Do you ever find yourself stricken with the crushing reality of what a horrible person you are?
Maybe it’s just the hormones talking, but lately I’ve been confronted with my own brokenness. It’s in the moments, which I wish I could say were fewer than they really are, when I lose my temper and yell curses at my very old, very needy cat. When I feel my chest fill up with anger when somebody cuts me off on the freeway. When I spend an hour building up a wad of resentment in my gut about something I didn’t ask my husband to do, but that I’ve unfairly expected him to just know I wanted him to do. When I get asked about my tattoo of the cross with the lightning bolt through it, that symbolizes my belief in the power of faith in Christ (even when things don’t turn out the way we want), and instead of taking advantage of the chance to share my deeply-held beliefs, I get tongue-tied and explain it away quickly with a joke.
Most of the time I am a nasty person. If you don’t always see it on the outside, boy can I guarantee that there is a bubbling cesspool of junk on the inside. And now I have this panicky feeling, that I’m growing a tiny innocent life in the same gut that fills up with pride and anger and resentment on such a regular basis. Is he being flooded with those awful feelings? How am I going to raise this little boy to love Jesus and be good and kind if I can’t even care for my own innocent elderly cat without wanting to scream at her? What was I thinking, assuming I was in any way ready to teach a tiny person how to live their life with love and meaning, when I struggle hard to make friends but then I just make up excuses to avoid having to spend time with the few that I DO have?
And yet, I can’t help but imagine that there must be hope. My strong desire to raise my baby in the way he should go has got to count for something, right? I am probably going to fail a lot more often than I get it right, but the fact that I do badly want to get it right must at least mean that I’m facing in the correct direction…. right? I don’t know.
I do know that I can’t do this by myself. I mean, of course, I’ve got my husband to co-parent with me. And I thank God for that. But I mean, there comes a point when I have to recognize that all of my trying my hardest still won’t be enough. As much as I want the world to think that I’m perfect, WOW am I far from it. And my own strength, and intelligence, and even good intentions will fail. That’s where I just have to let Jesus take over. I’ll be the vehicle, the physical hands and feet and voice, but I would feel so much better if HE were doing the parenting here. Not by might, not by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord. I can do all things through Christ, who gives me strength. Greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.
Rather than spending hours comparing carseat reviews or picking out curtains for the nursery, I want to spend the precious few months I have left in preparing my heart for the arrival of this little one. I want to seek after the face of God, who sees the very depths of my ugly and disgusting heart and yet still loves and forgives me, and I want to become a little more like Him. I want Him to cultivate in me a steadfast patience, a true humility, and a powerful grace. I want an attitude of gratefulness, and I want to be quick to show mercy to others. When it really comes down to it, the hours I pour into being the “perfect mom” aren’t going to count nearly as much as the hours I pour into seeking to become more like Christ, and in turn pouring that love into the life of my kid.