Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Getting rid of an old friend...

I had this friend once... but I don't enjoy the friendship anymore. I want to get rid of it. I actually want to be totally rid of it... never to see or hear from it again. I used to feel very comfortable with this friend. I really thought that this friend was looking out for my best interest. I thought that this friend really loved me. I thought that it was a friendship that I couldn't do without.

But for some time now... God has been trying to show me that I need to rid myself of this friendship. He knew all along that it really wasn't a friend... but instead an enemy. My friend's name is PRIDE.

This has been going on for some time now. I mean years. God revealed my pride to me many, many years ago. I knew that it was something that I carried around with me all the time... I actually call it my "pride panties".... on me all the time. I really thought that I had made some ground with this problem. I find myself sometimes being a little proud of myself for not being as prideful as others around me. But... thank you Jesus... this morning God showed me an area of pride in my life that took me straight to the floor on my face, bawling,and begging His forgiveness. Still, tears fill my eyes.

I have a precious daughter... but we are at odds most times. I love her with all that I have... the thing is that she doesn't "love" like I do... so she doesn't really want the love that I show most easily. (5 love languages anyone???) Anyway... last night we had quite a spat. I went to bed crying over the way that she is... but God woke me this morning to show me how I am.

I realized that many times our "spats" are rooted in my pride. The pride that wells up inside of me to say...
"If she doesn't do "this" then others will think that you aren't a good parent".

Or... "that person over there is not even a Christian... and they think this about her"...

or "think this about the way she dresses"...

or "think this about the way that she uses her phone"...

or.. and the list goes on.

I have put what others think about my parenting and about me above what my daughter perceives about her mother. I love her... but can she see that?? Pride. Can I just tell you that I hate Pride??? I was broken this morning before the Lord. I know that my pride has cost me some of the the close relationship that I could have with my daughter. It may have cost more than just a "some". I asked God this morning to use my humble apology and my confession to her about what God had shown me to accomplish His will in her life. I knew that I would probably not see the fruit now. But... in the long haul... I pray that God can use my brokenness over this to His glory and to accomplish His purpose in her life. I was right... she wasn't bursting with forgiveness... she didn't really even want to talk with me. But... she did acknowledge what I said.

Man... this parenting thing is so hard. If I had really known how hard it is... I wouldn't have made such good friends with Pride. It gets in the way. I want my daughter to see unconditional love from me. I want my daughter to receive grace and mercy from me. I want my daughter to KNOW how I truly feel about her... not how I react in a pool of emotion especially when it is rooted in what others will think about me.

I have sensed God telling me to "love her from afar". I don't really know what that means... but I know that if I don't get out of the way, He may have to knock me out of the way. I don't want that. But, I do want His will accomplished in her life.

Please pray for us. Please pray that I will allow God to remove the pride and replace it with a love that she will see. Pray that He will move in both of our hearts. And... if you have any advise on how to help Pride pack and leave town... please pass them on.

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Amanda B. said...

I'll be praying for you...I fight this similar battle with my husband. We are so different and receive love so differently that it often causes much conflict...but it is usually over my "pride" or "right to be treated" a certain way...God has been taking me out to the woodshed, too. I do know that from being a daughter myself...there were times (I'm not sure of your daughters age) in my preteen/teen years that I just wanted my parents to disapear...but not really. Later, when I really wanted them (in my twenties) they thought that I didn't need them and didn't reach out to me. It took a lot of soul searching and healing from God to get over that. I encourage you to just keep doing what you are doing, stay on your face before God...apologize when you need to...don't expect to be "friends" with your daughter all the time...but always be her Mom. You have to keep being her authority(with love) because she needs that...even if she doesn't know it. Anyway...I only have a 1 year old so take my advice for what its worth (not even a cup of coffee)...but know that I will pray for you and your daughter.

Beverly said...

What a morning you had girl! I will be praying for you during this relationship with your daughter and God will answer every moment. Just give God every moment and watch Him to the work in you and her. She will she His answers too, maybe not right away but if she is praying and seeking Him, He will show her. Just have patience (i know that's hard) Love ya.

Paula (SweetPea) said...

My small group is doing the Beth Moore study "Living Free". We are on the week of pride. Week three is entitled "To Glorify God". It speaks of humility vs pride. Being created for His Glory. Day 3 and 4 are the ones talking about pride.

How about I give you the scripture references and maybe that will help you?
Prov. 11:2
Isa. 26:8
Isa. 43:7
Isa. 25:12
Prov. 8:13
Prov. 11:2
Prov. 22:4

It talks a lot about being humble and seeing how much of our pride is part of the problems. She says "Humility is not something we have until humbling ourselves is something we do." She quotes God's hate for pride...maybe that can be your motivation and driving force to continually examine your life for pride and rid yourself of it.

I know I did this with worry...when I realized it was a sin to worry (that is to be so focused on something that it becomes an idol over God.) that enable me to see worry differently and try to reduce it in my life and heart.

Not sure if any of that helps. If you know of anyone who has the study, maybe you can borrow it for those two days on week three.

Pride is a vicious enemy she says.

