‘The angel of the LORD found Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness, along the road to Shur. The angel said to her, “Hagar, Sarai’s servant, where have you come from, and where are you going?” “I’m running away from my mistress, Sarai,” she replied. The angel of the LORD said to her, “Return to your mistress, and submit to her authority.” Then he added, “I will give you more descendants than you can count.” And the angel also said, “ You are now pregnant and will give birth to a son. You are to name him Ishmael (which means, ‘God hears’), for the LORD has heard your cry of distress.” Thereafter, Hagar used another name to refer to the LORD, who had spoken to her. She said, “You are the God who sees me.” (Hebrew, El-Roi) ~ Genesis 16:7-11;13
I'm linking up again today with Dawn, over at 'Beneath The Surface:Breath of Faith', and with Susie, from 'Recovering Church Lady - Pleasing God is Simply Not As Hard As You Think' for Random Journal Day.
This journal is from 2009 and thankfully, looks quite a bit more like a journal should look (in my opinion, anyway). One of my sweet friends, Mary, a fellow journaler, gave it to me as a gift. It is purple (my favorite color), the front cover is decorated with a delightful picture of a teapot and teacup (I do believe I like tea almost as much as coffee) and is inscribed with the words of the Serenity Prayer, which, as a woman who has battled more than one addiction and obsession, and continues to do so, have become so very special to me.
This morning, I came across this short entry I wrote, dated February 11, 2009:
‘No matter what -- whatever is happening, however my life may look -- I MUST believe that God knows, God sees and God hears the troubles, the anguish and the cries of a mother’s heart and soul.
And that He will protect, He will intervene, He will rescue, He will deliver, redeem and restore my family…..’
How very appropriate an entry this turned out to be. I read this today, knowing that God is faithful to do the above mentioned things, even while my heart is breaking for two people in my extended family -- my nephew and my niece, both of whom are in their early 20‘s.
My nephew’s girlfriend ended their relationship a few days ago and right before she did, she informed him that she had also just aborted the baby he didn't know she was carrying. To say that my nephew is devastated would be an understatement. He is in pain and is talking like he wants to die. His mother, my sister-in-law, cannot be with him. She and the rest of her family drove to visit other family, located many hours and states away. She and her husband take turns, every few hours, calling and texting him, to make sure he is okay. Two family friends are taking turns staying with him. My sister-in-law has shared with me about how helpless she feels to do anything.
While she does believe in God, I know from discussions with her over the years that she does not have any kind of loving, personal relationship with Jesus. Just as I’ve been guilty of countless times in my life, running to the LORD is not her first response, but her last resort. As a mother, I am interceding in prayer on her behalf.
Believing that God knows, God sees and that God hears everything that is going on in this situation and that He will be faithful to protect. To intervene. To rescue. To deliver, redeem and restore.
Then there’s my niece, sister to aforementioned nephew in crisis. Some time ago, she had a major falling out with an uncle. Ugly, hate-filled words were exchanged between the two. They both drank deeply from the poisonous cup of unforgiveness. Grudges were held onto tightly, like kites on a windy day. Lines were drawn in the sand, and have yet to be crossed by either one of them, although my niece does claim she sent him a Facebook message soon afterwards to say that she was sorry (certainly not THE BEST method for repentance), which her uncle claims he never received. At the time, my niece was about 19, and she never felt the need to inform her parents about what had transpired between her and her uncle. Yesterday, when her family came to visit this uncle and aunt, and she stepped out of the car, it was quite the surprise. And not of the happy variety.
Her uncle lost his temper and bombarded her with hurtful, unforgiving words that cannot be taken back. My niece’s parents were shocked, since they had no idea what had happened between them. All in all, it was quite an ugly scene and my niece has been refused entrance to the uncle’s home. Instead, she spent the day in her family’s car, while other family members brought food and refreshments out to her. Her aunt had to sneak her into the house to use the bathroom or had to drive her to a food establishment to use theirs (believe me, I'm creative, but I cannot make up stuff like this). She was able to spend the night at another aunt’s and uncle’s home a few miles away, but because they were both working the next day, they told her she couldn’t stay at their house. So once again, my niece has found herself sitting in the car today, waiting until it’s time for them all to leave. The uncle, despite his wife's pleading and prayers, is resistant to changing his mind, refusing to offer mercy and forgiveness. It is extremely windy and cold where they are visiting. Her parents are already overwhelmed by their son’s issues, and now this has been added to their already full plate. My brother-in-law seems to be of the ‘you reap what you sow’ attitude, while my sister-in-law is just at wit’s end over all of this and doesn’t know what to do.
Myself, I am absolutely livid to know that a travesty such as this is going on in my family (yes, they’re my in-laws, but they are still my family). It is dysfunction to the max and my heart aches, because, as off-the-hook as they can be, I do love them.
In my Life Recovery Bible, there is a sidebar with this life application for Genesis 16:7-13:
"When Hagar could not help herself and recognized her powerlessness over her situation, the angel of the LORD came and ministered to her. ....when we are ready to admit our need and cry out to Him, He is ready to step in."
I know that I am helpless; powerless to do anything in this situation. But oh -- I can pray. I have been. And will continue doing so.
Praying to El-Roi -- the God who knows, hears and sees the troubles, the anguish and the cries of THIS mother’s heart and soul -- not only for my own children, but for my nephew and niece as well.
Believing that He will protect. Believing that He will intervene. Believing that He will rescue, deliver, redeem and restore this family. My family.
God is greater than our hearts, and He knows everything. ~ 1 John 3:20