Faith, family life, inspiration, read

Just a Chapter, Just a Verse

I was a single mom for about 15 years of my life. I had three children. The children were ages 3, 8 and 10. It was my choice to divorce and was married for 10 and a half years. It was a struggle for me from the beginning although was ready to be a wife and glad to be a mother. I wanted eight children when I first married.

I am not proud of some things in my past and have been very sorry for some choices I made. God is full of grace and love and without that I would be lost for eternity and on a path that would take me downward fast. There is only one thing that has kept me afloat, and it is because of the relationship I have with my Savior, Jesus Christ.

Being raised Catholic, I got used to going to church. I actually didn’t mind it too much and was always impressed with the piety in the nuns who were my teachers for over eight years. At one time I wanted to become a nun, but what little girl didn’t at one time. I never was a doubter, and always felt a closeness to God. Because of what Jesus did for me at Calvary, a concept I seemed to grasp even when in younger grades.

I thought it a gruesome amount of suffering Jesus did…..for me! How could I ever take that lightly? Even today I just think of the cross when so many different faiths confront me, or someone challenges me. I ask them what does their religion say about Jesus and why they think he went to the cross.

I liked the Bible stories and believed all things about the Trinity, that I was told from our Parish. It was only the contradictions between the religious doctrines with the Catholics, and the Bible itself, that made me turn from the Catholic church. Nothing more. If because of Jesus, he is mediator to the Father….why do I need tell my sins to a priest each week, for instance?

I am not writing here to promote a discussion with other Catholics, but to address just simply the power in God’s Word. A verse….a chapter…a book. The entire Bible has power within it’s Words. God’s Word from his mouth to those inspired by it to write it.

I raised my children the best I could and although, not the best example always of what a good parent should be, I took them to church each Sunday. They were in Sunday school and learned from their teachers about God and Bible stories. Whatever I didn’t teach them, they got from other Christian leaders following some curriculum or thoughts, hopefully led by the Holy Spirit.

When times were tough at home, I wish I would have shared more, the Bible verses I now know when I need guidance. I can’t turn back the clock, but have since shared things with my adult children.

I used to write almost weekly when my son was a soldier in Iraq and Afghanistan. He volunteered without my knowing of it and just a couple months after high school he was off to the war. He put in twenty years and now retired. He is safely home but I will never know the thoughts he has, or what his nightmares may be, since then or how he truly feels about me. He begged me not to divorce, even in tears when he was eight. I will never know if that festered inside him all these years. I wish I would have sat down with him to talk.

My ten year old chose academia after high school. He received a scholarship to a University. He was always a very good student. He went all the way through college, receiving a Doctorate in Physics – Cosmology is his area of study. Although he lives just a couple hours away now, I have not had a conversation with him in years. Ever since the 2016 election, as so many families were torn apart. A bigger worry of mine though, for him is that he is an atheist. How does one loose their faith unless it was never really there?

I do remember a time when he was in high school coming home after a convention. It was a Promise Keeper’s conference I think and he attended. I wonder if something happened to him then. I wonder why I didn’t sit and have a talk with him about it more closely.

My three year old went on to school in our state for Interior Design. She has been successful at it and has a nice little family. I am blessed I get to babysit and see them regularly. But, she and I don’t always see eye to eye and sometimes our relationship is a strain for us both.

I think with her I share the gospel more than I ever had opportunity with the others. I may sometimes text her a verse I think she needs. If she is going through something I will listen. But I rarely forget to tell her to read her Bible too. I gave her one years ago. She helped me pick it out. She says she finds it hard to understand so it’s pages still look new.

I can tell by the struggles she deals with daily, and how she handles a set back, and sometimes is too critical of me, the Word is not deeply planted. It is my opinion, but you can tell when someone’s heart is changing. You can see something new about their face. It isn’t the makeup or the money coming in that relects what is deep within our hearts. What comes out of the mouth is what is in your heart and that is true. You can’t disguise pain or jealousy or rage. Just as you can’t hide the countenance of love, joy and peace.

Encourage your children to read one verse. Encourage them to read a chapter if they can or read to them when they are young. They will resist as Satan is always trying to take our children from God’s path. It is a hard road for parents. I use children’s CD’s with Bible songs we play in the car driving to a playground or our home from theirs, with my grandchildren. I read Bible stories to them while they eat their lunch or before they go to bed if I can.

With my elder children, when they text or call, I try to share a verse, even if it is put into my own words, the message is still the same. I may not see the fruit of the seeds that I plant. I may loose a child over anything I do for Jesus. I may be mocked and accused as a hypocrite if they really find just being around me repulsive. Yet, I know that what we all need, is Christ alone. Only Jesus can really help the helpless.

If you get sometimes discouraged, as I do, about the faith of your children or the paths that they are on, don’t be. Continue to encourage them and if you have one that you can’t reach, just pray. The God that sees your child, and knows what they are up to, also hears your prayers. You do not know when the seed will bear fruit in their lives. It may be when you are gone. Their are saints in heaven praying for us. Our prayers won’t end here in this earthly home, but go beyond.

Satan may want me to think I am a poor representative so I should just shut my mouth.
He may tell me my letters are a waste of time. The enemy may want me to think all I do is useless. Don’t listen to him. I remind me that these thoughts are not from a Savior who loves me and longs for everyone to come to Him.

Remember who is the father of lies….the devil himself. God does not accuse us. God does not criticize or blame us. He will never put us down but loves us just as we are. None of us are perfect, but Christ alone, who lives in us, if we have put our trust in Him. Always be prepared to give an answer to your children.

This verse has been ringing true for me and I have been tested lately:
1 Peter 3:15 New International Version (NIV) “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

The Bible has survived so many attacks throughout history. That alone tells me God is keeping His Word around so all people will get a chance to come to Him. It is truth and the most popular book of all time. Share a verse with someone today.

If God lays on your heart, a WORD to give to your children….just do it. Don’t think about it twice. The first time was God speaking to your heart……the second thought…..from the enemy the devil.

Isaiah 55:10-11 “As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”

6 thoughts on “Just a Chapter, Just a Verse”

  1. A very touching post. God’s Word changes things and changes people. I prayed for your one son you haven;t talked to in a while. what military branch was your older son in?

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    1. My middle son was in the Army. SF1 – 20 yrs service. Now retired.
      My eldest son is the Atheist. But does a parent really know where their children’s faith is? We are known by our fruit. We are known by our love for one another.
      Thank you for your prayers. It means so much Pastor. I pray throughout the day what or who comes to mind, and often my family and their salvation. It is all that
      really matters. Where we get to spend eternity. We all will be in eternity….someplace….and with someone….Our Father in heaven, or the father in hell…the father of lies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I wrote many letters. Never cried. Never worried. Never saw him as one who would die there but saw my son as one that would be protected. I hung on to that hope. There was no other option in my eyes. Always prayed God would send His angles to build a wall of protection around him. Spoke of God and his word in my letters always. It is my children’s salvation I care most about. I know we are all here for a short time and hold each day I have them as a gift.

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