A Witness to Restoration, Part 2

Tammy Maltby, Guest Writer

Today’s Treasure

Restore us, O God; let Your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:3 ESV

That experience with my ex-fiancé started unraveling my complicated issues with men. Not long after my divorce, the second experience came as a result of a  letter from my big brother—my only brother, with whom I had not shared a true relationship in twenty years. We’d argued over a number of issues, mostly involving mistakes he thought I had made. Looking back, I can see he was right about a lot of them, but the way he expressed his disapproval was devastating to me. We’d finally reached the point that we barely spoke, other than superficial conversations at family gatherings.

Then, this last year, after nearly twenty years of strained relationship, Dean wrote me an incredibly gracious e-mail, also out of the blue. He asked my forgiveness for what he had said and done to hurt me. He expressed sorrow for the pain I was going through and let me know he wanted to help my family in any way he could.

That e-mail struck me as absolutely miraculous, not just its content, but its timing. I have long said that timing is God’s primary link to this dimension, and He was proving that in my life. Just as a primary relationship in my life was falling apart, He was restoring one I had lost twenty years earlier.

Since then, to my eternal gratitude, my brother has put his offer of help into some very practical action. We have also talked more than we have in years, seen each other several times…and he has sent me a great collection of family recipes. I can’t tell you what joy and healing this renewed relationship with another important male in my life has meant to me.

Interestingly enough, in the midst of all this, my own father started reaching out to me as well, in a very intimate and personal way. My father, now in his eighties, is of a generation that shows love more through faithful provision than through tender words. He expected excellence from all of us, and when I was growing up he had sometimes seemed stern and emotionally remote. Now, in this same year, my father began writing me beautiful handwritten letters. He expressed a new kind of tenderness, a loving acceptance that was just what I needed from my Daddy. In the past few years our relationship has grown immeasurably—a wonderful testimony that it’s never to late to grow and change.

Then, thank God, came our little Cohen—my wonderful, adorable little grandson, though conceived in such pain and confusion. My unmarried daughter’s pregnancy felt like just one more blow, more evidence of dysfunction in our lives and my failure as a mother.

What a blessing this little boy has been for our family! That thick, luxurious golden-brown hair, that irresistible smile. The way he brings together two families who might otherwise be at odds. (His father and other grandparents are crazy about him too.) The way he softens our conflicts and keeps us focused on what’s important, and the way he makes us laugh.

I would be lying if I said Mackenzie’s pregnancy has always felt like a complete blessing in our lives. She wouldn’t claim that either. I certainly would prefer that things had happened differently, but Cohen himself, he is a pure blessing. Pure, unadulterated grace!  

In the midst of all these changes with men in my life, these gentle shifts that were gradually moving me away from my bitter response to trauma in my life, I came to know Jerry.

LIFE-GIVING ENCOURAGEMENT

from Sharon

Last week Tammy shared some specific disciplines that she learned to put in place when the earth shifted beneath her feet. Slowly, but surely, God used those disciplines to help her walk a steady path and to prepare her for restoration that she could never have made happen, and frankly, didn’t see the need to make happen. She accepted that those relationships would never be restored and she continued to fall more in love with Jesus as she pursued intimacy with Him, intentionally choosing to experience God as her Rock, Rest, Rescue and Refuge. Tammy chose hard disciplines in response to the love of Jesus for her. His love drew her and stirred up in her a desire to really know Him and display His love to others.

What she didn’t realize is that God used those disciplines to cultivate the soil of her heart where He planned for forgiveness and grace to grow. While He poured His love into her heart, He was also pouring His grace into the hearts of those she had hurt and those who had hurt her.

Sometimes we think the only way to restoration is to do, to be, or to act. In Today’s Treasure the Psalmist reminds us that restoration is God’s work:

Restore us, O God; let Your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:3 ESV

King David describes the restoration process when He declares that his own soul will wait in silence before his God, and while waiting, David will choose to believe that God’s purposes will stand and He doesn’t need us to make them happen. As we wait in silence, we “wait” on our God through pursuing intimacy with Him, through surrendering to His love, through falling more in love with Jesus.

Is there a broken relationship that you have been trying to fix, but now see that perhaps the Lord wants you to take a few steps back, and put that person in His hands?

PRAYER

Oh Father, how precious to call You Father, Abba, Daddy. How can we say thanks for the way You tenderly carry us, even when we don’t know it is You holding us tightly in Your grip.

STORE UP MORE TREASURES

 
H&H Thorn Autism SQ.jpg
 

At some point in our lives, we or someone we know will go through great suffering. I encourage you to go the MARKINC website and listen to the interview “The Thorn of Autism" so that you can store up treasures of encouragement for the next rainy day in your life or someone else's. Here is a summary and teaser of this resource:

Nearly aborted, graciously adopted and later abandoned, Lori Sealy has traveled the road of atheism and lived a life of autism. Lori was diagnosed with Autism as an adult and not long after that diagnosis learned her son had autism as well. In this interview, parents of a young man who has autism ask Lori the questions burning in the hearts of other parents with high functioning children that struggle every day with the "thorn of autism."


Tammy Maltby is a speaker, author and media personality with a heart for helping women live rich, authentic lives. Through the gift of hospitality, she mentors women to embrace community and connect through faith and food. Tammy empowers women to start simply but simply start! A ten-year cohost of the two time Emmy-winning NRB-TV talk show of the year Aspiring Women, Tammy has been featured on hundreds of radio and television programs, including Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, Life Today with James and Betty Robinson, The 700 Club, Midday Connection and CBN’s Living the Life. She was the ongoing emcee for the John Maxwell’s international THRIVE! events.She is the mother of four grown children, two of whom are internationally adopted and seven beautiful grandsons. Tammy makes her home in Colorado Springs Co with her husband Jerry Melchisedeck Sr. 

Today’s devotion was adapted from: The God Who Sees You: Look to Him When You Feel Discouraged, Forgotten, or Invisible by Tammy Maltby; David C. Cook, 2012

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Contact Sharon with comments or questions at dailytreasure@gmail.com.