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Thursday, October 2, 2008

More lessons of Grace

Grace.

Some days I just want the only grace in my life to be my sister's black lab dog. Well, let me add to that: When I'm the giver, not the receiver of it.


Extending it is sometimes tough; especially if the recipient seems undeserving in your eyes. It's something I've worked on over the last year. Some days I get it right and other days I'm a raging lunatic and I choose to show no grace.


The journey of Grace for me began August 16, 2007 when we found out our teenager was pregnant. Senior in high school, a know it all that knew nothing, a rebel with no cause and yet still my baby girl. I had to choose to either extend grace to her or remind her of her choice and drench her in shame every time we occupied the same room. With a chip on my shoulder at times, I kept my feelings inside and instead chose to give grace because I knew that is what God required of me in order for my walk with Him to go further. (To read my daughter's story it is in my sidebar...Grace Meets Innocence).




I wonder if extending grace and mercy to me has at times been tough for Jesus to do. If it has, He has never let me know because His desire to be in His Father's will is so much greater than anything else. We read in the Gospels that He is One that never put Himself first all the way to the cross.
He is the Ultimate Grace Giver.




So when we find ourselves with the wind knocked out of us, how do we get to the point that Paul did and realize that the grace God's been giving us is simply enough? How do we let ourselves just fall into the embrace of the arms of Grace and find contentment with its hug?


I love the Message version of
2 Corinthians 12:9
My grace is enough; it's all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.


His strength comes into its own.


Oh you have no idea how that speaks to my heart right now.

How far does the enemy have to push us before we allow God's strength to come into its own in our weak lives?

How often does something happen and we go to the phone before the throne?
We panic about finances so we run down and get a loan with an outrageous interest tacked on to it.

We try over and over again to handle things on our own all the while God is sitting back saying "My Child, look to Me. See what I can do here. Trust in Me. Let my strength overpower the weakness you are about. You can't offer what I can, so come to Me and let Me release my power in your life. You need me more than you know."

That's what I feel He is telling me right now.
I feel like He is saying, "Lelia, let my grace, MY grace come into its own here because as strong as you think you are, you are one of my weakest."


Today we found out that our daughter Alyssa is pregnant again by the same unsaved, dead beat dad that Amiyah has.


Oh my...I can't even describe to you what is happening in my heart.


Disbelief...but why when it was so predictable because of her lifestyle.


Deep Sorrow....but yet I found myself hysterically laughing while doing laundry and praising the Lord only a half hour after hearing the news.


Anger...wondering how she could be so selfish; then answering my own question because I did the same thing at her age.


Shock...but encouraging her to surrender her life to Christ.


Love...no matter what, I'm crazy about her.


Forgiveness...not yet, but that will come. Probably accompanied by grace.


Two babies at 19 years old. Oh Lord show us mercy.

I pray that this is what will open her eyes, soften her heart and make her feel that she has finally hit rock bottom. Those of us who have been in a pit, we know that you get to the bottom and are faced with the choice to sit and be miserable or empty yourself and reach up for the only One that can pull you out of it. Jesus Christ. King of all kings. Lord Almighty. Prince of Peace. Savior. Chief Shepherd. I AM.


May my daughter reach for the arms and scarred hands of her Savior like she did at the age of 9 and may she let His arms of grace embrace her like no lover she has ever had. May she feel the difference.


I covet your prayers for our family right now. This is not what I signed up for, not even close. The only drama I desire in my life is when my 7 year old is acting on a stage. This is too much.




Above all else, I want a heart of obedience to keep me out of God's way so that His strength may as He put it...come into its own. I pray that His power knocks our weakness unconscious and when it comes to, may it only have the strength to kneel before Him.



Bring it Lord, the path has been made clear for You.


Love you,

43 comments:

Kelly said...

Oh Leila, please know I am praying for you right this very moment. Grace for you to and to you. I do know too what it's like to be in that pit of my own sinful doing and to finally hit rock bottom before giving it all to Him, and I pray for Alyssa that she crawls back into God's lap with this huge wakeup call in her life.
I will keep praying.
Love,
Kelly

StitchinByTheLake said...

I don't even know what to say. Except I love you - I know we're just blog friends but God has put a special place in my heart for you. I know this is hard but hold on to Nahum 1:7, "The Lord is good. When trouble comes, he is a strong refuge. And he knows everyone who trusts in him." God can lift you up, and He will. blessings, marlene

AnooCre8ion said...

Leila, just know that God's hand is not shortened that it cannot save. She is not too far gone, nor is it too dark around her for the light of Jesus to penetrate.

Do your part, love her despite.....

I pray you become the catalyst God uses to bring her back to Him.....but you have to let Him.

God will do His part. He promised He would. He is faithful. He is a God of integrity. He is not a man that He should lie.

