If hard things come in threes, I’m done. The loss of my Daddy, the fight with my son and a milestone birthday all within the same week was a triple whammy. Each emotional event caused me to look inward. Mix them together and God has demanded my attention.
Dealing with emotion is messy and uncomfortable. And frankly, not much fun to write about. In my experience, the effort required to process what goes on between our ears, is the hardest work of all. It’s difficult to know when we’re making progress. And burying it deep is an easy out that seems to work, until it doesn’t. I’ve found that unresolved emotion, no matter what it is, eats away at the mortar of our lives.
The Lord doesn’t want us to wrestle with our thoughts alone. His presence provides courage, direction and insight. And even though we may look for an escape route, He doesn’t allow us to find one. There is too much growth possible when we do the hard work.
I thought I had made progress and was doing ok. But then, not realizing my fragility, I read an email from a dear friend. One arresting sentence took my breath away. Thankful to be home alone, I balled. The sentence read simply, “You are a good mother.” And it was my undoing.
The flood of unrestrained tears took me by complete surprise. What in the world was that about? I wondered if my dramatic reaction was because it’s something my daddy would say. Or maybe because it feels so un-true. Or maybe at 60, being a good mother is not only my deepest longing but also also potentially my greatest legacy.
The lyrics to Lauren Daigle’s song, “You Say,” provided a glimpse of insight.
It begins, “I keep fighting voices in my mind that say I’m not enough. Every single lie that tells me I will never measure up.” The hopeful chorus “YOU SAY,” repeats the antidote to the enemies lies.
Who do You say that I am?
If we don’t know who we are, we will waste our time and our abilities to prove something Jesus has already proven. It’s not how high we can jump, or how much we can do, our how well we can do it, it’s that He stooped down and chose us and that identity is what makes us great.
1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
The enemy knows our value long before we do. Since his threat to us is directly related to our threat to him, we shouldn’t be surprised that he goes after what’s most important to us. After all, that’s where we’re most vulnerable and susceptible to his lies.
Wearing the belt of truth, the Lord helps us to fight back. Our identity is not up for debate. It’s not changeable based upon our shortcomings or our lack of confidence. We are His. Period.
Even on our worst day the enemy knows who we belong to. He knows we are more than conquerers and can’t be defeated. His only hope is to convince us NOT to believe the same.
Romans 8: 37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
With competing voices in each ear, I have a choice. Which voice do I listen to, the one that is louder or the one that is true?
One of the sweetest victories we can claim for our Lord is to refuse to live with insecurity. The way I see it, when we stand on the truth of His word and believe He created us with valuable gifts, we become a threat. Because then, with conviction, we actually dare to use those gifts for His purposes.
I Get it Now
All this time I’ve been blaming the enemy for stealing my joy. But I get it now. Cutting off the blood supply is his strategy. He doesn’t care about my joy, but he’s after my strength. Without the Lord’s strength coursing through me, I’m powerless and impotent.
Nehemiah 8:10 …. The joy of the Lord is my strength.
Dang it. Yes! I am a good mother. Strike that… I’m the best mother for Ian and Rebecca. Not because of me, but because God specifically chose me for the job. As impossible as it sometimes seems, He never calls us to something He doesn’t also equip us for. And the way I see it, my success in that calling is completely on Him.
Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for Your claim and calling on my life. Forgive me for all the times I forget who I am. Thank you that my value is anchored in Christ. Help me to know that my identity doesn’t depend on my confidence or diminish with my kid’s decisions. Help me to believe I am who you say I am. Chosen. Beloved. Forgiven. Yours. Amen.
Some kind of trigger or another…then such intense crying you’re left exhausted and depleted. Followed by, where did that come from!? I hate that! It almost makes me afraid of that deep, stuffed thing(!) I have down in there somewhere. But what encouragement you share with us. I love the 1 Peter passage, as well as your wonderful prayer. I AM chosen. I AM equipped. I DO trust Christ to be my anchor and strength. May God bless you real good today, Debbie, the precious and chosen mother of Ian and Rebecca.
Thank you dear Dorma. Indeed. Like the monster under the bed.
