“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing“. John 15:5
Now that my children are both in their 20’s, I often find myself in the middle of one of those “Remember when you did THIS, mom?” conversations. You know those conversations? The ones where we get to reflect on the moments that your children remember you messing up or doing something that you now know was “too much”!?
If I am being completely honest, I have to admit that my initial heart response is to become a bit defensive. In one split second I can go from being defensive, to embarrassed, to fearful that I messed my kids up for life! Thankfully, the Holy Spirit quickly interrupts my racing thoughts and reminds me of how he has faithfully taken my mistakes and is using them for his glory and my children’s good.
“Not that we are sufficient in ourselves to claim anything as coming from us, but our sufficiency is from God.” 2 Corinthians 3:5
One memory they often reflect on is that short season when their mom was drawn into legalism. Those few years when they were young and I analyzed everything to death, filtering everything through a very black or white lens. I’m actually grateful for those conversations because it gives me another platform to be able to share with them that I am in a process of growth, that I am still learning, and that I am so thankful that God opened my eyes to the error I was walking in! It also gives us a great opportunity to talk about legalism and how it goes directly agains the message of the gospel.
Because of my mistakes, and having experienced the changes in our home because of the work of the Holy Spirit, they have learned how to better understand the message of grace and the dangers of legalism. Ultimately, I am so, so grateful for these conversations because it is an opportunity for me to humbly point them to our need for Jesus…to MY need for Jesus!
I loved what my friend Brooke McGlothlin shares in her book “Hope For the Weary Mom“:
“I know you want to be enough for your kids. I know you want to be enough for your husband, your work, your home, your everything. And I know there are other people who will tell you that you ARE actually enough. That you have what it takes…can do this…can pull yourself up by your bootstraps. But I disagree.I believe their intentions are good. I believe they want to help you put one foot in front of the other, keep going. I believe they want to encourage you as a mom. But I believe they’re wrong. I just don’t see anywhere in the Bible that says we’re enough. If we were, we wouldn’t need Jesus.”
Reflecting (and even laughing at!) the mistakes I made is a much needed reminder that I will never be enough. I am flawed. From day one I have been determined and intentional to be the perfect mom and have failed miserably!
God sees my sincere desires to honor him, takes my messy attempts, and chooses to redeem them and use them in the lives of my children. Not only is he enough, but he is the definition of grace and mercy!
You are not enough, but he is! Keep clinging!
“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 of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9