Have you ever wondered why the weekends sometimes have to be so hard?  We get out of our normal routine and STUFF starts to surface. For us this weekend, it was relationships…not with anyone outside our immediate family, but the ones that are often hardest, the ones we live with.

There is something about walking along side of each other day in and day out that can lend itself to so many misunderstandings.  While often it’s wisest to choose to overlook offenses and to “bear with one another in love,” sometimes they build resentment and we are required to go after them and deal with them head on.  Often we don’t even know it until there is an explosion.  At least that is what happens at our house.

The biggest explosion came from none other than yours truly.  It was not fun.  It was not pretty and I would really rather not ever repeat it, but chances are pretty good that at some point in time, I just might.

It’s the nature of this journey that we are on:  believers, saved by grace, walking by grace, covered by grace.  Sometimes we hurt. Sometimes we hurt each other.  It’s in these situations that we have to decide what we are going to believe about God, about ourselves and about others.  I am finding that it’s usually pretty simple: dying to self isn’t easy or natural and we cannot force another person to make that choice.  We can only make it for ourselves and encourage others to make it, mostly by example.

The last two weeks, I have chosen to sacrifice a part of myself for what I considered the greater good.  With my husband and sons so busy and overloaded with the renovation of the home we are turning into an Airbnb, I thought it would be best if I just kept our home front calm, meals coming and encouragement along the way for them.  The problem is that I REALLY like to be productive and I would LOVE to be accomplishing some majorly tangible projects right now.  The only catch is that I didn’t really have the emotional energy to do those tangible things AND provide this support system for my family.

When conflict arose yesterday, I found myself lost, unanchored and insecure about who I really was…about my worthiness, so lashed out at everyone around me because I simply could not take any kind of criticism. This is what happens when we allow our identity to be found in anything but Christ and the gospel.  Whatever that THING is that makes us who we are, becomes the devil’s target and don’t you EVER think he won’t work that exact thing HARD.  It’s called a foothold and it’s something that we need to shake loose as quickly as we can.

This morning while I was thinking and praying over what happened, I asked God, “Who am I?” and as quickly as I said it, He reminded me, “You are redeemed, renamed, restored.  You are MINE.  I delight in you. YOU are MY daughter.”  Even typing those words brings tears to my eyes because it’s TRUE. THAT is who I am.  It’s who YOU are if you know Him and the devil has absolutely no voice and no lasting impact on our lives unless we LET him.

I told God that I felt like I had lost of piece of my soul.  He told me, “That’s a piece of your soul that you don’t want back.”  He’s right. I don’t want it back.  That piece was rooted in my flesh, my old man, the dying one.  Can you imagine being tied to a dead and dying corpse?  The thought of it really grosses me out!  So WHY in the world would I try to preserve any connections to that rotting old flesh of mine?

God allowed me to feel hurt, helpless, humiliated yesterday because that is sometimes what it takes for me yield.  He’s not being mean or harsh and He’s not punishing me (Jesus already took care of that).  He’s simply applying just the amount of pressure that I need to be able to give up a counterfeit identity for the authentic one, the one that’s MINE, for reals…the one that was bought and fully paid for by Jesus.

God never told us that the way of the cross would be easy, but instead it would often be hard, painful and even bloody at times.  He also said it would be worth it, that we may see reward for it in this lifetime, but most of all that it would yield fruit for ETERNITY.  Ecc. 3:11 says that He has planted eternity in the human heart and makes all things beautiful in His time.

So never, never shrink away from the work that God wants to do in you and always, always remember your true identity.

Ephesians 4:21-14  

Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God—truly righteous and holy.

John 12:24 

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

Galatians 5:24

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Romans 8:12-13

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh– for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Romans 6:6,7

…knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

(*If you need encouragement as a parent who homeschools OR are considering it, I’ve written a simple, mercifully short book …The Unhurried Homeschooler {aff})