Lorri Dudley

Be moved. Be changed. Love because you are loved.

Tag: foundation

Sleep by Salvador Dali

Who are You “Crutching” on?

Humans are notoriously good at one thing—messing up. Controversial as he was, famous surrealist artist Salvador Dali understood human frailty. Many of his paintings depicted people being propped up by sticks or crutches. In his unique way, Dali showed the weakness of the human body and spirit and our need to supply “support for the tenderness of soft structures” (daliparis.com/en/salvador-dali/dalinian-symbolism).

Sleep by Salvador Dali

Some of us use boyfriends, girlfriends, or spouses to prop us up. They become our crutch, and we rely more and more on them to bring us happiness and fix our pain. I’ve seen countless women and men pray for God to put someone in their lives, only to stop coming to church once He does. The problem starts when we try to patch our emptiness hole with a person. It’s like putting a Band-aid on a gaping wound. It’s too much to ask someone to fill a hole that only God can fill.

So how do we get healthy enough to stand on our own?

Realize we need a vertical relationship, not a horizontal relationship. Ask God to hold us. Cling to a solid foundation, not a spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. Psychologists, Dr. Les and Leslie Parrot, talk aboutA-frame verses H-frame and M-frame relationships. An A-frame is where a couple or friendships leans heavily upon one another to support them. They are looking for what Tom Cruise in the movie Jerry McGuire said, “You complete me.” Unfortunately, when relationships lean entirely on the other person the pressure created is going to cause one side to slip, and in an A-frame when one side slips, the other falls with it. Conversely, an H-frame is independent. It stands on its own, and if one side falls, the other hardly notices. In an M-frame, each person is healthy enough to stand on their own but still feels a sense of loss if the other side stumbles. It has emotional stability but chooses to be together and have a mutual influence.

Realize we are deeply and wonderfully loved for ourselves. God created you, and he loves you for who you are. He has sacrificed much to be with you. St. Augustine said, “God loves each of us as if there were only one of us.” Scripture confirms it. Romans 8:38-39 states, “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Psalm 139 says, “Where can I go from your presence… If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.”

Alexander Pope said, “To err is human.” Fallible has become part of the definition of being human. We can’t idolize a pastor or a parent, or a boyfriend or girlfriend or an athlete. If we do, we will be let down. They are human. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). Thankfully we have a God who anxiously waits for us to ask for His help. He desires to uphold you with His righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

He longs to reach down and scoop His child up in His arms.

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The Rocks that become our Stepping Stones

Sometimes our weakest moments can become our solid foundation. What was one of my darkest days has become the backbone of my faith. My youngest son just received the award for Most Improved Student of the Year. I don’t mention this to brag (well, I am a proud mama) but more to honor my son before I reference his struggles.

I was the art teacher at a Christian Academy where all three of my sons attended. As I cleaned up the watercolor trays and wiped down the desks, the principal (also my dear friend and still is to this day) sat me down and told me that my youngest son needed to leave the academy because he was too much of a distraction to the other kids. Three years prior, I’d had a comparable conversation to remove my oldest child for similar reasons.

I tried to put on a good face, but it stole my equilibrium. I was a leader in the church whose children had been kicked out of school. What did that say about me? What did that say about my parenting skills? Did I not raise them properly? Did I not work with them enough? Discipline them enough? Had I ruined them?

All these questions pierced my heart like arrows. And to make matters worse, my husband happened to be away at a conference, so I didn’t have his strength to draw upon. I needed a good cry, but I didn’t want my kids to see how upset I was and/or think I was disappointed in them, so I took them to the movies. While they watched Wreck it Ralph, I bawled my eyes out silently in the dark next to them. The next day, I went about getting through the day. But occasionally, I locked the door to my room curled up into the fetal position and cried more. Why God? I kept asking, but I was too upset to listen. I was lost in my own pity party.

But God saw my tears. The following morning we had church. I was at the front door when a woman I hadn’t seen in a while stopped and said she’d dreamed about me the previous night, that I’d been crying and was really sad, but that she could help me.

I was dumbfounded.

I immediately teared up. I didn’t want to break down right there at the front door of the church, so I called her later that afternoon and explained my story. She told me her daughter had also been asked to leave school (a different academy) and recommended a place for my son. What filled me with hope was that her daughter had turned out normal—better than normal.

Some people may think this was coincidental. It’s not easy to explain the emotional depths to which God cared to go to pull me out of the pit I felt I’d fallen into. Looking back now having a child kicked out of school isn’t a catastrophic event, no one died, the world didn’t stop turning. But the very same God who put the earth on its axis cared enough to take the time to speak to me. He who holds the stars in place cared about little-old-me to send me hope to get through my tough time.

Now, whenever my faith wanes or doubts creep in I remember what God did for me. It renews my faith and restores my hope. I rehearse my darkest day now as a reminder of how great God’s love is for me.

I am not special. God holds that same love for you. A love that will leave the other ninety-nine sheep to find the one that is lost or struggling.

It is an amazing love.

An awesome love.

And you are at its center.

“Praise be to the Lord, for he showed me the wonders of his love when I was in a city under siege.” Psalm 31:21

my boys 2018 sitting together on couchPersonal Note: I am so grateful to God for my three wonderful boys. For those of you who may have wiggly, ants-in-their-pants, think-out-side-the-box, children or grandchildren, I hope this is an encouragement for you. All three of my boys are doing much better in school. They are maturing and discovering ways to keep their focus. I’m also grateful for the Christian academy who went above and beyond to try to work with my kids. They received a strong spiritual foundation that shows in their heart for God.

If you know of anyone who may be encouraged by this, please share it. And, if you’d like to sign up for my e-newsletter with these weekly posts along with funny related videos, writing samples, and updates, please click here: Lorri’s e-newsletter.

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