The Greatest Gift You Can Give Another Mother

She utters the words my heart has secretly asked, “What if I’ve done it all wrong?”  Her brave words catch me off-guard, her greatest fear hangs in the air.  That secret question every mother wrestles with at some point…some, at every point.  What if…

And I encourage her with words, the Word, with a voice that sounds braver than I really feel.  I speak words I’m not sure I really apply to myself…to my own what ifs.   What if, Lord, what if?  As I hang up the phone and hurry out the door, I know God has opened something in me…something He wants to challenge, to change.

At the filling station, I watch the numbers on the digital screen climb higher and higher, faster and faster.  I hear her first, the way she bellows at her child, her tongue cutting him in two.  He trails behind her, eyes down, kicking a rock along.  I see him reach over and pinch his baby sister and smirk as she squeals.  Exasperated, this mother practically tosses her children into her beat up car, her own soul reflecting a beating all its own.  They are all paying a high price today, too.

The words whip through my head:  Wow.  She really needs to get a grip.  Her kids deserve better than that.  Poor kids hardly have a chance with a mother like that…

I remember my own words, spoken in haste, in frustration, in selfishness earlier in the day:  Come on!  We’re going to be late and I cannot stand being late!  You have got to learn to get ready faster and do as you’re told!

I had not bothered to see her eyes filling with tears or notice that she didn’t have her homework folder.  Only later, when her teacher called to ask me about it did I remember putting it up on a shelf, realizing that she must have been searching frantically for it that same morning…  Loathing myself and the sin of my impatience, I had hurried to the school, homework folder in hand.  I had tried to apologize, to make things right.  Though she smiled and hugged me, it didn’t feel right.  My sharp words still haunted me…I am graceless in that moment.  I cannot forgive myself.

I finish pumping gas and climb behind the wheel of my own car, feeling the weight of this other mother…this beaten down mother…this mother in need of grace.  Tears slip down my cheeks.  She and I are the same…desperately needing grace.  Needing to be forgiven.  Needing to forgive.  She pulls out of the station, her car spewing exhaust, her eyes hollow, haunted.  I bow my head and pray for her.  For myself.  For my own mother.  For every mother…that we would all know grace in the moments we need it most.  In the what ifs of life.

I want to chase after this mother, grab her by the shoulders and tell her…it’s okay.  Really, it’s okay.  God has enough grace to cover whatever you have done, whatever has been done to you.  He loves you!  You are beautiful to Him…You are precious.  He can help you overcome.  He can cover a multitude of sins.  He is able to deliver you.  He can be whatever or whoever has been missing in your life.  It’s going to be okay…

But, she’s gone and I’m left to pray.  And to apply the same words to my own heart.  Jen, it’s okay.  Really, it’s okay.  God has enough grace to cover the way you spoke to your child today.  He loves you!  You are beautiful to Him…you are precious.  He is helping you overcome.  It’s going to be okay…

The words are for you, too, dear sister.  He is gracious towards us.  It’s okay.  He loves you.  Really, He does.

This grace from God is powerful, life-changing.  And we can participate.  We can gift it to one another.

We can be gracious to one another.  We can choose to see love, instead of fear.  We can choose to think the best of each other, instead of the worst.  We can pray for one another, bear with one another.  We can extend the hand of friendship, understanding, fellowship…to another mother, a hurting mother.  A lost mother.  A child-less mother.  A dying mother.  A wounded mother.  A husband-less, mother-less, father-less mother.  A mother who doesn’t know how to…mother.  We can give the greatest gift…

The Greatest Gift

1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, it profits me nothing.
4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
8 Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:1-8a  (listen to this here)

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About Jen

Welcome, friend. I'm so glad you are here. Join our family as we go and see all that God has for us in this season, trusting and believing in His goodness, His faithfulness, and His great love for us all. View all posts by Jen

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