“A fool’s mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul…
The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
(Proverbs 18:7, 10)
Because my mother is predictable, I foresaw how helping her move would end up. It saddens me to no end, the knowing…But I cannot change her mindset, nor the fact that what takes up residency within her soul doesn’t like my presence. I had to laugh a bit at the irony in the timing of her move and the hurricane moving toward Florida, which is where she was headed. We know all about hurricanes after living in SW Florida for many years. Helping my mom, no matter my heart to serve her needs, was going to be like riding waves in hurricane-force winds. It was no surprise that the day we were supposed to get on the road to head south, Hurricane Ian hit Southwest Florida. It then moved fiercely across the state.
In the eye of the storm
Walking into sheer force winds was the last thing I needed at that time. I was stressed out, exhausted, and didn’t need her “stuff” compounding my situation. The spiritual battle was inevitable. I braced myself so the job would get done on time. The heavy lifting took a lot out of me and caused great physical set-back to my body, which was still recovering from my own moving activity. I’d had to do so a couple of times in the weeks prior to leaving Tennessee for Ohio. And, at that point, I was a nomad looking for the adventure of living in a tent after the moving fiasco was over. The icing on the cake: after we emptied Mom’s items from the moving van into storage, I accidentally side-swiped one of those short concrete pillars at a gas station pump, damaging the van. I’d driven many large moving trucks and was always very careful; this incident was caused by sheer mental exhaustion, and I felt horrible it happened!
Ian had devastated much of Florida by the time we arrived. The adversary wreaked havoc on me, through my mom, for two weeks. I felt like Florida looked. But I knew, despite the storm surge that was slapping at the boundaries I have to keep intact – boundaries The Father showed me needed to be placed – He was there. My Comforter, my Redeemer, was there in the quiet of the mornings when I was able to take the dog for a walk and breath freely. He was there as I consciously repented under my breath, sometimes multiple times a day, for my participation with her “stuff.” Thankful as I recalled verses like, “Be still and know that I am God,” knowing everything, I, would be okay.
“O Lord, in distress they sought you;
they poured out a whispered prayer
when your discipline was upon them.” (Isaiah 26:16)
Entering into the season of our Joy
This test lasted from September 24 until October 9th, which was the onset of The Feast of Tabernacles. That last day was no exception in the spiritual things of this world swirling around us, around me, trying to provoke the dirt to anger. It was a day where Yahweh’s presence was with me in the form of a deep peace, then as an earthly angel who assisted me while at my storage unit attempting to put together the cargo carrier for my SUV. Finally, in being able to shelter my mother in His peace when her SUV wouldn’t start and we waited for the AAA driver to bring a new battery. At that point, it was nightfall. I was expected at camp in SW Virginia that night so left her in the capable hands of the man helping. I pulled into Beartree Recreation Area’s campground at exactly 10:00 PM EST, found my campsite, then proceeded to fall asleep in my SUV, with the dog. It was very cold that night, yet, there was Yahweh’s perfection again in my being able to observe His appointed time, away from the world, in a tent atop a mountain.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)
The cold nights on Mt. Roger’s were no joke. And, it looked as though the next two weeks, with a few days of exception, would get even colder. But I was prepared to stick it out if God held me to the plans made; I was to camp across SW Virginia, West Virginia (to that point with a friend from PA), and N. Georgia until October 27th when I would have a place to shelter for a week or so. Alas, His thoughts are so much greater…for nothing went as I had planned!
(A deeply personal note: On this blog, I rarely speak of my family in a negative light, if at all. What I am trying to show in this post is the spiritual contention that was following me, trying to take me down. The relationship I have with my mother is very difficult at times because she does not have a relationship with the LORD. Since I began walking with Him, it has been a constant manifestation of the enemy’s contention for me since I no longer allow him to control and manipulate me, through her. (Which has been our relationship most of my life.) Therefore, I ask that my readers please understand: I am not trying to make her look bad! I love my mom, yet, my heart also breaks constantly over both her life and our relationship, which I’ve had to put in Yeshua’s capable hands.)