to be a good mother

So, Mother’s Day was this weekend and for me it always comes with mixed emotions.  Between that and some recent happenings in my life, the blog has been a little on the silent side and for that I apologize.

This particular Mother’s Day actually begins in December…on the other side of the planet.  Let me explain…

I was recently on a short-term mission trip to India, where I was given the opportunity to share my story with a group of women.  While I thought I would have time to prepare, my day went astray after I slipped and hurt my ankle.  A trip to the Indian ER (which greatly improved my prayer life) effectively eliminated my time to prepare.  I limped into the hot crowded room feeling like it was going to be a complete disaster and totally lacking confidence.  My story is a long one from brokenness, far away from my Savior to a beautiful mosaic of grace and healing.

I’m a birthmother, and as I shared how God has brought amazing restoration through my little girl, my talk seemed to fall very short of my expectations.  I was so frustrated.  A few days later this beautiful young woman from the Bible School pulled me aside to tell me how much my story had blessed her.  In her very best English, she held my face in her hands and told me that I was a “good mother.”  It was one of those moments.  The kind where Jesus Himself is so close I could feel Him pick up one more piece of my broken mess and masterfully place it where He intended it to be all along.  It was fearfully comforting.

I find myself so willing for Him to use me to speak to others that you would think I would welcome these very personal times of specific revelation from those who speak truth into my life. However, sometimes, I allow my fear to get the better of me. The Word tells me I was not “given a spirit of fear that makes [me] a slave again to fear, but [I] received a spirit of sonship from which [I] may cry out…’Daddy.’ (Romans 12:8)  This verse lays out in black and white that He’s not trying to scare me, but love me and push me towards the woman that He created me to be.  For whatever reason, that’s petrifying.

Standing in the dust of India, blown away at the gentle voice of God through this precious young widow, I was reminded of my life verse. A verse that has been close to my heart for many years (18 to be exact). Isaiah 41:13, “For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear; I will help you.'” There have been times in my life where this verse has brought comfort, guidance and a myriad of other blessings. The longer it ruminates in my spirit the closer this sweet encouragement gets to my heart.  Therein lies my struggle and maybe yours as well.

While I do wear certain emotions on my sleeve and am usually willing to share life with people, there is a whole other level I keep carefully tucked away.  I feel the need to protect myself after that abusive relationship when I was younger…from those who don’t know how to understand that I am a mother at all.  I have a great front, very open and loud and full of life and love, but I am hesitant to let anyone get inside that other, more intimate place.  That’s where the power to hurt lives.  You may know exactly what I’m talking about, that gripping fear that makes you stiff-arm even God.  It doesn’t have to be born out of abuse; any hurt can make those defenses fly into action.  And I’m working on it.

Fast forward to this weekend, when once again He used at least 3 women, that I remember, to specifically speak those simple words to me again…

You are a good mother.

As I move into the next, significantly different, chapter of my life, I am realizing this is something I want to be remembered for.  I’ve written it down in many different contexts over the last 10 years…never seeming to have the weight I want it to hold.  For me, this phrase requires something different.  There really is no book out there to read on how to do it with Christ-like excellence.  But every day I do my best…

to be a good mother


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