When Strong Mamas Feel Quite Weak
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
I stood at the vending machine, infuriated.
More than annoyed. More than mad. More than angry.
A girl can sometimes have out-of-proportion responses to the wrong she is experiencing. And like a compass pointing true north, this infuriation pointed somewhere. Somewhere I didn't want to explore.
I wanted a Diet Coke. So I did what was required. I followed the rules. I put in the required money. I pushed the right button.
Only what I got wasn't at all what I wanted.
Something had gone wrong.
I clenched my fists and bit my lip.
And I knew. My out-of-proportion response wasn't really about a soda. It was about being disillusioned by one of my teens.
It was about my feeling that if I did all the right things, I would get all the right results. You do what's expected of you, and you'll get what you expect. Right?
Put in the money. Push the button. Get the Diet Coke.
Put in all the time and love. Daddy-daughter date nights. Intentionality. Prayer. Discipline. Bible lessons. Church. Dinners at the table. Talks at bedtime. Kisses. Hugs. And chores.
Push the button. Get the child who walks the straight and narrow.
But, no. Sometimes you get the unexpected.
And you know what I'm tempted to do as a mom? Draw a straight line from my child's wrong choice to my weakness in mothering.
That will just about kill a mama. Crack her heart open and fill it with paralyzing regret of the past and fear for the future. And that's exactly where Satan wants us mamas to stay. Paralyzed.
But what if that's the wrong line to draw?
What if I'm supposed to draw a straight line from my child's wrong choice to my strength in mothering?
What if God said ...
"What mama is strong enough, persevering enough, tough enough to bend without breaking under the weight of the choices this child will make?
"What mama is willing to be humbled to the point of humiliation, yet not blinded to the wisdom to be discovered in this situation, much like finding diamonds hidden in dirty places?
"What mama will not just pray for this child, but will truly pray this child all the way through their stuff?
"What mama will be courageous enough to let Me write her child's story?"
And then God points.
I can't say I ever wanted God to be pointing in my direction. I can't. But sometimes we get the unexpected.
And I guess I'm just wanting to breathe hope into someone else's paralyzed place.
In Joshua 1:9, God clearly instructs us to remember the importance of staying strong when going into battle. In fact, He commands us to be: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
Mama, you are strong. Persevering. Tough. Able to bend without breaking. Willing to be humbled to the point of humiliation. Not blinded. A hunter for wisdom. A praying-through-it woman. A courageous mama. One who wants her child to not just follow the rules, but more.
You want your child to find a deep dependence to follow after God Himself.
Let me take your hand. And stand with you.
From that cracked open-heart place, a God-breathed strength will rise. Rise. Rise.
And help you declare to Satan, "You picked the wrong mama to mess with this time."
Dear Lord, I'm asking for Your strength to fill me and my weak places today. Facing these difficult moments is sometimes crippling, but I know I can overcome all things through Your power within me. Help me to see this hard time as an opportunity to grow closer to You. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
2 Timothy 1:7, "For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline." (NIV)
Isaiah 40:31, "But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." (NIV)
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
How does the thought of truly relying on God as your strength make you feel? What is holding you back from trusting He will see you and your child through this season?
Write down the Truth for Today verses and place them where you'll see them every day — your bathroom mirror, the dashboard of your car, etc. These reminders of His character and strength will be a daily encouragement!