God is taking me on a crazy journey to find Him right now. I’m desperately searching. I’m struggling with joy…wrestling is probably a more accurate word. I go through my life day to day and I’ve found it unfulfilling. And then I feel guilty.
This post is really hard to write. And I’m going to be completely transparent and open even at the risk of sounding incompetent, selfish and crazy. But I’m trusting that those who know me, will know my heart. And I’m hoping that my transparency will help others to know that they’re not alone if they too feel the same way.
I know God has called me to be a stay at home, home-schooling mother to my kids. He has called me to nurture their character, disciple them, lead them in the way they are bent to go. And yet, it’s so hard. It requires such a forced effort. I just don’t want to sometimes. Most times, lately.
I think it is because there is no gradient when it comes to children from the moment they wake up to the time their sweet little heads rest on their pillows, it’s 100 mph. They are constantly moving, engaging, needing, singing, asking questions, exploring, making messes, hungry, thirsty, crying, laughing, fighting, hugging (you’ll notice I didn’t say cleaning). Then, after the marathon of bedtime, I experience a little bit of quiet before passing out only to wake up bright and early and do it all again tomorrow. Let’s just be honest, I’m tired. No, I’m flat out exhausted. I’m having a hard time enjoying myself. It’s all so laborious. I sigh before my feet touch the floor in the morning. I have a hard time getting on the floor with the kids to play a game or do a puzzle. It’s like lifting weights to build a blanket house or go swimming.
But, I do it. I do these things for the sake of my children, but I’m not really loving it. It’s more out of obligation or duty or necessity. I think the problem comes from the fact that I’ve looked for my joy and happiness to come from my children instead of from God. I’ve looked for fulfillment to come from them instead of from Jesus who is the ultimate comforter and fulfilled the ultimate sacrifice to that I may have abundant joy in the midst of trying times (or demanding kids). I’ve been serving and playing with my kids unto myself rather than unto Him.
Matthew 25:31-40 New International Version (NIV) The Sheep and the Goats
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
This scripture is so rich with so much revelation that I’m sure I could go on for days. But today, God is showing me that the ‘least of these’ are our children. He’s revealing that when I feed, clothe, care for and play with my children it’s for Him. I’m serving him, not them.
See, I carelessly forget that God loves my kids more than I do. I forget that He created them and knows their inner parts. And I bear the enormous weight of making sure their needs are met, both physically and emotionally. And while God has intrusted these children (His children) in my care, He ultimately holds them in the palm of his hand. He’ll fulfill their needs more and better than I ever could.
I definitely don’t have it figured out. In fact, I feel like I’ve just begun this journey of finding myself in Christ. But slowly, He’s peeling away the layers. It hurts to realize that I’ve been looking for joy in the wrong places. It hurts to realize that I’ve idolized my children. But God is tenderly calling me back to Him. He’s graciously showing me what a loving Father He is. And I’m learning to serve Him through my children. I’m learning where to find my joy.