Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Purest Relief

It’s a fact.  Women like to hear when other women “lose it”-- you know, like when we yell at our kids, say something terribly regretful, or do something humiliating while parenting.   I am one of those women and I wonder, is there something wrong with me?  That I like to hear when other women derail.  Why would someone else’s sin bring me so much comfort? Or worse, happiness?  What IS it I feel when I hear or read of such episodes?  Right or wrong, I think it’s relief.  Relief that I am not the only person that can love their children to pieces, but say some of the most absurd things to them.  Relief that my struggle is not specific to me and that my friends, even my most mild mannered ones, navigate the same circumstances and experience the same emotions that I do on a DAILY basis.  Relief that I am not alone.  Relief that I am not the only one who wonders where all those words and all that intensity came from.  Relief that I am not a weirdo.  Because I fall asleep many a night feeling like one.

I got to meet with my Mom’s group last night and I must say, I am blessed to know these women.  Our once a month meetings would be time wasters for all of us if when we got together we came with our cute masks fastened on with a fancy ribbon-- you know the ones that say, “My month has been super terrific, my marriage is great, my kids didn’t fight once, I’ve been in the Word and prayed for 2 hours every day, I’ve exercised four times a week, and before I came here, I fed my family a nutritional dinner, cleaned up the kitchen, assisted both kids with science fair projects, had bedtime devotionals before I tucked the kids, straightened the house and whispered secret plans for later to my husband on the way out the door!”  Time. Waster. These gals have outgrown any mask if they ever had one and it makes for a very refreshing night that I look forward to every month.  We confessed our loose tongues during homework time, get dressed time, fixing hair moments, meal time, chore time, bedtime -- the dailies of our lives.  Derailed.  I’ve been off the tracks more times than I can count and this verse is the one He brings to mind the most,  “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” {Psalm 73:26} Just taking the verse at face value without picking it apart-- I expect my flesh to fail-- it’s rotting away, it exists to please me, yet I still choose to function out of that all too often.  And as for my heart?  I think of how I feel-- my emotions dictated by my circumstances and of course that will fail me too.  “But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”  He’s the boost AND the sustainer, the “enough” through the details of my day.

We ALL have our consistent failings and our regrets and we have to take them to Him.  We have to or we just wallow in guilt and condemnation- which only adds to the difficulty of parenting well.  And I bet you know Romans 8:1 by heart-- “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,”  But have you noticed verse 2 lately? “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”  Just ponder your little mind on that for a bit.  Spirit of LIFE.  Set me FREE.  Why in the world do I stop at verse 1?  No, I don’t want the condemnation, of course, but I want the LIFE and the FREEDOM.  If my kids were describing our home, those are two words I’d like to hear.  Yes?

When I hear of similar struggles from my sisters, I want my feelings of relief to be tied to His forgiveness- that we all can experience it.  When I choose to be ridiculous in front of my family- towards my family, I know He is enough to cover it all. My portion.  He is enough to sustain me as I move towards obedience.  My strength.  As I ask for forgiveness from Him and from the ones I have hurt, we all get to experience the life and the freedom.  That’s the purest relief.  


nikki said...

amen. good words, sister. i want that freedom and life too...thank you for the beautiful reminder.

Jenna Anderson said...

beautifully shared, Krista... thank you.