My meager contribution to the Mother Letter Project
I remember the moment well. It is one of those memories that stirs passionate feelings that swirl together: fear, thrill, anxiety, helplessness. You see, I found out that I was to join the league of motherhood when I was just three measly months out of college. Unmarried. Twenty-two years old. Surely this was going to make things much, much harder than I had anticipated. This was not part of my well-thought-out, meticulously- created master plan.
Ah, but how could I know that it was part of His Master Plan? The only plan worth anything.
You see, dear mother, it was through my grappling with the complexities of bringing life into this world that He breathed new life into me. He performed divine surgery to remove my heart of stone, and replaced it with a heart of flesh and a new spirit. How like God to take that which is lowly and shamed and shower it with grace and mercy. How like Him to make new where all was dead and decaying.
That was twelve years ago, mother. Twelve years. And one husband. And five children. And four homes. And tears and joy and grief and laughter and sin and victory.
Maybe it is because my new spiritual life was born out of the uncertainty of bringing new physical life into the world that I so closely associate my children with my spiritual journey. I see them as the divinely laid stepping stones that pave my winding sanctification road. The many daily opportunities to love them and serve them lay behind and before. There are patches where the stones lay smooth and are easily traversed. And there are other stretches where the going is rough and sharp, the terrain painful to get through. It is amidst these patches that my clumsy, sinful feet stumble and I fall, my pride scraped raw.
Praise God for that.
For these are the times that the dross is consumed and the gold is refined. These are the painful experiences that make me more like Christ. That my selfish pride is painfully removed by His loving Father-hands. Praise God for His grace.
There will be days, dear mother, in which you think you're the greatest of all sinners.
And then there will be days that you know you are.
But be of good cheer. For it is in your weakness, and mine, that His mighty power becomes so very evident. There will be times, dear mother, when you will fail spectacularly. But more likely, your failures will be subtle and underwhelming. A harsh word. A selfish thought. A lack of love. A dearth of compassion. And each of these moments, when considered thoughtfully, and repented of properly, will be beacons pointing the way to God's grace. For it is all around you, dear mother. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
Grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace...
And that is where we meet Him. In our home amidst the din of child-life. When we struggle with our flesh that tells us we deserve "me time" and more respect than these little fun-god-worshiping children can dish up. When we lay our flesh aside and take up our cross. When we demonstrate a hint of the servant heart displayed by Christ, our Savior. When we, by His grace and with His power, reflect the light and life of Christ. It is then, dear mother, that we have drawn closer. Closer to the One who lives within us. Closer to our Goal.
Draw close to Him. And know His Word. And know Him intimately in your prayer closet. And shine His light into the dark, dusty corners of your children. And pray that He would set forth a pattern of grace upon grace in their lives. That He might perform the life-saving surgery they so desperately need this very day.
Much love in Christ,