Ready to quit
That’s it. I quit. I simply can’t do this anymore. Maybe homeschooling teen boys isn’t the best idea.
Closing the door behind me, I allowed the churning washing machine to drown out the noise throughout the rest of the house.
Seriously??? Who tossed detergent all over the walls and sides of the machine?
Scrubbing furiously the mess off the wall, I longed to clean the fury staining my heart.
Screaming at my kids left me exhausted, filled with guilt and shame. This opened a door for a thought-waged war.
- You should’ve put them in school.
- They are regressing.
- You are holding them back.
- Their attitude is from yours.
- You’re ruining your family.
- You should quit.
- You can’t control them.
- You can’t write to encourage people; look at your own mess.
- You are trapped.
Prisoner of circumstance
I confess I’m prone to feeling a victim, a prisoner, of circumstances at times. As I escaped to the laundry room, all my thoughts were condemning messages lacking all hope.
My husband called to check on me. He offered his best effort at encouragement. “There’s hope.”
“There’s no hope. Well, yes, there’s hope in Jesus, but there is no hope for this situation. I’m stuck.” Why couldn’t I simply shut my mouth? Every time I opened it, words flew out that filled me with regret. I knew they weren’t true.
Prisoner of hope.
These were the words I saw in my notes app hours after my tantrum. Prisoner of Hope. I’d typed it exactly one month ago when I read Zechariah.
“Return to your stronghold, O prisoners of hope; today I declare that I will restore to you double.” Zechariah 9:12
We aren’t prisoners of our circumstances. We are prisoners of hope. And He calls out to us, “Return to your stronghold.”
Return to your stronghold
I’d abandoned my stronghold while allowing the enemy to build his own.
A stronghold by definition is a well-fortified place. Scripture grants insights to both sides of strongholds.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1
I was allowing my fears to run as wild as a toddler drunk on red food coloring.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds.” 2 Cor 10:3-4
“The Lord is a stronghold for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.” Psalm 9:9
Back to Him I flee. Back to the safety of His embrace.
Return, O prisoner of hope.
We don’t let ourselves become prisoners of the enemy because we’ve been set free. We are redeemed. We are His prisoners of hope.
“Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout, Daughter of Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and having salvation, gentle and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.” Zechariah 9:9
You are a daughter (or son) of the King. He comes to you.
I’d felt a raging monster, yet here He comes to me. Gentle. And I melt in His tenderness.
“Tell Daughter Zion, “Look, your King is coming to you, gentle, and mounted on a donkey, even on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.” Matthew 21:5
Our burden bearing King came toward us riding on a burden bearing animal. We need not carry the burdens, entrapping ourselves under the back-breaking weight.
What burdens do you carry? Your King is coming to you. He came. He is here. He is coming again.
You are His beloved, His prisoner of hope. Don’t let the enemy lie to you. You don’t belong to him. You aren’t his prisoner. You are a prisoner of hope.