Do you ever just have one of those “catch your breath” moments–not the good kind of catch your breath but the kind that resonates in your soul deep conviction and a holy shame, if you will? About 10 minutes ago I had one of those. You see, I’ve spent the last couple of weeks with my home in a state of chaos–piles everywhere, clothes not put away, toys strung all over the place and a layer of dirt not invisible to anyone who entered this home. And even if you didn’t come inside here you could tell by MissAubin’s tude that her house was not a happy home. Broke down with BJ last night telling him I had to get my house in order–mom called, bless her heart, to offer to watch the kids today–hallelujah!! BJ’s been working double time which I’ll post in another blog but basically on Monday my Dad’s house was struck by a tornado, ripping off the top half of his home (yes, the one finally put back together after the FLOOD almost one year ago July). Anyway, so I’ve had no help which I apparently most definitely need! I am not ashamed to say that, though there was a time when I was. Bottom line is this parenting alone thing is for the birds–which is why my heart goes out to the single parents out there because I am a wimp and wouldn’t even begin to be able to handle it without BJ (and when I say “single” I am including those of you married to missions pastors, pastors in general, men in the military, whatever leaves you alone much of the time). Okay, onto the point…
So the kids are at moms, the house is about put together and I decide to read the latest on Steven Curtis Chapman’s blog–bad move–or the best one–I’ll explain. **note moment of vulnerability coming. There is one thing I’ve always wanted to do in this life, the one thing I’ve desired above all others. Even when I was young, when I was single, when I tried to deny it, when I’m horrible at it. All I have ever wanted is to be a mother. Nothing else has ever topped that. It did top my desire to be married, if I’m going to be completely real here, which is something God has worked over and over in my heart. I am deeply in love with BJ and feel like I am at a good place with my view on marriage but I can say there have been many times I’ve placed my children above BJ and that’s been a lesson for me to learn.
But in spite of this deepest desire to be a mom, I find myself failing at it almost daily. I quote Paul here by saying :
“For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.” Romans 7:19
Can anyone hear me on this? The ONLY thing I want at the end of the day is to know I’ve been jesus to my family, to know I’ve loved on them and graced them with something they cannot get anywhere else in this world–their mother–but I can’t do it. I personally cannot fight this flesh. No, the Spirit of God has to overtake me and work through me and show me how to love them and lead them. It’s a flesh-filled day, my friends, a flesh-filled day.
My spirit, my attitude, my demeanor had already begun to change by listening to praise music. Then when I came across the below article, I was stopped in my tracks. Slap your face with shame, Aubin–treasure these moments! Yes, get your house in order, of course, but don’t demean and shame and crush little spirits in the process. Get it together! Did Steven & Mary Beth Chapman know they’d only have five years with little Maria? No. Am I guaranteed what I think I should get with my children? Absolutely not. So treasure it. Get over what’s keeping me in my “funk” as our family calls it. Rise above the circumstances. Embrace the NOW.
Steven Curtis Chapman has been one of the most influential people in my life, though our paths have never crossed. You see he was the first Christian music I ever listened to–and I know I’m not alone in this–many of you have been touched by his music. I can remember learning what it meant to truly worship God through his songs. On top of his music others who have influenced me include Geoff Moore, Matt Redman & Christy Nockels of Watermark, all of whom as I read the blog were a part of Maria Chapman’s memorial service. Isn’t it so wonderful to see the people who teach us to worship walking out Christianity and not just singing it? I’m beyond grateful for the example and leading I’ve experienced under these real people who have chose to worship God with their voices AND their lives.
So I’m praying I can walk out in my own life the love only a mother can give and a legacy that will be onethat points our blessings to Jesus. Ironaically, Steven’s song “One Heartbeat at a Time” has become a little anthem of mine. God is so amazing at how He weaves it all together. Below is part of the article on the blog. You can read it here on your own if you’d rather.
“Matt Redman, who was in the airport in Atlanta preparing to fly back to his home in the UK when he heard the news of Maria’s death, left the airport rather than board his flight and drove to Nashville to serve the family anyway he could. The Chapmans not knowing Matt was in the country had discussed him being a part and we’re overwhelmed to hear he was able to be there. Matt led worship along with Christy Nockels singing several songs including two that
Redman has written out of his own loss and sorrows, “Blessed Be Your Name,” and “You Never Let Go,” as well as the hymn “It Is Well.”
Lastly, Steven sharing that Maria had professed Jesus as her Savior and those moments; as well as a moving story from him about how he had asked God to help him see that Maria was safe, and how God showed up.
Next, children in the service brought flowers to Maria’s casket as SCC’s best friend GeoffMoore sang “With Hope,” a song Steven wrote 10 years ago for a family that lost a child, that same family the Mullicans are now walking he and Mary Beth through this now shared tragic experience.
Friends, it was such a difficult, yet sweet time. I urge you now to pray for this family. Be intentional. Set an alarm to go off on the 21st of every month, or anytime you see an SUV let it be a reminder, or whenever you hear a Steven song… whatever you feel is best. As someone who has experienced a difficult loss, some days ahead will be difficult for this family because the rest of the world moves on and forgets. It’s very understandable of course. If you can though, remember to keep them in your prayers.
I too echo Caleb and his wise beyond his years comment, after having the privilege to walk with so many of their family and friends next to the Chapmans through this time, I have neverbeen more convinced that Jesus is real, that the Gospel is true. Despite this tragedy that could seem to contradict He is a good and sovereign God, we know the truth that is on the front of Maria’s Memorial Service program! That He has plans for us “plans for peace and not evil, to give you a future and a hope.”