The smoothness of her hair took on new meaning tonight as I stroked it. She looked so grown up and the wild emotions she felt and displayed testified to this. I felt at times I was trying to tame myself all over again. In the heat of an argument it was as if I was staring in a mirror.
Today, was a difficult day, for my sweet princess of a daughter. Her emotions got the best of her and she screamed at her brother and allowed some hurtful words to fly from her mouth. Self-control is not the word I would use for her today.
In the moment she released the ache of her heart, fully unveiling her sin to the world around her, allowing us to see her need for a Savior. Desperately she wanted to obey and be kind but her flesh got in the way again.
I knew this feeling oh so well, because I struggled the same way she did. Years of living under the guilt of not getting it right drove me into a pit of darkness. The echo of my own shortcomings taunted me, never being able to escape the feeling of always coming up short .
I lived day in and day out trying to be perfect in-order for others to see Jesus in me. I thought it was my perfection that drew the lost to the gospel. I was sadly mistaken.
This path, that I had paved, was not one I wanted my daughter to follow. The arms of Jesus is the only place to fall when you feel as if you don’t measure up. The path of grace is the one I hope she would choose. Not the “try- harder” path, because I knew all to well that one led to failure and disappointment.
When the failure from her own sin stares her in the face she has a decision to make. She has two paths she can choose from.
One path leaves us obsessed with self and the other path leads us obsessed with Him. My prayer is that she would choose Him every time! My prayer is that when she is wounded by her own sin, and in need of healing, she would look in the mirror, and see that He clothes her with righteousness, crowns her with jewels, and wraps her in the warmth of His promises.
It took me years of torment to begin to choose the path of life and not death.
I peaked in her room today after her wild display of emotions and saw something that made my mommy heart leap with joy. She was sitting, legs crossed, on her window seat with her Bible flopped open crying out to Jesus. Worship music filled the room and I could feel the sweet presence of Jesus.
“The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart.” Psalm 51:17
Today, I was reminded that my children’s mess and my mess too, reveals how desperately we need a Savior.
When your mess of a life is too much to bear, run to the only one that can bring healing.
This is when we fully understand His grace and His never-ending love. This is when the gospel comes alive.
Our shortcomings, are the very avenue for the Holy Spirit to be released into our lives and prayers. Our weakness actually draws us closer to Him and reminds us how desperately we need Him.
My children know that I am not perfect but I attempt everyday to show them the One who is perfect.
Our measuring stick for this parenting thing can’t be our children’s outward behavior. The measuring stick has to be how fast do they run into the arms of Jesus to receive His grace. How fast do you turn inward to the working of the Holy Spirit? Are you teaching your children that the only safe place to go is at the feet of Jesus or do you so quickly remind them of the law and how they didn’t get it right…again?
Her oversized bed engulfs us, reminding me that His love engulfs us every time.
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