Praying for all of you.

Blessings,
Vickie

Rhonda said...

Oh my, Lelia! Parenting certainly isn't for cowards! I pray that the Lord will give you His strength. You must be feeling so exhausted and overwhelmed. My heart goes out to you. Remember - this could happen to any one of us.

May you and Gene also become closer through this as you join together to face this situation.

Bless you Girl!

Paula said...

I read through Psalm 139 last night in preparation for Monday Manna at Exemplify, and the verses that struck out were 5 and 6. Here they are from The Message -

"I look behind me and you're there, thenup ahead and you're there too - your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful - I can't take it all in!"

I urge you to take this all in; He is there for you, for Alyssa and for your family. She may not realise it, but you do. He IS by her side and He IS looking after her. Importantly, He will NOT leave her, even during all this. Alyssa may not openly admit that He is with her, but deep down inside she can feel Him. He will prevail. Just not on our time or our terms.

I'm glad I read your post before I put my mascara on! I am with you Lelia and praying for you and your family, and will continue to do so...constantly. I can only try to imagine what you are going through. Your will to raise it all up is inspiring. Give it all up to God and leave it to Him to control, and He will...always.

Love you lots and am here for you always,

Paula :-) xo

Luanne said...

My prayers are with you all. I know its hard to keep your eyes on Jesus and not your circumstances. Paste the Corinthians scripture you qouted at the forfront of your mind to remember that "in your weakness his power is perfected". God bless all of you.

Luanne

rusty'swife said...

Lelia,

Psalm 23 The Lord IS my sheppard, I SHALL NOT WANT. He is all you need. Praying for you.

Sorry, this seems so stupid. I got tagged and because I want to grow up to be like you, I tagged you too. You can stop at my blog and pick up your prize.

I am praying for you girl.

Sallye

HisPrincess said...

Oh Lelia,

Of course I will be praying for you. Please know that you and your family are being lifted up right now, from the other side of the world.

Love and Blessings.
Sharon.

Julie said...

Oh Lelia, I have no words, just a heart that cares....

He's got you...He's got your girl. I just know it.

I believe He will continue to pursue her relentlessly....

It's so hard to watch, I know....

But I feel like I have to say to you, "it's not your fault." Just in case the enemy is whispering to you that it is. It's not your fault that she has made the choices she has.

It's so easy when our kids make the crazy choices that they do to blame ourselves and believe that we must have done something wrong. We must not have taught them something. Maybe you haven't been there, but I went there. You are not to blame here.

God's got this whole thing...He's coming for you!

Hugs & Love sent your way,
Julie

LynnSC said...

Oh Lelia... I will be praying for you and your family.

I have to tell you... this does not surprise me... but not because of your daughter... but because of the enemy. Every lady in my Bible study has been blindsided by the enemy in the last week or two. The closer we draw to the Lord the more the enemy has to try to steal our focus. These studies that we have been doing are leading us to be the women that God wants us to be... and it makes the enemy furious. He is a on the prowl... and we are his prey.

Hang on the the truth sister, God is in control of even this. I love you,
Lynn

Runner Mom said...

Bless your sweet baby heart! i wish that I could just give you a hug right now! Oh, my word.

I was reading the beautiful comments and scripture references from the other bloggers. They are so right on with this. God has everything under control--even when we can't begin to see it. Trust.

Just keep on loving that baby girl of yours. Remember, "Grace...grace...grace." I will be praying fervently for you all.
Love you bunches,
Susan

Naomi said...

My love and hugs to you... This was not in your plans, but you know Who creates the best of them. And all for His glory, as I know it is the only way you would have it...

Angela said...

Lelia,
I think your daughter is very lucky to have you as a mom. God will work in her heart. She has the background, and he will not let her harden herself completely against him. This comes from someone who put her mom through ALOT, I know she is still probably not sure how I made it through 10 rough years of rebellion and terrible choices. But..she prayed for me. I knew right from wrong, because she raised me that way, and God never forgot her daugter. He won't forget yours either. It might take time..more time than you can foresee pushing through, but she will turn to him. I will be praying for you!
Angela

Laura said...

Oh, Lelia. My heart is breaking for you. May His grace fall. I am praying, friend. For so much for you, and her, and these babies. I hope you can feel a big bloggy hug.
Love you, girl.

jillian4 said...

I want to share this scripture with you as a friend felt led to email it too me this morning.....

"So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while. These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-and your faith is far more precious to God then mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world." 1 Peter 6-7

Hold on Lelia, hold on to Jesus. I can't begin to tell you that the above blogger is right. The enemy is so prominent right now, he is pushing his way into so many lives, kick him out and let him know that God is in control, your Jesus is in complete control.......Keep your focus....He will not leave you, He will not leave your daughter, He will not leave your family.....

