Fear. It is so insidious, so deceptive. It can bind us, shackle us, keep us tied up by shame and guilt and regret…because often it looks responsible and mature. The Lord has been revealing more to me about my fear as I have been working through the Fearless study. This time He has been powerfully speaking to me about my fear of failure…specifically as a mother.
This fear grips me almost every morning as I wake and consider whether or not I will be able to love my children well or not lose my temper and speak harshly or unkindly…and it follows me to bed every night as the regret and remorse over what I didn’t do well for the day replays over and over in my mind.
And as I am reading the story of Jesus and the disciples and how He left them in the boat…by themselves during the storm…I think I can relate deeply to the disciples in their bewilderment and fear. I have cried out to the Lord over and over again to give me a patient heart, kind and gentle words and encouragement instead of criticism when I am interacting with my children. And night after night I go to bed wondering if He has heard my prayers because it seems I have failed once again. WHERE IS MY SAVIOR? WHY DOES HE LEAVE ME IN THIS HORRIBLE, FLESHLY STATE?
And then His words in Matthew 14:27 ring so sweetly in my ears, “But immediately Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.’” The command to not fear only makes sense when preceded by Jesus’ statement, “It is I.” I am the One who spoke the world into being, who created you, who sits sovereignly as Ruler of All. The Great I Am is commanding us to…NOT BE AFRAID.
But I know my sin and my selfishness and my pride that leads to anger and my inability to love my children unconditionally at times. What if I every day I confessed these struggles to the Lord and asked for His grace to overcome AND stopped ruminating over my failures all day? What if I clung to and spoke the truth to my heart that Paul gives us in 2 Corinthians 12:9 that His GRACE is SUFFICIENT and His POWER is made perfect in my WEAKNESS? What if I entrusted all of my concerns about school and discipline and extra-curricular activities to the Lord, trusting that He knows my children’s needs better than I do? What if I walked forward with JOY and PEACE in the Lord instead of frustration and regret…what if?
The struggle is that taking this approach seems irresponsible and in many ways foolish in my human-thinking. Yes, God is able but I am still their MOM. Moms worry, that’s just what they do. But then I am confronted by how much of my fear is really rooted in pride and idolatry of self, thinking that somehow it is up to or about me, when in reality it is all about Him. These precious children have been entrusted to me by their Heavenly Father and the plans and purposes for their life, according to Psalm 139:16 were written before one of them came to be.
Being a mom does not equal being God to my children. In fact, in confessing my failures and weaknesses to them and asking for forgiveness, I can then remind them that they have a Heavenly Father whose love for them is perfect in every way. And, they have an opportunity to see grace in action as Jesus forgives their fallible and weak mom who is desperately in need of His daily mercy and grace. And perhaps they will catch a glimpse of one of Jesus’s most powerful blessings from the beatitudes in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Rooted in Christ