Grace for the Hard Things

Photo by James Pond on Unsplash

So, parenting is hard. I can’t speak for anyone else but I don’t think I’ve ever cared about anything as much as I care about how these two children turn out. I mean, will they ever eat with their knife and fork for an entire meal or get through dinner without uttering the word “fart”…or just doing it at the table?

I become the proverbial broken record over a hundred daily (and sometimes random and should-be-self-evident) things – like, “Why are you letting fig beetles loose to fly around the living room  again?” or “No you may not see if your homemade battle axe made from a Pepsi bottle taped to a stick can break the neighbor’s window.” Sometimes my words fail and what does come out of my mouth is less instructive and more…yell-ish.

Not a good Jesus-look.

One hard day I retreated to my room on a mommy time-out. Down on myself for how I had responded to my little ones, I prayed and asked the Lord what needed to change in me (heart-wise…didn’t take a genius to see where my behavior had failed to cut the mustard) and suddenly I saw my heart in a new light. I was terrified of failing my kids as a parent, and that fear was making me into a control monster. By force of my will, I would MAKE them into MODEL CITIZENS! They WILL be willing and able to tie their shoes and do it in less than 35 minutes!

As I prayed the Lord whispered to my heart what I needed to lose in the attitude department. Be patient with the rate they develop.

But Lord, I’m so scared they won’t learn in time…help.

I will give you wisdom to guide them, and patience.

And suddenly I was at peace. The Lord had spoken to the storm of fear in me and now it was a sunny day. I wasn’t scared anymore because He was with me and will be with me and them every step of the journey into adulthood, and beyond.

There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear…. 1 John 4:18

Whatever hard task you’re doing, you’re not alone either. The God who gives abundantly, generously is right here. Ask Him to shine a light on your heart today and invite His wisdom, love, peace, and truth to guide and transform you in the hard things.

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