As I walked through the halls, I could hear the familiar, peace-bringing voice. My heart was dancing, and my legs were taking me faster now, so that all my senses could have a worship experience that would connect so much of me with my Lord, whom I love more than I can express. I opened the door to see a beautiful red dress, sixties style with a poofy skirt, dark brown hair, and a smile with a countenance to match a cross between an angel and a fairy. It was Kari Jobe.
My daughter was with me. This daughter happens to be very musically gifted. I can't tell you how happy I was to have her there with me. What an example for my sweet girl. There is such trash out there that competes for the interest of our children, and I was glad that my girl could witness this awesome lady using the gifts the Lord placed inside her to give back to His people, and to Him. She sings a song that has become my personal anthem. "You are For Me" has made me feel as if Jesus is speaking directly to me. It reminds me that no matter who or what comes against me, He is with me in the middle of it. - and He is on my team!
Tonight, I'd like to share with you in a different way. I'm feeling a little fictional. The essence of our story is true. I'm changing some names and details to protect. You know I am on open book, but I respect those I love. Not everyone wants EVERYTHING being told. Of course, I can't understand why, but I'm going to do it this once. :)
Fahlan has wonderful childhood memories. She is often teased because she seems to remember too much. This never stops her from sharing stories with her family and friends. Laughter and smiles always go hand in hand with these stories. Something Fahlan did not share easily was pain and hurt. Those stories were there, but these, she wanted to forget. One memory in particular had followed her into adulthood, and had essentially become a phobia. She shared this with very few people. It only creeped out when she had to face this fear. Facing it was not often, but because she works with children, it is inevitable.
In second grade, Fahlan was exposed to and then had Chicken Pox. She was humiliated. Then there was the treatement. If you didn't put the cream on each individual one, it could scab, leaving scars. No one wanted this, and if she had scars, they would be seen forever. She remembered having to wash everything with which she came in contact. Itching all day long, and not being able to scratch was torture to her. If the kids at school found out, she would die. The laughter would never stop. The fact is, she didn't just have it one time, she had it two consecutive times.
This may seem to be trivial and maybe even silly. The phobia was rooted in the way she was treated because of the illness, not because of the illness itself. There was something else. Fahlan's mother was less than interested in helping to treat the chicken pox. She made Fahlan feel that it was her fault for getting them in the first place. She should have been more careful. When Fahlan came down with them a second time, her mother accused her of getting them on purpose just so her mother would have to stay home from her raquetball match. The odds are Fahlan's mother was just having a hard time being a divorced mother trying to work, raise her child, and have a little stress-relief of her own. Fahlan's mother probably never knew how her words would haunt her and follow her into adulthood.
Over the years, Fahlan had come close to having contact with children who had chicken pox. The day came when one of her own students would come down with them. She composed herself while discovering a few red dots on the child, but then quickly excused herself. She barely made it through the door of the lounge before the tears started to flow. They came uncontrollably. She had not been this close to the illness since she herself was a child. What if she had exposed her own children to this illness? What if she got it again? Who would care for her if her own mother had not wanted to? The panic had to take hold of her mind and body before she could think to call on Jesus. She knew that He had not given her a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind. She claimed these promises for herself, for her student, and for her children. She dusted herself off and went back to class.
Making it through a situation that stirs up fear can help a person learn to walk in victory. Fahlan knew that putting her faith into practice was the hardest when she was walking through something that was testing her faith so completely. Still, she was learning and making progress. This progress was critical for what she was about to face. It was a warm November day. Her daughter, Sierra, was playing outside while Fahlan was unloading the car. As she walked by Sierra, Fahlan noticed that she was scratching her arm. As Fahlan's eyes lead her body, a cold chill ran down her spine. Sierra had at least 10 red dots in the crease of her elbow.
"Jesus, please help us, " is all Fahlan could think. She knew she had to remain calm, but even Sierra knew about her fear. Fahlan had to hold it together, and not just hold it together, she had to be okay to help Sierra. Fahlan phoned her husband, asking him to pick up what they needed, and asked him to hurry home. If she were honest with herself, and her husband, she didn't know how long she could hold it together. "Why? Was it not enough that I had to have this horrible experience as a child? Now, my daughter has to go through it, and I have to watch her - knowing what it did to me?" Fahlan just spoke her heart to her Lord.
Sierra said, "Mommy, am I going to be okay? You said when you had this it was really bad." Fahlan looked into her daughter's eyes and she felt a peace and an assurance as she spoke to her precious daughter. "Baby, you are going to be fine, and I am going to be right here beside you through all that we do. We'll put medicine on every dot, and when you feel like you need to scratch, I'll put warm rags on you." Sierra smiled at her momma. She knew the words were true.
That night and the next, Fahlan sat up with Sierra till the wee morning hours. Sierra would dose off in between applying the medicine, and Fahlan trying to ease the itching however she could. It was 3:00 in the morning, and Fahlan began to sing quietly, "I know that you are for me, I know that you are for me, I know that you will never forsake me in my weakness, and I know that you have come down, even if to write upon my heart - to remind me, who You are." She laughed as the tears streamed down her face. She had come face to face with her fear. God was not mocking her. He was right there with her in that living room , with her sweet girl asleep on her lap. He did not leave her in her weakness, rather He was giving her a chance to be the mom, and to do and say the right things. As she looked down at her sleeping daughter, she praised her Jesus, "Thank you, Lord, for making me the mom Sierra needed tonight. I don't know why no one was there to do this for me, but I see now that you never left me. Maybe my mom responded the way she did, so that I would respond the way I did. You have taken something that was horrible, you have made me look at it up close and personal, and now I see that You are bigger. I love that you are "for me".
Sierra healed nicely with very minimal scarring. The only one that was the least bit noticeable was in Sierra's eyebrow. She and Fahlan laughed because now mother and daughter shared the same scar. Later, Sierra put it all in perspective and Fahlan knew that their hearts would not share the same scar. Fahlan asked Sierra if the whole experience had been as bad as she thought it would be. Sierra responded with words that would forever leave an imprint on Fahlan's heart, "Not at all, mom. It was really no big deal. I think it was easier for me because you were with me the whole time. I didn't have to feel scared by myself like you did when you were little. I'm glad you were here."
So, I'm sure you can think of something much more scary than chicken pox. Do you have a phobia? Is there something you are so afraid of that others would not even flinch about? This is what makes us all unique. Our experiences and environments make us how we are. Jesus can help us to overcome any obstacle of fear. To watch our children go through something that was devastating for us can seem like torture. You never know when He may be giving us the second chance to do it as it should have been done all along. Let me encourage you tonight. No matter what your family legacy is, and no matter how much people say you are just like Aunt So and So, know first that you are a creation made by the most Holy God! He has a plan for your life that can never be compared to or compromised by anyone in your lineage. Child, you are His! He is definitely "for you!" Now, let Him see you where you are, with the needs that you have, then let Him fill You!