Shabby Miss Jenn

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ministry of a Motherhood

Alright, so time has stood still. While praying last night, I started to black out. I almost had Woody call 911 four different times, because I was sure I was in a form of anaphylactic shock. My lungs closed in on me, my throat was caving, and I wasn't getting oxygen. After about ten minutes, the terror faded and I was able to drift into sleep. But not before realizing the root cause of this physical strangulation: anger and fear.

I have been fairly angry for awhile, now. Not even just a little, I admit. I carry it around with me, like a soda bottle that's being slowly shaken by a violently stepping child, waiting to explode. At just the right moment, I snap. For just that moment, but it's just enough to cause pause and further frustration. {Let's analyze: I've been exhausted since I can remember. Sick all of the time. Tumor. Miscarriages. Pregnancies. Paralysis. Loss of balance. No strength. Not able to hold my baby for nearly 7 months, not able to brush my daughter's hair for just as long. A worsening household situation. Frustration with my husband's ex. Fighting with my husband over what I did all day nearly every day. (Before!!!) Feeling drugged and getting angry because of the exhaustion. Children that don't listen to me, don't hear me, and then don't do what is asked-but I can't do anything about it because I'm too tired to follow them around correction their every move.} Yes, I understand the anger part.

The fear is what I'm terrified to acknowledge. (No pun intended!) I suppose it's a combination of every thing I've been through, all of the frustrations and the choices I've made for my life; but I'm absolutely terrified. I do not feel peace. I do not feel hope. How do I speak it when I can't fully FEEL it? I do not know. But I do. Because, like David, I see that God is on that mountaintop-SOMEWHERE. I ache to feel Him, to be the person I am supposed to be, but it feels so far out of my reach. So I'm sitting down.

Jessica, why would you sit down if you're trying to find God? Why aren't you running for it?! Because I am not going to be Martha any longer. What's amazing to me is that this woman was friends with Jesus. Yeshua in Hebrew. This is important to note, because Martha didn't call him "Jesus", she called him "Yeshua" and most importantly----friend. Do you hear me!? This woman, this harried, busy woman, that was trying to maintain her household and be that Proverbs 31 woman was called friend by the very saviour I am so anxious to find again.

Do you know the story of Mary and Martha? Surely you know at least the initial part! Mary and Martha had Yeshua (Jesus!) over, and Martha was trying to merely be a good hostess-something that is BEAT into our heads as women these days! But what happened? She was humbled by the words of her friend, Yeshua-

"Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:  But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her."

What comes to mind is just how misunderstood Proverbs 31 must be! Good Southern Women seem to have this "etiquette" in place for hospitality that is deemed the highest level of host in the entire United States. Completely misguided. How often people would beg my grandmothers' to sit down and enjoy a meal with the family, but they were too busy serving the needs of others! Yeshua/Jesus' comment to Martha is "SIT DOWN!" Spend some time KNOWING me and STOP serving me! I personally get so tangled up in my idea of servitude and what a great mom and wife is supposed to be according to Proverbs 31 that I completely missed this point!

I'll admit, when I first read this, I was so put back by the comment that I got defensive. "What, Jesus was condemning her for keeping His needs met?" He came to serve us. He wants to know us. He wants to call me friend, too! So, I'm sitting down.

The next part of the story is intense. Are you ready? Yeshua left. He had other people to teach, and serve, and minister to. So he left. And Mary and Martha went about their business. Until their brother died. Wow. Okay, sit back and take this story in:

Lazarus, Martha's brother has been terribly ill. She knows that her friend, Yeshua, would want to know that he was ill. Knowing he was only a little ways away, she sends word to come. (Already she's taken a step of faith, she knows he will save her brother if she asks him too! Wow, what faith!) Yeshua/Jesus bides his time for two days-because He wants God's glory to be known. After two days, He risks His life to return to Martha and see Lazarus. Such a dangerous visit as the other disciples even comment on dying with Him on this journey! Here's the part of the story that really clenches my heart;

Martha heard her friend had gotten into town, after her brother had been dead for four days... and ran to Him. Her words are what completely astound me. First she acknowledges "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." but it's what she says next that just drops me to my knees:  "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You." To finish the conversation, Yeshua/Jesus tells her: Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” 
 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Put it in other thoughts to grasp it a little more intimately and see just how profound it all is:

1. Where were you!? You could have stopped this from hurting me!!
2. I trust that You're strong enough to change my circumstances.
3. I confess that you truly are here to save me.

