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Purpose in Inadequacies in Motherhood

This week as I find myself potty training our son while I am 31 weeks pregnant, measuring and feeling 33 weeks, I have most definitely felt my short comings as a mama, wife and human.  My lack of energy, mobility, plain lack of wisdom in navigating this journey, my failings in keeping my house work up to par, my need for naps, my struggle for patience, all remind me that I am not God-and I desperately need Him.  This past year I have found myself diving into books about motherhood and ministry.  And the question most impressed upon my heart as I began my newest book, Risen Motherhood, was-what if the feelings of inadequacy in motherhood are true and meant to point us to Jesus?

What if instead of “self medicating” or brushing off our short comings in motherhood, we were meant to humbly bring them before Jesus, acknowledging our need for Him and asking Him to grow us? Not self sufficient-powering through, not passive and unwilling to improve and grow as mothers, but humbly coming before the cross, using His example of love and sacrifice as our motivator and example?

Christ always goes first. He loved us, so now we can love our children (1 John 4:19 ESV). He forgave us, so we can extend forgiveness to them (Eph. 4:32 ESV). He sacrificed His entire life and left His throne for our good, we too can step down from careers and other interests to care for our children and families (Phil. 2:5-7 ESV). He served in lowly places, so we too can remember no task is too beneath us as we scrub toilets and change diapers (John 13:3-5 ESV).

There’s something about motherhood that can bring us to the end of ourselves in a very unique way.  When our strategies and planning fail us, when our own emotions, attitudes and will power let us down we feel it.  If we were unaware of our lack of ability to “be a good person” or fooled into thinking we were “pretty good, kind, patient,” etc, we are given a front row seat into seeing our lack of perfection and “goodness” and rather the desperate situation of our hearts.  We need a Savior, we need someone who can change our heart and give us His strength-we need Jesus.

When the apostle Paul was going through a really challenging thing, he pleaded with the Lord to remove it, and God answered him, “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”…. And Paul’s response wasn’t anger or doubting God’s love for him, rather he says, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  (2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV)

So what is my take away from all of this?  Do we just give up and “accept that we aren’t perfect mothers” and have contempt for our kids and circumstances?  I don’t think that’s what is meant by boasting of our weakness.  I think rather, it’s doing our best and asking God to meet us where we end, meet us before we even get there.  I’ve seen this in my own life, when there are moments where it doesn’t even make sense the patience or peace I am feeling, they are clearly not of myself, God is giving me them, growing me in them.  When we can acknowledge that and give Him the credit, pray for and encourage our friends to do the same, I think that’s when God get’s glory. The answer isn’t striving more in our own strength, it’s asking for Jesus’ grace, forgiveness, and Spirit to fill us and enable us despite our inadequacies-without them we might not see our need to run to Him. And that is where our inadequacies receive purpose, when they are redeemed by Christ Himself.

Be encouraged mama, that Christ sees you and He wants to help you, you were never meant to master Motherhood on your own.

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