My daughter, Kayla, gave me a journal last year for Mother’s Day. For the past year, I have written letters to her and notes as I study the Bible. My plan is to fill the journal and give it to her for her 16th birthday (she will be 13 this month).
I wanted to share with you my letter to her today. One thing that I want to be to my children is real. I don’t want them to think that I’m this perfect mom that has it all together because they need to understand that that person does not exist. There is only one perfect person that walked this earth and it is not me. I like to tell stories of my past to my kids when I see them struggle. I want them to know I understand what they are going through because I was once their age and I know their struggle. I want them to know my mistakes and the consequences it caused me.
My son said something to me that really bothered me one day. After hearing one of my “imperfect childhood stories”, my son says, “Wow Mom, I always pictured you as this perfect person.” Part of me wanted to be flattered by this view of his mother, but the other part of my heart broke. I knew I needed to be more “real” to my children. I need to start owning up to my mistakes, such as apologizing to them for times that I lose my temper and yell and for times that I overreact to a situation. I need them to know that there is no perfect person in this world. “Perfect Christians” do not exist. One of my goals as a parent is to be real with my kids. I want them to see my struggles and how I deal with them through my faith. I want them to see my mess and how I turn to God for help. I want them to see where I get my strength from in times I feel defeated, hoping that they too will turn to God during their times of struggle.
Instead of telling them how to live out their faith, I am going to show them, just like I did in my letter to my daughter that I wrote this morning…
Today I am struggling. I have felt distant from God recently because I have not been spending time with Him daily. My heart is aching for His companionship. I miss His presence and I feel myself slipping into a deep sorrow. I know and understand that my sorrow is a result of my distance from God. If i don’t take time for Him daily, my joy starts to fade. So, today I picked up my Bible and started to read. Its been a few weeks since I have read my Bible and the world has really brought me down. I am (as you are also) not of this world. This world brings temporary, short-lived joy that leaves you searching for the next best thing. This week I have let the enemy consume me with worry and doubt as I feel myself wanting to take charge and make decisions on my own without seeking God’s counsel. I do this even though I know I need to be still and let God work out the details. I started reading 2 Corinthians and with my highlighter, I half heartedly highlighted the verses that seemed important to me. My heart was not in it. I was tired from the last several weeks of busyness. I felt the distractions of the world calling out to me. My phone notifications highlighted the screen and without hesitation I reached for my phone and start scrolling through my notifications. I miss you and Hunter (you are at student camp) and I wanted to text you both. Then, I realized that the enemy is doing whatever he can to keep me out of the Word. I then said “Satan get behind me in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord.” I started to pray and ask God to fill me with the joy of my salvation and I begged Him, through tears, to give me His strength. Immediately, I felt better. I wiped the tears from my eyes and went back to the verses I had highlighted, the words I so needed to hear. This is where I found my strength.
“Therefore, since we have this ministry because we were shown mercy, we do not give up.” 2 Cor. 4:1.
“We are pressured in every way but not crushed; We are perplexed but not in despair: we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We will always carry the death of Jesus in our body. For we who live are always given over to death because of Jesus, so that Jesus’ life may also be revealed in our mortal flesh. So death works in us, but life in you.” 2 Cor. 4: 8-12.
“Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day.” 2 Cor. 4:16.
I hope you understand that even adults don’t always have it all together. We lose sight of the important things in life. This is okay, God knows that we struggle with this. Thats why He promises to NEVER leave nor forsake us. He is always waiting for us to turn back to Him and He will ALWAYS welcome us back with open arms. One of His promises is Jeremiah 29:3 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Never forget where to find Him. Love you so much.
Love, your not so perfect Mom. “