I have recently been on a journey of surrender.
I have the privilege of leading a women’s ministry at our church. I love the time I get to spend with other moms, encouraging them to pour God’s Word into their children and equipping them to do that well. I also try to encourage them that there are no perfect moms. Our children will make mistakes along the way and, as hard as it may be, we can’t own every one of those mistakes and toss them on our ever-growing pile of regrets.
The problem is I don’t always take my own advice. As a mom I feel I take so many of my children’s mistakes personally and I spend more time on the defensive trying to build bumper pads between my kids and the evils of the world than I do simply loving them and showing them Christ.
I didn’t grow up in the ideal home. My dad passed away when I was very young, and I’ve never had a close relationship with my mom. Even more evidence of God’s humor that He asked me to be the mother of such a large family! I feel completely inadequate to do this job and do it well.
Having a large family has its benefits (besides the mounds of Mother’s Day cards and infinite hello and goodbye hugs and kisses!). Spiritually, it has emptied me of myself in ways I never could have imagined. We have seen God’s hand of blessing in ways too numerous to ever completely write down.
But because of my background, I’m realizing more everyday that having a large family has also multiplied my fears and anxieties. I live in constant fear of never being enough, never leading my children to Christ, and worst of all (to my emotional momma heart) my children hating me and having a severed relationship in their adulthood. When I start thinking about one of my child’s mistakes, it grows in my head so fast. In a matter of minutes the smallest of errors has inflated into a full blown crisis like dumping a box of water beads into a swimming pool!
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus walked intimately with his disciples. His students. His friends. And there are many references throughout scripture that tell us, especially nearing the end of His time on earth, that He knew one of them would fail. One of them would not choose the right path. But never once is there a reference to Jesus’ panic. He didn’t try to take Judas aside and show him the error of his ways. He never even calls him out by name when He knew specifically Judas was the one. He did the same as He had done throughout the rest of His time here. He loved him. Why? Because he knew the story was God’s, and the ending, no matter what it was, would be for God’s glory.
We moms don’t need to run around with a pitcher of water trying to put out fires. We don’t need to wrap our children in bubble wrap or tape blinders to the side of their head. Our kids are going to mess up. They’re going to say and do things that show the sinful parts of their heart (just like we do). But we can rest on the promises of God. He loves each of our children more than we do.
And you know what? The coin has a flip side.
Recently one of my children, whom I’ve prayed for earnestly for a very long time, bared their heart in front of a group of people and gave God glory for some work he’s doing in them.
Can’t even type that without a flood of tears….I’ll need a minute…
I was so proud. My heart sang.
But I didn’t pat myself on the back for finally winning a blue ribbon.
I was praising Jesus and thanking God for His goodness. You see, not only can we release ourselves from our children’s failures, we also don’t get to claim their victories.
James 1 says, “Every good and perfect gift is from above.”
I don’t have the ability to change my children’s hearts. Only God can draw them to Himself. I’m simply to walk in obedience and do my part to plant and water seeds.
God gets to claim the W.