“Hey mom. Do you think you’re gonna pee in your pants when you’re up there talking to those ladies? Cuz, when I’m in front of people, my eyes start watering and I ALWAYS feel like I’m gonna pee.”
Mary Grace always knows exactly how to encourage my soul.
“Man, I hope I don’t pee in my pants,” I responded. “Because this is kind of hard for me! It makes me nervous and doesn’t feel comfortable. But we have a really big God, so we can do hard things.”
We can do hard things.
If we had a family mantra, this would be one of them. Right along with, “FOR THE LOVE. Put the lightsaber DOWN.”
You see, as a mom, I want my kids to see me struggle. I want them to sit at the dinner table and hear their imperfect parents wrestle over decisions, over scripture, over all the things that we just don’t understand. I want them to watch us fail and ask for forgiveness and get right back up.
The last thing I want is for my kids to view their parents as some impenetrable force who has this life all figured out.
I want my kids to see me struggle because I don’t want them to view me as a hero. I want them to see me flounder and push through the hard so that God’s strength can burst through my weakness.
I have heard parents buck against this. They deliberately conceal their weaknesses and failures out of a desire for their children to “feel secure.” In an attempt to reassure their kids that their parents are strong! That they’re able! That WE ARE ALL OKAY!
But the truth is that we are not all okay. And if my kids learn to look to us as the strong ones- as their saviors- well, just go ahead and stamp FAILURE on my forehead. Because my chief goal as mom is to continually, almost-fanatically, train my kids to look to Jesus as the Strong One. As the only One who saves. As the One through whom we do the hard things.
Parents, it is OKAY for your kids to see you struggle and wrestle and question and (gasp) even fail. It’s okay for me to tell my daughter that, “man, I’m not really feeling that brave right now, and I really hope I don’t pee in my pants.” Because this following-Jesus-thing is not always a cakewalk. It’s hard. There’s sacrifice. There’s that whole, “take up your cross, and follow me” deal that Jesus threw out there (Matthew 16:24). Sometimes, following Jesus looks a lot more like battle than anything else. But the best news of all- the news that we better be speaking over our children day in and day out- is that we already know who wins.
So, yes. We, Allisons, can do hard things. We can love others when they’re unlovable. We can go when we want to stay. We can speak up for those who have no voice. We can push past our fears and get up on that dang stage.
We can do hard things. Not because we’re omnipotent, omniscient, fearless little mini-gods. But because we have a Savior who is.
And for the record, that same child- darling little Mary Grace- approached me a few days later and asked, “If I’m a mom one day, will it be a hard thing?” To which I replied, “YEP. It’s amazing and worth it but it is a REALLY HARD THING.”
“Well then,” she said. “I’m not gonna be a mom then. Cuz I do NOT like to do hard things.”
We’re working on it.