Jill said...

Oh wow. What do we say, sometimes there are no words and Lelia, now is one of those times. Though I have no words, we all have a God who is bigger than any pain or struggle. Keep turning to Him and He will lead you through. Romans 5:3-5 tells us to rejoice in our sufferings...they produce hope and HOPE does not disappoint us. Hold on, He's there and we'll be praying you through.
Love, Jill

Carol said...

Oh, Lelia. I have been praying for you guys, but I will continue to pray. I can only imagine what you are going through. God has been speaking to me about grace as well. Sending lots of love and prayers your way, Carol

Amy L Brooke said...

Lelia, Thanks for the text. I got it and started praying right away. I will continue praying for you.

I pray that God will be in the midst of all you say and do.

nothingcanseparateme said...

Oh Lelia,

I just don't know what to say--you said it all so well. Hang on to that grace. God knew about this baby before time and he loves this child as he loves Amiyah and Alyssa and your entire family.

Praying for you all and so thankful for you are so REAL with all us bloggy friends.

praying...
Kim

**oh and congrats on being a grandma again--babies are blessings no matter what the circumstances are!

Amy said...

I will pray for you and your family, Lelia.

You made the statement, "This is not what I signed up for, not even close."

I feel led to share with you about a book that may encourage you now. When we were going through our "marriage nightmare," I said those same words to God. And He led me to a book by Donna Partow called, "This Isn't The Life I Signed Up For" It was life changing for me, and helped me to find "true" forgiveness in my heart, as well as the ability to better pick one foot up in front of the other. Each day.
I know it doesn't solve everything, but I really feel like you will see yourself (and God) on every page, not to mention the encouragement that only God can provide; I know that I did.
I will be praying for you, friend.

In Christ,
Amy:)

tiggerdaisy said...

No words Lelia. Just a heart full of love extended your way.

May God's grace be abundantly poured over your life so that your cup overflows unto others. In Jesus Name.

Sita said...

My heart swells with compassion for you..God knew He could entrust you with this...just rest in Him, Lelia..hold on to His ankles...(((Hugs and love)))) Sita

Tammy R said...

Lelia,
What mixed emotins you must be feeling right now. I know as a mom,all we want is for our children to take the path that leads straight to Jesus,the one we chose not to take.

My son received the Lord around the age of 10 at camp but by the time he was 12 his eyes were looking back to himself.

When he was 19 he was a mess.He had drop out of college,drugs and drinking was his life.On March 29,01 I had him move out of our home.As the door closed behind him,fear try to grip my soul but I needed to trust God.

Today,he is 26 years old and his life is much better.No,he has YET come back to Jesus but every now and then God gives me a window to help me see that He's still chasing him.
Ryan,has told me many times he is gratful for what I did on March 29,01.

God reminds me as I'm praying for my son to look back,see where I used to be and where I'm now.

I like to think I was out in the world collecting my testimony:)

Keep praying and trusting...You are always in my prayers,my friend

Pamela (MrsJoeB) said...

Grace...Grace...Grace. You know I am here for you and would be hugging and crying with you if I could. Lean on God, lean on us. We will support you with those coveted prayers. His will, not ours, not your daughters, His will. I'm sorry Lelia, my heart breaks for you and your daughter. I also rejoice in what God will bring from this. I love you girl.

Pamela

Jenny said...

Lelia,
You sweet thing, I will be praying for you. One thing I will be praying for your family is that this young man will be saved. And when he is that he will step up and be a Godly example.

Thank you for sharing your life with us!
Jen

Leebird said...

Lelia,

My heart hurts along with you, but I am also in awe of how God can work through a surrendered heart.

My prayers are with you and your daughter...that God's strength will truly come into its own in both of you.

God has knit this new little one into his/her mother's womb and she will be fearfully and wonderfully made with a plan and purpose from God.

Much love, Lee

Connie said...

Hi Lelia,
I know exactly what you are going through because we went thru a similar situation with my son. He and his girlfriend became pregnant. We were not happy...encouraged them to get married. They did...10 months in...the other mother broke up the marriage...divorce followed..they still saw each other every week sharing custody of little Bella...during a time of loneliness they got back together and guess what....pregnant again. They are now back together...Dylan is now 6 mo. old....although they are not married, they do attend church together...talking about marriage again....It's been hard. I love my grandchildren and my son and Selena... I didn't think my life would go this way either but God gives me what I need to make it through each day. I know he will for you too! Just know you are not in this alone. Love you even though I don't know you personally...Hang in there. Connie

Mari said...

I could write something much longer and better if I were not crying so hard. My heart is breaking as if this was my own daughter. Know that I am crying and praying for you and Alyssa. I know your heart must be broken. All I can say is keep looking to Jesus. I know God will give you the srength to endure! Love you Lelia.

