My son went to school with a frown on his face today. Perhaps I should specify that the frown was my fault. I rushed, and I nagged, and I let my temper flare more than I should have. All of it caused a general sense of frustration and discontentment in my house. I watched my kid’s faces fill with stress, watched their anger rise to meet mine, but even with the evidence right in front of me, I couldn’t seem to find the self-control that I needed.
I dropped them off after our harried morning, and immediately regretted everything. I replayed how I talked, replayed how I acted, and my stomach twisted within me. You’re a terrible mother, the shame bellowed. They’re going to have an awful day because of you.
I’ve struggled with thoughts like this before. The mocking lies have taunted me, carried on a tide of regret. Lately though, another voice, a voice full of comfort that’s both powerful and gentle has risen up to meet it. There’s grace for this, the voice of Truth says, and with it, comes peace. Grace for all of my faults and failures, even those surrounding motherhood.
“My dear son, be strong through the grace that God gives you in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:1
It’s not often that I let grace wash over me or find strength in this unearned gift. But that’s exactly what we are to do. We are to take these words from 2 Timothy at face value. We can listen to the very voice of God that says, “There is grace for your mistakes, and you can be strong in it.”
What if we were strong in grace? What if we, as mothers, accepted the unmerited favor of our creator? The grace that covers our mistakes. Our mistakes are many, and we know that full well – and God does too. He knew that patience and selflessness would be too hard for us to find on our own. He knew that we would be flawed, that we would fall down more times than we can count.
So, he made a way to pick us back up. To fix what we break and to empower us with His Spirit. He chose the path of grace, so we should too. Mom guilt flies directly in the face of this beautiful gift. It cripples us, weakens us, robs us of our joy and power. But grace makes us strong. It lifts our weary heads and sets our feet on solid rock. The voice of grace quieted the winds and waves, and it will do the same within us.
You see, guilt is heavy-handed, but grace is open-handed. It reaches out to us and invites us to stand in strength. There’s a sense of power and durability in a heart saturated in grace. Like a tree rooted by a stream, our hearts and minds can soak up the refreshing grace that God has for us as mothers.
On those days where we feel as if we can do nothing right, let’s soak up grace. When our hearts are dry and weary, let’s drink deep of the gift that covers, and refreshes, and makes us new. Be strong in grace. It’s available to you in every moment.