My son turned 1 recently. His birthday party felt like a celebration of his life and our survival as parents. As I look back on this past year, it has been the most exciting and terrifying rollercoaster ride. Never before have I felt so turned upside down and inside out so much in such a short span of time. I have come to know and un-know myself as a person in so many aspects, but here are a few:
- Sense of strength
- Motherhood has helped me see how strong and simultaneously weak I am. I have been able to endure so much and discovered this herculean strength when it comes to protecting my child. I will jump in front of a car for my child and often think about how I can shield my son from danger in seemingly precarious situations. At the same time, I see how little strength I have to get through the day. There are many times where I will lie down in Judah’s room and just have him crawl around/over me because that’s about all I can do. This is a true story of many more days than I’d like to admit.
- Sense of purpose
- Becoming a mother has given mutual clarity and confusion to my calling. I’m constantly thinking about how to be a good and godly mother to my child. It’s a calling and privilege. At a time when my child’s demands are pretty high, it’s difficult to discern how to be faithful in all of the areas of my life. What does it look like to be a faithful church planter, wife, child of God, and mother at the same time? When people ask me what I do, I am at a loss of words to adequately explain what I do – because there’s no job title that fully encapsulates my life and purpose
- Sense of love
- My heart has grown so much since having my son. I didn’t know I could love someone so much. When he smiles, I melt and am so utterly thankful to have this privilege of being a mother. At the same time, I feel the limits of my love when the day goes awry and my son suddenly decides to stop eating/sleeping and bursts out in tears in a crowded mrt and we’re still 6 stops away from our destination. When I’m already exhausted and my son refuses to eat/sleep/etc, I feel betrayed by/inept/frustrated at my situation and ashamed that I have so quickly forgotten that mother’s love.
I used to think that I had to be consistently “insert adjective” in all areas of my life. In the course of one day, I can be confronted with a situation that will reveal that I am much stronger than I realized, and then immediately run into a situation where I realize how utterly weak I am. Both are true, and I need to be ok with that.
With all that said, the most consistent lesson I’ve learned is how much more I need God in my life. The more deeply I understand the complexities of myself and my sin, the more I see the blaring need for the only love that is capable of covering those sins, redeeming my weaknesses, and expanding my heart.
I read many articles that tell me that I’m perfect the way that I am and I’m doing great. And while they’re often refreshing words to read in an otherwise defeated moment, they’re simply not enough and sometimes not true. I am not enough, but God is. I am sometimes doing the best I can as a daughter/mom/friend/etc, but sometimes, I can truthfully do better. Sometimes I really need a hug and someone to say “you’re doing great”. Other times, I need a tough but loving reminder that I’ve got to keep pushing forward and not become complacent where I am (a hug would help at this moment too).
As I was reading the Bible today, I came across this passage:
“You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy. They’ll turn their backs on truth and chase mirages. But you —keep your eye on what you’re doing; accept the hard times along with the good; keep the Message alive; do a thorough job as God’s servant.”
2 Timothy 4:3-5 MSG
I was challenged by Paul’s reminder to Timothy to stay focused in living for God and not get caught up in the day’s platitudes. When I’m feeling down and insecure, wondering if I’m strong enough, loving enough, purposeful enough, there is a strong temptation is to seek validation from anyone/anything. But as I go deeper into parenthood, building the church, and life in general, I see that I need God’s truth more than a catchy saying in cursive overlaying a scenic background.
Please pray for my family and me: through every up and down, may we may be rooted in God’s truth and keep His message alive through the way we live.