Friday, October 23, 2015

Dear Momma, Surrender Him.

Dear Young Momma~

I know the first time you looked into those sweet olive eyes of his and rubbed that button nose, you wondered how you could ever ever love someone so much.  This miracle, woven right inside your womb, just under your heart, all swaddled up safely in his muslin blanket and placed right in your arms.

Momma, there's a secret to motherhood that can never be understood until motherhood happens to you.  This secret is sweet and bitter.  The sweetness comes because it's a key that all mommas who love Jesus use regularly.  The bitterness comes because it's the key to your own self, dying a thousands deaths, while you become more like Christ. Yes, the secret is bittersweet.

The secret~You'll have to surrender that boy over and over and over again. 

Your heart will break a bit each time as you make the hard choice of surrender.  Surrender is a moment-by-moment choice. Your heart will strengthen as it breaks.  You likely won't notice the strengthening at the time.  A heart being strengthened feels a lot like dying.  It will be harder than it ever appeared from far off.  It's easy to tell another Momma with her baby what to do and how to do it.  But something happens when it's your baby, that one that was knit just under your heart, the one God gave you to you to love. Surrender is a lotta bit harder.

For the momma who loves Jesus, motherhood is a series
 of a
thousand surrenders and million sufferings.

Surrender him.
If you've already watched him being swept off to the hospital's nursery, independent of you, you've felt it.  When you strapped him into his car seat for the first time, that "I can hardly do this" feeling, that's called surrender, Momma.  It's a definitive choice to let go of him and trust God with his life.

Surrender him.
That first night he sleeps in his very own crib, in his very own room, wayyyy over there.  All those what-if feelings that rise up, that's your moment to shine, Momma.  Surrender those feelings to the one who made him.  And when he cries for you, go to him, but go slowly.  Let him know you're near, but don't once make him believe you're able to save him from suffering.  Let him know you're willing to let him cry a little to make him stronger, Momma.
Let him know you're willing to suffer, as you surrender him to Jesus, the great sufferer.  Your heart will strengthen as you strengthen him in Christ, Momma.

Surrender him.
When he's running at break-neck speed away from you in his fury of rebellion, only to trip over the sidewalk and go down hard.  I know,  your brain will quickly forget he ever screamed at you, and every single cell in your body will want to run to him and scoop him up and tell him it's okay.  Go to him, Momma, but go slowly.  Let your heart break and remind your brain to stay engaged, as remind him you're willing to let him suffer, yes, even with a scraped knee, to learn the hard lesson that rebellion and running will never strengthen him.   You're building a man, Momma. 
Refuse to be the rescuer.  Choose to be a builder.

Surrender him.
Oh, that time he breaks that boundary that you were sure "your child would never!" (and he will), let him suffer.  Let God do the hard work of holding his toes to the fire while you pray and even bawl your eyes out, if you must, but let him be refined in the refiner's fire. 
Surrender and surrender and surrender him again. 
Refuse to be a rescuer.  Choose to be a builder.

Momma, that baby boy lying before you will one day be a man.  He will, by God's grace, lead and protect his wife and family.  Refuse to rescue, holding him back from becoming the man God is molding and refining and building in that little 20 pound body.

Surrendering that little boy will be the hardest thing you'll ever do over and over and over again.  This-this strength in suffering-is the real "I can do all things through Christ strength".  And know this, Momma, God, your Father, did not spare his own son, so that YOU could live.  He allowed him to learn obedience through suffering.  He allowed him to go to the cross.  And there was even a broken Momma there, too.  She looked on while her son was pierced right through, for you.

Surrender is weighty and costly.  It will cost you your very life, the life you want for yourself, your child, your family.  Discipleship is costly.  But Jesus is worth it. 
For His glory and Your joy and the good of others.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Like Father Like Son, Cherished and Nourished

When my husband takes me away, from the chaos of life, to the mountains and water, to be alone with him, I know I am cherished.  I wouldn't choose to be alone with me.  I can be quite irritable and self-focused.  He loves anyway and pushes through hard.

When he plans trips to art museums and mineral science museums, when he'd probably rather sit on the bench outside, he is sacrificially loving, dying to his own will, to pour love upon an incredibly undeserving and sinful wife.   He gets me alone with him and nourishes and cares for me in ways  that he can't when all the other roles and responsibilities of life are in his day.

Years ago, everything inside of him told him I would reject him if he prayed for me.  He died to his self-will and fear of rejection and followed after God's own heart.  He would tell you he stumbled and fumbled around.  I would tell you I have never seen a man so strong.  God has used my husband's prayers to break strongholds in my life, to set the record straight that I am loved and cherished and a daughter of God, and to give me a clear view of God's priorities for my life.

My Father does the same...

When my Father draws me away, from the chaos of life, to be with Him, to learn to know Him better, I know I am cherished.
When I was a baby Christian, He would wake me at all hours of the night and draw me unto Himself.  I would go to work very tired, but every lost hour of sleep was more-than worth it, to begin to know this Father who saved me.  As He drew me unto Himself, I knew I was cherished.  I wouldn't wake myself to spend time with me. I don't see myself as all that fun to be around at 3:00 am.  But God knows His creation and His children and loves them anyway.

My friends will often ask, "Why in the world do you wake up at "such and such a time"?

Here's the secret:  God wakes me and draws me, and I've never ever missed the sleep that I once thought I couldn't do without.

To be cherished and nourished by my Father and my husband is a precious gift that I receive joyfully. I know I don't deserve it.  But they love anyway.