Monday, July 18, 2016

This Was Not My Plan

The bread is “too burnt” she said. I was sure that I had toasted this cheese sandwich to perfection…you know, golden brown with no trace of “burn” anywhere on the bread. I watched over that stove to make sure that it was just the perfect amount of golden…not too much, just enough. I encouraged her to at least take a bite and try it, so she did and immediately determined that this sandwich would have to go in the garbage. 

And I stand there, exhausted and confused as to how a child could possibly be so particular. It is in moments like this, where I have made meal after meal to try to please this child that I think: 

This was not my plan. This is not how I envisioned my life to go. Parenting a child with special needs was not something I planned for when I was dreaming up the people my children would become, long before they were even born. I also didn’t plan to do this alone for 7 years. I didn’t plan to have my children, by myself, 100% of the time. What is going on here? Because this is so far from what I had planned.” 

Do you ever feel like that? Like your reality is so far off from the daydreams you used to have about what your life would be like? I feel that way frequently. In earlier days, I actually used to feel that way, think those thoughts and then proceed to throw myself a pity party for one. Woe is me. Why God why? What did I do to deserve this? I never left the pity party feeling very good. The hangover was severe and I would slip further into the dark. 

Maybe like me, you often feel like this isn’t “your plan” and like me, you would be correct. It’s not my plan, it’s not your plan…it’s GOD’S PLAN! Until I could really find peace in that reality, I couldn’t get myself out of that dark funk. Now that doesn’t mean it’s easy or it’s better. All it does, really, is change my perspective about my job as a mother. 

Many are the mornings, afternoons or evenings when I feel like the task of motherhood is altogether daunting and there is no way I can be successful but I have started to cry out to Jesus…and usually it’s really simple…”Help me, Jesus, help me Jesus!”…because if Jesus doesn’t help me, I am going to fold. (Not to mention, my ability to find any other words in those exasperated moments is next to impossible) I remember very clearly a couple years ago when I heard the spirit telling me…

”I have called you to this place. I have called you to motherhood, for these kids. You have what they need.” 

Motherhood often feels like a pretty lowly job. The “thank you” is rare and the demands are high. But these are His children that He has entrusted to me. In the midst of the chaos, the tears, the exhaustion, I remind myself…THIS IS MY CALLING. 

Andy Stanley really says it best: sometimes our best
contribution to the kingdom isn’t something we do but someone we raise. God has given me 4 children to raise and when I realize that His purpose is so great, I am able to dig deep and find the strength to continue on in obedience to my God and my contribution to His kingdom. 

It’s not easy to give up our plan for His plan but when we surrender to His plan in obedience it sure adds joy to our lives. What we do is so important to God, to our families, to our society. You are not alone. Mama, you are important. The daily grunt work you do…it matters and it is so valuable. Keep going. 

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