I spent a few hours this morning learning how to file a motion for continuance. Soon I'll know enough to be an unofficial legal aid--not that I have such aspirations, but you're welcome to write me if you need assistance with a debt suit under $5000. (Over that amount is a small claims matter, with different procedures). I don't have a lot of readers left because I write about poverty and Compassion International too often for comfort, but nevertheless, a good amount of people viewed my debt post. I presume because they like juicy details? Or more sadly, because they're in debt themselves?
At any rate, this is painful folks. Live poorly until you get out of debt--aggressively pound that balance because the Lord hates it. If you fail to repent, he'll deal with you and it will be painful. God is many things to us, including Counselor and Comforter and Savior and Father. But He is also to be feared....so often we Christians forget that part.
Anyhow, Beth has an important eye appointment on the same day I'm to appear in court. Hopefully the judge will look kindly upon my pro se motion for continuance.
My heart is heavy with grief because instead of attending to my children, I had to research a debt matter under pressure, leaving me cranky and depressed. Sometimes I wonder...if I was raised a Christian would we be struggling this much? If my husband had a loving father who didn't wound him continually, and if he were without ADHD issues, would he be in a better position at this point in his life? Should we move out of economically-depressed Ohio? What can we do differently right now? And what about Beth's disease and the continuity it requires? And Peter's condition and the consistency he requires?
I asked the Holy Spirit all these questions, wanting to get back into a thankful mood quickly. I'm keenly aware when I fall into self-pity and I work with the Holy Spirit to get out of it as quickly as possible. We don't have a right to self-pity, ever, because of the Cross.
The Holy Spirit, my Counselor, seemed to say: "Forget about the past and the what-ifs. And give the future to Me. Move forward with gratitude because of your salvation. Endeavor to give these children a better life--a life focused on the Gospel and being the hands and feet of Jesus. Love them well. Disciple them well. Forget about your life and lay it down for them.
So I face the rest of my day with that charge: Lay down my life for my children. When we lay down our lives for another, we're no longer held captive by our selfishness or self-pity. What seals the fate for the next generation, more than anything else? The selfishness of the previous generation.
Whatever your circumstances--and if you're part of the human race, you've got circumstances--remember the charge Christ gives us.
There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers.