Sunday, November 24, 2013

The "F" word at Thanksgiving?????

A few nights ago, I was sitting with my kids watching a little TV and I had this thought "Maybe its not about me."  So, I grabbed my laptop, trying to push away the thought and I was going to write a fun little blog post, or work on my newest magazine article. Determined to not spend too much time entertaining this awful little thought. I mean who really wants to admit it isn't about me? As I opened "My Documents" I scrolled across a letter I'd started months ago and never finished because it was just too painful...too raw...and too challenging.

First, let me give you the back story.

Last spring, I heard my new friend Amy Little of Beautiful Truth Ministries teach on the importance of repentance and forgiveness for the family tree and future generations.  A pretty run-of-the-mill sermon topic, huh?  Not this time.  

I really didn't like her message, at all.  In fact, I have NEVER approached a Bible teacher after the message to say "I don't agree with this" in my life! Until that night.  

Yep. I sure did. I walked right up to Mrs. Amy and said "Excuse me, but I'm really struggling with this idea." 

What I really meant was "This is totally and completely wrong!" 

Of course, trying to be the good little Christian girl at Thursday night Bible study, I was not going to say that! How could I be so rude?!?!  So, I "churched" it up a little but the heart-feeling was still there.  I didn't like what I'd heard and I was not going to own it!!!

So, what was the big deal about Mrs. Amy's message? She was preaching on the section of scripture that talks about the sins of the father being visited on the children.  She had the gall to suggest that each of us needs to repent for the sins of our ancestors and to seek forgiveness, on their behalf.  

Forgiveness! The new "F-bomb".

Are you kidding me?!?!? I was the victim of my ancestors and my parents and I have spent my whole life learning to not own their sins as my own and I am not about to start repenting, on their behalf, now.  Why should I? I mean, shouldn't they be apologizing, repenting and seeking forgiveness from me?  I should not have to apologize, seek forgiveness, or to repent for any of their actions.  Right?!?!

I left Bible study and told myself to just forget the whole thing...that was not God's message for me.  It did not apply to my life.  Her message was intended for someone else and God did not expect me to do this.  Afterall, I was not living a life like them and my children are happy.  I'm not angry at the world and I don't believe the world is out to get me. I have turned things around and I've taken the opportunities to find stability, success, and real happiness in front of me. 

Then, a few months later, I got the call that my grandmother was ill and may not make it.  As I was driving the 6 hours to try to see her again, in case she passed (because I don't get to see my family all that often), I was thinking about my family and the relationships that are strained in so many different ways.  I thought about all those people who never speak to one another and I thought about the distance between these people I love, but never see and never really talk to.

I was reminded of the message I'd received in the spring and I was forced to reconsider whether or not God really had intended that message for me.  

Fast forward to October and one phone call that seemed like so many others before.  Same ol', same ol' as they say.  

Then, November. The month for Thanksgiving.  The month for recognize God's blessings on our lives and to give Him praise.  Yes, I'm grateful, but this year, I've been a little hard-pressed to put words to it...feeling a little put-off by all the "Today I'm thankful for"s.

Months have passed since that Spring Bible Study and I have tried to, on occasion, acknowledge this message over my life.  Or, have I? 

If I'm totally honest with myself, I know there have been moments I've thought about it and prayed about it and even knew, that yes, I should repent and seek forgiveness on behalf of my family, for my heart's sake and the sake of future generations, but I've not really, truly done it...yet.  Why not???

This week, as I'm sitting with my kids and I open my laptop, and I see the hits me. 

Now, is the time. So, I type out the rest of that abandoned letter from months and months earlier.  I typed it but did not print it. I don't know if I will.  I don't know if its maybe something I need to say, rather than mail. I am worried about how it will be received, or if it will be faced with more resistance and "yeah, but" or if I'll be cut-off and told "I'm not doing this" again. Perhaps, the writer in me just needed to put the words to paper - to see them in print. Only God knows where the entirety of this letter will go and how things will turn out.

I want to humbly ask you to do two things with me, this Thanksgiving week (and beyond):

1) Please pray for me, my heart, and my family as I work to trust God in all things - including real Forgiveness for my family - my ancestors, my immediate family, and my future generations. Please pray for me, as I begin to pray that God will do a good work in me and not others in my life. That can be a scary process, kind of like open-heart surgery, but I know its in my best interest.  I know God is the ultimate-healer and I will trust him with my heart.

2) Consider the pains and hurts that may be infecting your family.  Are there viruses impacting your family tree that should be repented to God? Are you, somehow, passing these viruses on to future generations?  (Remember, there are lots of ways infections of pain, mistrust, and sin can be passed on, not just in the exact repeat version.) Do you need to seek Forgiveness?  Do you need to offer Forgiveness?

I pray you will allow God to work in your heart this holiday season and that you will be open to Him, in all ways...even when you're thinking "Are you kidding me?" 

1 comment:

  1. Serena ... Oh my heart is for you! One of my closest friends and I just had a conversation about this very issue. This feeling of "Why should I have to repent for the sins of others? I'm mad I'm even dealing with their issues!" It seems at first glance like God is punishing US, but the truth is that it's because He is so full of mercy that He shows us all the junk from the past can stop with us. Yes, we can make white-knuckled choices to do things differently, and that certainly is a good thing; but in in His mercy, He is also making sure we stop the enemy's work in our generations. We repent for where the sin entered our generations when those before us haven't done so. We forgive them now for not knowing any better then. Many of our parents and grandparents were victims themselves, who repeated cycles all the while unaware they didn't have to. I do believe that most people do better when they know better. In your life, you aren't taking the blame. You are taking authority and responsibility spiritually so that your kids and your grandkids won't have to. You do it because you are looking ahead, not behind. You aren't standing up on behalf of the generations to fix them or release them, but so that you are released, and your future generations are released. That God would give us the chance to be free from generations of bondage we ourselves were merely victims of is His mercy and love for us.

    You are in such a role of great influence over people who are victims of destructive cycles, meant by the enemy to steal and rob destinies. That this would be a tough transition in revelation for you does not surprise me. The enemy doesn't want you free in this area because he knows God has positioned you in a place and time to be a force for generational freedom for the thousands you fight for. That's thousands of destinies purposed to make Kingdom differences. But God never leaves or forsakes you! And I see before my eyes the faithfulness of God working, digging, nudging, calling, comforting, protecting, strengthening, equipping you so that IN HIM you are brought to a new level of authority in all that you do. Praises! Know that I am praying for you and agreeing with God concerning you! What the devil has meant for harm, GOD WILL use for good! Go your way rejoicing!