Parenthood is a not-always-so-funny, yet funny thing. In my case (but I know this isn’t always the case), you find out you are pregnant and from the second that double line turns pink, that circle turns to a plus, or the word “pregnant” pops up on that stick you are overcome with joy. “It worked!!! I am really going to be a mom!” Or, “Wow, I am going to be a mom again, my baby is going to be a big brother!”
Usually, the joy bowls you over. Knocks the wind straight out of your chest. Or maybe at first you had to come to grips with the fact that you were pregnant and once that happens you can’t even imagine not planning for a new life to add to your family. Unfortunately, the enemy is also there lurking, waiting to sneak in and steal our joy.
He loves planting a thought in our head that brews a fresh pot of fear:
“What if I can’t do it?”
“What if I fail?”
“What if my child has special needs that I am not equipped to handle?”
“What if my child gets seriously sick?”
“What if I am a bad parent?”
“What if we can’t afford it?”
“What if they need more from me than I am able to give?”
I could sit here and write a list of my own parenting worries and fears a mile and a half long.
The thing is, we are never supposed to be enough as parents.
I have only been a mom for 6 years and a mom of 3 boys for only 2 years. But, I learned very quickly: We can’t possibly be enough for our kids. We don’t have enough hands, enough energy, enough time, enough patience. We cannot do it alone. Then I realized:
We aren’t supposed to do it alone!
That is how God created humans, and that is how he designed parenthood. He set us up to “fail” so that we would ALWAYS INCLUDE HIM. He wants us to always look to Him, to always seek His guidance first, to always lay everything at His feet.
Is that not what you expected?
Did you think you would get the hang of it quickly? Did you think you would master it like you did everything else at life? I did. I have been good at everything I have tried. I was captain of my soccer and track teams, got into the college of my choice, and married my childhood sweetheart. Everything always came perfectly naturally to me. Except parenting small children.
I learned that each stage is different, and each kid is different. There is no status quo, there is no expert level mastery. Even seasoned-veteran parents are feeling like an expert at something, but then launching into a new stage that is completely new territory. When kids are grown and move out parents are left to navigate new boundaries, new expectations, and then they start all over with grandparenthood.
His grace is sufficient.
When I feel like I want to play hide-and-seek and never be found, get called to jury duty so I have a day of quiet, or just cry in a closet somewhere, I am reminded of this. It’s ok to not have all the answers. I am supposed to need help, I am supposed to call on the Lord. That’s the whole point. My daily mantra is from Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” Parenting has me shouting and boasting my weaknesses from the rooftop. I have learned perfection was never the goal. If I were perfect then surely I could do this gig alone. But, man, I don’t want to. I want that grace poured down on me so I can dish it out to those around me.
He gave ME these kids. He made each and every child special and different. And He chose ME TO BE THEIR MOM. Nobody else. I am the only one in the world that He chose to be the mother of my 3 kids.
We are called to love our children and to point them back to the ONE who is getting us through. The one who gave them to us and gave us to them. Our kids don’t want perfect parents, they want that parent that was overflowing with joy at the gift placed into their arms for the very first time. God doesn’t want perfect parents either. He wants us to cling to him in full dependence, every step of the way.
Click here to learn more about and watch the 2nd season of God TV’s The Mum Show. Be inspired with more wisdom on raising children.
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