About three weeks ago Eric and I were at our 'wits-end' in our parenting. We felt in over our heads. We feel like we are moving into a new phase and season of parenting with our twelve and ten year old and we feel so ill-equipped and inadequate.
Honestly, I've been stuck for several months, in denial. I wanted to ignore and deny the fact that I have a twelve year old and things are changing in the way we must parent. I was grieving the fact that Joshua (and soon, Sophie) are starting to need us to be there for them in completely different ways. I have been dragging my feet, screaming and kicking--not wanting to begin this scarey phase.
I was discussing this with my mentor-friend, explaining how I felt like I was totally failing, explaining how we completely don't know what we are doing and that this was such uncharted territory for us. Her advice was the best advice I think I have ever received when it comes to this whole parenting thing. It was completely monumental and 'perspective-changing' for me. So, of course, I just have to share it with you!
She said, "Good. It is a good thing that you feel like you are failing. It is a good thing that you feel so ill-equipped and like you are grappling in the dark, not knowing where you are going. You are exactly where God wants you because He wants to show you how to lean on Him and experience His power in your weakness."
She went on to explain to me the freedom I would experience once I laid this down before the Lord, admitting that: 'I've got nothing. I know nothing. I am in over my head here. I need you, Lord, to show up and take the wheel!'
As I pondered this, I realized that I had been a mom of 'small children' for so many years that at some point I quit worrying/questioning every move I made and how I was parenting them. Somewhere along the way (maybe at child #4???), I got pretty confident in my own strength. I realized I was also trying to parent my older ones in my own strength as well. I had believed (falsely!) that I 'should' have it all together when it comes to parenting because I had been doing it so long. I realized that I had pridefully not wanted to admit that we completely feel lost and in over our heads with these older kids.
So, we have completely lay it bare before God. We have confessed that we are completely weak and hopeless with all of this and we need His strength.
Wow. She wasn't kidding when she said there is great freedom in laying down our burdens before the Lord. The freedom I have began experiencing is incredible. And the changes I have seen happening in us and in our older two children since I have quit feeling like I have to have it all together have been so encouraging.
It's funny to me how this lesson is one that seems to come up over and over again in my Christian walk. I'm sure that this is not the last time I will have to learn that I need to rely on God and not myself.
'And He said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' 2 Cor. 12:9
'Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you...' 1 Peter 5:7