We are learning to see the Cinderella misconception and the fairy tale false idea of a human that is able to come to our rescue in shining armor and love us into our happy ending…but today I see another deadly myth: Motherhood. There were supposed to be truths at work here. If I loved my children enough and gave them enough, sacrificed enough for them…they would be okay. They would be happy and they would love me and appreciate me.
Being a mother was my role. I have wanted to be a mother for as long as I can remember. I gave birth to them and my job was to raise them, protect them, teach them…get them over the finish line in life.
But, in reality, just as no one in shining or rusty armor can heal my heart or satisfy my hunger for love and attention; likewise, I cannot carry my children over the finish line in life. That’s not how it works. Believe me…I’ve tried. Six times. What do they say? “work your fingers to the bone, what do you get? boney fingers!” After years of sleepless nights and endless sacrificing I realize that my helping was hurtful. My kind of love caused damage and created weakness in my children.
I gave birth to them. check
I fed and nurtured them. check
I loved them. check
I fell short of perfection. check and double check
I damaged them in some significant ways. check
But here are some truths that I have learned:
- I was never meant to be responsible for their choices.
- motherhood is NOT synonymous with Savior
- They don’t owe me anything.
- They are not my life.
- Motherhood is what I did, not who I am.
- I am more than a mother.
- My calling is broader than motherhood.
- Motherhood does not define me.
- My identity is in Christ Jesus.
- My children belong to God.
- I am not connected to their failures or successes. I don’t get the credit for their success nor the blame for their failure.
- I am not their hero. Jesus is the only hero in this story.
I can throw off the guilt and shame, cut the cord, break the chains, breathe.
Letting go and stepping away doesn’t mean that I don’t love them. Allowing God to stand in His place in their lives instead of me is true love.
So I will “Trust in the Lord with all my heart, lean not on my own understanding. In all my ways submit to Him and He will make my paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 That’s a real thing.
Casting all my cares on Him, for He cares for me. and for my children.