HIS Daughter said...

I sure wish I could give you a hug! I hurt with you and my heart was breaking with yours.

Lynn, I have walked and still do at times, this uphill mountain with my daughter. She's the one that just got married in Las Vegas.

At 24, she's just as strong willed as ever and she can't be with me in person for long before she will still knock the wind out of my sails.

What I can offer is prayer that Our Father will overtake your daughter with an incredible need for HIM. Her testimony needs to be her own - wise words someone once told me about my two children.

Lynn, tonight I would hug you and tell you to never give up in what you know is right before GOD and what HE will hold you responsible for - not that she was a perfect daughter on the outside for the world to see. But that you showed her your inside that is like HIM. You modeled what you would want in a Christian mother to her.

Oh how I hurt with you. GOD has reminded me over and over that I cannot carry on the family trait of the "great manipulator for GOD".
Remember Beth saying anything we have to manipulate to keep will never be permanent.

Do what you can as a Mom and spend the rest on your knees. I can't say my daughter is a Christian now, but I know she will be.

I do know that she tells me she wished I had been stricter on her and what was I thinking back then???

I was not a Christian mom - I was friend mom...doesn't work.

I'm praying for you and your daughter and your family as I type this.

HE alone is sufficient. Don't give up!

Love, hugs and prayers,
p.s. Your blog is beautiful!

Melanie said...

Oh, I hear your heart, Lynn, and I will pray for you both. A friend of mine has a similar struggle with her son. I don't have any answers regarding pride but I suspect you are on the right track. Never give up.


Amanda said...

Wow. I'm feeling you. With my stinkin' memory of an elephant, I remember how terrible I was with my mom, and how she just couldn't reach me. God blessed both of us with godly ladies I was more comfortable talking to. Now that I have my own girls, I would find this option not acceptable. I guess that's pride, huh? It would kill me to not be the one to be there to get her through everything.

But, like my sister in law tells me when my husband and I re-enforce any message at our house with her teenagers, anyone who chimes in with God's love and Biblical messages, just supports what mom and dad has been saying all along. Kinda gives mom and dad the credibility their searching and learning minds and hearts are looking for. So I guess, when I get where you are, I hope I remember those ladies in my life, and how the NEVER replaced my mom... they helped show me she was right... and how much she loved me. Even if I didn't show it back to her like I could have.

Bless you sweet Lynn! I'm praying for you now.

Amy said...

Bless your heart...I am humbled by your words....I too know the sting that comes from a friendship with pride.....

You are so right when you say that this parenting thing is hard, and goodness knows we have all been (and are) where you are at. You are not alone. God will honor your humbleness and honesty. You will be blessed and she will be blessed.

I'm saying a prayer for both of you now.

God Bless,

Yolanda said...

And if you get that advice on how to pack Pride to leave town, would you share it with me?

Pride panties....Girl, do I ever have them!


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Loving very rarely breathes perfect. Thank God for the times when he shows us a better way, especially as it pertains to our parenting. I have a difficult loving with one of my four, and yes, most days our issues stem from my wanting to make him into someone he's not.

Communication has been so important and speaking the words of love even more important...even when the feelings lag behind.

You are not alone in your struggles, both with pride and with parenting. Just keep heading toward Jesus, as I know that you are. The closer we get to him, the more our loving resembles a measure of sacred.


Tracy said...

I had always thought myself humble until last year. We did a Bible study on personal revival called "Seeking Him." In one chapter, the author had a list of things that showed a prideful heart...I was stunned and then heartsick because I saw myself in so many! I had categorized just a few ways a person could be prideful and I just knew I wasn't like that! Boy did God show me (and still shows me) how often I wear "pride panties." Ouch.

It touched my heart to read how you recognized your part of the spat, and that you humbled yourself and sought your daughter’s forgiveness. Don't ever underestimate the impact of that...(even if she doesn't show much response now). It speaks absolute volumes.

I sympathize with how hard it must be to fill the love tank of someone who's fuel is so different than yours. (I struggle a lot with my hubby on that.) No doubt praying for her is the best thing you can do. Meanwhile, try and think of something she really loves to do and try to reach out to her that way... I've done this with some of my youth group girls and while the first time or two it was very (sometimes extremely) awkward, they eventually (some sooner, some later) begin to appreciate your efforts in trying and love them "their" way and they soften up a bit.

Sorry this went so long. Praying for both of you…

donnaj said...

"And this too shall pass" but only because you recognize the problem - that it is pride and is generated by satan (he doesn't deserve a capital S) himself. Your willingness to take this pride problem to His throne of grace shows that you want to change that part of your life. Thanks for sharing something that many, many of us deal with on a daily basis.

Lelia Chealey said...

Will be praying. I really needed to read this now as my daughter is on her way over to talk with her Dad and I...love God's perfect timing of a specific word for us!
Thanks for your prayers!

Tammy R said...

I hopped over here from Lelia's blog and I totally understand. My friend's name was Pride and from time to time still wants to get together.

I love your blog and will return to read more. I also have a story about'Pride.' He came to visit one night and then tricked me into have brownies with him.