God recently opened my eyes to a sin issue that, at times, has been all consuming to me. In many facets of my parenting..I parent with a guilty conscience or parent a certain way because I feel guilty, OR feel guilty after I parent for not doing it the right way. It all builds up to a lot of self-destructive guilt.
MK developed a viscious chronic cough at the beginning of September and now has been struggling with it for 5 months. She gets virus after virus which just makes the cough flare up again, greater and greater. She gets less and less sleep, gets weaker and then gets another virus. It has been a viscious cycle. We have taken her to the doctor countless times and she has been on an alphabet list of medications. We went to a specialist last week to only find out we know no more than we did 5 months ago. I have really been attacking myself….”I must be a really terrible parent if I can’t even figure out what’s wrong with my kid.”…”If I would spend more time researching on the internet, I could just help find a cure for her.”….”If I would be more diligent in my searching, I could find a more natural cure so that she would not have to be on steroids.” and on and on go the lies in my head.
Yesterday during my quiet bible reading, I came across Psalm 115:3, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” Later in the morning, I received a text from a friend that said “MK’s condition is not due to your lack of parenting. God created MK for his glory.” God used his word and my friend to help open my eyes that I was taking his issues into my own hands. He chose Maiya to be born 4 months early so he could show the power of his hand through her in miraculous ways. We knew that at her birth. Perhaps again, he is using physical ailments in her body to show his strong might. I’m not giving him the credit he is due when I just say she is sick because I am a bad parent. That also cerainly takes a lot of burden off my plate!
After praying through this, God began to reveal to me how I parent through guilt in many areas. Another big one that came to mind is school. I do LOVE to teach the girls! I love that God has chosen me to be their mommy and given me the privalege to be their teacher as well. I love to watch their faces fill with wonder when they make new discoveries. I love that wonderful bit of satisfaction that comes when they finally grasp a concept we’ve been working on. But all too often I get consumed with guilt. “I’m not doing as much as that other mother I saw on that blog.” “I’m not spending enough time with the girls in the school room and now they are going to be behind.”….and then later…”I pushed them too hard and got frustrated and upset MK…what kind of loving mother does that?!” And again this cycle of beating myself up striving for perfection and then falling short.
Even as I type this, God is revealing more and more ways that I let my decisions and daily actions be driven by guilt. I feel that surely I am not alone in this…that surely there are other mothers that strive too much and fall short too often, being left with a feeling of inadequacy. My prayer right now is that God will help me to truly surrender my parenting to him and allow him to stay in control and through that, that I can parent out of love for my children, not guilt. And that I can experience joy through my time with them and not inadequacy and worry. I can’t say I am truly surrendering areas of my life to him if those same areas are causing me so much grief and guilt. I am praying that through God’s wisdom, He’ll show me how to truly hand over my parenting to him so that HE gets the glory, I’m filled with joy and my children are greatly blessed.
My girls are so little, but God uses them to teach me so many grown up lessons!