In addition to being mom to three girls and Bayou City Fellowship's newest addition to staff as our Cypress Campus's women's pastor, Melissa Money is an advocate for her children, a faithful friend, sweet wife to Dane, a mighty and humble servant of our God, and an inspiration to all who get to know her. Today on the blog, she shares about the grittiness of parenting and the goodness of surrendering it to the Father. Please let us know how we can be praying for you,
With All My Heart,
Desperation is close to a mother. When a piece of your heart is separate from your body, and has its own will and talent and failure and success, desperation comes easy. Mothers long for good things for our kids. We want to provide, to protect, and to propel them forward. And we are called to do all those good things. Desperation happens when we start to believe we can accomplish all those things on our own power and authority. Because the truth is, our babies are not our own. If they were we’d have control over them. I am reminded daily that I’m not the lord of my kids. Storms come in the form of sickness and rebellion and emotional wounding, and I can’t stop them.
Three years ago, my middle daughter was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. The only treatment is a lifelong special diet which must be followed to the extreme to avoid increased risk of infertility and cancer. A month later, my oldest daughter was also diagnosed. They were three and four years old. To say I was shaken is an understatement. Feeding my family is one of my favorite responsibilities, and this was a huge blow to my identity as a mom (aka chocolate chip cookie baker). I spent the next year in desperation. I researched obsessively. I was scared that they’d get sick, I was worried about their social lives, and I was the definition of “helicopter parent.” I could trust the Lord with my life, sure, but my kids were MY responsibility.
This was a twisting of the God-ordained parenting role of Provider and Protector. Under His authority, we are empowered in all areas of life. Desperation happens when we try to act on our own power.
A turning point in my Year of Desperation was a moment of quiet evening calm in my living room (after my kids were asleep, obviously). I was emotionally exhausted. I wanted to pray, but the words wouldn’t come. Suddenly inspired to speak aloud the Lord’s Prayer, I began to whisper:
Our Father in heaven,
Do you see my struggle? Do you see my babies hurting?
hallowed be your name.
You are holy, Lord. Help me.
Your kingdom come,
Right now would be great.
your will be done,
Where? Where is your will?
on earth as it is in heaven.
Oh. OH. On earth as it is in heaven? Your Kingdom here in my home?
Give us this day our daily bread,
(Tears. Seriously, food is specifically mentioned here?) So I am not ultimately responsible for this?
and forgive us our debts,
I am realizing I have much for you to forgive...
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
The people who haven’t understood, the ones who have been hateful...I have to let it go, for my own heart. It’s too heavy.
And lead us not into temptation,
I feel so far away, Lord. Lead me.
but deliver us from evil.
Deliver me. Deliver my kids.
For yours is the kingdom,
The kingdom is yours. My life is yours. My kids are yours.
It IS yours, Father. I surrender.
and the glory, forever.
Redeem this, God, bring your glory.
Jesus is Lord. (Not me. Not you.) He has the power to calm the waves instantly. Sometimes He does. But one of my favorite things about him is that, in the middle of a storm, he holds us close. In the storm, yes, but in his hands. No circumstance confuses him. No calamity overwhelms him. Jesus never fails. In his power, we are free.
Ephesians 3:14-21 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever.
“God is asking you to simply be what you are.” - Elisabeth Elliot
What if we stopped striving to be The Perfect Mother, and were content to be the moms we are? To live each day - each moment - in the grace of Jesus brings freedom and power and joy that are unshakeable. And in His power, we do have authority over our children.
We are Guardians.
We are Nurturers.
We are Teachers.
We are Advocates.
We are Friends.
We are Boundary-Keepers.
We are not perfect.
We are perfectly paired with our children.We are mothers.