Wednesday, August 22, 2012

A Mama's Prayers

See, I will bring them from the land of the north
    and gather them from the ends of the earth.
Among them will be the blind and the lame,
    expectant mothers and women in labor;
a great throng will return.
They will come with weeping;
    they will pray as I bring them back.
I will lead them beside streams of water
    on a level path where they will not stumble,
because I am Israel’s father,
    and Ephraim is my firstborn son.
Jeremiah 31:8,9
Ever feel like you're in exile? I think we all do at some point in life. Maybe you are in a job you hate but you know you need to stay there until retirement. Maybe you are in school and you feel like that is exile. Maybe, God forbid, you are in jail or prison. Wherever or whatever that exile is, you are not where you want to be yet.
As I have been reading through Jeremiah, I have wanted to get to the "good part." Israel rebelled as a nation, adopted other religious practices that went against everything God and everything He stands for, even going as far as sacrificing their own children on altars to foreign gods. It is painful to read, knowing what's coming.
Knowing they will be exiled from their homeland, expelled, taken into captivity. Again.
And yet, when I read these words, I thought about Israel today. I think about all they have had to go through as a nation and how God was faithful to His word. None of the powerful nations that went against them are around anymore, and Israel is still standing as a nation, as a people.
Flash forward to my life right now. And my life up to this point. How like Israel I have been, ignoring God, thinking I knew best, thinking I didn't need church, breaking my Mom and Dad's heart when I decided to give up food. And yet......
God was so merciful. He never left me. He brought me out of exile, back home where I belong.
I am at a crossroads at work right now, and as I was praying this morning, I knew that I had to once again, give it up to the Lord. I am burned out. There is no spark left in this fire.
And yet in other parts of my life the fire is blazing.
And anytime someone invites me to write or says what I wrote helped them? I am saved a little bit more.
There was a time long ago. God brought it to me again as I was praying this morning, like a sweet balm to my soul. All at once I was back home in front of the fire with my Mom. Tears sprang to my eyes as I remembered how she would get up in the morning before I got ready for High School and start a fire. She and I would watch 700 Club together, just the two of us.
And she would take my hand in hers, voice trembling, and pray for me.
She knew High School was my exile. It was so hard for me in so many ways. My Dad would have prayed too, but he was in his own exile at that time. A job he hated. And yet God brought him out of that too. Because of his never taking sick leave, he was able to retire at 62. A free man.
And because of my Mama's prayers, I graduated and was removed from my exile too. Through it all God taught me the lesson of faithfulness, and never giving up because someone else is believing in you. And that God is with me wherever I go. And He caused some good things to happen in those four years too.
I wrote a poem for my favorite teacher back then, my music teacher Wylie Moffat. Even then words were longing to break free in me. He had it framed and it hung in his house up until he died. And my words were used on the cover of his memorial service bulletin.
Today, I am thankful for fireside prayers. They are still working.
Thank you Mom, for being so faithful.


  1. Thank you-for your open heart. It is always a fresh drink of water to read that other Christians struggle-that it's not just going on inside me. Your struggles help mine, and so forth, God will use it all.
    I think that's where I am-in exile. I'm sure of it. But I know He is there with me, and He won't leave til I'm ready.

  2. Oh my heart....

    so glad we were neighbors over at Duane's place today so I knew to read.

    What grace--the way He pursues us. and what power words can have. So thankful your mom knew how to use them wisely. If we could all be so brave.

    Hugs to you!

  3. Oh thank you much, both of you.....Debra I will pray for you as you go through this time. God is doing something in the midst of it, I know it. And Nikki, it is always a blessing meeting kindred spirits in the Lord :-) Thank you, you are both a blessing to me.


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