“Lo, children are a heritage of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3.
A year-and-a-half ago, the Lord put it on my heart to quit my job, but I had so much debt, I just wasn’t ready. If I could only work for six more months, I would say to myself. Then it would be another six. Then just a little longer. I kept making promises to the kids that were broken over and over. With tears in their eyes they wondered when Mom would quit and be “Mom” once again. I would go to bed exhausted and brokenhearted—continually going against my conscience.
In the last year and a half of my job, I noticed that God was definitely not blessing me. Everything that could go wrong was going wrong. My wonderful van broke down because there was no time to change the oil and it’s still sitting in the driveway with $2,500 US still owed on it. The new swimming pool has given us nothing but trouble and so no one even gets to swim in it. The pump and the tank both went out on the well and we still don’t have the money to fix it…and the list goes on.
I took this job four years ago, planning to work temporarily to pay off a $2,500 debt quickly. Now, years later, the debt is up to $28,000. What happened? Every year, I pay on my debt and accumulate more. Every year I drift further away from the Lord. I never thought this would happen. I thought I was so strong and my family was unsinkable with our relationship with the Lord. The devil had tried so many times, but with a watchful eye and prayerful heart, I would catch on quickly and get away from any of the devil’s plans. But there is a secret sin that had almost destroyed me, something I have dealt with for almost my whole life. It’s covetousness. I never realized how ugly the word was until now.
My entire plans and life changed one recent night. After worship, everyone was off in their own rooms getting ready for bed. My 14-year-old son went out looking for his cat to go to bed with him and quickly returned, urging me to check on his older brother. Christian, my 18-year-old son lived in an apartment on our property. I went out to the apartment and to my shock I found him sitting on the floor crying loudly. There were multiple cuts on his neck from the knife on the floor next to him and swollen places on his head from bashing it against the wall. I didn’t understand what was going on. Why did he try to take his life?
It was a long night with all of us out of bed praying with him, along with the help of a Bible worker that lived nearby. I stayed close by him that night and now Grandpa stays with him at night. My son also had hidden secrets—hidden for 14 years, and they finally surfaced. He couldn’t keep it in any longer.
Why didn’t I see this coming? Thinking back, I remember him asking me sheepishly once in a while for years if he could talk to me. Sometimes I would make time for a quick visit and other times I asked if we could wait until later, which never came.
After this event, we all went on a camp out and when Dad took all the kids to the waterfalls, I lay on my cot gazing up between the trees and talked to God. It was so clear to me! Quit my job. Quit everything that is a distraction between my family and me. Just quit. It’s not worth it! I almost lost my son, how foolish can I be!
When we returned home the next day, I prayed silently and then called my boss. I had thought of my job as mission work. I was an area director of an exchange student program and it was my job to find Christian homes every year. Giving hundreds of kids around the world a chance to know Jesus was both fun and fulfilling. But how deceiving. All my time was dedicated to everyone but my own kids. I was forgetting my own children and that breaks my heart. I also have a dog business and I’m working on selling out of it. No distractions! It’s taking one day at a time to get through all this. But I am truly thankful that God is so wonderful and has preserved my son!
This event woke up several people around us, too. Christian is now studying and praying with a friend at night and enjoying the beginning of a new life without bondage. He is free! For the first time in a long time, I see the gleam in his eyes when he talks to me. No more distant stares. He and his friend are seriously considering applying at Uchee Pines for the next semester instead of going to public college. One of my daughters has also made the decision to surrender more of her life to Jesus because of this. God can use bad things for good.
But please! Don’t wait! If you hear God calling you to do something in your life, don’t put Him off. I don’t know if my bills will be paid or not, but I will keep trusting the Lord. I never want to disobey God again. He will take care of all my needs. From now on I will not wait. To all those who read this—don’t wait!
“’No Time’—‘No time,’ says the father; ‘I have no time to give to the training of my children, no time for social and domestic enjoyments.’ Then you should not have taken upon yourself the responsibility of a family. By withholding from them the time which is justly theirs, you rob them of the education which they should have at your hands. If you have children, you have a work to do, in union with the mother, in the formation of their characters.
“It is the cry of many mothers: ‘I have no time to be with my children.’ Then for Christ’s sake spend less time on your dress. Neglect if you will to adorn your apparel. Neglect to receive and make calls. Neglect to cook an endless variety of dishes. But never, never neglect your children. What is the chaff to the wheat? Let nothing interpose between you and the best interests of your children.” The Adventist Home, 191.
By Christine Lovell. 1803 Hwy 24, Horatio, AR 71842. firstname.lastname@example.org.