Take a listen. It’s highly recommended.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day.
And I have a lovely purple orchid gracing the antique chest in front of our window. There were wide grins and excited hopping around and lots of happy shrieking as one of my children brought it in this morning. We had a potluck at church today and in honor of Mother’s Day, the men brought the food.
There was a lot of meat, unsurprisingly.
The smoked sausage biscuits Melvin made were superb, and I’m pretty sure there weren’t any left.
There was also a lot of dessert. I even had to wonder if my brother-in-law got on Pinterest to find the gorgeous creation he made that was brownies topped with fresh strawberries and bananas and drizzled with a chocolate sauce. It was amazing. Definitely Pinterest worthy.
I had a lovely nap in the afternoon and that was also amazing.
But if I’m completely honest, this has been a hard Mother’s Day.
I am in the middle of one of the most sanctifying journies I’ve ever known. This past month has been so, very, very hard. I won’t go into detail because that’s not important. What I’m walking through is something that so many mamas have seen, and a variation of it has been known by probably every mother out there.
When your child is stuck in a place that is unexplainably, constantly, not good. When they refuse to respond. When they are stuck on themselves and no one else. Picking fights, angry, frustrated, and underneath it all, a deep, deep hurt that seems impossible. And I know there is trauma and the fact that he didn’t get to be at our house and get snuggled and loved on from his first moments. I know there were things seen and experienced that no child ever should. I grieve that I didn’t get to carry him in my womb, and rub the skin on the stomach that shielded him underneath. His heart didn’t beat beside mine, and my laboring for him is an excruciating journey that wasn’t over in 24 hours.
Yet isn’t this what all mothers know? That we labor in our hearts for our children. We never stop knowing that there is so much we don’t know. That we can’t fix.
No matter how they come or what they have seen, their sin nature is the same.
It’s just like mine, and its not overly complicated.
We all need healing, and my son is no different and no worse. He is walking a journey I wish he wasn’t choosing/didn’t have to walk, yet at the same time knowing without a shadow of a doubt that my Good Father is using and weaving and orchestrating. I know that I know that I know that God doesn’t allow pain and awful without being able to use it for something so much more beautiful than I could ask or imagine. So much abundantly above anything I could think of. All the poor choices and yucky circumstances our God is more than able to redeem.
So as hard as this Day for Mama’s has been, I think it’s also the reality of what is. What is life, sometimes, what are humans, what happens when we let go of the fairy tale in exchange for abundance of heart and mind and soul that only our King can fill us with.
I am a mother, given grace by a kind Creator, parenting children that I am being used to help mold, yet I’m only a vessel. I’m not the one who is ultimately responsible for my children’s choices, and I don’t need to try to figure out how to parent and strive and stress over the details of what has been and what might be. My job is to press hard into Jesus and thank Him for the wisdom and grace and ideas He provides, every minute, and love my children with the love that only He could give in the face of a lot of chaos and lashing out. I don’t need another parenting book (though many have lots of good thoughts), I need the fresh and reviving Word of God. And it makes me giddy to think of the possibility and hope that comes from pressing into a God that knows my child so much better than I do, resting in the fact that He sees all and knows all and does all things well.
A dear friend sent me this verse this morning –
“For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.”
Oh, friends. Dear mamas. I may be walking a hard journey. And my mind has went to so many places that I have to immediately take captive. Because this. This truth.
ANY time there is a whiff of fear? It’s not ever from God. Ever. Ever. Ever.
I used to fear all the time what my children would become. All the time. My mind was taken captive by the future I nearly thought was inevitable. And trust me, it wasn’t good.
No longer. When fear comes to my mind, I am learning to thank God for what He is doing. For how He is working in beautiful ways I can’t see yet. Every time the awful thing happens or the unthinkable enters my mind, I’m thanking Him for the beauty He brings from ashes and the deep love that He has for me and my littles. I thank Him for His love and care and that everywhere I am or am not, He is. I thank Him that there’s nothing He will allow to be wasted.
And you know what? As much as parts of this journey aren’t something I would choose – I’m finding out that the refining process and the sanctifying work that God is doing in my heart is so much preferrable to the bland and hopeless and fear-filled existences from before. It may never have been this bad before in our house, but this is a beautiful place to be. I’m not praying that it would go away for my sake, but that He would give me strength and grow me like crazy and that I would SHINE, along with praying that my son would be healed and choose life.
If God can do this work in me, when I’ve long been so defeated as a mama, I know without a shadow of a doubt that He can do the same for my dear child.
He is the God of redemption,
the God of healing,
the God that has the power to raise His Son and our hearts from death and destruction.
If, in fact, this is the God we serve, let’s stop with the fretting and the exhausted striving. If He truly is this God, and we establish that in our minds, then may we not lessen the impact of who He is by allowing the adversary to fill us with fears of who He isn’t. The one who kills, steals, and destroys is certainly not our God. But the lies, oh, they try to swoop in and steal our joy and our hope with thoughts of a God who might not come through for us.
Let us let Him fill us with impossible hope. Amazing joy. May we get alone with HIm and begin to, like Abraham,
believe against hope.
Let’s take an honest look at what we see, and stop walking by sight. Walking by faith means we take into account what we have not observed yet, and we begin to thank God for the impossible and the exciting and the wonderful that He is doing and will do. And also, for the hard journey. And that He makes it possible to have a grin and know truth and pray hope and grow like crazy in the thorny unsee-able places.
Faith, not sight.
And for any mamas who read this and identify with my story, will you join me? Let’s raise our hands and thank our Father for all He gives. And for all He does. And that He isn’t the author of fear, but that He has given us the spirit of power. Of love. And of a sound mind in the face of everything. Mothers who mother by God’s power, with His love, and whose minds are sound in the truth of a Good God and His reigning power over every event of life can laugh in the face of fears and call them out for what they are.
We can thank God for what He has done and what He is doing.
We can hope against hope.
We can thank Him for growing us.
We can thank Him that there isn’t any circumstance that’s able to steal our joy.
We can thank HIm for simply being who He is.
Appreciating, adoring, worshiping and letting our praise fight this battle.
Whatever may come and whatever lies before me,
Let me be singing when the evening comes:
Bless the Lord, Oh, my soul.
Oh, my soul!
Worship His holy name –
Sing like NEVER BEFORE, OH MY SOUL,
Come worship His holy name!