I told the counselor when we arrived that she didn't want to come... and then I went to the bathroom to get on my face before the Lord and beg for his intervention. After I poured out my heart to Him... I headed for the lobby to wait. Something just kept telling me to go to Psalm 103. Now... lest you think that it just popped into my head out of nowhere... it didn't. I have spent some time in the past memorizing this Psalm. I know most of it by heart. As I read through it over and over... these lines kept jumping off the page to me...
"who redeems your life from the pit; and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's."
I started really praying those verses for my daughter.... and God impressed upon my heart not to stop with just those two verses... personalize the whole thing!! So this is how my Psalm 103 went...
"Praise the Lord O my soul;
all my inmost being, praise His Holy name.
Praise the Lord, O my soul;
I will not forget all of your benefits-
You can and will forgive all of our sins;
You heal all of our sin sick diseases,
You can redeem any life from the pit-
You are able to then crown them with love and compassion,
Father, you will satisfy all our desires with your good things- if we will let you;
You can renew our youth like that of the eagle's,
Lord, you work ALL for your righteousness;
and you bring justice for the hurt and oppressed,
You will make your ways known to those that love and seek you;
You show your wonderful deeds to your people too,
Father, you are compassionate and gracious to us;
You are slow to anger- I want to be like you,
You are abounding in love- fill my heart with it too,
You are not our accuser;
when you are angry you do not harbor it long,
Thankfully, you do not treat me as my sins deserve;
You have not repaid me according to my iniquities,
For as high as your heavens are above the earth that you created;
so great is your love for me and Jenna,
As far as the east is from the west;
so far you will remove our sins from your mind- if only we will ask you to.
As a Father should show compassion to his earthly children;
Your compassion for those that love and seek you is even greater,
You know how feeble we are... how we are formed;
You know that we came from the dust,
Our days are like the grass;
it can flourish like a flower in the field one day and be gone the next,
From everlasting to everlasting is your love is FOR me and FOR Jenna,
if only she will receive it,
You will be my righteousness, and it is for my children as well;
Please help me to keep my covenant to you and obey your precepts,
Lord, your throne is established in heaven;
and you rule in your kingdom over all,
Praise the Lord you angels;
you might ones that He created to do his bidding,
Praise the Lord all of you heavenly host;
you are His servants and you do His will,
Praise the Lord all of His works... all that He has made;
and please allow me to join in...
Praise you Lord, Praise you Lord!!... with all that I have and all that I am." Amen
Well... after that I was emotionally spent. I then started to work on my Bible study lesson. Of course it is a Beth Moore study... Living Beyond Yourself. She told a story of her daughter needing her help in the bathtub one night... her daughter said,
"last week I found a small knot in the back of my hair, and I tried to get it out with the brush. It hurt so much that I quit. Every day it's gotten bigger and bigger and now look!!! In the back, nearly all of her very thick, long hair was in a huge knot. The knot was so big and tight I could not imagine any other solution but scissors; yet I would have had to cut her hair to the scalp. I could not believe the mess. I sat down beside her, asking God for patience, and began to brush... one hair at a time! I tried to hold her hair as tight as I could so that she would not feel it pull, but finally the knot was too close for me to fit my hand between it and her head. The tears streamed down her cheeks. I asked, "Do you want me to stop?" "No, mommy. If you do I'll never get it out. Keep brushing." It took us many minutes to get through those tangles, and those minutes seemed like hours. Totally submitted to untangling the mess she was in, she rested her head in my lap and endured the pain. Her tears were not those of resistance. They were tears of submission: knowing that the end was worth the means."
Well.... thank you Father. I will endure this pain every week if need be. I so want you to untangle this mess that has grown into such a huge knot of rebellion, anger, hate, and hurt. I know that it is really her hair that is being brushed... but somehow my hair is tangled up in there too. My head can feel the pain and the pull too. But... it is my prayer that afterwards this painful hair brushing will leave us both with beautiful hair that glorifies my Father.
Also... Happy Thanksgiving!! Here are just a few of the things that I am thankful for:
The ladies that come to Bible study on Tuesdays
God allowing me to watch each of them grow in their relationship with Him
God's grace and mercy
Chocolate anything... Especially milk
Skittles (and God knows which colors)
My heating pad that keeps me warm in the bed and on the couch
My church... all of it... the preacher and the choir... and everything in between
The desires that God puts into my heart to do His will... Even when it is not easy
The quiet in my house in the mornings before everyone else gets up
My little car that gets great gas mileage... And the low gas prices right now
Great Christian music... Turned up really load
Starbucks... Especially Pumpkin Spice Lattas
My mother-in-laws turkey and dressing
Eight hour lunches
The grocery game and coupons
A good nap
What about you? Have you made out a thankful list recently??