It was my birthday celebration. My brother and cousin had taken me out. It was all about me for one day.
“Where do you want to go?”
“What do you want to do?”
I don’t know how I ended up at Grandma’s house with a red box movie, because that certainly was not where I wanted to spend my special evening, in front of a screen wasting yet more hours of my life.
We walked in the door and my grandma was in her nightgown watching country music on the television. I sat down and without a single moment of hesitation my cousin and grandma started talking about this guy they were angry at. It was a heated conversation. They were sharing their frustration and as they went on their voices got louder. Then my brother jumps in and it gets worse.
I laid down. I tried to tune them out. Then…my mom called.
It was my special night and I had to come home and go to bed because I had to work with my uncle the next day. I couldn’t help it, I teared up. My mom was frustrated, I was frustrated, and everyone else was frustrated. It wasn’t a happy evening.
I hung up the phone and tried to hide my tears, but my grandma took notice. She asked and if I said no, she would have insisted upon knowing why I was crying, so I told her. As soon as my frustration was out, I burst.
Now everybody was watching.
It was silent for a moment…then everything erupted. They couldn’t stop talking. Caleb grabbed the phone saying, “I’m calling mom.”
We didn’t see him for a while.
“This is the same way my dad is,” my cousin began. “He is stubborn and controlling. He has to have his way.”
No, I tried to say, my mom isn’t like that. But they wouldn’t listen, and I was too choked up to speak over them.
It’s my fault, I thought, if only they knew they could stop yelling.
By now my brother had returned and he had anger in his eyes. “You have one more hour,” He said in disgust.
The arguing continued.
I was crying.
They were cussing.
I wanted out. I wanted to leave, but I couldn’t move.
Everybody was telling me how I felt, then they were saying how sorry they were that I felt that way.
Finally I was able to rise.
My feet walked me out the door. I would have dragged myself if I had to.
It was on the porch when it truly came out.
I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed. I was crying so hard I couldn’t think. It had all been building up so long, frustration, hurt, misunderstanding. It wasn’t just tonight. It had been for a while. Since a couple months ago. It felt as if our family was pulling apart.
“God,” I called. It was all I said. I couldn’t find the words to plead. I was so shook up.
After a while I was able to gain control of my emotions. I rose and walked across the driveway into the street.
“God, I need your help. Please take control. I feel my family breaking up. There is so much strife. Please lead my family. Take them in your hand. Make yourself the shepherd of this family. Be our rock and our defender. You are bigger than this, please defeat this tribulation.”
Then, I prayed for my mom. I prayed for my family members who didn’t have a relationship with Christ, I prayed that they would make Jesus their Lord. Lastly, I prayed for me. I asked God to give me a peace beyond all understanding, and that when I walked back into the house that I would not be so quickly destroyed like before.
I gave God complete control. I gave Him my hand. He held it tight. I thanked Him. He led me into the lions den.
It was hard to see family bad talk family. I felt hurt, but God was on my side, so I was able to stay composed.
I listened as my mother was refereed to harshly (behind her back) by her niece, son, and mother. I was enraged by the cruelty of human nature, but God’s spirit was burning inside me, so I was able to keep silent.
I was frustrated that even though they were fighting on my behalf, they wouldn’t listen to me long enough to hear the whole story, but God was watching over me, so I was able to keep calm.
Finally my brother rose, and told me it was time to go. I was relieved to say the least.
I was surprised to hear what my brother had to say once we were in the car…
“Before you get the wrong idea in your head I want to tell you that I don’t hate mom and dad. They are amazing parents and we are blessed to have them. The reason we’re mad at them is because they are so controlling, which is just their way of protecting you. They are afraid of making bad choices and screwing up your life. But still, with that being said, this whole situation is messed up.”
Even though he didn’t say the words “I’m sorry” I recognized the apology and accepted it. I was thankful that he said this, and it made the situation a whole lot better.
