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Emotional Writing

One of the things I have had to learn in my blogging venture is that it is never wise to write a post in an emotional state.  Whether it be hormones, a bad hair day, or just plain old irritation, writing under such duress is never a good idea.  I would call it “emotional writing”.  For some, pulling out a pint of Ben & Jerry’s or spending money they don’t have might bring a fleeting sense of satisfaction.  For me…it is writing out “how I really feel” that calms my emotions.  Unfortunately, what ends up happening is I look back at what I’ve written and cringe.  Only once have I actually posted one of my emotional writing rants, and ended up pulling it an hour later realizing that, as justified as I may have been in my feelings, sharing them with the world was not a wise choice.

Today, however, I am making an exception to that rule.  Today I am going to let my unedited emotions break loose and share from the depths of my heart what I believe to be God’s desire and calling for women (men, too, to some degree).  And also, what I believe to be God’s calling on my life.

Isaiah 61:1-3

“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion – to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of despair.  They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

(I could have easily highlighted the entire paragraph – it’s so good!)  Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible describes this passage as a picture of the coming Messiah, his character and his office.  When I read these words, I am instantly drawn to the message and proclamation of freedom.  Freedom from the past, freedom from the constraints of sin in our lives, freedom from sorrow, despair, and oppression.  Jesus came so that we could have life, and live it to the fullest.  His plan for each one of us is as unique as the person we are.  Not one individual on this planet is like any other.  We are all fearfully and wonderfully made.  Therefore, our futures, God’s plans for us and the way he chooses to work in our lives is going to be tailor made…and absolutely wonderful.

Freedom.  How I love that word.  I love the liberation I feel when I know in my heart that I am right in the center of God’s will…his perfect plan for me.  No one can take that away.  There will be those out there that will try.  They will believe with all their hearts that God has somehow revealed to them some hidden secret to knowing God’s plan for every person, or that somehow there is one specific path that God expects all of us to walk.  (Before I go any further I feel that I should point out that I am not talking about the fundamental truths of salvation.  There is only one way to God, there is only one way to salvation.  Not many will follow because the cross of Christ will be too much to bear.  Yet, doesn’t the Word say, “my yoke is easy and my burden is light”?)

Back to the emotional writing…

Paul says in Galatians 5:1 “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.  Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”

So here is what I believe to be God’s desire for women, and the role we play in this life:  First and foremost, love God, seek God, study his word, know him, draw close to him, trust in him and obey.  Give him your life, your cares, your worries, your fears, your failures, your insecurities and your struggles.  When you draw close to God, when you are in his word, you will then know his voice.  As a woman, wife and mother I am of no use if I am off willy nilly doing my own thing, flittering about making choices and decisions without being rooted in the Word of God.  When I know the voice of God, and then obey his directives, then I am at peace and I am a blessing in every role I play.

Second, a friend of mine was sharing with me that she had been praying about a major decision that would effect her family.  It finally came down to choosing between what was good, and what was best.  Funny thing, though, God’s best for her and her family is not God’s best for me and my family.  When it comes down to making decisions (like being a stay-at-home mom, or working outside the home; homeschooling or sending your child to school; family values; husband and wife roles within the home (not referring to headship here); the way in which you choose to raise your children and how) God directs and leads each woman and family in the way that is best for them.  We are all called to be disciples of Christ and spread the good news, but how we do that is not going to be the same.  What God reveals to be his best for you, will not be what is his best for me.  I respect, love and and admire those who simply do what God has called them to do.  It is a beautiful thing to me to see women living out God’s purpose for their lives.  It may looking nothing like mine, or we may have lots of similarities…either way, I find an obedient heart irresistible.

Joel and I made the decision that I would be a stay-at-home mom when we had children.  There was absolutely no twisting my arm on that one (anyone who knows me well would shout out “AMEN” to that).  I love being home with my little ones.  I take pleasure in it, and I am grateful that I am able to do this (not all moms can, and there should NO shame on a woman who, for financial or personal reasons, works outside the home).  At the same time, I am not simply a stay-at-home mom, I have other dreams, hopes and desires – all God-given – that I have yet to see unfold completely.  As my children are getting older, and becoming less and less dependent upon me, I am finding that opportunities to be involved in ministry outside my home have been opening up.  As I prayerfully consider each one, I do so realizing that my first priority is my family.  Not every opportunity is the right opportunity.  Still, I am excited to see how God is going to use my life, my gifts, my abilities and passions as time goes on.

As far as my children are concerned, I am raising all three (two girls and a boy) to first and foremost know God, love God and know his voice.  That is top priority.  Their salvation is more important to me than knowing how to bake muffins or having the top grade in their class.  What they choose to do with their lives is between them and God.  If Sydney wants to run for president, well, I’ll campaign for her!  If both girls want to be homemakers, then I’ll stand by their sides and mentor and love and encourage that.  If my son chooses to be a teacher, lawyer, missionary, pastor, doctor…whatever…I will support him.  Only God can reveal his perfect plan for their lives.  My job is to teach, train, discipline and guide them to become responsible, well-adjusted, independent adults who will love God with all their hearts, minds, souls and strength.

This is a long one, and I could keep writing on this topic.  Above all else, is it not the fruit of the Spirit that should be evident in each one of us?  You can do everything “right” in the eyes of man, or according to a Christian standard, but if the fruit of the Spirit is void in your life, then what’s the point?  If you have felt that there is a standard that you haven’t been able to reach or attain, is it possible you have been reaching for something God never intended for you to have?  If you have been bogged down in shame because your life hasn’t turned out the way it was “supposed to”, is it possible that you’ve been looking at someone else’s “best” not realizing that God has a “best” just for you?  Too often I see women weighted down with so much guilt because they are trying to be something or someone God never intended for them to be.  Can I just say that God sent his son, Jesus, so you could be free to be you?  He didn’t create you with all your idiosyncrasies and quirks, gifts and abilities, so that you would fulfill someone else’s call.  He came to set the captives free (not just the sinners, but those bound up with insecurities, fear and condemnation).  Jesus came to set you free.  If you are struggling then he invites you to come and sit with him, talk to him and allow him to reveal his “best” for you.  When you know the truth, you will be set free.  Free to be you.

Galatians 5:22-23

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law.”

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4 Responses to “Emotional Writing”

  1. Kristen says:

    Thanks for this post! I found your blog from the comments on Sarah Mae’s latest post. I quite agree with your perspective on this and thanks for being courageous enough to share it.

  2. Amy says:

    Thank you, Kristen! And thanks for stopping by my blog too! :)

  3. sister sheri says:

    I have been coming up against this lately in regards to Christopher’s schooling. Christopher is in a private Christian school now… and we plan for him to attend a Christian school through high school. I often have mothers who… when finding this out… tell me that they are choosing to put their children in public school because they feel that public schools need a Christian witness… or that children need to be in the public school as they get older because they need to learn the ways of the world while they are still at home. This often makes me feel guilty at our decision… but I need to remind myself that we are being obedient to how we know the Lord has called us.

  4. [...] place for a woman, in God’s perfect design, is the home.  I wrote a little bit about some of my thoughts on this particular subject last [...]

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