I was circling my house trying to get a grip on what my problem was. It’s one thing to know I’m not meeting my own expectations, another thing to know that Zach has to put up with a season of me being overwhelmed in his lifetime commitment to me, but it really hits home when you think, “I am the source of my children’s comfort and instruction, and if I am not able to give them that, I’m really messing them up!” I’ve seen the look on older women’s faces when they recall this season of life. They admit they were deeply afraid that they were messing up their kids. (They don’t say it out loud, but you get the hint and grimace.)
In the spin of all my questions of why I couldn’t get a grip, I landed in the pit of, “How can I just let everything else go [laundry, cooking, cleaning, social sanity time, shopping] so that I can just try to be what my kids need? I’m FAILING!”
And in that desperate moment, God’s assurance came into my heart and mind with a completely different picture. He was answering my cry! There was no instruction, just a picture and a shift.
I saw myself standing over my children with my arms outstretched like I was pouring love and sunshine over them as their source of love and comfort. And then in one motion, I understood, “You are not their source of love and comfort, I AM.”
In response, I understood. I lifted my outstretched arms away from being my children’s source and up to God, saying, “Help!” Then turned my head back to my children: “Here, kids, watch me, do what I do”–which is what they’re going to do anyway–turning back to MY source, THEIR source, OUR source, “HELP!”
I had to be starkly, deeply reminded that my role in their lives is not to BE their source, but to point them to it. (DUH!) Even when all I can do is literally cry and say, “Help me, Lord!” If I need that help in my day, surely they need it, too. Today.
Did I think that I was a better mom to hide those moments of weakness from them? Yes.
But I don’t have to anymore!
The best part: He answers.
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