Some people shine brightest under pressure. A little stress and brilliance emerges. A little flare of trouble and swiftly, clear thinking pervades the space. Brilliant words materialize.
And then there are the other sort – like myself – who seem to function just opposite. A sudden pouncing of pressure – or as it often happens in my world of momming, an onset of a sharp-sibling-exchange (that kind that isn’t “allowed” but somehow sneaks in…again, and again) – and my insides are wound in knots. Triple-tied.
I’m instantly incapacitated. Immobilized. Firing out words disconnected from the heart in effort to keep bodies safe and harsh words held.
These are some of my hardest moments as a mom.
When the heart is far and the heart is what I need most.
It’s when I’m ready to sing and share hearts deeply but instead I’m thrown the referee’s whistle, brawls brewing and injuries threatening.
All the while I’m mourning at what could have been and isn’t, because how can something beautiful arise from this emergency atmosphere? How will I open my heart to share with them if continually in crisis control, knots persisting? How will we ever get to the deeper places of love and truth if we’re always here on the surface, waves jostling and shoving proudly against one another?
Four-Foot Storms and Heart Encounters
And Jesus humbles me here again. That Man (who is the Lord) who never cowers at stormy waters. He reminds me again. The depths I long to give to my children weren’t born in a spring breeze either.
The little four foot storm brewing beneath my roof might be at miniature scale, yet it’s often in such times that a greater sight of Jesus and tighter clinging to Him are born.
[framed_box] Storms are heart exposers and high times for heart encounters. We learn best when we’re quivering and rest most after we’ve been marked yet again not by our control, but His.[/framed_box]
The Gift Called “Desperate”
Yes, I’d often prefer the put-together, heart at peace, graceful exchanges of parenting. Yet sometimes when I want to give them a heart put-together, He’d rather my gift to them be a heart spent desperate, gulping water, with arms and heart stretched vulnerable and in need of Him.
Sometimes this is the greatest gift I give them.
[framed_box]My history tells me that my greatest gold in God was born in the crossfires of my inabilities and difficult circumstance or pain.There the heart tossed to and fro by the waves finally throws arms heavenward.
There the Son of God walks across the storm and lifts the beloved one from the tempest (Matt. 14:31). There good ideas of self sink to the ocean floor and markings of a tangible touch of the Savior become like a mighty fortress at sea.[/framed_box]
When I find myself sideswept by their swelling waves, mourning the loss of my peaceful atmosphere and simultaneously wondering how in the world they so easily pull me in with them, I reach with desperation from the troubled waters.
[framed_box]A heart in need and without answers, I reach not just by myself, but clutching little hands and hearts tightly along with me. [/framed_box]
Into A Reach Beyond Myself
[framed_box]I planned to give them depth of thought but gave them instead depth of need. I wanted to give them rich words but gave them instead the word of “help,” to the One called the Word.
I was hoping to give them peaceful ponderings but instead pulled their little hands upward, along with mine, in a reach beyond myself, to the only One whom the winds and waves obey (Matt. 8:27). [/framed_box]
And He walks across the waters (Matt. 14:25). Smiling at me with the kindness of the One who promised to gently lead those with young – the One who knows that even moms and dads are children and He the Father of all – He scoops up into His arms these little ones beside me (Is. 40:11).
Seeing His Marvelous Kindness and We’re All Changed
And as He lifts them from the waters, His eyes dancing with light and joy – He who is all that is True and Good – and they peer into His face, we are all changed. We are all marked forever, never the same.
[framed_box]All of us quivering and water logged stand in the hush of the waves calmed and winds stilled and together take in His transcendent kindness, abounding mercy and marvelous might. [/framed_box]
Four-foot storms may sweep our footing from beneath us, but as parents, let us not forget, they just might be that desperate context where we – and our beloved children too – meet Jesus like we’ve never met Him before.