My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you so that you will love one another.
— John 15:16-17
And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?
— Esther 4:14
“Give it a few years, you’ll be more suited for motherhood when they’re older.”
“Nurturing just isn’t your thing.”
“You’re not like her, she is compassionate and maternal. You’re just different.”
Lies, all lies. Lies I have heard multiple times in the course of my parenting journey, and more importantly, all lies I have believed.
Satan didn’t have to feed me much more than this to get his desired result—a disconnected, bored, out-of-place mama, who wondered if she made a terrible life mistake. I viewed my children as energy and independence-drains that needed to be shuffled from activity to activity, place to place, in the most efficient way, so as to keep as much of my own sanity as was humanly possible.
God is gracious and merciful, and He didn’t allow me to stay there for long. He used a small group to reveal my sin patterns, and to cause me to grieve the lost months (years?), and to find forgiveness, redemption and change at the cross. Those subtle lies resulted in a belief system that hissed “I don’t have what it takes” and encouraged behavior patterns of disengagement from my small children, and God wants to reveal Himself through my being engaged in a beautiful way with them! Scripture teaches us that we have exactly what it takes, for precisely this moment, day, phase, and child, and that if we are in need of any wisdom we simply have to ask. The truth is that he chose ME (and not another mother) to be the mama for these children. I don’t have what it takes for my friend’s children. I don’t have what it takes for yours. But I do have what it takes for mine—by His grace and mercy, I’ve got all the tools in my toolbox.
There is so much power in that! If we really believe this stuff, we can walk into what he’s calling us to, right now in this minute! I no longer have to look to some unforeseen future date where I realize, “Oh, now I’m good at being a mom.” It means that my strengths and weaknesses, successes and “failures” are all perfectly suited to what God wants to do in the life of my child, for the purposes of their own sanctification and faith journey, and that he will use them. It means that, thanks be to God, I’m not ultimately in control.
- I don’t think that all women are disengaged from their children, but are you?
- Name a specific lie that you hear in regard to parenting, and name its consequence. What (or who) suffers when you believe it?
Lord, I want to engage with my children. Show me what stands in the way so I may have a repentant heart, and experience the ways in which you want to bring life to my family through me.
Reprinted with permission: Engaging Motherhood, Heart Preparation for a Holy Calling Week 3, Control (CDM, 2016)
— By Holly Mackle, Guest Writer