Heart of Praise

I can say, with sincerity, that my heart is aching. And I can say that I’ve never been in a position before that was so hard on the soul. But in the middle of the suffering, the midst of the wandering, Daddy is still on the throne. He’s still reigning with righteousness, grace, and truth. The enemy thrives on lies. The devil will not steal this praise from my heart. No matter what the day brings, no matter what storms of life may roll, I will not be moved. His name is still Victory, and this war has long been won. I’m not afraid. And whatever you might be going through right now, know that our Lord is still a strong tower. Cling to Him.

When the words won’t come, just say His name. When tears roll down, remember who He is. When a situation seems hopeless, think who parted the Red Sea. Lift your head high, child. Sit up straight. Dry your eyes, and remember who you serve. Someone lives in you, and He is far, far greater than the one who lives in the world. And remember, when everything has been taken from you, when you’ve lost it all… There’s not a person in this world, nor a minion in hell, who can take away your praise.

“A Trini-what?”

So, Gabriel started school today. He’s in a homeschool co-op, which is putting him in kindergarten two years before public school says he needed it. (Kid’s doing addition and subtraction. What can I say?) The co-op is basically homeschool for parents who work. You fork the money, someone else teaches the kids. It’s not really so different from public school. The curriculum is just more advanced, and God is welcome. His teacher told me today about what Gabriel would be learning. By the end of the year, he’s going to be smarter than me. No, really.

I grew up in a house with a family who just didn’t care about education. Being picked up from school early to go shopping was pretty normal, as was staying home for no reason at all. Even today, I suffer for it. I know my peers are far more intelligent than me when it comes to books and numbers. I didn’t want that for Gabriel. I say this next statement lightly, because conviction is different for everyone. Your convictions aren’t mine, and mine aren’t yours. So with that disclaimer, I say… I am no godly mother if I choose to send my son to a place where his Father is not welcome.

I told my family all along that I would homeschool Gabriel someday. I was aiming for kindergarten or first grade, but I didn’t know how I was going to do that as a single mother and work, too. I just knew I was. The conviction was in my heart. I counted down the days until preschool was over, and dreaded the thought of him returning after summer break. But in May, God introduced me to Chris: a co-op teacher. Just like He was saying, “There ya go. Now there’s no excuse.” And by July, I’d decided he was going to WISE co-op. I was worried about being able to afford it. Most private schools are into hundreds of dollars a month. The co-op? $150. And my sister is the teacher. Does it get any better? Why, yes, it does! Should I ever have car trouble, I can throw a rock from my house to the school. It’s all-around perfect.

God will not convict you without cause. And He will not invite you to a place of change without first paving the way. So many times, we get caught up in the addictions and impossibilities and what society deems normal, we overlook the door God has had opened all along. Six months ago, we had no car, no money, no water… nothing. And now, all my bills are paid, I have a car, and I’m sending my son to a Christian school. It’s all because God opened a door, and I was going to be damned if I didn’t walk through it.

Nothing about my job is normal. Not a thing. Nothing about my life is normal. There are no typical days, and everything is changing from one moment to the next. That’s not an exaggeration. Just yesterday, I had two police officers knock on my door. An inmate escaped prison in Illinois, and had my name and old address in a journal. (That’s not scary.) The cops were checking on me as a possible lead to where he might be. A few hours later, I heard “trinitarian” for the first time, and it had me up in the air all night. Trinitarian vs. oneness? Nobody told me about this in college! From there, ihopkc is confirming my thoughts are from God. I have seen sooo many fake people, being surprised by those I thought I knew, and paper worship, that I was starving for something real. Then ihopkc is playing when I hear, “Jesus is the only real man there ever was!” And that told me, I need to learn who he is all over again, from the ground up. Finally, I prayed the most dangerous prayer I’ve ever prayed: “Forsake all I am, and teach me how to be like Christ.” And as I wrap this message up, I’m getting ready to walk a block and pray over every house that we would fill their needs.

No… Nothing about my life is typical. But EVERYTHING about my life is extraordinary.