When I became a mom I was completely unprepared for how challenging it would be to keep my cool when things did not go my way.
I often fell apart when his diaper exploded all over the beautiful crib sheets. I fussed when he got sick. I complained when he didn’t take a nap and I didn’t get a ‘break.’
Then when our second son arrived and we were in the NICU for 3 months, I withered whenever a doctor told us some horrible diagnosis or treatment plan. I grumped about not having a perfect birth story or perfectly healthy baby. I complained about having to juggle time between the hospital and our toddler at home.
Today I have been known to fall apart after a challenging day at work. I can fuss for hours about our kids’ behavior – fearing that they will one day rebel and turn away from God because of something I did. I can lose my cool when the carefully prepared scrambled eggs I handed to my boy as we walked out the door to school get dropped on the sidewalk. I am anxious and discouraged every month that we don’t get pregnant (we have been trying for about a year now). I can complain about the laundry and meal-planning tasks that are ever before me.
I am not proud of this! In fact, I have been specifically asking the Lord to give me fresh eyes for the precious gift of motherhood.
While at a Kari Jobe concert back in February, during one of her songs, the Lord gave me a vision of a woman taking off a heavy cloak and waving it above her head with great joy.
I knew the woman was me and I knew the heavy cloak was a symbol for all the ways I have made motherhood a burden. All the ways I have taken challenges and annoyances and LIFE and let fear, anxiety, and discontentment weigh me down, robbing me of the beautiful privilege it is to serve my boys. I knew the Lord was calling me to take that off in exchange for something that better reflects His kingdom.
I loved this vision and encouragement, but I knew I needed to ask God how to get the heavy cloak off because it feels more like a straight jacket most days!
About a week later I was reading the book of Psalms and came across chapter 13. As I read David’s words, I marveled at his honesty. In the depths of despair, David asked the Lord how long will He forget him? How long until the Lord rescued him from his enemies?
Then everything changes in verse 5 when David says – BUT.
“BUT I will trust in your unfailing love: my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for He has been good to me.”
Nothing about David’s circumstances had changed. There was still a baby up all night. There were still the months of infertility and waiting. There was still a mountain of laundry and dust balls in every corner — BUT he chose to speak words of faith. Faith that is sure of what is hoped for and certain of what cannot be seen.
Faith moves our Father and defeats our enemy.
Here is my encouragement to you, fellow mamas, when things don’t turn out the way you expect, or despair and fear are threatening to destroy your joy, or the small daily annoyances are squeezing away your hope…
Declare the But
“But I trust in your unfailing love.”
As soon as you start feeling overwhelmed by your circumstances or fearful of the future, stop and declare a but over them. This but is a pronouncement of your trust in the Lord’s unfailing love for you. It is a call to preach to your own soul the Good News and reminder that He is on the throne. Speak this out loud and over yourself! Your kids will love it. 🙂
Rejoice in your Salvation
“My heart rejoices in your salvation.”
Even if everything in your life seems hopeless, you still have your salvation – the forgiveness of sins, the hope of heaven and eternity with Christ. You still have the beautiful grace of His blood shed for YOU. Yes, I know things are so very hard, but Jesus is preparing a home for you that is far greater than anything you can imagine. And poop doesn’t stain the crib sheets in heaven! 😉
Choose to Sing
“I will sing to the Lord…”
In the book of 2 Chronicles there is a story about King Jehoshaphat whose enemies were on their way to attack. Jehoshaphat went to the Lord about it and his people were moved by the Spirit to sing. They were so impassioned for the Lord that they carried their singing all the way out to the battle field! The worshipers were sent out as the first ones into the battle singing, “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.” Whenever the worshipers sang, the Lord sent an ambush against the enemy and they were defeated. How instructive for the mother who feels defeated by negative thoughts! Open your mouth and start singing! Fill your home with the sound of worship and praise!
This is how to be a mama who walks in victory.
Stand tall over the broken glass, dirty diaper, colic, flu, mess, sibling arguments, financial issues, infertility, depression, anxiety, whatever your heavy cloak is, and declare the BUT.
But I will trust in your unfailing love.
And watch that cloak fall to the ground — right next to the scrambled eggs.