Recently, I was asked to share a few words about my journey into motherhood with my MOPs group. My first thought was to focus on my fabulous children and the happiness they bring to my life, but that isn't the whole story…
I am FLAWED
The first word that comes to mind when I think of my motherhood journey is flawed. That is not the touchy-feely sentiment one expects to read from a woman with small children. Phrases like Crazy but beautiful; Blessed beyond measure; and Joyous chaos, are what people expect to read about mothering.
But flawed? That sounds a bit negative.
Perhaps, but it is a truth I cannot escape. I am riddled with flaws…as a human being, as a wife, and as a mother. I too often nurture the selfish bents in my personality. Sometimes, my reserves of patience, sympathy, compassion, and grace reach significant lows. In these moments I substitute kind words with sarcasm; soft tones with raging bellows; and gentle correction with abrasive remarks.
While "flawed" is one word I associate with being a mother, thankfully it is not alone. The next word that accompanies me throughout my mothering journey is much bigger than my flaws. It is a word wrapped in beauty. It is an agent of freedom and healing. It is forgiveness.
Forgiveness is at its best when behavior is at its worst; and it is spotted daily in my home. As a mother, I bestow forgiveness on my children when they do wrong…and I humbly ask for their forgiveness when I do wrong.
I am FORGIVEN
I did not fully comprehend the loveliness of forgiveness until I learned to accept it as a personal gift from Jesus. I became a Christian many years ago when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Saviour, and knew in theory that I was forgiven. However, I didn't bask in the freedom of that forgiveness until recently.
Before unwrapping this gift entirely, I lived in bondage and fear. When I made a mothering mistake, I could not let it go. Guilt mocked my every step. Failure became my middle name and I feasted daily on defeat.
While it is necessary to admit to our mistakes and learn from them, it is a liability to wallow in the guilt they bring. I did a lot of wallowing, which increased feelings of sadness…which increased feelings of tension and irritability…which decreased my level of patience and ability to handle stressful situations… which led to more mistakes…which led to more wallowing. It was an ugly cycle and it continued until a Christian counselor looked me in the eye and firmly, yet lovingly spoke truth.