Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Can See Clearly Now (Pt. 3)

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
I was acutely aware that something was wrong with my soul-vision. I made my conviction known when I refused the rite of Believer's Baptism at age 12. I pondered it at 16 when my best friend and I agreed together that there had 'to be more to it' than what we had seen up to then. 

I staked my claim on my right to find the truth for myself when I up and moved out of state and away from everyone I knew at age 24. By then, my folks had figured out there was no preacher-boy in my future. If not that, then surely just to keep me in their fold of faith would have been some success. 

Mom and I explored my new town. She had eagle eyes in focus for my new church home away from home. Bless her heart. She found it. It was but ½ mile from my new apartment. At her insistence, we stopped in to make a courtesy call on the pastor. He and I sized each other up, and each knew ours was no long term relationship. 

My mom was further elated to find that the man and his family not only lived in my apartment complex, our units faced each other. Praise the Lord and pass the spiritual ammunition! I was as good as saved from danger in her book. What good news she had to go home and tell Daddy.

Courtesy A. Squires
Later that day, the frustration in me rose to a fever pitch as we stared one another down. Like most teenage girls, the time had come that the stresses and strains of life had impacted my mom's ability to tolerate me. You'd think she'd be happy that I wasn't drinking, doing drugs, or sleeping around. She was. She was just unhappy with my refusal to hop on the pre-conceived family band wagon.

She was also very, very nervous. My spiritual restlessness was, perhaps, more challenging to her than if I had been flagrantly rebellious. Before she slipped away, she had the grace to admit that my way had not, in the end, been so bad. Ultimately, our paths diverged, but she could see the depth of my faith and my impact on others struggling to find faith. She made her peace with me even if it may have remained a begrudging one.

Wedding Day
Not that day. No. That day she realized parental control was slipping away and with it me. She was afraid that my refusal to march in lockstep with them would make them look like failures before their peers and parishioners. If I didn't give them the ultimate vote of confidence in supporting their ministry choices, why would anyone else? That was the bottom line. My support would validate their life choices. Plain and sadly simple tho' it was.

Why can't you be like THEM?” she demanded as she referred to the 3 blonde bombshell daughters of one of dad's peers. They'd all gone to Bible college and married the preacher boys. They were living her dream for me. Her dream was my nightmare. The rock and hard place I was in nearly broke me. In its own way, it did.

I had been locked and loaded for a while. Hesitant to let fly the ammunition I'd been amassing since I was 12 lest I reveal the divergence between us. I suppose her greatest fear was that I would be stained by the sinners with which I might interact and drift father from the safety of her fold. Hence, the need to get me committed to that new church family before she left.

Courtesy A. Hughes
I was about to disabuse her of that notion. My words erupted. “Daddy CHOSE his job. He was hired to be the preacher. NOT ME. Look around you. Which ONE of my friends goes to work with their daddy? NONE of them. Why should I be consigned to the role you have picked out for me because of his vocational choice? My friends don't go to work with their Dad. I was not 'called into the ministry'. Dad was. It's his job. Not mine.”

I began to tick off a prepared list of friends and their fathers' careers. Only 1 friend had followed a parent into the same career. She had not seen that evidence coming. Her mouth opened and closed. I shoulda been a lawyer. I drew a line in the sand that day. I never crossed it once I drew it.

I don't mind telling you that choice has not been an easy one. Lots of times it has been down right lonely. I guess one reason I don't freak slam out when Son #2 expresses a desire for navy blue hair and rub on tattoos may be that I know what it feels like to march to the beat of a hidden drummer.

Work in Progress
As much as I wrestle with my good God and understanding his plan, I know he finishes what he starts. He's in that process with me. I see the process at work in my wanna be navy blue haired, tattooed metal head. It's a good thing. Sometimes scary. Always good. I don't have to be in total control all the time about everything. Because the God who created him IS.

My poor mom and dad. I wonder how much easier their lives would have been if they had grasped that same sense of life? That it was ok to let go and breathe. It was ok to let God do what he was doing without being afraid of the outcome. The validity of their faith did not depend on me. It was rich and strong and did not need my validation.

Hey, fraidy cat, are you wrestling with your soul-vision always twisting and turning your head to see the horizon for what and where it truly is? Cause, if you are...that is often a scary, scary process. You are not alone. I'm going in search of my good God, the one who created me with a unique purpose. You're coming too, aren't you? See you soon.

Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
Romans 8:15-16 (Amplified Bible)
For [the Spirit which] you have now received [is] not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption [the Spirit producing sonship] in [the bliss of] which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father!The Spirit Himself [thus] testifies together with our own spirit, [assuring us] that we are children of God.

1 John 4:18 (Amplified Bible)
Courtesy Mad Penguin Creative
There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete, perfect) love [a]turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear [b]brings with it the thought of punishment, and [so] he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love's complete perfection].


  1. Bless you, you give me hope for my son.

  2. I don't even know what to say, dear friend. May the Lord be your balm, and may your son find his way to the good God with the good plan! Amen. And Amen.

  3. Carol, I really can relate to this when it comes to those in my family that I love, yet can't "fix," whether the problem is financial, spiritual, emotional, or physical. God is in control, and He loves them even more than I do. The "fear" I often feel for them is real and tangible, yet it only means I am taking on God's role, and that is sure not mine to do. I really enjoyed reading this and other of your writings. Cathy Durham