In my parenting and fostering journeys, how many times had I given in to the flesh instead of to the prompting of the Holy Spirit? I confess that whenever I was provoked into a heated argument with my adult daughter, I used to be carried away by my strong desire to have the final say and win the argument. What followed would be a strained relationship and my own feelings of anger and frustration. I would often chide myself for my lack of love. O how I struggled to keep blameless. For countless times, I poured my prayers of exasperation and complaints to God.
During my MAP (Mentoring Aligning Process) journey, an aligning initiative of Archippus Awakening, I was reminded again and again I am undergoing the refinement process of being like Christ. As we walked through what it means to check our alignment with God, I made journal entries on areas of my life I needed to align to His ways, His will and His Word.
He kept teaching me that I simply needed to be still and not rush. At the Silent Retreat which is part of MAP, I got caught in a heavy rain outside the Retreat Centre. I decided to take shelter at a small pavilion facing the Centre. There was no way to get back to the Centre without getting drenched. As I heard the loud pouring of the rain and felt the strong cold wind and waters on my body, I felt calmness and peace. I knew God was telling me that I needed to be still in Him, especially during difficult situations and times when I was tempted to be robbed of my peace. He wanted me to respond to the leading of His Holy Spirit, and not react to situations. Reaction comes from the flesh, whereas response gives room for the work of the Holy Spirit. I am to wait upon the Lord, submitting to His timing and the prompting of the Holy Spirit. He does not rush us.
Today, I work on not reacting instantly each time, but to practise quietness of the heart so that the Holy Spirit can guide me to respond toward a God-desired outcome. When I was provoked, I would escape the confrontation to reflect and wait upon the Lord. It gave me time and space to examine my heart issues and in turn surrender them to God. Learning to keep pace with the Holy Spirit and not rush into reckless words and actions when caring for my foster daughter has greatly strengthened our relationship and even enabled me to feel an amplified joy being with her. Coaching her in her schoolwork and handling her occasional misbehaviours are not so unpleasant anymore. I see my parenting and fostering assignments in a different light as I realign with my King who pursues me relentlessly and never gives up on me. This may not be a new understanding or a ‘wow’ revelation, but it is a renewed conviction and commitment for me to fully surrender to Him.
In God’s grace and mercy, I am to strain forward to what is ahead (Philippians 3:13) instead of looking back at my failures in the course of my assignments.
Henson writes in Alignment Check, “To be responsible for your own sin means to acknowledge your areas of weakness and failings, repenting and confessing that you may always walk in the light, giving the enemy no ground at all. It also means that you make a conscious effort to obey your new Master and King Jesus Christ (Romans 6:15-18), walking by the Spirit and not the flesh (Romans 8:5-6).” We applaud Doris’ boldness and desire to want to keep aligning with her King!
Doris is married with three children. She has been a foster parent since 2019 and is currently fostering a nine-year-old girl.