Sunday, February 11, 2007

May the Words of My Mouth...

May the words of my mouth
and the meditation from my heart
be pleasing to you
pleasing to you
My God

You're my rock and my redeemer
You're the reason that I sing
I desire to be a blessing
in Your eyes
every hour and every moment
Lord I want to be Your servant
I desire to be a blessing
in Your eyes
in Your eyes
oh, in Your eyes
in Your eyes

My eyes were shut tightly, the words spilled from my mouth and my heart.

I want to be a servant...

When I first set up this blog it seemed to me that being a servant was what He wanted from me. So I named myself Curious Servant to reflect my desire to learn, my desire to be obedient.

When I sing such songs during worship I feel I can be something like that. That I can set my ego aside and serve Him with all of my heart, not thinking about me.

But there is always more. More to me than that, things I want, which makes me less.

The sermon today covered a range of topics. Guidance for drawing closer to God (scripture and prayer), how the rebuilding of our church should be reflected in the rebuilding of the people within it.

Such mixed emotions.

I’m not sure if I can sort them out for you (or for me)...

My pastor and friend might read the words posted. There is something about what I am feeling and thinking that I don’t want him to read. I don’t want him to feel that he has to come to me and reassure me. I don’t want him to feel he has said anything that has affected me negatively.
(It's OK my friend, really.) I don’t think it affected me, us, negatively, it's just another step in the healing we are going through since our son burned the church down twenty-some months ago.

My son will be turning 18 in a few weeks. I know him better now than I did when he was playing with that candle. I understand now that though he seems to be understanding, seems engaged in the world, he is faking it, simply employing the skills he has learned to survive. He doesn’t understand.

They were talking about the new youth center in the rebuilt church. I was wondering where Jeremiah would fit into all of that. He will be a legal adult soon, but his mind is like that of a little child. His IQ of 46 means he will be a child in a man’s body, and I simply do not know what to do with that.

I tell Brenda things to reassure her, to make her feel that it will be OK, that Jeremiah will have a place in the world, a group home or something, but I really haven’t any idea what it will look like. My heart aches and my eyes water when I think of how hard it has been raising these children, and how I really do not see clearly how we will move on.

I do not regret adopting these boys. I love them passionately and would give my life without hesitation to keep them safe. But it has been a hard, long road.

Sometimes I see the ache in Brenda’s eyes when we hear about the birth of another child, the triumphs and joys in young parents. She wanted so desperately to bear children.

Ah... I wander...

These sorts of thoughts were going through my mind this morning as I heard about how we are to grow closer to God through spiritual disciplines, scripture and prayer.

The pastor spoke about the renewal of our spirits as we rebuild our church.

There was a beautiful metaphor about how the steel beams which are rising out of the ground in the construction area are like upraised hands of praise.

I see the rebuilding of the church in those terms, of how this whole episode will bring good things to our church, our community. I am glad that the facility will be available for our community to use free of charge. I am glad that there will be opportunities for people to find peace and solace and joy and salvation in what will come from all of this.

But there is a part of me that feels so drained by the whole thing.

We have given financially to the rebuilding. I came up with a number which strained our resources. I then increased that number by 50%. Then, after talking it over with my wife, we doubled that number.

I know that when they talk about what needs to happen in our church to rebuild it debt-free they are speaking to a congregation, not just to us. But it is difficult not to feel responsible for the whole thing and want to find a way to take this burden off of the shoulders of my brothers and sisters who attend that church.

I know that such burdens are good for those people, that they should learn the lessons which come from stepping out in faith.

Frankly, I'm just a little tired of the stepping out.

Perhaps it’s the continual burden of dealing with Jeremiah and the repercussions of his actions.

We still are so careful not to leave him alone. We are afraid of trusting him. I really don’t think he will do anything, but when I think what another mistake could cost him... That a second such mistake would probably land him in jail, a place he would not do well in...

