This single parenting thing is so difficult. I get confused by all the different situations, personalities, struggles, and issues of my children. I can’t seem to get my feet under me on any of them!
And then there’s me.
I think I might actually be more confused by my issues, struggles, emotions, and stresses than I am by any of my children’s.
I’m a mess.
Sometimes people are offended when I say that. They want to correct me and say I shouldn’t say that.
That I shouldn’t be that.
That I should get my act together.
That I should be past the emotions…that’ll be a God-sized task!
That I should get out of the pit, but I’m not in a pit…life is just challenging right now.
That I should just put my big girl pants on already…Yeah…well, my big girl pants are on, believe me.
They don’t fit comfortably…they are sometimes too tight, sometimes too loose, sometimes too itchy, sometimes too stiff, sometimes too soft, sometimes the tag rubs wrong, sometimes they are on backwards and sometimes they are inside-out. But they are on. Dang it.
I think I’d like to say this…ITS OKAY TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF A MESS!!!
God didn’t say that I’d be perfect here…God didn’t say that life would be all neat and tidy…God didn’t say that people would act properly and not be mean…God didn’t say that everything would work out if I followed a certain set of rules or criteria…actually God said kinda the opposite…
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
I looked up trials, tribulation and trouble in the back of my Bible and they pretty much seem like a given. BUT God does not leave us in these troubles.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, thought the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Psalm 46:1-3
And these trials have a purpose. A good purpose…
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trails of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
Perfect, complete, lacking nothing…sounds pretty good. Perfect is a pretty daunting word, but in this verse it does not mean being sinless. It refers to our spiritual maturity.
“The testing of our faith drives believers to deeper communion and great trust in Christ – qualities that in turn produce a stable, godly, and righteous character.” (John MacArthur, The MacArthur Bible Commentary)
That’s totally who I want to be…stable, godly, righteous, not wobbly, messy, and self-centered.
And then I read about Paul…Paul who suffered mightily on this earth and begged God to take away his thorn, shared openly about his struggles…Paul, who had a passion for the Lord that I long for, shared how He wrestled with things…like sin and circumstances that were by no means ideal.
For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that swells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin. Romans 7:19-25
BUT THE NEXT VERSE IS AWESOME!!!
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1
After Paul shares of his struggles with sin, he reminds us and himself, that because of Jesus we are not condemned! How beautiful!
When I share my struggles, like Paul I want to point me (and you) back to Jesus. Because let’s face it, we all struggle with something. How much better if we could share our struggles and our victories in order to encourage and bless one another without receiving any condemnation!
It would be such a monumental thing if we as the Body of Christ could be open and share without condemnation. If we could choose to walk alongside one another through our struggles and the battles we fight in order to share the victories!
And there will be victories because the battle is the Lord’s!
Although I’m okay with sharing it, I’d really like to not be a mess. I’d really like to get my act together.
But God is showing me that getting my act together isn’t really what I think it is.