God has been doing something in this heart and I cannot write about anything else here until I share it.
Preface: I love my kids. I love our family life and the way I have no other option but to trust God through adventure after mishap after crazy, unforeseen circumstance. There are no regrets, no wishing I didn’t have this life. I love my husband’s passion for our family, his determination to carry a vision and pass it along. I do what I know to do in order to be the mom my kids need. But here’s the odd thing: I’ve never been specifically passionate about filling the role of “Mom.” I’m very passionate about the importance of godly parenting, of family discipleship, of submitting to the role God has picked out for me. But I was not passionate about the role itself. This has now changed—miraculously, in my opinion.
In August of this year, I was in a strange between kind of place with God. I had a renewed desire for sitting in His presence, but I was still fighting off a lot of my familiar distractions. I wasn’t moving forward. Or at least, it didn’t feel like I was moving forward. I felt suspended, pushing against the gravitational pull of my distractions but unable to soar to the heights where God was beckoning.
Then my husband and I decided to go to a community worship night, NO KIDS. I was so pumped to be there, to just bask in God’s presence with no other agendas or time constraints or the usual “I need to go potty” distractions. Again, I love my kids. But sometimes… Well, you know.
So we worshipped. And it was exciting, lovely, encouraging, everything I hoped it would be. The worship leader for the evening kept repeating that he felt this was a night specifically for someone in ministry who needed prayer by laying on of hands. I didn’t think that fit my description and I prayed for whomever that person was. I’m still not sure it was a description of me. But then, well into the service, he called out to mothers who feel overwhelmed. THAT was me. We were singing a song of Gideon, when he was told to rise up. THAT was for me. I gave my husband’s hand a squeeze, smiled and said I wanted to go up to the front to pray. He came with me. I shouted (quite literally) out to God and He showed me—oh! He showed me so much. At the time all I could manage to write down was this:
“I am called to rise, as Gideon.
I have been anointed and my calling is mother.
I have seen what He sees–
I am His VICTORY,
I am His message,
I am filled with light to give.
No more fighting lies, insecurity, doubt, insolence in order to
You won’t relent until You have it all.”
He showed me what He sees and I finally opened my eyes because He SILENCED the lies in me that bring confusion and doubt. I was so open in my heart and spirit towards Him in that time, I could surrender everything. I was obedient in calling out my will to serve and He drew me up! He gave me freedom and definitions and vision and hope and love and tenderness all because I obedient for two tiny hours on a Sunday night.
When He cleared out my temple corners, I realized the disdain I held for myself, which I believed came from my impatience with my progress, such disdain was not His response to me at all. Ever. He is never ashamed or disdainful. And then I asked what He does see.
After years of yearning, I have sight of my true, God-made, real self and I have a Holy Spirit anointed calling in the motherhood bestowed on me. The acceptance and participation is deeper and more profound than I could generate on my own. There is a chasm of difference between obeying God because it is the right thing and obeying God because of love and gratitude towards Him. I couldn’t see the Victoria He designed to be a mother after His own heart. All I could see was a Victoria that desperately tried to make her square corners fit into the round hole of mommy-dom and failed, time and time again, always unfulfilled. All I could see was the Victoria who felt condemnation over not being in love with devoting her life to her family.
He eclipsed that vision of Victoria with His own. And for the first time, I looked. I didn’t glance and painfully turn away. It didn’t hurt me to look because I didn’t reject it. I received it, by His grace and power, and I am changed. Motherhood still is not a fairytale made reality for me; my personality is still here and still doing its own thing. But I now feel a long-term assurance of vision and purpose in it that, up to now, I had only felt in connection with writing. I am richly blessed.
What happened next? Well, I came home and kept up my daily tasks. My husband and I had frustrating conversations and silly teasing. I had to fight for every victory in my response to rambunctious or rebellious kids—and I didn’t get every victory. So how do I know something changed?
It is moving quietly in me. It was not just a flash of revelation that I talked over and couldn’t maintain. In a thousand tiny moments, I am choosing to walk this calling and reject the twisted version I tried to make up for myself. There is insistent, daily, excruciatingly slow, PERMANENT change happening in me.
In September, God gave me this verse to memorize and carry in my heart: “Dear children, let us not love with words and tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in His presence, whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts and He knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commands and do what pleases Him.” 1st John 3:18-22. There is so much there. Maybe I can elaborate in a separate post.
In October, God has reminded me of the verse that says His word is “a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” And He murmured to my heart, “Keep your eyes on My Face, not on your feet.” This is my lesson in continuing to measure progress by His pleasure, not by my analyzing of every tiny step and obsession with how long it takes to get anywhere.
He is faithful with this work in me. I will respond with faithfulness because He has more and more for me. What can I make for myself? Dirty rags and piles of nothingness and maybe an ulcer by the time I’m 40 years old. No. I will wait on the Lord. I will move when He moves. I will receive from Him and I WILL serve Him.
God gave freely what I could not do without.