It had been a hard day, running too many errands with two small children. My three-year-old didn’t understand why we couldn’t buy every toy his tiny hands could touch. And he insisted on climbing in and out of the grocery cart, which led to whining when I stopped him.
I was not a happy mama and wondered how all the other moms in the store seemed to know what they were doing. Their children listened when they told them no, and they had on cute matching outfits too.
I wondered how in the world those women pulled it off with a smile. I could barely get a shower, get my kids dressed, and get us out the door before lunch. When we got home that afternoon, I put my boys down for an early nap and searched for pink construction paper so I could write “I QUIT” on it and turn in my “pink slip” to my husband when he came home from work.
I was tired of feeling like such a failure as a mom. But ironically, I couldn’t find pink construction paper, so I decided to pull out my journal and file a complaint to God.
Filling blank pages with scribbled thoughts, I wrote:
I hate who I have become. I’m such a horrible mom. Why didn’t someone tell me how hard this was going to be? I’m frustrated with my kids and myself. I have no patience and I don’t know what I am doing! I feel guilty all the time. I couldn’t wait to be a mom and now I want to quit.
Just as I finished writing that sentence, I sensed God whispering to my heart: Renee, you are so critical of yourself. You focus on your mistakes and beat yourself up with accusation and condemnation but those are not My thoughts.
That afternoon, I sat before God and choked out the words, “I can’t do this.”
And in that place of surrender, God’s peace that came over me. His gentleness calmed my nerves. It literally felt like God bent down before me to listen, and then He whispered to my heart again: You are right, Renee. In your strength and through your perspective, you can’t do this. But with My promises, My presence, and My power — all things are possible. I will help you.
Looking back on that day, I’m reminded of Psalm 116:2:
Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath!
When we acknowledge that on our own we are a mess, God rushes to our side to help us. He bends down and with His peace and perspective, He helps us get back up again.