“Mommy, sometimes you say mean things.” My son stood there with a stoic face, trying not to cry. I sat on his bed, my heart breaking at his words. I asked him for a hug. He refused.
My beautiful, amazing, smart, silly boy was hurt by my words. His tender heart was in my hands and I wasn’t careful. Just when I thought I could make it through the day without an argument, I lost my temper and broke his heart. I had a chance to show him Jesus and I didn’t take that chance. Instead, I chose to react in my brokenness and my flesh and that ugly part of me that I hate.
It had been a very long, challenging, heart shattering day.
Hi, my name is Hannah, and I am a broken human just like you. Just like all of you. We are all broken and we ALL need Jesus. Every single day. Every single hour. Every single minute.
The thing is, God has given us these gifts. Some of us haven’t asked for them, some of us have begged God for them, some of us have planned for them, thinking that we were prepared. And when that gift arrives in the form of a 7lb baby, our world is turned upside down by shock, awe, love and gratitude. But then that baby starts to grow up. It learns to walk and talk and have a mind of its own. And you realize: your sweet, precious, innocent baby is also broken. Just like you. And before you know it, your baby is 5 years old, independent and smart and crazy funny. But also rebellious and foolish. In fact, you think some days you have a teenager in the house. And you find yourself struggling to parent this gift that God has entrusted to your care. This gift that holds your heart in their tiny, dirt-stained hands. This thing called parenting is so very Hard, my friends. It is rewarding and exhausting and beautiful and brutal and raw. All at the same time.
So why do I say all of this, you ask? To say: Tired and weary parents, I see you. Single mom who is doing her very best, I see you. Happy, but sleep deprived, new mom and dad, I see you teenage mom who feels shame, but also endless joy for the greatest gift she has ever received, I see you. Single dad, who feels alone, I see you.
I see you. I am you. We are all parents, in this together. I am no better than you because I am broken just like you and you are broken just like me. So I say this: don’t hide anymore. Don’t pretend like you have it all together. Because let’s be real, a lot of days you don’t. I don’t. We screw up. Instead, let’s let all our brokenness show and when we do that, God’s grace and truth and love can shine through all the cracks. And suddenly we realize, why have we been waiting all this time to do this?! God, I knew you were going to help me, I just kept holding on for so long trying to do it myself. Let’s stop doing it ourselves and let Jesus direct our steps. Those difficult parenting steps that make no sense sometimes. Because let’s not forget that this precious gift He entrusted to us was held in His hands before ever coming earthside. Our Almighty God loves our children with an everlasting love.
So the next time you start to do that one thing you said you would never do again, ask Him what to do. And if you screw up again, ask for forgiveness. Tomorrow is a new day. His grace is sufficient. For you and for me and for our little gifts.
“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…. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Cor. 9-10
Children’s Ministry Director