The end of myself


My heart aches. The day, full of disappointments and discouragement makes me want to throw in the towel. The reasons that I do what I do fall away in the face of sin. I talk to a friend who is also discouraged and frustrated by her own parenting journey. Yet I know, I believe that God gave us these children to parent. These specific little ones to shepherd and guide. I know that God does not make mistakes.

And then I sense these words: what if it is not so much about the child, as about you?

{Um… pardon me, God??!?}

What if God is trying to teach me something about myself through the difficulty of this situation? What if God is trying to tell me that I still have a problem with anger, and I need to do something more about it? Or what if God is teaching me that I am still hanging on to things too tightly? Maybe He wants me to let go. And the only way to get a hard-headed, stubborn, control-freak like myself to let go, is to let me come to the end of myself. The end of my resources. The end of my patience, the end of my strength, the end of my ideas. Because then I might turn to God. Before that, I insist I can do this on my own. I can handle things.

But there, at the end of myself, only there can God begin. It is only there that I come, empty, with tears and with open hands, and offer myself to God.

This is where God wants me.

I recall an earlier time in parenting my three small ones and a friend said to me, “Yes, it’s hard. But that doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have you right where He wants you to be.”

God is not as much interested in our comfort in life as in our growth, toward Him and into Him. God’s plan encompasses growth. And sometimes growth is hard. Sometimes even downright painful. But God has our best in mind.

Emily at Chatting at the Sky wrote this yesterday: The pessimists say life is hard and won’t get better. The optimists say life is good or will be soon. But the believers say our hope is in Jesus whether life is hard or life is good, releasing the right to predict the future, holding on to God who comes to be with us now.  

P1050594Oh Lord Jesus, we come with open hands and open hearts. We come offering what we have: our tears, our disappointments, our fears. And you accept this offering, knowing that it is the only thing we have to give You right now. Please meet us in our dark places, in our places of confusion, or fear. Immanuel: You are God with us. And take us beyond ourselves. Help us to hear your voice in the darkness. Speak into our lives about what this situation is really about.

Advent Blessings….

and a gentle reminder from a lovely woman named Lisa about taking care of ourselves so that we can be better moms…

2 responses »

  1. Endings quite often come complete with new beginnings, and yet it seems we are usually more aware of the loss (end) than the gain (new beginning)… I suppose it does depend to some degree on where we focus our heart and mind in the process. The love of a parent is a rich minefield of meaning… I don’t know of anyone who has made it through that minefield unchanged. Pausing for rest and peace is a helpful strategy even if it means giving up some “ends” which we thought were important in order to get to some “new beginnings”. I did a little artwork once about some aspects of endings and new beginnings a few years back… here is the link to that: Don’t give up, you are probably doing a great deal better than you imagine.

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