Joan Schrock says
I too had a triple whammy a few years back – big milestone birthday, move to a new city, and the sudden loss of my mother all within a few months. Unfortunately, I was not as far or as strong in my walk as I am today, so the days were long. However, God lead me to a wonderful church and strong godly people who helped me through those dark days. I take such comfort in the fact that I AM CHOSEN! I repeat that to myself even now on days when I look around the world and see all the sadness, despair, hate, etc. and know I am His! I loved what you said about the sweetest victories we can claim for the Lord is to refuse to live in insecurity! You know that saying about when the devil whispers to you that you are not strong enough to withstand the storm – and I whisper back I AM THE STORM – it’s one of my favorites! The joy of the Lord is my strength! Thank you for sharing with us each week – I look forward to your communications each week! Take care!
You go girl. I love that. I am the storm! Amen. Thanks, Joan.
Debbie, your messages are always just the right thing I need to hear each week! It’s hard to believe that as a people we are all so different, but we really are so much alike!!! That is quite a mystery, but I’m so glad put you in my life. Your blogs ALWAYS fit in to what is happening in my life! They reassure me that I am blessed and God loves me and that I have so much to be grateful for. You help me stay on the right path! My Fourth Day group is reading Joyce Meyer’s “Battlefield of the Mind”! What a great book addressing what we are thinking! It makes such a difference! I hope you have a happy, blessed day.
Thank you Mary. You too. It has been astounding to walk through ordinary life and still relate to so many. God is a magnificent designer.
Anne kole says
The key to security and contentment is to remember who I am in God’s sight. I am his daughter! That makes a huge difference.1 often feel during this pandemic that he has stripped so much away…friends, family visits, uplifting and challenging activities. It’s tempting to get discouraged and even heart broken. But maybe God has me where I am undistracted. To be still and know that he is God. To remember who I belong to. You are his daughter too, Debbie. Chosen to be a blessing to others, including your family.
Love to you and yours!💗
Thank you Anne. Yes… ironically another thing Daddy would tell all us kids… “remember your name”. It certainly helps to stay rooted in truth.
Debbie, my sister-in-law once told me the following and I remember it always when I think of the mistakes I made and continue to make as a parent:
“What makes you a good parent/mother is NOT that you are perfect, but that you CARE about being a parent.”
I think we are all prone to being emotional these days.
I love that Kerry. Thank you.
sheri french says
Those emotions (sorrow, anger, hurt, fear, betrayal) that we think we have shrugged away sometimes are gone, but you are right – some are buried deep, awaiting a little nudge to come to the surface. Our pent-up reaction can be intense sobbing at the death of a bug in a movie, or lashing out at others. It’s not easy to recognize when we are hoarding feelings, and when we have truly let the little thing go. I missed a friend’s funeral, and about a month later, gave a eulogy for him in a speech at my Toastmaster’s club. He wasn’t one of my closest friends – but I could not get through the speech without tears. Obviously I had buried more mourning than I realized, and possibly some of the mourning was for others whom I have lost. I really appreciate your description of our enemy.
Thanks for sharing your experience Sheri. Yes recognizing the enemy is Key. He fights dirty.
Marilyn Lehning says
As always, thank you, Debbie. God created me as too EMOTIONAL, my opinion, but since Kerri died in 2016, tears are now a gift from God.
Daily thank him that he loves me and I love God.
Marilyn, God created you perfectly. Glad u recognize His gift.
Diane Newswander says
Thank you Deb! I really needed this today. One of my worst workdays I have had during this pandemic. We are fighting Satan at every turn and he tried to break me today. The hits kept coming. Then I read your blog and found renewed strength and courage to recover from the knockout punch that almost made me doubt myself and my ability and gifts God has given me. Thank you for getting me on my feet again! Ready to fight the battle for God!
Isaiah 40:31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like Eagles; They shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint
I love that encouragement from Isaiah. Praying tomorrow will be better! Thanks for your comment.
Sheila Harris says
Thank you, Debbie – I really needed this one. I fall into feeling sometimes even worse than a failure – a detriment to my family and my friends. I don’t know why, but it had never occurred to me that God has “placed” me here and that He will equip me to be a blessing. I’m going to dwell on that.
Happy birthday!! Much love to you.
Yes. Do dwell on that because that is the truth. Love you Sheila.
Thank you for sharing truth 💜
Thank you Cinda. I’m delighted you find benefit.