Often times, Martha gets confused as being the sister that isn't as faithful or as close to Jesus as Mary was. She's put off as the "bad sister", to be specific. Let's see how Mary responds to Jesus and reevaluate who's faith was stronger:

 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”
"...when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

What does Mary do? She is stuck at number 1. "Where were you!? When my life got hard, where were you!? Why did you let this happen to me?!" (paraphrasing)

But see the emotions of her friend, and the man who came to save us-He was in pain for her. He hurt for her pain, when He saw her crying, HE wept.

Martha is not the "bad sister". She has a POWERFUL and MOVING faith that is absolutely astounding! She KNEW that Jesus could move mountains for her and heal her pain! Even in her devastation, she had this in the back of her mind "He can change this for me!" Wow! How hard is that!? It's easier to see Mary's side because I'm human, too, throwing my hands in the air while kicking and screaming at the God that created me, "Why!?" Humbling, too. It's powerful to then reevaulate Martha, the woman that even in her turmoil, challenged her words and her faith to be upright. God is good, even when it rains... such faith is enviable!

Later we read that despite the incredibly dangerous circumstances, Martha hosts a dinner in her home for Jesus. She lovingly serves him a meal that seems to anticipate his coming crucifixtion... because Mary then has the inspiration to bathe His feet in an expensive perfume she bought specifically for that purpose. Amazing.

I imagine, for many of us, we see aspects of both women in ourselves. Martha, too busy serving the people she loves to truly meet their needs of intimacy and respond to them in love, but full of faith and strong conviction that her friend is also her saviour. She battles with doing over loving, but finds once the relationship is being fulfilled, the serving comes naturally. Mary, the sister that is so full of awe and wants to devour The Christ's wisdom, but whose faith falters at a time she needs it most... when she is hurting. But she somehow manages to fall at the feet of Yeshua, because she knows who He Is. Mary, the sister that lovingly follows the guided hand of the Lord/i.e. "intuition", and buys a very expensive bottle of perfume to bath her Lord's feet...doing something that to everyone else, seems incredibly foolish, but still stepping out in faith and doing it. Mary, who had such limited faith until she saw Jesus/Yeshua raise her brother from the dead, incredibly humbling for her to suddenly have that awareness that she had lost faith until that moment-the humility that drew her closer to Yeshua/Jesus and pulled her to even do something so extreme as washing Jesus' feet.

Again, I say, wow. Just, wow.

Where are you in your faith? I'm probably right where Martha was when she was too busy trying to serve Jesus to build on their relationship, but I certainly relate to the faltering faith of Mary when she experienced death.

I just explained to my 6 year old daughter that winning isn't everything. Being our best is what is important. I had to use myself as an example, that I had all of these plans, hopes, and dreams for being an amazing mom-but that I'm "losing" and it makes me cry, too. I sobbed right along with her, as she recollected her losses at her races yesterday... but mine were more of an awareness. I can't be the perfect hostess/mother/wife that is the idea of the world-I can't be a warped version of the Proverbs 31 mom that is built upon the world's standards and extremely pharisee-like in nature, instead, I have to be the best mom/wife/hostess that I can be in Christ. WITH Christ.

So. I am sitting. I am sitting at His feet. And weeping, spiritually, internally, and even a little literally... because it's about time I got to know the man I know as Christ and the saviour, already: Yeshua. And I hope to hear Him call me "friend", too.

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