Wednesday, September 19, 2012

"Set her free"

I was walking alongside a little boy wearing blue.  He was being arrested for some criminal act.  There was a police officer on the other side of him preparing to take the child to jail.  As we walked, the police officer says, "I know this isn't what you want, but sometimes the best place for you to grow and be safe is in prison."  How odd a statement, I thought.  The child stops and faces the man.  I look down and the child is my oldest daughter!  The policeman has both her wrists and stretches them out to either side (in crucifix form).  She cries, "I don't want to go with you!"  I'm standing directly behind her, watching helplessly.  She cries out again, "What will we do there?"  I wake up. 
I have always known upon waking when a dream was significant.  And this one came with a thought... a sudden, first thought that confirmed my knowing.  Set her free. The dream shook me.  I still can see her crying out.  And as I sat up in bed two mornings ago, I remember thinking, Lord, what do you mean 'set her free'?  Again, it rings in my thoughts, Set her free...with your love, grace, TIME and training.  Hmmm.
The night before I had been reading part one in the Ministry of Motherhood about the gift of grace and how to give it to others, especially our children.  I also studied the gospels and the beginning chapters in Romans.  As I read the third chapter of Romans I realized that as a young mother, I could get so caught up in the do's & dont's of training that I could be putting too much emphasis on the 'law' of right living rather than the beauty and freedom that grace offers.  

I could not get the policeman's statement out of my head...Sometimes the best place for you to grow and be safe is in prison.  In thinking that rules will be their guard and discipline their guide, it is easy to 'stay on' our children.  Being too focused on rules more than relationship could cripple them by creating a prison-like mentality of... 
             Questioning every choice
             Never being confident to make a decision for fear it is wrong
             Wondering if someone is constantly looking for failure
                                                                                                   Thus, the dream.

This is not the way of Jesus.  Yes, He taught them by commandments and correction.  But it was a stark contrast to the authoritative leader most of civilization was accustomed to.   Strict authority was NOT his focus.  And it should not be ours.   So what does this all mean for me? one word. Balance.  If I focus on the order of what I was commanded after the dream, then the training comes last. Jesus first established a relationship with his disciples. Living alongside them every day. Taking time to be in 'their' world. This prepared their hearts for future instruction and guidance*  Mirror this pattern. Christ's whole focus was love and grace. He defined it and proved it on a daily basis.

LOVE:  patient, kind, truthful, unselfish, believing, hopeful, enduring & unfailing
GRACE:  unmerited favor. 
It's time to tip the scales back in favor of giving hugs and encouragement in homeschool efforts instead of constant correction, or simply sitting under the willow tree playing dolls while reading Far Flutterby.  They need my time before they need my words.  They need my attention more than my rebuke.  I must start with love, grace and time...THEN training.  It's all about balance. 

So it begins with what my heart knows.  And I know freedom.  I know forgiveness, much forgiveness, ongoing forgiveness!  Now, to continue the work of Setting them free! 
Many thoughts in this post are based on The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.
*Condensed thoughts from the readings of page 35-36  



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