Jeankfl said...

Lelia
I haven't known you long, but my heart goes out to you.. I've been there.. and you will get through this. Just love her, and God will do the rest.. Praying for you and the family..
hugs,
Jean

The Shabby Secret Garden said...

Oh Lelia,
I have been staring at this blank box trying to figure out something to say? You have my prayers.. and just remember YOUR IMMANUEL IS WITH YOU.
Love,
Lea
<*)))><

Yolanda said...

Loving in the tough times is what this life is all about. You are right, hard stuff. Dang tough at times, Sister!

John 16:33

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you WILL have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world."

emphasis is mine...WILL

I love ya!

Yolanda

Stacy said...

Lelia,
I stopped back in to get to know you more and thank you for stopping by my blog and emailing me and I see the pain the you are dealing with today. I will be praying for you and your daughter. God will strengthen you even more and bring you into an even deeper relationship with Him, revealing to you more of His love, grace and mercy.

"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

"Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I hope in Him." Lamentations 3:22-24

In Christ,
Stacy

Tiffany Stuart said...

Oh my, I am sorry for your struggle and emotion. I can't imagine. I have to trust that the Lord is in control and that He is working through the hard stuff. I am thankful that He is the author of life. This child is not an accident according to Him.

Jamie @ Purposeful Pursuit said...

I am committing to pray for you, your daughter, the baby, and the father! You've got such a great heart!

Heather said...

Hey, Lelia,

Praying for you and your family, thanking God for showing His glory and love through what is currently a challenging time. I love His grace and unconditional love, His plans for our lives even when we can't see them. Standing with you.

Also, Happy Birthday! May God pour out His blessings into your life!

~Heather

Just me~ Bobbie Jo said...

Lelia-I don't know what to say except that I will be praying for ALL of you!

HIS Daughter said...

GOD knows how your heart feels and HE knows how it wants to feel when it doesn't, but it's trying.

I can't explain why yet, but I bounced from one pit to another and walked around the edges like a circus tightrope walker, balancing barely until - I fell so far, so hard and was sliding deeper and deeper with every day. I was a hard headed rebellious hater or authority.

Authority let me down and so I would show all of them and not acknowledging it but knowing it, that meant showing GOD.

Well, HE showed me instead and yes, HE will show your daughter as well. HE will show my son and my daughter too, Lelia. Sometimes HE says just like he did to my mother before she passed away, "Take your hands off her".

HE knew my mother was praying and worrying and they don't go together. HE had it under HIS control and HE was going to teach me the ultimate lesson in who was in charge.

I love HIM more with every breath I breathe. When HE gets through with your daughter and my children whenever HIS Sovereign time is, they will know HIM and they will love HIM and there will be know doubt who is in control.

Praying for you by name,
Teri

Karyn said...

Thanks for posting this. It's a great reminder for all Christians who are living out a genuine faith. Karyn www.christiancupid.com/blog

Susan said...

To my sweet Leila,

Oh boy, it's times like this I wish more then ever we were not divided by so many MILES.

I'd love more then anything if I could of picked up the phone, (Hey, we need to do this!) or just drive on over and sit with you.

I'm the mother of 2 prodigals now. I've been through so much with one of my son's because of his brain tumor, but the heart-ache over his brother's bad choices hits a different area of my heart. It's HARD, I know...

Gosh, who ever said being a mom was NOT the most trying job in the world?

I'm just so blessed Jesus knew, He understood, and because we are all a bunch of unruly KIDS OURSELVES many times!

I pray the Lord will use this time to draw you closer and closer to HIS heart for your as well as your daughter's.

God HAS A PLAN!!!

I'd like to end with a scripture for you today, I want this to be your testimony as watch God do His work in your life:

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who
promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

Holding on with you,

Susan

PS I mentioned you in my blog today!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

You have them, my prayers. Only God is big enough to deal with this issue. May his love and grace be your portion as you begin to sort out your emotions and as you seek his wisdom in the matter.

peace...always peace, friend.

~elaine

jcdisciple said...

Bless you, sister!! God is so close to you and your family right now!! I'm praying for ALL OF you!! I know He will make good of all of this in HIS PERFECT TIMING!

Love your sister,

Amanda Bowers

Sandra said...

Hi Lelia,

I rejoice that once again she chose to keep her baby because most girls in her situation might have considered the easy way out of an already difficult situation by choosing otherwise. Maybe this is an indication that deep down inside she wants to do what is right. My prayers are with you.

Love,
Sandra

MaryLu said...

Lelia,
My heart is breaking with yours. I often say those same words, this is not what I signed up for.
I lifting you up in prayer right now.