The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring new goods to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound, to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort those who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion – to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, and planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair cities, the devastations of many generations.

Isaiah 61: 1-4

Parent Orientation at Veritas Academy is an upbeat event at the start of each school year that all parents are asked to attend.  I had planned to share a vision to our entire community about “these things” – or what in Greek is referred to as TAUTA, my passionate plea for parents and educators today.  I struggled with how to share in 30 minutes what the Lord had been revealing to me for months and months.
Over the weekend, I felt prompted to share this message within the context of a true story from my own past –  a painful story that I had previously only shared with my husband. I crafted an outline of my story but when Monday arrived, I found myself questioning the wisdom in this plan.  But there I was  facing our school community that evening with the same notes in hand I started the day out with.  Unexpected interruptions had eaten up my time and it was too late to attempt a different direction.   I walked to the stage feeling woefully inadequate, nervous and drained. What value would my old story have for others anyway? I envisioned the night falling flat and parents leaving the room wondering what on earth was my point!
As I spoke however, tears were streaming down faces of not just moms but also dads.  God was softening hearts and He was using my story to get His message through.  He had emptied me of confidence in my own thoughts so that all I could offer that evening was His life flowing out of me.  I was reminded once again that in my own strength I have nothing to offer.
My story is a reflection of HIS STORY –  the redemption and renewal of individual lives as God makes “beauty out of ashes and brings praise to the lips of the faint hearted”.  God had his hand on my life even when I struggled through some nightmarish experiences as a teen and out of this pain he fueled a passion within me to encourage parents to really get to know their children and to disciple each child purposely.
My dad passed away seven years ago – a good man who had worked hard his entire life.  I mourned his death but I also mourned the fact that we never really got to know each other. He never really knew how badly I had wanted his involvement and protection as a young teen. (More on my story in future blogs)
Driving home after the session, I felt weak and shaky while Satan attempted to fill the vulnerable places I had openly shared with his usual tactics of shame, guilt, and condemnation.   God comforted my heart with His silent words of confirmation however. His peace was a far greater presence shoving out the devil’s lies.
The message God has placed on my heart for parents  is simple, yet profound. And it is complete.  TAUTA is about growing seven qualities in increasing measure.  Even the number seven denotes completion.  TAUTA is not an ideology and it is far more than a compilation of tips and suggestions.  It is scriptural truth with power to transform that provides clear focus and keeps us steadfast in our spiritual growth in the midst of a culture of false teaching.
In the weeks to come:  More about TAUTA as described in II Peter.
NOTE:  In the meantime, please read II Peter and pray over the profound message in this book.  Please share your stories with me as well.  God’s redemptive work is made clear in the context of our life stories.