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“His Grace is Sufficient”

by Karen Lollis

Steve & Karen Lollis

Thou shall not have any other Gods before me. I am a jealous God. Has God ever spoken that to you?

We may love God and worship him, but we may not realize that He is a jealous God. Many times we are consumed with our lives and what is important to us and what we want. I feel like the Lord has shown me much about myself and has revealed to me sin in my life. The sin in my life was not having faith or believing God. The faith that I had was in myself, not in my creator. I did my best to make it happen.

I was brought up in a Christian home and as a young person was tender toward the Lord. I wanted to please the Lord and to be the kind of person I thought He wanted me to be. I even considered that He wanted me to be a missionary, after all, when you dedicate your life to the LORD, what else did it mean???? I think without realizing it I felt my approval of the Lord was based on what I did or what I could do for Him. Not until I was grown did I realize that my salvation was based on what the Lord did for me and not on what I could do for Him.

The cross is a great mystery that only comes through revelation from God. He has to open our blind eyes to reveal to us what his dying on the cross did for us. The Lord showed me that my way is opposite from God’s way and that in itself forms a cross. Until we embrace the cross we cannot comprehend or even understand His great love for us. I believe as we grow in Grace and understanding of the word, we learn about His great love and what He has done for us. What we can do for Him becomes of little or no importance.

As I became a young woman I met my husband. We were teenage sweet hearts. We married very early and I became a mother at age 17. My husband was a very conscientious young man and a hard worker. He became involved in his work with great ambitions to succeed. I loved being a mother and I wanted to be the best mother I knew how to be, believing that would please God. I am sure he does want us to be good mothers and hard workers but I believe we need to learn to put everything in the right perspective. Satan can use good and right things and still deceive us.

As my marriage continued we had three children. My husband became successful in his own business. Before I knew it my children became the object of my affection. I believe they were more important to me than my marriage, my husband and even God. I know now that is out of order. I am convinced that God became jealous of my idols. How could He bless me when our home was out of order? The Lord showed me that my affections had become what the scriptures refer to as inordinate affections (not normal). I looked to my children to bring me satisfaction, happiness and fulfillment. I became a controlling force in their lives. I became enslaved to them and what they did and who and what they were. I had expectations that would never be met. I expected perfection. The love I had for my children was nothing more than a selfish desire to puff me up. God was not interested in how good a mother I could be, or how good my children were. The truth is that God is the only one that is good. There is none good but God.

It was the goodness and mercy of God that brought my “perfect world,” (children, family, etc.) down. He loved me so much that he allowed all my false impressions of what I thought was so important to crumble.

My oldest daughter who had always been very obedient and a model child was beautiful and everything to be proud of. She came home one day, right after her 20th birthday to tell me that she was a lesbian. For me to be able to even speak these words is a miracle, for at the time I was so ashamed and devastated. How could God allow this to happen to me? It could not be so. We had never had any real problems. We had good children, a successful business and were active in church. I thought we were doing all the right things. My nightmare had begun. My dreams were shattered, my heart broken.

Brother Thomas was as surprised and shocked as we were. He had always thought a lot of our daughter and had a lot of respect for her and our family. He talked with her but to no avail. Her eyes were blinded. She had been swept into deception by things that we had unknowingly allowed. The scripture, “All things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to his purpose” was so hard to understand. How could this work together for good? I could not understand, nor did I want to.

Brother Thomas prayed with us and told us that this would be a trial of our faith, but that God’s grace was sufficient. What? I did not want grace, I wanted God to fix this mess! I became depressed and I believe I went through a nervous breakdown. I did not seek a doctor’s help because I could not even discuss this painful ordeal with anyone. I do know that God has been with me all the while though. I thank him for never leaving me or forsaking me, even though at times I thought He seemed unreachable.

Our daughter was confused and this was a very painful thing for her, because she didn’t understand it herself. She loved us and didn’t want to hurt us, so all she could do was separate herself from us. I thought I couldn’t live. I would have bad days and then I would rise above it with God’s help and from my husband and supportive friends and church family members. Then I would take a nosedive and get lost in my self pity. The emotional roller coaster was never ending.

I prayed continually but never really came to rest. My relationship with my husband suffered tremendously. I found myself blaming my husband, God, myself and never finding peace. I lost confidence in myself. What a wretched person I became.

I can’t really say that one particular incident or thing turned things around. I believe, time, prayer, and above all, a faithful loving God did. I always believed that somehow God would fix things, I knew that He could. I held on to that with all my might. I struggled with all my being and fought with all I knew. Somehow God granted me GRACE to be able to LET IT ALL GO and surrender. He showed me He was in control, even though I couldn’t understand it all. He helped me to know He loved me enough to upset my “perfect world.” Being perfect, having perfect children (which doesn’t even exist) was not what He was after. His purpose was to lead me in and through all these things to humble me, to prove me (try me) that I would know what He had placed in my heart.

He showed me that, He loved me so much, that He sent His only Son, whom He loved even more than I could love my own child. To take upon Himself my sins and die for me. He revealed to me the cross and showed me that I could trust Him and know that He was God and that I could believe He rewards those that diligently seek Him.

It is what He has done for me that has made the difference, not what I can do for him. It is done. Praise God! To let go and let God have his way is nigh impossible IF WE DON’T LET HIM WORK IT IN US. I thank God that he is long suffering and patient. I thank God that I am FREE. Free to be me and to trust Him to be God, to trust Him with my children, which are still very important to me, (but in the proper perspective). He is able to save to the uttermost and it is His Business, because He is God and beside Him there is no other.

My being free has helped my relationship with my daughter. I am looking to Him to give me the grace I need daily in every situation. She is in his hands, I know that God will not lose one of his children. God loves his children enough to let them make mistakes and learn His ways, to show us ourselves and our own selfishness.

My life is on the right track and things are in order. I have a peace that passes all understanding and the things that were in my head have been placed in my heart. My husband, praise God, has stood beside me and loved me all the way. God is so good. His grace is truly sufficient to carry us through whatever he allows to come our way. He leads His dear children along and gives us victory in the midst of the most devastating trial. I know whom I have believed and I am persuaded and believe that He is able to keep all that I have committed unto him until that day. I rejoice knowing that nothing can separate me from the love of God. Thank God that He is faithful.

Karen Lollis -- 2/1999

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