I don’t know what is going on with me lately. A week ago I wrote that post, Flotsam & Jetsam, in an attempt to free myself of some ugly baggage, and this week I am prattling on about these mixed up feelings...

Perhaps I’m simply tired... I work 50+ hours a week, I parent, and husband, and teach, and plan, and try to find ways to grow spiritually. I write this blog, I paint... Usually I am laughing and silly and cheering people up...I just don't feel like it right now.

I look at what is happening in my church, and I try to do my part, to give sacrificially, to promote His work within and without...

Well... What a mess of a post. No elegant conclusion, no building up of various points to offer a spiritual insight to my readers... Just a mish mash of emotions I don’t know what to do with.

I really, truly, desperately, want to be a blessing in His eyes. I feel like I have been carrying a heavy weight, a number of heavy weights, for so long...

Shame and grief and determination to do what is right because of the actions of my son...

What to do with a child who will be legally an adult but will never be an adult mentally...

Tender words of encouragement for my wife as she quietly grieves over the child she never carried...

I try to reassure her about going to college, that she deserves a job where she feels happy and fulfilled, that she shouldn't drop school to help pay these bills...

Shame and anxieties and embarrassments over the events of my childhood, memories that won’t be still...

A desire to improve my craft as a teacher, to be the best teacher I can possibly be, to change, to grow to challenge myself.

And the deep, deep desire to please my Lord with the words I speak, or write, or think... the deeds I do, and the deeds I do not do.

I desire to be a blessing
in Your eyes
every hour and every moment
Lord I want to be Your servant
I desire to be a blessing
in Your eyes
in Your eyes
oh, in Your eyes
in Your eyes


Anonymous said...

Hmm.. sounds a bit familiar. Not the circumstances, no, but the endless questioning of self in this exile of imperfection. The exhaustion of one's spirit, the damping of one's joy like at no other time, and perhaps (we fear) never to rebound, not even in Spring. Sometimes it seems all that remains is the crushing of our shins (or worse, those of our loved ones which we cannot prevent) to expedite death, and that comes, in some ways. This is life in the shadow of the Cross. It's all worth it. And you know that more than most of us do. All seems ominous and gray some days, some months, some years. A good time to be prayed for. And maybe a good time to bring home a puppy.
In his love and peace,

annie said...

I would only caution you in the area of giving to rebuild your church. I know you are careful to seek God's direction, but sometimes when we over-give, when we do more than is ours to do, we cheat others out of the opportunity to do what they need to do, which might cheat them out of a blessing, or even an opportunity for their own spiritual growth.

Having gone through an ongoing situation with my son that, at the moment, looks brighter than it has in a long time, I can identify with the feeling of being weary. It is the hardest thing in the world sometimes to trust our wayward or "different" children to God's care, and yet we both know that we can trust our God with our children, at all times.

I don't know why you and your family were put through this trial.
But in the time I have been reading your blog, I have seen growth and your faith strengthened. May it continue to be so for you and your family. May God comfort that part of your wife's heart that still grieves.

jel said...

Brother, this is me thinking
outloud, Do you think that God has brought you to where you are now, and is trying to tell you, to let go and give it to him!

and I do know how your wife feels,
about wanting to carrie a child!

I do hope you know how much I care for you and your family! and hurt because you are hurting!

curious servant said...

Thank you for the encouraging words. I'm sure I'm simply tired. I rarely feel like this. And I try not to let these feelings show, but this is my private little relief valve. I hide these feelings from Brenda as I don't want to bring her down. I'm tired. I worry about what to do with Jeremiah.

I just came back from our annual business meeting at the church. I can see how much good has come about because of the fire and other events. The churches in our town is more unified than ever before. Much of that has happened because of a few pastors in our community, and a certain amount of it began with them helping us in because of the fire.

Still, I can't seem to shake some of the personal feelings I have about this.

