God has been opening my eyes to my weakness lately and as I was journaling/praying some this morning I realized this is a snapshot that I want to capture and keep for years ahead when I need encouragement. Here is a little tidbit from my journal this morning to clue you in on what life has been like lately. Maybe some of you Mom's can relate...
"Last night was a LONG restless sort of night. Miya was up crying several times for no real reason. I had a hard time sleeping and getting comfortable and just when I would fall asleep she was cry again. In the midst of the restlessness my mind started to race and I was filled with anxiety about baby Micah's arrival and the sleepless nights that await me. Then it hit me that these are opportunities for me to turn to you and trust You. Times where you are preparing me for what is to come. Not so I can fret over the days ahead, bu so I can press into you and sow seeds of faith in my heart now to prepare me for what is to come. This is, in many senses, Your kindness to me. I don't want to go into this next season naive to the challenges. Yes having a newborn will be exhausting at times, yes Miya has entered a very challenging stage requiring much time, patience, and training, yes balancing life with 2 kids will mean less time and energy for my wants and desires, yes sleepless nights and days are in my future--BUT God promises grace for all of these things, He promises to have gone before me and promises to know all my weakness. He promises his grace is sufficient and his strength is made perfect in weakness. So I don't have to look ahead in fear, but I can have eyes of faith for what God is doing and will do in the future!"
This is just a glimpse into where my heart was this morning, the word "weakness" sums up how I have felt the last few weeks. Physical weakness as I enter the last 2 months of my pregnancy and chase a busy toddler. Emotional weakness as I parent a toddler who many times has a mind of her own and a will that seems so insurmountable; at times I can feel like giving up is the easier bet. Sometimes it's laughable how God is using Miya to show me my weakness. She pinpoints just about every trigger I have to the point where my nerves feel shot by the end of the day. Don't get me wrong about how much I love our girl, and how thankful I am to be her mommy. None of that has changed. But we have entered what has become the most difficult stage so far, and there have been days where I cry out "ummm God I can't do this!" After a challenging few days where I feel like everything has been a battle with her and I have been so tempted to be angry towards her disobedience, even tempted to think that somehow working full time would be easier; God has opened my eyes to his purposes in all this. He is using Miya to show me how dependent I am on Him. He has perfectly tailored this girl to point me to grace and show me my complete helplessness. Of course Miya has no clue at this point the role she plays in this, she is just a sinful toddler who wants her way and will fight for it, but God is using her in big ways to humble me. All this to say it's nights like last night that I am so aware of what God is doing, and so aware of my need to cry out constantly. I can't go a day or hour without crying out because I am aware of my weakness on so many levels.
I have been reading one of my favorite parenting books by Elyse Fitzpatrick lately called "Give them Grace", I couldn't recommend more highly. Here are a few portions that have stuck out to me:
"It is a kindness when he strips us of self-reliance, because it is there, in our emptiness and brokenness, that we experience the privilege of his sustaining grace. It is only when we arrive at that dreaded place of weakness that we discover the surpassing power of Christ. It is only when we are finally freed from the oh-so-constricting straighjackets of self-righteousness that we are able to experience that true comfort and warmth of the robes of righteousness."
"The compliant child's life lies to us, assuring us that she is good because we're such good parents. Difficult children tell us the truth: God loves his enemies, and he can infuse us with a grace that will make us lay down their lives for them too. Their rebellion is a verification of the gospel: we produce sinful children because we are sinners. God's power is displayed through our failures when we tether ourselves to the gospel message of sin and forgiveness, no matter how how desperate the situation becomes."
So all in all I am feeling very humbled right now, but also very blessed. Blessed by the gift of motherhood and how God is using it to strip away life's comforts to allow me to grow in perseverance and grace. Stripping away the layers of "ease" that I can idolize so much and showing me a better way in laying down my life.
I can look ahead in excitement for how God will meet me as we welcome our boy in less than 2 months. I don't have to look ahead with fears of "how will I do it!?" But I can rest assured that on my own I can't do it, but thankfully Christ lived the perfect life for me so I can claim this promise:
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)