To the Moms: When the Arrows Fly

To all the Moms:

I know firsthand, together with you, how the accusations can fly right at our weaknesses, our gaps, our insufficiencies. And most times, we’re the first to agree with them. We know we’re not wise enough, strong enough, patient enough, or gifted enough to somehow be all they need us to be. Our brokenness is even more than they’ve yet discovered, even though they’re geniuses at detecting our weak links.

Never has something brought me so swiftly into my shortcomings and simultaneously into the enemy’s assailings than the place of mothering – like a double-edge sword. And I’m not sure I’ve yet learned how to wage those battles well. Yet I know the secret of the Lord’s leadership here. Jesus is the only one who can wield an arrow that was meant for our harm right back at the heart of His enemy, by using the very thing meant for evil as the place He gains greater victory (Gen. 50:20; Rom. 8:28). Our gaps are not the Lord’s ceiling but entryways for His strength.

The Lord looks at us in these years while they are under our roofs and He sees it all –  even the gaping-wide inadequacies we ourselves have yet to discover. He didn’t give them to us for our giftings but for our groping for Him. He didn’t entrust them to us for our abilities but for our dependency upon Him for all that we need. We’re not to be awesome but to direct their eyes and hearts to His awesomeness.

When the fiery arrows fly and we know there’s bits of truth in them (how can I disagree with my shortcomings?), let us remember that He clothes us with dignity, brings beauty from our ashes and levels our gaps with His own all-sufficiency. Yes, we are weak but the greater truth is how the Lord redeems and covers and brings victory from the most unlikely places (2 Cor. 12:9).

Jesus loves mothers. He had one and loved her so. He knows there’s no more vulnerable combination than the heart of a woman that aches for her children and her pain at her own failings in loving them well. He wants to meet us here. He wants to wash us with His word and strengthen us with courage. When we yield to Him in this two-fold vulnerability, He will meet us with a double-portioned giving of Himself. And we will step back and watch with wonder as He makes beauty and forges splendor in these ones He put within our care.

We are weak but He is strong.