It is interesting that thiss has followed the feelings last week following the recalling of those memories from my youth. Is this the Lord guiding me through some personal healing? Or is it a spiritual attack meant to discourage me.

Ah... probably I'm just tired. I have so many projects going on...

I don't know.

Thank you for your kind words.

I should probably just go to bed.


Jim said...

Hi C.S. Before we moved here we lived in Friendswood, Texas.
There was a home for adult mentally retarded children located there.
A lot of those kids (?) came to our church, there was a Sunday School class especially for retarded adult children.

Their Web site is:

You can Google on "Hope Village Friendswood" for some more links.

Perhaps you have a facility of that nature in Canby?

Ame said...

i wrote a response on my blog tonight:

Ame said...

you're welcome.

i have the same fears for my youngest.

bigwhitehat said...

You don't know me but please let me share something. IQ does not determine worth. Neither does independence. So you should give your self some credit for bringing up that boy. God already has (given you credit).

I know what you are going to do with this boy in a man's body. You are going to do the best you can. That is what you are going to do. And you will do a fine job of it. And we both know that this is not news to you.

I don't know if my Tiger (who has severe autism) will be self reliant or if he will need me for the rest of my life. Either way he is going to get what he needs from me.

Lesser parents would have given up on J a long time ago. You have not. You will not. You are far too tough to give up.

You and me have many things in common my friend. One of them is we have special needs children. One more is that we have the right and the ability to be happy. We just have to keep the right perspective. Remember a jewel can be heavy but nobody will throw one away to lighten their load. I'll bet J can really sparkle and shine.

I hope I did not put you off by being so harsh. I just want to help you cowboy up. If it makes you feel any better, swing by my place and let me have it.

Suzanne said...

Alexa has been hard at work again on my blog...come by to take a peek sometime! :)

Chris said...

My friend... I'm going to tell you what a friend told me last summer, when I was incredibly weary, drained by having some incredibly painful circumstances arise in my life. I had done all God had told me to do. I was still doing all God was telling me to do. Things weren't changing. They were still hard. Still painful. I was questioning all the time: Am I hearing right? Am I really being obedient? What am I missing?

That friend told me, very simply, "You're doing the right things. Your heart is in the right place. You're honoring God. But you cannot do this. So stop trying. Let go of it; let God have it." Sometimes we try so hard to honor God, to serve Him, that we end up expending more effort on the trying. As you very well know, there is only so far that our efforts can take us. Yes, you are tired, but I honestly think there's more to it. Why are these things so tiring - or rather, so draining? Don't get me wrong; I understand that the circumstances are exceedingly trying (I can't imagine being where you are), but there is a more fundamental struggle here - a struggle in your heart of either letting go or holding on to all of these things. It's only in surrender that we can ever carry the loads we're given.

Remember that His yoke is easy. And He doesn't let you be tried beyond what you're able. Don't be afraid to let go, of all of this. That's probably going to be hard (it always is for me); but it is worth it.

God bless, my friend.

You have my prayers.

Felisol said...

Dear Curious Servant,
I'm praying for you just now. Dear jesus give Will and his household peace. Tell them that they don't have to pay for things gone wrong. You did that perfectly long time ago, and that part of salvation is fullfilled. Dear Lord don't let anybody be misguided to think they have to do more than you demand. Love God of all our heart, all our soul all our will and love our neighbour like we love ourselves.
Dear Jesus, you have said that no travellers, not even that poor in spirit shall go astray. You even said that blessed are the poor in spirit, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Oh, please show the whole Will family how precious they are to you and that you need each and every one of them to be just like they are created by you. Take away guilt and shame which they have no reason at all to feel. Of Jesus, I know you love the mentally retarded, since you specially have mention them several times in your speaches. Let us greet them and take care if them like we would greet and honour you.
Most of all bring your blessings and peace to the entire Will family, Free them from the burdens of the past and show them your wonderful plans, full of grace for their future. Amen.

