All too often I feel overwhelmed and defeated as a parent. This mostly stems from my own (unrealistic) expectations of what parenting “should” look like. It is a fantasy I’ve created in my head of being a perfect parent and it’s not reality. Sometimes I actually feel like I am living it and then, I fail, again...and again...and again. I get so angry and it is always for selfish reasons. Then I cast blame or criticism to somehow justify my anger, which makes it worse for everyone close to me. Why is it that those we love most we usually hurt the most too? If I were kinder to myself, my family probably wouldn’t experience my wrath as often. In these moments of anger, frustration, and feeling overwhelmed, God whispers to me...I need to listen and act on what He is telling me and not allow my emotions to rule my life - this is a dangerous path to take.
He has called us out of darkness and draws us to the light (1 Peter 2:9)! Those little whispers are steps toward the light. Those whispers are my Shepherd calling me back to safety. Those whispers give me purpose and understanding when everything around me screams chaos and confusion. Those gentle whispers are calling me back to His heart, to His throne room. They invite me to a place of peace no matter what my circumstances are (John 16:33). My response has been to push it off thinking that I’ve got this. I can handle it. It’s just one little thing to deal with, not a life defining moment or decision.
BUT there’s the lie! Do you see it? Do you hear those lies in your heart?
I’ve got this.
My way is fine.
It’s not that big of a thing.
I can do this on my own.
God doesn’t need to be a part of how I react or respond to my child.
Rejection. I am rejecting the One who counts the hairs on my head (Luke 12:7), the One who formed me in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:3-16), and the One who calls me child (1 John 3:1-2) and friend (John 15:15). He is the One who desires more of me. These whispers aren’t just there to distract or pull me away from what I want (which is never the better option). No, those whispers are an offer of love, freedom and grace. They’re an invitation from the King of Kings to walk alongside Him, to enter His presence and I choose to turn it down again and again. What have I done? How could He still want me? Why does He still call me back? He calls me back because He is faithful, not me (2 Timothy 2:13). He calls me back because He is good, not me (Mark 10:18). He calls me back because He lives (John 14:19). And by His stripes (wounds) I am healed (Isaiah 53:5 NKJV). I am my Beloved’s and my Beloved is mine (Song of Solomon 6:3). The bridegroom calls his bride over and over again - sometimes (s)he responds, other times (s)he ignores, and at times will even run to the arms of another - someone/something (s)he thinks is better, for the moment. But He is faithful no matter what and He waits with open arms to receive us over and over again, no matter what. He already paid the price. He already defeated death. This is the freedom He offers: “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13 NLT)
The freedom that His whispers call us to is a place of selfless love. A place that we cannot arrive at unless He is with us. This is the freedom I so desire. He offers us peace in parenting if we will just listen. He will guide us and He desires to be a part of the everyday mundane for all of us! Will you listen? Will you respond? Will you join me in being aware of those gentle whispers that call to you throughout the day? Freedom is a gift and He offers it to us everyday, if we will accept it.