Idols aren’t just golden calves…

When I was eleven, I started attending a new school.  Doing that during those middle school years was tough, but I did my best to jump right in and make new friends. Eventually I invited one of the girls to my house for a sleepover to get to know each other better.  We settled in with some snacks and decided to watch some television in my basement.  I can’t remember what we were watching, but I can tell you that I remember what happened when Shaun Cassidy came on the television screen.  My new friend let out the loudest, shriek/scream I have ever heard in my life.  I asked her what was wrong and she exclaimed, “I looovvveee Shaun Cassidy!”  I thought that was all fine and good, but why on earth was she screaming about it.  I got a quick lesson that this was the way she expressed her admiration.  My poor mother came running down the basement steps wondering what in the world was murdering us.  We had a good chuckle about it the next day when my friend went home.  When I eventually went to her house, I discovered that her room was plastered with just about every picture ever taken of Shaun Cassidy.  I didn’t quite get it…my heart throb back then was Scott Baio from Happy Days (smile).

Just about everywhere you look in our society these days, you can see people going overboard with celebrities, sports figures, etc.  All it takes is a night of watching television advertisements for things like reality tv shows to see that we are way out there when it comes to what we look for in entertainment (don’t even get me started on Here Comes Honey Boo Boo). People become famous over the craziest things!  To me, these things are easy to see as distractions and things that maybe I don’t want to spend my time on.  But the idea of idols is nothing new.  I’m in the middle of reading Exodus right now and I’m at the part where Moses comes down off the mountain and sees the Israelites worshiping a golden calf that they had made from their gold rings.  It’s easy to read that and think, ‘What was wrong with those people??  How could they forget what God had done for them.” But I have learned, it’s easier than you may think.  Did you know that your problems can become an idol?

When I found out my son was gay, my world was turned a bit upside down. His being gay was not an easy thing to face, but the real difficulty came more from knowing how he felt about himself.  He didn’t like who he was and because of that he suffered from anxiety and depression.  I can’t tell you how stressful it is to know that your child hates themselves and at times wants to end their life.  You are on constant alert. In my post, The Land of What If’s, I wrote about my prayer journals.  Seems like a good thing to do.  But even though I talked to God about the situation, doesn’t mean I was handling it the right way.  My thought patterns in the first few years went something like this:

What did I do wrong and how can I make things right? to…
How can we help him change? to…
Understanding this isn’t something that can change – does this mean he won’t be able to get into heaven? to…
What does God really feel about this? to…
Am I doing the right thing by supporting him? to…
On and on and on…

I felt like this was all I was thinking about….praying about. It was not only exhausting…it was wrong.  I was living in fear…focusing all my energy on the “problem”, not focusing it on the One who could carry it all for me.  This had become my idol.

2014.01.13 17.02.53.228So what did I do?  It’s been a process.  I would like to say it was a one and done type of thing, but in reality it took some time to sort things out.  One of the things that was troubling to me was that my son had stepped away from God.  He wasn’t going to Him for strength and guidance.  I decided to take some index cards and write Bible verses on them that I thought would help him and I taped them to the rails of his bed under his mattress.  He would basically be resting his head each night on the Word.  I would read these verses each week when I made his bed.  Another thing I did was prayed over each room in my house.  I also prayer walked around the outside of the house.  I gave the situation over to God.  It didn’t mean that I didn’t ever think about it, or worry about it again, but it gave me some peace.

I had a heart to heart with God one day out on my deck.  I told him how hard this was and I 100_0360wondered out loud if it would be easier if I just walked away from my faith.  What was I supposed to do?  How did He want me to handle this?  I very clearly heard Him tell me that it wasn’t up to me to figure it all out.  This is between Him and my son.  I just need to love him and support him no matter what happens. That I can do…to me that is easy.  God has not let me down…He has been with me every step of the way.  I just needed to get out of His way (smile).

So I love the best I can and I ask you to do the same…because love matters.

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7 thoughts on “Idols aren’t just golden calves…

  1. ….. and you love well. Giving things over to God isn’t easy and I know almost as soon as I give them over, I snatch them back. It is a process, like you say, and an ongoing “being delivered from”. Watching your walk, Lesa, and reading your blog certainly keeps reminding me of what is important- LOVE.

  2. Lesa I have had the same experience idolizing a situation. Everything that I have gone through with my daughter became an obesession for me as well. It was all I thought about, until I read the book “No Other Gods” by Kelly Minter and realized that my daughter and the situation had become an idol to me over God. I am so greatful to have read that book and realized this because now even though nothing has really changed in the situation I am able to accept it and deal with it in a manner that glorifies God. I have turned over the situation to Him and just pray he will give me strength and courage during this time and hopefully there will be change some day and I will get my daughter back. Thank you for the courage of writing this blog, because I can’t tell you even though my situation is very different your blog has been such a blessing to me!

  3. Hmmm, the Lord told me one day that my daughter was an idol as well. I was actually having anxiety attacks because I was worrying so much that her choices would make me look like a bad mom. At that same moment He reminded me that…as much as I loved her and wanted her to make “right” choices…He wanted the same thing, even more…and He felt the same exact way about me. I started the process of “giving it to Him”, letting go of control and just loving her where she’s at…and learning that the Lord can love me right where I’m at too. Boy does that love matter! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Religion and LGBTQ Families – Mombian

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