Anonymous said...

sh -
thanks for your honesty. i was wondering given the weekend. i wish i could lift the burden from you. you and your family are unconditonally loved. the ways of God are full of darkness & mystery at times, like with this. it can be a huge load to carry. wouldn't it be a blessed experience to be able to cut a hole in your heart & let your pain, tiredness, worry, anxiety, concern simply drain out. who holds the knife? you? God? other? all? rest in peace my friend,

curious servant said...

Thank you my friends.

grandma1 said...

I was just going to leave a comment about Silverton. I found you blog from Dance with God.

We have relatives in Silverton lovely place.

My heart goes out to you in your time of trial with your son. But, something I am learning at the present time would apply. You are the caregiver in this situation and you must take care of the caregiver first. Second comes your family, if you are unable to be the caregiver everything will fall apart. Be a little more selfish with your time and energy. God gave you this family to take care of their financial needs come first.

God bless you and give you peace.

Jada's Gigi said...

praying for you, brother...He does love broken vessels...for some strange reason....

Godzheart said...

Hi CS, I don't know if this comment will appear in your blog, but as I continued to read your post today, I realised something very important. God gave you kids with special needs, becaues only special people can take care of God's special children not regular folks. I think, God knows you to be a good steward.Keep on in strength from our Living God. Praying for you.

God Bless.

Lucy Stern said...

You need to forgive yourself for what your son did to the church. I know that Jesus Christ has already forgive your son. Think of the attonement and what it represents....Don't be so hard on yourself. The people of your church will grow from this experience. I feel that you blame yourself more than they do, so forgive yourself and your son. I am sure that is the hardest part of all of this, but you have to get past it or it will hurt you spritually.

Taking care of a special needs child has to be tough. I'm sure the Lord sent your son to you because he knew you would be the best person for the job. It's not an easy job, but it is hard and you are doing the best that you can. You may have to take care of him for he rest of his life but he is blessed to have you. Parents of special needs children are God's own angels.

I believe that we are sent to this earth to be tested. It's not the challanges that we have, but how we handle them that count....Do the best with the hand that you are delt and the Lord will be pleased with you....

Judas Hate said...

Thanks Will.

Sorry I've been MIA for a few days.
I find myself frustrated in not knowing what to say. Shocking, I know:-) I actually have much to say. Maybe too much (as usual), so I will just say this.
Aside from the legitimate concerns for Jeremiah and Brenda, there is an obvius underlying problem. You are being too hard on yourself. You expect more of yourself than He does, I think.
You are wonderful, caring, loving, giving, unselfish, tender, wise, willing, eager, devoted and strong. But you are only human.
Allow yourself to be human, my Brother.
Feel free to e-mail me at home if you need (or want) a sounding board. I have no knowledge of the things you face, therefore no advice to offer. But I am here. And I am happy to listen.
And I am happy to pray.


Anonymous said...

And sometimes, CS, it might just be that you are suffering the pain of your wife which you can assuage in no other way, and in true O Henry's Magi fashion, part of her pain is that of being helpless to help your pain, and in your unwitting but real sharing of her our-pain --something only half of a lifelong two-into-one-come-what-may could share-- His will is being done on earth as it is in Heaven. (And if all the above has left you asking, "Who's on first?".. who could blame you, and I apologize! It's just that I believe that deeply in Love..)

But this, too: I know that if the Master had clearly extended to you a plea to Simon someone in His honor, anyone!, you would be nodding Yes before He even finished His invitation. Well, you did nod, long ago.. you did indeed say Yes, and you meant it. And He knows it. It is hard to see when we are closest to Him -- and to one another. There were three that day on Golgotha. In suffering, they were one. In love, they were one..because of He Who is in the middle of all Love. If anyone is trying you, it is not the Lord, nor is it His will that it continue beyond your utmost amending. If you have done all you can, let go and let God.
Love in Christ,

beth said...

You have been a blessing. To me.