A clumsy smile left my lips as I stumbled off the bus. I hoped to assure the bus driver that his almost missing my stop followed by an abrupt halt was understood. Was his son fighting in Gaza? Was his daughter a part of the medical unit serving on the border? He zoomed right past the stop before mine forgetting it entirely.
My mind was awash with thoughts of how the “City of Peace” was anything but this summer when the air was penetrated with an eerie, earsplitting sound. The air raid sirens were sounding in Jerusalem.
We knew this was a possibility when we moved here last October and now reality sunk in. For a split second, I took in a sight recognizable to my Western thinking as something from a movie. But this was not Hollywood and there was neither musical score nor slow-motion movement. Real people, my neighbors began running. Drivers frantically sped up their cars to get home or stopped completely so that they and their passengers could get out, duck, and take cover. I was not going to get home in a minute and a half. I crouched down on the east side of the nearest block wall. A loud boom was heard overhead. The Iron Dome intercepted four rockets aimed at Jerusalem that evening at dusk.
There is about a second and a half to two seconds of a hush and a standstill after a rocket explodes. And in that still and silence, I realized something very profound which changed my life and thrust me into two months of in depth self-realization.
I was not afraid.
This from a girl who fell asleep at night replaying every Mexican ghost story I’d ever been told as a child.
This from a girl who spent a year going to the emergency room with anxiety attacks as a young woman.
Rockets flew and were intercepted above my neighborhood and I was not afraid.
Since then the Holy Spirit has reminded me of the many altars I visited in my lifetime and the many things I’ve laid down in surrender. I was not afraid this day because I’ve counted the cost. He showed me the altar I visited when I was 17 years old and said I would give up my dreams and follow Him into ministry. He showed me the altar I visited when I was 23 and moved away from home for the last time. He showed me the altar I visited last year when He called my family and me to pack up our lives and move to Israel.
I was quite proud of myself realizing I was not afraid during the siren because I had already surrendered my life to God.
And then He led me to another altar. This altar was different from the rest because while the others had the appearance of having been abandoned, this altar looked well maintained. As if it had been visited often.
I inquired of the Lord, “What has been laid on this pristine altar?”
He replied, “Your daughters.”
“Why aren’t they on it?” I asked.
“Isn’t an altar made for a sacrifice?”
“Yes it is.”
It was then that I realized where my greatest fears resided.
When each of my girls was a newborn we did the traditional Christian dedication. We stood immaculately dressed in front of our congregation, with verses chosen in prayer, and dedicated both Eden and Leia to God. But something detrimental happened not long after those prayers of dedication were said.
I took them back.
When Eden went to public school, I waited anxiety-ridden for 6 hours each day to get into the pick-up line so I could have my girl back.
When they began making friends I was fearful of the influences they were subjecting themselves to.
And now, as we move into a new phase of life laced with adolescent moods, new likes and dislikes, and a constant pull toward more independence, I have found myself riddled with a need for control, accompanied by my raging enemy – fear.
I am more desperate for the daily bread only God can give. I am committing morning by morning not to remove my girls from the altar of surrender.
I have become flesh to Proverbs 3:5-6, trusting in the Lord with all of my heart. Fighting momentarily not to lean on my own understanding. Acknowledging Him in every dealing with my girls. And I am finding that He is directing not only my path, but theirs as well.
I am relearning and ancient Truth: His ways and His thoughts toward Eden and Leia are higher than mine.
Welcome to Ungrind!
Do you want to be inspired, motivated, and equipped to live the everyday story of your life well?
If so, you’re in the right place. Whether you need encouragement in your relationships or in your faith, I hope you’ll find the transparent voices of mentors and friends here at Ungrind.
So, grab a cup of coffee and keep reading. We're so glad you're here!
Ashleigh Slater, Founder & Managing Editor
Get Our Free Ebook!
To Those Who Want To Be Truly Happy: Stop Chasing Happiness
Chasing happiness isn't all it's cracked up to be. Here are a few reasons why.
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions
The Psalms is a book that's rich with the reality of what life's like in this fallen world. Here are...
3 Ways to Navigate Personality Differences
Sometimes personality differences can wear on us. Here are three ways we can navigate them in a loving manner.
Surprised By ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’
If you haven't seen this film, God may speak to your heart through it in ways you weren't expecting.
The Wedding Ring
Are you struggling in your marriage? Here's how a wedding ring helped one wife fight for her marriage.
5 Ways to Live an Out-of-Control Life
Here are 5 ways to let go of control and trust your present and your future to God.
5 Creative Places to Find Prayer Accountability
Do you want to pray more, but are easily distracted? Here are some practical ways to stay focused.
What Women Are Saying
-- Emily P. Freeman, author of Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life
"Real life is not always pleasant. Every marriage experiences disappointments, misunderstandings, sickness and financial crisis. Ashleigh doesn’t camouflage the pain in her own marriage, and offers practical ideas on how to walk through the difficulties and find intimacy on the journey. If you are anything like me, I predict that as you read, you too will find yourself laughing, wiping tears, and saying 'Oh, yes.'"
-- Gary Chapman, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The 5 Love Languages
We are a member of the Amazon affiliate program and regularly use affiliate links. If you purchase an item from an Amazon link we provide, we will receive a small referral commission. This doesn’t cost you anything additional. We only share books, music, and products that our writers personally have used and highly recommend.
Faith4 years ago
When Doing Justly, Loving Mercy, and Walking Humbly Stand at Odds
Motherhood4 years ago
Surviving a Strong-Willed Child
Faith5 years ago
7 Ways to Create A Family Altar
Friendship6 years ago
Beyond the Registry: The Ultimate Gift Guide for Expectant Parents
Relationships8 months ago
5 Ways to Teach Your Child to Hear God
Marriage6 years ago
4 Reasons I’m Not Facebook Friends With My Husband
Everyday Faith5 years ago
6 Simple Ways to Give Thanks in the Thick of It
Articles6 years ago
10 Ways Life is Like a Box of Chocolates
Articles7 years ago
How to Lift Up the One You Love
Articles6 years ago
Relationships1 year ago
Facing Our Motherhood Fears
Digging Into Scripture5 months ago
How the Psalms Speak to Our Emotions