Sunday, May 12, 2013

Dying to Become the Perfect Mom

My world comes crashing down around me, yet in the darkest valley, they still need me and I get up, responding to their needs and putting my own aside.

Sacrifices made go unnoticed and their ungratefulness pierces my heart like a dagger.

“You don’t love me!”

The knife twists. If you only knew how much I love you, like I’ve never loved anyone, so much that it hurts.

Memories wash over me and I’m back at that moment when he first came into this world. I remember how every agonizing moment of pregnancy and labor was instantly forgotten and I’m amazed, once again, by the beauty of it all. Where did I go wrong?

“Why don’t you cook something I like?”

Feelings of failure cripple me as I pause, look at my children, and wish I could be so much more for them.

Three years post cancer-diagnosis and I am still exhausted all the time. I am not the mother that I long to be. They don’t even remember what I was like before. They were so young. 

“Why don’t you ever play with us? Why can’t you be fun like Daddy?”

Tears burn in my eyes and I look away. I’m so tired. So unbelievably tired. And they are just too young to understand.

No more field trips and adventures. No more intricate meals with secretly hidden vegetables made to taste delicious. No more story books at bedtime or enriching activities. No more charts that transform chores into games. No more consistency in anything.

Aren’t these the things that make me a good mom?

Parenting has changed me. It has exposed my heart, revealing all that is inside and leaving me raw and vulnerable. My weaknesses and character flaws are exposed and brought into the light. And I want more than anything to save my children from them, from all my mistakes and shortcomings.

I fall to my knees, desperate and humble, knowing there is only one place left to go. What I find there is not what I expect. I expect God to heal me and make me strong. I expect him to make me into my image of the perfect mom. I cry, “Do it Lord! For their sake!”

“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
~ 2 Cor. 12:8-10

Do I dare believe this? As I take the step of faith, the perfectionist in me gasps for air and takes its dying breath. I find grace. And I yield to His will.

He comes into my room and tucks me into bed, hugging his little body tightly to mine.

“I love you more than sugar cubes and popsicles!”

He’s learned to comfort those who are weak.

”Mom, can I make dinner so you can rest?”

He’s learned to serve.

“I want to be a mommy when I grow up – just like you. Except I want to be a mommy princess that lives in a tower.”

She admires me. Not because of all the wonderful things I do for her, but because I am with her, all the time.

They don’t need a perfect childhood or perfect parents.

They need to know I’m on their side.
They need to know that God is there in the darkest times.
They need to know life doesn't always go the way we want.
They need to see what depending on the Lord really looks like.
They need to know where to run when they fail.
And they need to learn that it is in their weakness that God’s power is made perfect.
Not in their good works. Not in their success. Not in their perfectionism.
But in their weakness.

And there they will find God’s grace.

Thank you Stephanie Lasaster for sharing your heart with us.  What an amazing journey God has brought you through. ~Jennifer and Missie

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