've avoided Christ... No matter what you've put in front of your faith... Christ is faithful to you! He is pursuing you! He wants you to choose Him! He wants to save you from yourself! He wants YOU! Isn't that so sweet?? 

Dear God, Thank you so much for who you are as our heavenly father. Thank you for pursuing us and loving us, even when we're unlovable. Thank you for putting up with our tantrums, bad choices, and rebellion like the loving creator you are. Thank you for being so patient with us and giving us so many chances to accept your grace and salvation. Forgive us where we fail you. Forgive us when we disobey or ignore what your will for us is. Forgive us when we neglect to seek you first. By your grace, I want to seek your will for me. I want to rid myself of what I want and live solely for what you want for me. I want to make better choices and have a testimony of victory so that you may be glorified. Your word tells us you came for sinners, that we may repent and accept your salvation. Your word tells us you love us and your plans for us are good. Thank you for loving me in my brokenness. Thank you for sending your son to die for me. I accept you as my Lord and Savior and want to seek you first. Amen.
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