Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A mini mom-testimony

As a strongly melancholy personality, I had been struggling with my role as a mother.... every flaw, every mistake, every failure magnified times 10. For more than a year, I silently suffered in the chains of feeling like I was wrecking my kids and that I was a terrible mom. The pressure of raising children to love God & love others was getting to me – and I’m afraid I wasn't responding to it very well... comparing myself to others (and coming up short); looking for the fruit of good behavior in my young boys and feeling like a failure when I couldn’t see it; giving-in to feelings of frustration and anger toward my boys; and feeling like I’d never be a good enough mom.... It all led to hopelessness & despair...

I cannot express how heavily weighed-down I was by feelings of guilt, shame, and hopelessness. Those days were pretty dark. I half-seriously considered my options... Chocolate in large quantities? Strong drinks? Push away from friends and hide from everyone? Walk away from God and my family?

Well, [obviously] I chose to stick with my family... and I chose to continue following God. I committed to reading the Bible (most days) – but I really toiled through it some days... how could God love me and forgive me over and over again? In Romans 5:8 it says that Jesus died for me while I was still a sinner. It seemed too good to be true, but I had to choose to believe it, because all Scripture is inspired by God. Some days fell flat... but I knew that I certainly was far worse off without God...

I was desperate and hungry, so I kept "mining" God’s Word looking for gold... for the truth (to destroy the lies I had been believing about myself) and to find hope. One of the nuggets I found was in Acts 17:26-27 – which says, “From one man He made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.” It became so clear that God chose me to be the mother of my two boys. No matter where I am on the “good mom” spectrum, He felt I would be the best mom for them, giving them the best chance of finding Him.

But probably the biggest profound paradigm shift came from a friend who cared...

I mentioned to this friend, in a recent conversation, that parenting is one of the hardest things I have ever done. He listened carefully, and then brought up how – many people struggle with worrying that they're going to wreck their kids.... but the truth is that they are already wrecked... born with a sin nature. They were not born sin-free & perfect – they were born broken! This was a revolutionary thought for me. I felt like, on the spot, God gave me a mental picture of me molding clay – that my job is to mold my children for His purposes, training them up in His ways – rather than me franticly trying to glue back together the pieces of a clay pot that I broke. And that overwhelming parenting burden was immediately lifted.

2 comments:

Wally Family said...

wonderful insights, Sara! Thank you so much for sharing so openly. It's an encouragement to me. :)

Kim said...

You are a blessing!!!!!!!!!!!