“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls.” [James 1:19-21]
Parenting brings out the monster in me. No, really. I don’t like the way I am right now.
I am so easily tempered when my daughter doesn’t obey even the simplest tasks. Why must she struggle every SINGLE day over the SAME things? Just go potty. Just stay in bed. Just put your freaking shoes on. These menial, bad-habit routines are my undoing. I’m going berserk.
I want to be on the same team, helping my toddler grow up in obedience to the Lord, but the majority of my time is spent in the boxing ring instead.
I don’t have good control over my mouth or my anger. Sometimes, she just flat out won’t obey. And it leaves me furiously asking, “HELL-O God, are you seeing this? Why aren’t you helping me? Are you even here?” These are questions I’ve never doubted the answers to in the past. But now, parenting has made my vision blurry.
One morning this week, it was foggy on my commute to work. So much so that I couldn’t see fifty yards in front of my truck as I drove the twenty-five minutes to school. Fog is enough of a rarity around these parts that it tends to grab my attention when I see it. I could sense God speaking to me in this moment, “Just because you can’t see what’s in front of you doesn’t mean it’s not there. Shauna, I am in the fog. In fact, I AM the fog. I have chosen to cloud your life up right now so that you would focus on the fog instead of on the circumstances around you. Focus on me, not on the things you can’t control. Yeah, being a mom is blinding. You have no idea what you’re doing and no control of what’s around the corner. That’s the point. Just keep driving.”
Encourifying. The state of being encouraged and terrified simultaneously. But it’s something. At least I’m feeling something. In order to save my soul from the darkness of my sin, I must accept this word that was planted in my heart. This word of being quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to get angry is something that I need to humbly accept.
God, make me a doer of this word. I have a feeling that this gig isn’t going to magically get easier. We all know that I’m not really very good at this. But you didn’t ask me to be a supermom. You asked me to love Jesus and love the people he created.
I must bow down, throw in the filthy rag of perfect parenting dreams, and take up this cross. It’s my calling, you see.