Good afternoon you dazzling ray of sunshine, you!
Hopefully, you’re reading this while overlooking pristine, shimmering waters of a lake or ocean or backyard baby poop. Or maybe you’re out camping in God’s great wilderness.
Me? I’m just hangin’ out at home with a 10 week old, unpacking from a weekend in Shreveport and repacking for a week in Knoxville, loving every single minute of this things called mom life.
However you are spending your Memorial Day today, we can all stand to be reminded of something that’s been on my heart these past few months: God is our strength.
If you’ve gone through the process of bringing a child into the world or have been wingman to your spouse as she endures the process, you know that being a new parent can be tough stuff.
Who knew something so tiny could produce such sounds (not to mention odors) that make you feel ever so defeated, helpless, and, more or less, like the worst parent in the entire world.
On top of all of that, there’s the accompanied exhaustion, sleeplessness, and frustration. Not to mention the near constant state of ickiness and stickiness due to the mass quantities of spit up, boogers, and other undesirable, unmentionable bodily fluids.
Being a parent can be tough stuff.
But let’s face it. Because of our mistake over that one apple years ago, our innate drive to stick our toes over the line, life is tough. We brought this whole sin thing upon ourselves. No getting around it.
Luckily, y’all, we don’t have to do this alone. We don’t have to muster the courage to face the trails and frustrations of daily life on our own.
We have a God that will not only grant us strength but glory-strength.
Let’s take this week on with His glory-strength, y’all.
Last week, I had to endure a painfully heartbreaking first with my son: round one of those controversial vaccinations.
I’ve spent weeks combing through the research, sifting through studies, weighing the pros and cons of delaying and spreading out and ignoring them altogether. I also knew that my son’s first flight (thus exposure to loads of strangers in a very confined, germy space) was rapidly approaching, like a few days away approaching.
So which is worse- subjecting him to vaccines and the possible side effects or to the airborne illness and germs from thousands of strangers in the bustling DFW airport and on the plane? I chose option A.
My goodness, nothing has hurt my heart more than seeing the pain I allowed my son to be in, the wailing shrieks that erupted out of his tiny mouth causing his face to look reminiscent of a ripe Texas plum, his whole body seizing up in shock and agony.
But from there, over the next week, my son was the fussiest and crankiest I have ever seen him, thus having several more episodes of witnessing him go from 0 to banshee in 5.2 seconds…he was in a state that only a mother could love…not even sure daddy was all that crazy about being around him.
As thoughts like- “What in the world have I done?! What kind of mother am I to subject my son to such senseless agony? I’ve ruined him. He’s never going to be his sweet, easygoing self again! I’ve created a monster!”- ran rampantly through my mind, I felt weaker and more helpless by the second.
After trying to fix the tiny screaming gremlin that was once my son for a few days, I realized how foolish I was being to try to do this on my own.
It was like kicking even harder in quicksand; the more I researched and tried to figure out what I could do to help my son, the deeper I sunk into fear and anxiety and helplessness.
Before my head sunk beneath the rapidly engulfing surface, so to speak, I reached out to my Father and prayed. “Savior God, I need You, Your strength, Your peace, Your wisdom.”
By golly, y’all, His grace is enough; it’s all we need. Our strength comes into its own in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
By the end of last week, I had my giggling, smiling, pleasant champion of a son back. Thanks be to God.
This little stunt reminded me that God’s grace is enough for every difficult situation we will ever go through.
But here’s the kicker that keeps getting me in trouble: when those dark and stormy clouds start rearing their ugly heads, we have to chose to admit that we can’t tackle them on our own.
Like James reminds us, “It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.” (4:6).
For each and every one of you, those clouds take on a different appearance based on our circumstances and what God allows us to handle and be shaped by. The clouds may be troublesome children- young or old, addiction, financial strain and debt, a fizzling marriage, a heartbreaking diagnosis. They may linger for a few days, a few weeks, or, in some cases, years.
Instead of boldly and blindly stepping out into the storm without a rainjacket or an umbrella, or, conversely, cowering under said umbrella, let God help shield and carry you through these storms.
And in order to do that, we must let go.
Let Him take over.
That’s way easier said than done for me, y’all.
Nonetheless, if you burst headfirst into that storm without His strength and fortitude, you will, inevitably, be swept away.
Colossians 1:11-12 shares, “We pray you’ll have the strength to stick it out over the long haul- not the grim strength of gritting your teeth but the glory-strength God gives. It is strength that endures the unendurable and spills over into joy, thanking the Father who makes us strong enough to take part in everything bright and beautiful that he has for us.”
Amen to that.
So let go.
Receive His grace, His strength, His fortitude today. And go forth into the storm, finding the beauty and joy amongst the gale and hail.
What beauty did I encounter through my storm this past week? I was reminded that I have a son that is alive and well, that is growing in leaps and bounds, and that, even after his shots, still wants to snuggle up on my chest and coo and smile at me.
God is good, y’all. Grasp His hand today, and step out into that storm unafraid.
Today’s Food for Thought: Are there any storms in your life that you are cowering from, hoping that if you ignore them they will just go away? Or, on the flip side, are there any storms you are trying to chase down on your own? Are you slowly drowning in a flood of despair? Give it over to Him today. I cannot help but consider this song in light of this post. Give it a whirl. Let your heart speak through it.
Today’s Prayer: Lord, I need You, every hour I need You. I cannot make it a day, an hour, a minute without Your supernatural power, endless grace, and beautiful mercy. This life is all too hard, too swift, and I’m drowning here. I want to embrace the circumstances before me, knowing that I am being molded and strengthened by them. Allow me to accept these storms in my life and accept Your courage to face them head on. Forgive me for trying to take these struggles on without you; how foolish of me. Today, I chose to embrace Your strength, embrace Your grace, and allow You to shine through me in this darkening storm. Help me to see this situation in a new perspective, one that is graced with hope. I am Yours, Lord. Amen.
Healthy Happy Texan
I'm a Foodie, Fitness Instructor, and Follower of Christ. Add a passion for teaching others, dark chocolate, bacon, and dogs -- and that's me in a box.
Come on, let's live a little!