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My family and I recently had to deal with a lot following a difficult Summer. Some of you will be more than aware of it so I won’t go through the details again but one thing that was very very apparent through it all was how held we felt. At times when it was really difficult we felt really held together by the arms of love.

I remember the day when we were due to attend court to hear the case of the lady who  crashed into us. I was a nervous wreck, and shook like a leaf all the way to Buxton Magistrates, where the hearing was to be held. I almost lost it as we drove along very similar roads that we’d crashed on, and flinched each time a car approached ours from the opposite direction at high speeds. I was a real mess.

And I remember the anger I felt as sentence was passed and I realised that there would be no mandatory rehab sentence in place, nor a substantial ban placed on this lady who had nearly taken the lives of my entire little family in one drunken accident but who, a few years prior had also been charged with a similar crime involving another family and other children…

I remember feeling so cheated by the system, and crying from my gut, feeling as though no one had stood up for us. For me. It has taken all our courage to get to this courtroom; my heart was broken. On the drive home I was quiet,my husband and I both in disbelief. We didn’t want or expected a jail term, in fact we’d prayed for the opposite… What we wanted was justice. And justice,in our eyes, would have involved some time for this lady to deal with her alcohol issues, which she’d admitted were out of control as well as a good amount of time without her licence to allow for her to get to trips with healing from this, which she’d expressed a desire for.

I spent a few weeks wrestling with my own feelings and unable to pray through the anger and disappointment that I felt. And then when I could finally muster up the strength, I  asked God the question that had been weighing on my mind. As I asked Him: “if the courts and lawyers don’t stand up for us, God, who then does??”

And the answer came through two formats. The first was through a song that I played over and over again that helped me find the strength to surrender. In this song God asked me to “come to him”- to let him be my anchor in the wind and the rain. And this became easier as I listened to this song, over and over.

The second answer came through him speaking to me directly and telling me that HE stands up for me. He fights for me. He’s the greatest judge, friend and ultimate father that I need. And he was on my side.

And as I took in those words, I slowly learned to step in the rhythms of grace again. I was able to let go of the anger that was weighing me down. The hurt and pain that I felt melted away the more he whispered words of healing over me and I gave him my pain for his love.

It was a daily exchange. Sometimes hourly. But he keep on inviting me day after day.
Some days it was really hard to trust. Or to give away my hurt. I wanted to hold onto it. Part of me felt justified so I wanted to wallow a bit. But if I wanted to get free, to play again, I had to allow him to stand up for me because I couldn’t do it for myself. And as I stood back and truly let God stand up for us I was able to rest and recuperate. And when I woke up, I was ready to dance and sing and laugh and play.

I came across this verse as I was reading Lioness Arising today by Lisa Bevere (great great book)-

Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play”. (Psalm 63: 7)

What a beautiful verse! As I read it, it illustrated exactly what happened to me when I learned to lean on God all over again this summer. As I gave him my anger over the injustice I felt, I rediscovered anew so much of myself. Not that I’m completely there yet, far from it! But what happened was a remarkable rediscovery of the joy of lost. And the freedom that had vanished- the confidence that was stolen- it all began to come back as I went to him in my anger and truly gave my fears to him.

There is a song that says He gives….beauty for ashes…strength for fear….gladness for mourning… Peace for despair… The beautiful exchange! And I never knew how freeing it is when we gladly come to him and say, I really want to hold onto this, God. They really hurt me. And they deserve my anger… My blank stares…my venomous replies on Facebook…. But here it is…take it…and turn it into something beautiful. And you know what? He will. He did. He does.

Because you’ve always stood up for me, I’m free to run and play”. (Psalm 63: 7)

Isaiah 61:3
To all who mourn in Israel,[a]
    he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
    festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
    that the Lord has planted for his own glory.

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