Recently, one of my kids got called to the principal’s office. On the very day I received an invitation to speak at a national parenting conference. Thank you very much.
Have you ever struggled with letting a circumstance that came your way, suddenly define you?
This seems to be a lesson God lets me live over and over. 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 in the very depths of my soul.
Yet, it is so easy for me to slip into redefining myself when situations arise.
With my head, I was able to see the “principal’s office” situation for what it was. My child is in a 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. All of this is part of the process of growing her up.
I could see all of that with my head.
However, with my heart, I felt like a failure. I wanted to decline the opportunity to speak at that conference and go crawl in a hole somewhere. A hole stocked with chips and salsa, brownies made from a box mix, and ice cold diet soda.
A part of me felt like I’d 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.”
So, quietly, I slipped away with Jesus. And I did what I’ve 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 wants 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.
And once again he 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 up this strong little person.
I’m not sure who else needed to hear this—but I know I certainly did.
Today is a new day…a day where we will only be defined by God’s truth and grace as we navigate this wild wonder called parenthood.
Congratulations to Lysa for her fabulous interview on Oprah last week!
You can find out more about the interview as well as Lysa’s new book, Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl, by visiting her blog.Leave a Comment
Yes, thank you. I needed to hear it too. With children it’s so easy to base who I am and how I’m doing on whether or not my child melts down during church or cries at the grocery store or refuses to wear clothes at MOPS – and that’s just the past few days! Good to remember Jesus says I am his child and being perfected too.
Kelly Stanley says
I’m the one (or one of many) who needed to hear this. I’m printing out this line and hanging it on the wall near my computer: “God sees within me the ability to be the one He’s perfectly designed to raise up this strong little person.” I know no one “gets” my child the way I do. God made me for my son, and my son for me. We WILL get through the difficult moments. Thank you.
I needed to hear this today after a difficult weekend with our… very strong willed (takes after his momma) 4, too close to 5 for my liking, year old.
I needed to hear this too. My son has already been to the principal’s office this year too. I cringed when I got that call and felt like a “bad mom” as well. What a wonderful reminder that I needed. My son is a great kid overall who made a poor choice that day.
This is applicable in so many areas from parenting to body image and everything in between! I so desire to see God’s perspective in all of these things! Thank you for sharing!
I find myself in the very midst of life questioning “why this?” or “why now?”. What a great lesson on focusing on Him instead of what’s dragging me down.
Satan knows how to push those buttons.
Great post, Lysa! Loved your Oprah visit!
Thanks for the reminder that God gives us just the children He knows we need AND that He gives them the parents that He knows they need!
I feel so encouraged to remember this and to remember that one less-than-desirable behavioral challenge does not define my parenting skills!
Katie-Pensacola, FL says
THANK YOU!!!!! God always has a way of meeting us right where we are, doesn’t He?
I often wonder where is that book on parenting. But each child is different and given specifically to us. I cringed with things like this to but even now when they are grown. I do when the choices made are not good ones.I have to remember I put in the work but they are their own people now. Its really hard some days
Thanks for reminding me other Moms do feel the same.
This is a powerful message. No one can hear enough how being a child of God comes first before any ‘role’ we play, mom, wife, worker, etc. I love it and it moves me to know others believe and know this truth!!! How encouraging!
You (re)spoke that truth beautifully. My heart agrees!
Thank you so very much for pulling back the veil on perfect and showing us that each mom goes through the same hard days, whether the spotlight is on them or not.
Holley Gerth says
Lysa, I so appreciate your humility and beautiful heart for Jesus. You are such a delight to Him…and to us!
Thanks for sharing your struggles with us! My husband and I were called in last week to hear about what the guidance counselor said she’d ‘never seen something like this in 25 years of counseling…’ Makes you totally feel like the worlds worst parent, but every time Satan tried to drage me down, I give it right back to God, and He has been faithful!