I recently visited a home school support meeting to encourage a friend who was sharing at the meeting. I sat, reminiscing about the good ole days. It was 1990 and I was beginning the glorious journey of teaching my children at home. Those were glorious days for me. I poured over education materials, went to home school conferences and workshops, and our home and lives became a learning experience.
I loved it! Every thing was created for us to learn and grow from. I asked questions and encouraged my girls to do the same.
When we had our third child, a boy, and he adapted well to our lifestyle. He sat for hours playing with cars while we read, when he learned to speak, he chimed in “One more chapter, please mom” with the girls.
As I sat reflecting on those wonderful times, anger and sorrow started to well up inside of me.
I had loved educating my children, field trips, fun, and adventure. Then when my husband left, although we still homeschooled, the experience and adventure of education ceased to exist. Home school became book learning, I no longer had the time to develop extensive lesson plans and learn my children’s ‘learning styles’ in order to create learning experiences for them.
As I sat in the meeting, reliving those times, I found myself wanting to stand up and scream, “HOW MANY TIMES MUST I FORGIVE?”
After 16 years you would think I would be past the pain.
I have been down this path long enough to recognize the signs of grief and unforgiveness. But… it still sneaks up to apprehend my heart. The tears trickle down my face, I own the loss, feel the pain, and then give it to my Savior.
I learned years ago that this is the journey of healing. So many times we are astounded that it still hurts. It shouldn’t hurt any more, so we push down the pain. But the reality is that at the time of the wound, oftentimes we didn’t have the mental or emotional capacity to deal with all the losses, so when the time is right, the kindness of the Lord brings something to the surface so we can move into a fuller place of healing and wholeness.
I don’t believe maturity in Christ means that we don’t feel the heartache of the past. I believe it means we have learned how to move through the pain, back to joy. Here are some simple steps I have learned to keep my heart in a place of life and love:
- Own the loss. Look at the loss, realize and validate that the loss is real
- Give yourself permission to grieve. Be free to get angry, weep, or whatever emotions come, feel them.
- Give it to Jesus. Ask for the GREAT EXCHANGE. Jesus came to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord, He has a beautiful exchange for us, but only when we give Him our ashes.
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
Isaiah 61: 3
We may not be in a season of seeing who we are as “oaks of righteousness” but the Lord is faithful to do all He has promised. He desires to glorify His name in us, to display the beauty of His Son Jesus through us. And as we learn to walk through the process of giving Him our ashes, He will do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine.
What ashes are you holding on to? Maybe today is the day for you to give them to Him and invite Him to bring forth beauty from the ashes.
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing NEW sons (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MOM
Meet Misty and join the 1C13P team in Minneapolis on November 1 for the
HeartCORE Parenting Conference.
Register TODAY! Click here for more information.