Actually, it is a Susan Update, truth be told.
Haven’t decided how I am going to get this to you yet. Email? Facebook? My blog?
I’m actually feeling led to put it on my blog for the following reason(s): The name of my blog is Not That Girl…This Girl. You see, I used to be that girl…selfish, angry, spoiled…
Finding Him meant I had to become this girl…full of sin yet saved by Grace.
So, having felt led to begin a blog and to name it thus, shouldn’t I also be using it as a way to show people that I really am This Girl and no longer that girl, and show Who is responsible for that transformation? (At first I typed, “transportation” and after changing it realized He really did transport me, too…)
No matter how I share this update with you, I need to get started…
I think y’all pretty much know that Sarah, our 18 year old daughter, is living in a period of major rebellion. Repeatedly, I lose sight of the fact that it isn’t really Russell and I and her brothers and family that she is rebelling against…it is God. I never knew that while I was rebelling at her age…it was flat out rebellion against my parents, my family and the “establishment.” As if I knew who/what the “establishment” was!
So yes, my daughter is following right in the footsteps of her mother, except that Sarah knows and loves Jesus. I grew up in the church but didn’t know Him, and at one point, during my time as that girl, denied He even existed and if by some marginal chance He did exist, I denounced Him as unneeded and unnecessary in my life.
Thankfully, Sarah has not done that in word although by action I often presume she has. The only reason I haven’t totally gone over the edge is because I know for certain that she belongs to Him and is sealed by Him (thank You, Jesus; Praise You, Jesus).
Really, it has been ugly here at the Smith household. I have been consumed with grief over the loss of our daughter. And she is lost right now. I know that the real Sarah is in there, covered by darkness, probably embracing the darkness. I know I did. Embraced it. Relished it. Savored it. Owned it. That is why my grief is so strong…so consuming: I know what she is thinking because I thought it too.
And I have been oh. so. angry. at. God. over all of this. I did this! I was this! I tried so hard to ensure she would not. She had no clue I was ever like that. So…how did it come to pass that she is now doing the same thing I did? Genetics? I truly believe in some part genetics does come into play. The Hart side of the family (my mom’s side) has passed down from generation to generation the following sins that I had hoped I had broken…anger, anxiety, self-love.
Yes, I have been so very angry at God. To the point I have questioned my own faith, my own belief, my own salvation.
Patiently, He has remained with me. Speaking to me when I would listen, but only when I was open to hear.
It is not for me to know exactly why He has allowed this to happen to her. At least not for now. But in a way…don’t I know some of the reasons why? Because without that time of rebellion, I would not be who I am today. I would not be This Girl. Not perfect, by any means. Still struggling, every single day. But forgiven. Loved. Cherished by Him.
She has forgotten that. She has forgotten that she is forgiven. Loved. Cherished by Him.
And she has felt forgotten and unloved by her own mother.
In my grief and my anger I sinned mightily. Not intentionally. I thought that if I showed her and told her how much I loved her that it would make her think that her behavior was acceptable. That she could “get away with it.”
I forgot to look at the nature and character of the One True God. He is love. He IS love. Love is Who He Is.
Thankfully, he reminded me of that, in the darkest hour of my despair when I cried out to Him, literally, unable to get out of bed because I am so crippled by my grief, I told Him I just can’t do this anymore. Can’t live like this without my girl.
And He did. He said to me so very clearly, “You need to love her and she needs to know that You love her.”
(IMPOSSIBLE! She’ll think she’s getting away with this behavior and that it is acceptable! You are WRONG about this. I can’t do this.)
“You are pushing her further away from you and from Russell and you are pushing her away from Me.”
I have spent the last 18 years showing my daughter that You are the Way, the Truth and the Light and now You are telling me that I am pushing her away from You?
I had to process that for a long, long time. Still sobbing about it as I type this, even though I’ve begged for and received forgiveness. I mean…how do I make this up to Him?
By being obedient.
How do I know this? Because He put this right in front of my face in the midst of this struggle, in the midst of Sarah actually being in the house while I’m struggling with this, forcing me to make a decision right then and there on whether or not I would obey. Joanne made the choice to obey.
And I did, too. And I continue to. And I will continue to do so.
And I continue to covet your prayers. Without them, I am positive I would not have been open to any of this. But even more so, I now know that your prayers will open my daughter’s hardened heart to hear Him wooing her…
And I can’t WAIT to see it all come to pass.