MAY 8, 2014
Am I a Bad Mom?
"He says, 'Be still, and know that I am God'..." Psalm 46:10a (NIV)
Have you ever struggled with letting a circumstance define you? This seems to be a lesson God lets me live over and over again. He wants to be my only definition of who I am.
I am a child of God, holy and dearly loved.
I know this. I teach this. I believe this. Yet it is so easy for me to slip into redefining myself when situations arise.
Several years ago, one of my precious, precious, precious yet just-as-apt-to-sin-as-the-rest-of-us kids was called to the principal's office — on the very day I received an invitation to speak at a national parenting conference.
With my head I was able to see the situation for what it was: My child is in the process of being shaped. My child is strong, and while this will serve her well later in life, strength in an immature little person begs to be disciplined. She is a sweet child who made a not-so-sweet choice.
However, in my heart I felt like a failure. I wanted to decline the opportunity to speak and crawl into a hole. A part of me felt as though I'd personally been called to the principal's office, as the voice of condemnation started haunting me: You are a bad mom. You have a bad child. You have a bad home.
Quietly, I slipped away with Jesus and did what I'd done a hundred times before. I held those condemnations up to the Lord and asked Him to help me see this situation the way He wanted me to see it. Not the way others see it, not the way my heart is tempted to see it, but the way He sees it.
Matthew 7:24-27 brings some perspective: "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash" (NIV).
Do you know what amazes me about these verses? Both the person doing right and the person doing wrong experienced hard times. In each case the rains came, the streams rose and the wind blew and beat against the house.
Just because we're parents living out God's principles for life doesn't mean we won't face difficult circumstances.
God's Spirit spoke to my heart that day and said, "Let Me invade your natural flesh reaction. Instead of letting your mind run wild with this, sit with Me for a while. Be still, and know that I am God."
So I sat and prayed. I went from defining myself as a failure of a mom to being a praying mom who can face hardships in a godly way. The frustration diffused as I determined to look at the situation from God's perspective.
God's truth reassured me. I am not a bad mom. My child is not a bad child. My home is not a bad home.
This situation is a call to action.
There is a character issue that needs to be addressed within the heart of my child. And kids are supposed to have character issues that need to be addressed. That's why God gave them parents. That's why God gave me this specific child. God sees within me the ability to be the one He's perfectly designed to raise this child.
When hard times come and beat against our stability, we must determine to hear God's words and put them into practice. Then nothing can topple our peace, security or true identity.
I'm not sure who else needed to hear that — but I know I did. So dry your tears, sweet mama. Today is a new day. A day when we will only be defined by God's truth and grace as we navigate this wild wonder called parenthood.
Dear Lord, help me to be the mom You've called me to be today. I want to honor You in everything I do. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
TRUTH FOR TODAY:
1 John 3:20, "If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything." (NIV)
Learn more about looking to the Lord for what you need as a mom with Lysa's book, Am I Messing Up My Kids? Click here to purchase your copy! You might also save the date for our mid-summer Online Bible Study, launching July 13!
Face hardship in a godly way by praying your kids through their situations. Lysa is offering free, printable PDFs to help you do just that! Click here for 10 prayers for your daughter, andhere for 10 prayers for your son. Happy Mother's Day!
REFLECT AND RESPOND:
Write down a condemning thought you have often. Spend some time with God praying against this thought. Then, cross out that condemning thought and write down God's truth about who you are to Him instead.
© 2014 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.
Originally published Thursday, 08 May 2014.