My brother knew that my mother would be upset, so he advised me to go to bed straight away and to allow him to talk to Mom.
As soon as I was under covers I grabbed my Bible and opened up to the Psalms. Before me was the 18th Psalm, the title of which is, “The Lord is my Rock and Fortress.” I smiled. Just what I had been praying for.
Several places in this passage spoke to me and I wanted to share them with you, dear readers. I know that we all have trials and tribulations galore. Maybe you are dealing with a splitting family, a broken-heart, or shattered plans and you just don’t know how to deal with it.
Cry out to God. Let Him take control. Ask Him to lead you. Pray that He will be your shepherd. He will answer. And I assure you, that if you are sincere, He will help you conquer your troubles.
In Christ Alone~EleyanaFaith
<< Psalm 18 >>
English Standard Version
The LORD Is My Rock and My Fortress
To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, the servant of the LORD, who addressed the words of this song to the LORD on the day when the LORD rescued him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul. He said:
1 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
2 The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
3 I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised,
and I am saved from my enemies.
4 The cords of death encompassed me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;a
5 the cords of Sheol entangled me;
the snares of death confronted me.
6 In my distress I called upon the LORD;
to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
and my cry to him reached his ears.
7 Then the earth reeled and rocked;
the foundations also of the mountains trembled
and quaked, because he was angry.
8 Smoke went up from his nostrils,
and devouring fire from his mouth;
glowing coals flamed forth from him.
9 He bowed the heavens and came down;
thick darkness was under his feet.
10 He rode on a cherub and flew;
he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
11 He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
thick clouds dark with water.
12 Out of the brightness before him
hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
13 The LORD also thundered in the heavens,
and the Most High uttered his voice,
hailstones and coals of fire.
14 And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
15 Then the channels of the sea were seen,
and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O LORD,
at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.
16 He sent from on high, he took me;
he drew me out of many waters.
17 He rescued me from my strong enemy
and from those who hated me,
for they were too mighty for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my calamity,
but the LORD was my support.
19 He brought me out into a broad place;
he rescued me, because he delighted in me.
20 The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the LORD,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
22 For all his rules were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
23 I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
24 So the LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
25 With the merciful you show yourself merciful;
with the blameless man you show yourself blameless;
26 with the purified you show yourself pure;
and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.
27 For you save a humble people,
but the haughty eyes you bring down.
28 For it is you who light my lamp;
the LORD my God lightens my darkness.
29 For by you I can run against a troop,
and by my God I can leap over a wall.
30 This God—his way is perfect;d
the word of the LORD proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
31 For who is God, but the LORD?
And who is a rock, except our God?—
32 the God who equipped me with strength
and made my way blameless.
33 He made my feet like the feet of a deer
and set me secure on the heights.
34 He trains my hands for war,
so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
35 You have given me the shield of your salvation,
and your right hand supported me,
and your gentleness made me great.
36 You gave a wide place for my steps under me,
and my feet did not slip.
37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them,
and did not turn back till they were consumed.
38 I thrust them through, so that they were not able to rise;
they fell under my feet.
39 For you equipped me with strength for the battle;
you made those who rise against me sink under me.
40 You made my enemies turn their backs to me,e
and those who hated me I destroyed.
41 They cried for help, but there was none to save;
they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them.
42 I beat them fine as dust before the wind;
I cast them out like the mire of the streets.
43 You delivered me from strife with the people;
you made me the head of the nations;
people whom I had not known served me.
44 As soon as they heard of me they obeyed me;
foreigners came cringing to me.
45 Foreigners lost heart
and came trembling out of their fortresses.
46 The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock,
and exalted be the God of my salvation—
47 the God who gave me vengeance
and subdued peoples under me,
48 who delivered me from my enemies;
yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me;
you rescued me from the man of violence.
49 For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations,
and sing to your name.
50 Great salvation he brings to his king,
and shows steadfast love to his anointed,
to David and his offspring forever.