Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)
TITLE: Joy Restored
By Ann Renae Hair
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My twelve year old son was showing some signs of mild rebellion. I knew to expect a preteen to test his parents, but I also knew there was more to this.
My Mom-in-law had taken a parenting class with me at church when my son was two years old. Because she was my day-care provider while I worked part-time, she wanted to be cooperative concerning his upbringing. After consulting with her about my current situation, she gently admonished that her review of the parenting workbook reminded her that childhood rebellion required further training. However, teenage rebellion was a warning sign of child/parent relationship issues. Deep inside, I knew this was true, based on my anger and confusing parenting techniques…confirmed by an honest talk with my boy. I was feeling like I wasn’t doing anything right; as a wife, mother, and homemaker – always falling short of expectations.
I was so confused, mad and frustrated most of the time. I wanted my feelings to match what I knew to be true in my head. I’m so thankful God had His plan in action before I even recognized I had a problem! My daughter was involved in a Bible club for which she would memorize scripture. One verse in particular became the prayer of my heart. The week we learned the verse, I received a book that would change my life.
Last winter, God used my passion for reading to put me on my face at His feet! I learned about His beautiful design for marriage – His ideal. Piece by piece the confusion, anger and frustration in my life melted away. It was as if spring had arrived early, if only in my heart! It seemed my whole life to that point had been lived in a haze. I had been involved in Bible study, reading, praying, learning, but knowing there was something missing; the key piece that would hold it all together.
Praise God for His patience and persistence in His love for me. I’m so thankful that He exposed to me that I had really been living a self-centered life – and I was oblivious to it, even in the midst of my walk with Him. He showed me that once I was a married woman, my first priority, after God, became MY HUSBAND! I had now learned that His plan for me was to be my husband’s helper; I understood WHO I was designed to BE! I was no longer confused. The haze dissipated. I began to see clearly through the lens of honor for the man I loved.
Now, when I struggle with a decision, I look at how it will affect my man. Then I know what to do. I have confidence like never before, confidence based on obedience to the Word. My joy has been restored!
Though respecting my husband also had a positive impact on my relationship with my children, more books by the same author taught me joy in parenting. I am no longer mad and frustrated all the time. I fully enjoy my kids. Sure, I still experience struggles and trials, but not confusion. In obeying my Lord, I get through it with clarity of mind. Looking back, I marvel at the God of order and how He brought me out of my chaos.
Restore to me the joy of my salvation, and uphold me by your generous spirit. Psalm 51:12 NKJV
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