Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Christ showed up at my house today, and I was unprepared.

Christ showed up at my house today, and I was unprepared.
I have been struggling with my daughter’s attitude and behavior, and finally this afternoon I snapped.
It was not a proud moment for me. I have been working for so long to control my outbursts of anger. I try to live in such a way that the Spirit is a part of my life each day. I have been praying and praying for ways to help my child. I am receiving answers and trying to incorporate changes to make our home filled with peace and the Spirit and less with tension and discord.
But we are human. I am not using it as an excuse. I have no excuse. My strength just failed me. I didn’t draw my strength from my Savior. I probably should have just stopped and said a prayer right before the screaming began. But I didn’t. I will remember next time. I will brand it on my heart.
After sending my daughter to her room, at which point my neck was so drawn tight I felt the beginnings of a tension headache, our doorbell rang. I threw up my hands and exclaimed, “Now, what?” I convinced myself that if it was a door-to-door sales person I was going to dismiss him in the rudest way possible.
I was shocked with who I saw and instantly ashamed. The missionaries were standing on my front stoop.
I cast the door open to allow the visitors into my house as I turned and retreated into the kitchen. But a cheery, “Hello, Sister Rector. How are you?” followed me.
“I’m fine,” I stated in an even tone.
“Uh oh. Now I am going to have to ask why everything is only fine,” the Elder said.
“You just missed a knockdown drag out fight with my daughter.”
I was the worst mother in the world at that moment. And I had been put in my place.
When the missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints put on their badge to serve their two year missions, they become representatives of Jesus Christ. I knew that it was as if the Savior had just walked through my front doors and I was ashamed to greet him. I turned and walked away.
They were here to meet with my husband and an investigator for a lesson.
I dismissed myself and busied myself with making muffins in the kitchen, the whole time, pondering what just happened. I found myself crying over the muffin tin as I scooped drops of zucchini goop in the wells.
Shame and guilt washed over me. I worked through my feelings, praying the entire time for forgiveness. I had made a huge mistake this day and wondered exactly when it went wrong. I wanted to feel the sorrow for my mistake so I could move past it.
I remembered how many times I have been taught over and over again to make our homes Christ centered. Would you be prepared if Christ entered your home? Would you feel comfortable if the Savior came into your home? Is the atmosphere of your home one in which it allows the Spirit of the Lord to permeate?
If Jesus Christ actually came through that door, how would I have responded? Would I recognize him? Or would I be too angry and embarrassed and turn away?
The reality of what actually happened sank in. I had turned away. I had chased the Spirit away, and I was unprepared for Christ. I was humbled as I felt the sorrow of a broken heart and contrite spirit.
I learned a powerful lesson today. Next time I meet the Savior I hope to fall to my knees because I know him, because I will have lived worthy enough for Him to gather me in his arms. But I think that even if it had been Christ today; He would have embraced me and held me and forgiven me, because I am one of his sheep and he knows his sheep.

He knows me and all my weaknesses and exactly what lessons I need to learn.