One of the most surprising aspects of parenting to me is how nonlinear it is. I used to believe that once I taught my child something, we could simply move on to the next thing. She would always remember the alphabet song if she learned it, and we could build on that. It’s been far more chaotic than that. She might know the alphabet song for a while, but then “Q R S” mysteriously disappears and is left out entirely. Not to say that my children never remember anything, but it takes a lot more relearning and repetition than I anticipated.
Messy Clews, Sarah I also expected my relationship with Jesus to be more linear. Instead, the more I get to know Jesus, the more I realize how much of a mess I am and how short I fall. Those lessons in humility I wished I’d learned in my early twenties? I’m finding myself learning them all over again. I’m so grateful to be in a relationship with a God who loves me exactly as I am and meets me right where I am.
“However, God demonstrated his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were yet sinners.” 5:8 (Romans) (NLT)
It was one thing to try to live a God-honoring life when I was single, without children, and with few financial responsibilities. Now, the stresses of life—financial strain, three small children, exhaustion, surgery recoveries, job shifts, and changes in friends/community—are eroding my fragile exterior and exposing my own selfishness and controlling tendencies. When some of these props are removed or changed, I’m frequently a hot mess. But it is precisely in this mess that God is at work.
“And I am confident that God, who began the good work within you, will carry it on until the day when Christ Jesus returns.” 1:6 Philippians
God will not abandon me. And he doesn’t expect me to have everything together. Indeed, He is most glorified when I admit how messed up I am. “My grace is all you need,” he says each time. My power is most effective when I am weak.” So now I rejoice in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me.” (See 2 Corinthians 12:9)
So I bring him my untidiness, shambles, and mishmash and ask him, “Teach me again, Lord Jesus.”