true reassurance for the flattered-to-death mom.

i've seen a lot of posts lately along the lines of, 'hey you, Mom Out There, you're doing a great job!  you may not feel like it, but you really are!'  to be blunt, i find these posts a little exasperating because, a) hey, Blogger Out There, you don't even know me, so how do you know? and b) i'm pretty sure i'm not really, at the heart of it all, doing all that good a job.

it's not self-pity, it's just honesty.  a lot of the time i'm failing.  most of us (all of us, surely) are.  not to pooh-pooh the carte-blanche reassurance of my mothering, but i'm not really sure that the thing any of us truly needs is some platitude from a stranger to make us feel temporarily, artificially good about ourselves.

what we do need is jesus.  it's always, only, ever jesus.

the life of jesus: i need the perfection of jesus' life.  i desperately need to be like him: always joyfully willing to nurture, and comfort, and speak truth, and spend sleepless nights for, and pray for, and correct, and sacrifice EVERYTHING for the little ones in my care.  while these things are far from 100% true of me, they are 100% true of jesus, and the really audacious thing is that god gives me that record in christ.  that's how he chooses to see me.  i'm clothed in the righteousness of christ, and god sees me only, ever, always as a perfect mother.  not because i earned it, but because jesus did.  it's so shocking it's almost offensive, but it's true.  it's true of me, and it's true of you if you're in christ.

the death of jesus:  i need the forgiveness of jesus' death.  i yell at my kids.  i wish for more 'me-time.'  on dark days, i wish my life were different and unencumbered.  i wish away the biggest blessings i've been given, and demand other, more trivial things.  i'm selfish.  i'm lazy.  i get too angry about all the wrong things, and am apathetic toward all the important things.  i am an affront to the perfect, sacrificial, giving, compassionate, patient holiness of god.  and yet... jesus became all of these things on the cross so i can stand scot-free in front of the throne of god.  he absorbed the wrath of god into himself so that i can walk away from condemnation and shame and burden, in forgiveness and freedom, toward the father.  i don't have to run away or hide anymore.  that is true.  it's true for me, and it's true for you if you're in christ.

the resurrection of jesus: i need the hope of jesus' resurrection.  i am not the person i wish i was, but i have unshakable hope that i am being made into the likeness of that person.  jesus rose from the dead!  he conquered death itself.  sin itself.  slavery itself.  someday in heaven, i will be given a new, perfected self, but until that day, the powerful holy spirit is inside me, making me like christ, making me brand-new.  i am not enslaved to sin.  i am not defined by sin.  i am not who i was.  i am in jesus, and i will be a better mother because of it.  he doesn't leave me to walk around crippled by my old self.  i am new, and i am being made new.  that is true.  it's true of me, and it's true of you if you're in christ.

i am not really all that great of a mother.  but i serve a great god who covered my sin with his blood and in turn offers me righteousness.  i serve a god who gives me what i didn't earn or deserve.  a god who makes me more like himself everyday, not because i'm trying harder and doing better and somehow 'good enough' for him, but because he's capable and willing to take mud and turn it into diamonds for no other reason than because he wants to.  it brings him joy, it brings him glory, to take my failing self and redeem it.

and that is true refreshment and reassurance.  that is my lifeline.  that is the only hope i have for the children being raised and loved by this broken mom.  and it's all i need in order to know that it's all going to be okay.  it's jesus.  it's always, only, ever jesus.


Heather said...

Oh, man, Paige. I blogged about this exact thing this morning (not quite as eloquently, though). Weird, but also affirming.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree!

todd said...

this is so well written in addition to being so well worded. i love that God loves you and that you are growing in the depth and weight of that love He already has for you. it is a joy to observe and to nod emphatically along with.