Hello friends! If you’ve spent any time here at all, you’ve read or heard my story (in part). Over the years, many have said that I need to write it down in book form. I’ve started…and stopped multiple times. Writing a whole book is a huge undertaking y’all! There are times that I’m overwhelmed with the enormity of the task. But I’m still working on it. A new opportunity has presented itself that would enable me to pitch a book idea to a publisher. I entered a writing competition through My Faith Radio, sharing how God’s grace saw me through a particularly hard time in my life. Three winners will be selected from the top 10 submissions (those with the most votes) and invited to attend a Writer’s Luncheon where each winner will have a 15-minute one-on-one appointment with an acquisition editor from Bethany House/Baker Publishing Group. THIS is so exciting! Would you please read and vote for my submission? (You have to register, but I promise it will take just one itty-bitty minute.) Click here to vote http://myfaithradio.com/2015/all-encompassing-grace/
Motherhood came to me in much the same way every other change seemed to occur in my life ~ unexpectedly.
I had been married a mere 3 months when I noticed subtle changes in my body. To be honest, I was scared silly. Scared to tell my new husband, scared our paltry paychecks wouldn’t meet our needs, and scared of the unknown.
I was scared I wouldn’t be a good mama.
I was scared I wouldn’t know how to be a good mama.
Sure, there were books. But when you’re going through something as monumental as growing a human in your a belly, you don’t want a manuscript, you want a mama to tell you it’s going to be okay.
But I didn’t have that. I had lived with 3 different significant female figures growing up, but none of them were available emotionally, to join me or cheer me on.
So I took on motherhood like I had taken on every other hard situation in life…as a challenge to be conquered.
The Bible clearly says that children are a gift from the Lord. But there were times ~ especially through the sticky teen years ~ when it didn’t feel like this call to motherhood was a gift.
I felt so inept. So unqualified. So not up to the task. I know that some of you have felt exactly the same way.
When kids are young, Mother’s Day is a delightful experience, filled with homemade cards made from colored construction paper with misspelled words and lopsided hearts. We wear cheap jewelry that turns necks, fingers and wrists green because it makes our kids light up. Because when they’re happy, everything seems right with the world.
Mother’s Day past meant breakfast in bed; an over-filled bowl of mushy Cap’n Crunch, cold toast smeared with jelly and a single wilted flower propped precariously on a tray.
But best of all were the hugs. The kind where your faces were tightly crushed up cheek to cheek and little hands pulled tightly against the back of your neck to bring you closer still. Pure sugar.
I thought about you last week. I thought about how, for so many of you, Mother’s Day was painful…because somewhere along the line, things changed.
Children grew up and chose to walk the prodigal path, causing a mama’s heart to droop lifeless, like a flower that had lost its petals. God knows, adults are responsible for their own choices, but still? It can make a mama feel like a big. fat. failure. when her kid isn’t doing well, no matter how old they are. And as much as we yearn for it, we know there are no do-overs.
For others, motherhood lost its joy when a child graduated to heaven, leaving a broken heart behind. And no matter how many days or months or years mark the calendar, the ache is just a little bit more intense on one particular Sunday.
I have friends who didn’t attend church on Mother’s Day. They stayed off social media in order to avoid instagram, twitter and Facebook status updates littered with photos of kids, all dressed up in their Sunday best and smiling big. It was just too painful. They couldn’t deal with the circumstances that have left them feeling somehow less than a mama.
I understand. I do. I’ve been there.
I’m learning that our failures are God’s opportunities.
Life isn’t a series of snapshots, but rather a movie. We can’t judge ourselves or the outcome of our lives or our kids’ lives based on any single event…or even a series of events. Why? Because we haven’t come to the end of the movie. Even death (either ours or a child’s) isn’t the end of the movie. Because of Christ, it doesn’t hold that power over us.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phillipians 1:6
So all those regrets that sit on you like a two-ton pickup? All the memories of what was that now seem impossibly gone forever? Sisters. Mamas.
We’re not in charge of the ending of our stories. God is.
And He has a wealth of promises that He has given to lift that heavy burden. So for those of you who feel like you blew it, you’re not enough, or it’s too late? I have good news for you.
It was God who called you to motherhood ~ and God doesn’t make mistakes.
So whether you bore, adopted, gave shelter to, or raised someone else’s human, whether you made one big mistake or one million. Listen well.
Our mistakes don’t disqualify us from our calling.
His grace is sufficient for you. And His love never, ever, e-v-e-r fails.