I'm not recognizing myself lately. It's like there's a whole new person under this same old skin. It hit me today that the answers to prayers said long ago are finally coming to fruition. I lived so long in anger, bitterness, and sadness, that I guess I got used to living in that place. I got used to crying out in prayer for God to change me, with no real change in my heart to show for it.
"Help me to be Christ-like in all things, dear Lord!", while reacting in rage to even the smallest of inconveniences or disagreements.
"Help me help others, God!", all the while barely able to get out of bed some mornings, weighed down by my own sadness.
"Help me have a forgiving spirit, Lord!" when I was top notch at grudge holding and silent treatments.
"Help me to witness to your love and for your Kingdom, God!", while only allowing my belief in Jesus Christ to be fully exposed in "safe" company.
But it's as if a snowball started rolling downhill some time in the recent past. I'm thinking the first snowflakes gathered together on the day Jackson was born. It hasn't been roses since that day, but I do think that his birth was the beginning of healing in many ways for me. And in the past year or two, I've literally taken myself by surprise with calm, reflective reactions to things that would otherwise break me. Heck, before the holidays, I ran into the lady who was my partner in disaster, and before I could help myself I was actually nice to her and wished her a Merry Christmas! The old me would have done all things possible to ignore and retreat after the fiasco I had been through with her!
I'm not anywhere near perfect, but I can feel The Potter molding His clay each day. I once reacted to most stressful situations/events in fear, anger, and self-righteousness. I now find myself becoming empathetic and forgiving, wanting to love and uplift, instead of judge and tear down. I find myself becoming bolder for my Christian faith and beliefs, worrying not what the world says. It's as if I'm living with a stranger, while really not at all. It's the person I've prayed He would help me become. The person He has been calling me to be!
Much work is left to be done in this spirit of mine. Many days the old me rears it's ugly head. But as my heart evolves, my priorities are changing and my life's goals become clearer. I mean, seriously?! Do I want to spend my life being mad? Jealous? In despair? Fearful? What kind of life would that be? And what kind of witness to God's faithfulness? Do I want the legacy of Shawn's death and Clayton's disabilities to be that it made their mom a bitter and sad woman? NO. NO. NO. With God's help I am choosing that their legacy be a mom who persevered. A mom who ministered. A mom who forgave. And a mom who began choosing to see the good first instead of the bad. With God's help, I'll be able to forge ahead with new attitude and perspective, not leaving room for regrets, judgement and indecision.
Thanks for the song, Mom. :)