When I use the term “tender mercies” I am writing of those often over-looked blessings that come our way from the Lord. These compassionate acts of kindness are the Lord’s way of showing us that He loves us and is watching over us, often in the easily forgotten details of our lives.
Last week I went for a walk with another missionary mom and she shared some significant financial blessings that have come their way. She feels these are direct blessings for having a daughter serving a mission. An IRS audit turns into a check from the government?!? That is pretty amazing! The auditor said he’s only seen that happen once or twice in 20 years of working as an IRS auditor.
I have not received any checks from the US government … yet! I am watching my mailbox carefully!
The tender mercies I have noticed in our family have been more intimate.
My tween daughter realizing that she is braver than she knows. She faced her social anxiety and sang in a concert. She. Sang. A. SOLO. In front of people!
Let me explain. This child was so frightened to go into school when she was younger that she would bury her face into my stomach and stand atop my feet, as I goose-walked her into school as she sobbed and sobbed. She is terrified of people, especially in crowds.
She cried in the parking lot before the concert, convinced that she wouldn’t be able to do it. I was able to get her into the building and her voice teacher met her in a back room, where they warmed up and talked through her fears. Suddenly, my daughter stood up straight and said, “Okay. I’m ready.” She went out, sat composedly in her seat, and, when it was her turn, she did a brilliant job. I was in shock, joyful tears of astonishment streaming down my face.
Afterwards, I asked her how she did it. “Something just switched inside and I could turn off the fear.”
I am still astounded and amazed. This is truly a miracle that only those who know her well can fully appreciate.
Yesterday, I received a Facebook message from one of my sisters. Not a big deal, except this sister and I have had a very rough relationship for the last 20 years. Without warning, she would call me and scream obscenities over the phone; family reunions often featured her screaming her hatred for me. It has been a painful and confusing relationship. This sister and I were very close when we were young; however, as we became adults, our relationship altered and I didn’t understand why.
Her message was, “I know we have a ways to go, but I cannot tell you how much your patience, your never-never-ending patience with me has helped to open up doors for me. I just really appreciate your patience and understanding.”
My husband noticed my tears as I sat on the couch with my phone in hand, staring in bewilderment. When I shared the message with him, he looked at me with such love and understanding. He knows how much her reaching out to me means. He knows how many prayers I have uttered, hoping for reconciliation and understanding. This message from my sister was a tender mercy.
As she and I messaged back and forth, she eventually asked me to watch a show that would explain everything. Confused, I agreed. I downloaded the show to my phone, put on earphones, and curled up in bed to watch in private.
The reality-tv show features the journey of a cocaine addict who used every possible means to get money to pay for the drugs. As I watched, I cried tears of pain for my sister’s journey.
She is getting the help she needs and is obviously working on fixing relationships damaged over the years by her addictions. What a tender mercy to have her finally open up about her painful journey! She is an amazing woman and I hope she will stick to her path of healing.
She and I have struggled the last twenty years to have a relationship. Twenty long years. It is no coincidence that not even three weeks into my son’s mission, my prayers are finally being answered. Sometimes the journey of faith requires sacrifice and patience.
My heart is full as I walk through my days, with my eyes not only open to the tender mercies the Lord is blessing my family with, but actively seeking to see His hand in our lives. The more I watch for His blessings, the more I am seeing them. How good the Lord is to us. How much He wants us to know that He is here for us, in our brokenness, in our painful dark places of our hearts. God knows us and loves us. We just need to have eyes that see.
Growing up all over the world gave Emlee Taylor an opportunity to see the incredible differences the Lord created in humanity; and even better, the passions we all share as members of the human race: love for family, faith, & a desire to make a difference. Emlee lives life with passion—focusing her time now on raising four children and teaching them to recognize truth and to live true to that truth, regardless of others’ expectations. Emlee is passionately in love with her bestest friend and husband of more than 20 years.