How many times do we step ahead of God? How many times do we make our plans and then include Him, expecting that He will go along with our plans because we think they are good? I’ve been known to lead with my heart, having great intentions and believing my input would be a blessing only to end up repenting for taking the lead and relegating the Lord to the position of passenger on my road to confusion.
You know I have a story right? I was drawn to a single mom because both of my beloved sisters raised their kids as single moms. I witnessed the hard work, selflessness, stress and tears…lots of tears as they juggled their households, wearing every hat sometimes simultaneously. This young mom appeared from nowhere with no family support whatsoever. I chatted her up at a church picnic (she was a new member) and got carried away with kindness to the point where she was convinced that she had to move close to me and enroll her child at my kids’ school. Gulp…okay. I listened as she shared her challenges. Tangled within the many, was a problem she had in that she had to be at her job very early and she was having a difficult time securing childcare that early for her child. “Oh, no problem,” I offered. “You can drop her off at my house on your way to work and I’ll take her. No worries, especially since our kids will be going to the same school.” Hmmm…Had I checked with the Lord? Nope…Had I checked with my husband? Nope…Did I have a check in my spirit? YEP! Rut-roh!!!
It took no time for her to find a place and enroll her daughter. I should have known this would become a “special” case when she dropped by to see my booster seat and determined it was not safe enough for her daughter. Hmm…”no problem, I understand.” She arrived on a Monday morning with a booster seat (amazingly similar to mine) and her child fast asleep and donned in her pajamas with a request that I dress her when she wakes up. “Oh, would you also give her a bite to eat..no nuts please and you don’t have to do her hair…just remove her scarf and she’s set.” My face did not display what my mind was thinking! Instead I said, “okay, no problem.” That sent me racing to get three kids dressed, fed and watered. Great way to begin a school year…NOT!
My friend, the boundary crosser, the one my heart bled for, the one whom I would have choked had it not been for the peace that surpasses all understanding guarding my heart and mind 🙂 became even more intrusive. In no particular order, here were some of her greatest hits…
“I forgot her panties this morning. Would you happen to have some new ones?”
“I didn’t have time to fix her a lunch. Would you mind?”
“Today she’s reciting her first bible verse. Would you please stay and record it for me?”
“Before she recites her verse, would you make sure her braids are away from her face except for the one in front on the left side.” – NO JOKE!!!
“Would you please pick her up after school for me and make sure she has her homework done before I pick her up?”
“She just won’t wake up in time for breakfast and she just loves yours anyway. Please make sure she eats something.”
My friend, the heart breaker seemed to pick up when I was a little taken aback and on those days she would write me a “precious” note or on the more “special” days she would send me flowers.
There came a time when I had had enough. I felt taken advantage of and I knew it wouldn’t end well if this continued. I couldn’t be too angry at her. I was a party to this mess and she did what she did because I gave her permission to mistake my kindness for weakness. I went before the Lord in prayer first repenting for expecting Him to bless the mess I had created; I asked forgiveness for not having first prayed about my involvement and for not clearing this arrangement with my husband. I felt unrest from day one and still I pushed through, clearly being given an opportunity to opt out but choosing to ignore that prompting, because by then I had given my word and the train had already pulled out of the station. I began to pray to be released from this situation. I prayed for this young mom and her daughter…for the Lord to direct her steps to a better situation. I then created much needed boundaries.
I think the combination of prayer and boundaries created a quick break through. It may have been one week later when the school offered her early morning daycare, with breakfast for her daughter at no extra charge (thank the Lord for mercy) and as it turned out it was easier for her to drop her daughter off since she had to pass right by the school to get to my house. Answered prayer…lesson learned!!!
I have recalled the lesson learned from this situation each time I want to make a move before first consulting with the Lord. I’ve become a pro at saying no and I’ve mastered the art of asking before moving and doing so only when I’m at peace with a decision. Oh, well, there was a second time…that one was a doozy and will be reserved for a later time…if He says yes. Not feeling peace about sharing that one! OY!
“Call to Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, fenced in and hidden, which you do not know (do not distinguish and recognize, have knowledge of and understand).” Jeremiah 33:3 Amplified