The two words God keeps putting before me are “surrender” and “process”. Of course, I feel uncomfortable with both. I am a take-charge, make-it-happen kind of girl and those words require patience, humility, and the forbearance to accept yourself when you don’t get it all right–or even part right.
My husband and I are currently working through Paul David Tripp’s Parenting book with a group at church, and each week I am reminded of all the ways I get it wrong, can’t control, and can’t change my kids. Good grief, I can’t even manage to change myself very well. And therein lies the surrender and process application. I need Him just as much as my kids do; I tell my children that truth, but do I really believe it? Do my mess ups debilitate me in shame or do I return to God for forgiveness and renewal.
Today, we can focus on our imperfections or we can remember we are a glorious work of God in progress. And we are imperfect because we are unfinished.
So, as unfinished creations, of course everything we touch will have imperfections. Everything we attempt will have imperfections. Everything we accomplish will have imperfections.
Let’s stop expecting a perfection in ourselves and a perfection in others that not even God Himself expects. If God is patient with the process, we can be too ~Lysa Terkeurst
I love my kids fiercely, but I’ve screwed up in big ways too. I guess when you are the personality that does everything with gusto, your passion is going to get off course at times. Desperately, I wish I could take back words I’ve spoken and messages I’ve written on their hearts. I am a sinful kid trying to raise sinful kids.
I could beat myself up for it; believe me, the ongoing mom guilt is real. But I have another option too: I can go back to God, surrender my pride, my desire to be a perfect version of myself, and say, “Yep, I messed up again. I hate it. I wish it was different. Please forgive me and help me to grow in You more fully.”
Going through the book of James at church has challenged me in ways I needed. Our pastor humbly exhorts us to remain in a posture of submission and surrender, showing us what it looks like to “offer yourself up as a living sacrifice”. And each week, the Holy Spirit asks me, “Will you surrender a little more? Will you offer it up as a sacrifice of praise?” I open my hands, palms up to the heavens, and bend my knees to the Only King who deserves to sit on the throne: yep, I’ve allowed myself to get up there again. Forgive me, Lord. May I continue to remember that He sits above it all and that I am desperately in need of Him.
Pastor Jeremy challenged us “to weep over our sin and then weep over His grace. For when our sin becomes small and acceptable, His grace ceases to be amazing.” My sin IS great, but His love is greater still. “His mercies are new every morning!” (Lam. 3:22-23) And I am thankful He offers us that place of redemptive grace and acceptance.