Family: When It Brings Out the Best WORST in Us
I find that the people I am closest with and that I love the most—A.K.A family—are like the ultimate litmus test for my positively wicked self.
This realization comes almost daily, but was particularly colored when I recently broke into a “Mommy Meltdown” after a fun-filled morning of interruptions. All of them beginning with the word, “Mommy!”
“Mommy, I can’t find my…”
“Mommy, can you help me…”
“Mommy, the DOG…”
and my personal favorite-“MAAHHHMEEEEEE!!!”
Who put the Bermuda Triangle in my living room??
I was running around barking orders like the Soup Nazi. I was stomping from one room to the next breaking up fights, all the while half-clothed (and the kids yelling in disgust at the sight of my white jiggling parts).
With my fuzzy head partially flat-ironed, I was summoned to clean up people pee/dog poo.
I was completely and utterly unravelling at the seams but worse than that, I was sickened at the nastiness that could emit from my very being.
I hollered out to God. “WHY CAN’T I JUST GET READY? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK?”
And what I was really asking was, “Why can’t I just get ready with no trials to show me how fast I can turn into an ungodly beast?”
BLESSINGS—“You keep saying that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means…”
(Yes, I just quoted The Princess Bride. I digress…)
Whoever decided that I of all people should be in charge of three little sinners must have forgotten that I am totally UNQUALIFIED for this calling.
That would be GOD.
So, then what gives? How can I possibly do this? Do you ever feel so helpless and SO in over your head?
But guess what? I’ve learned something. That “blessing” word? I am the one with the incorrect understanding of it. Not HIM…
James 1:2-3 says this:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Okay, so words that jump right out of the text are “joy,” “trials,” and “faith.”
To me it looks like that old Sesame Street game “Which one of these things is not like the other?”
If you said “trials,” DING! You win the prize!!
I am tested to the limit by my children. I am constantly confronted with my failings. And I feel like I put the FAIL in failings—not joy.
Think about it–Who knows our frailties better than we do?
God. The creative mastermind and designer behind this whole universe. The One by whom everything consists and is held together by.
It’s up to Him to hold the earth in orbit and He can certainly hold us together through any trial He designs for us.
These trials and testings are exactly what God uses to produce a “steadfastness” in us. And I don’t know about you, but my faith could ALWAYS use a boost!
The fact that our God knows what is best for us to develop our faith muscles should produce “joy” in us.
“Joy” —“You keep saying that word, I don’t think it means what you think it means…”
So, does that mean “jump for joy” because you or your best friend just got a cancer diagnosis? No, with a little yes on the side.
No—because cancer is not joyful. Cancer is hard. But cancer is NOT what or WHO we joy in.
Yes—because by the cancer (or 3 screaming blessings or loss of a job or loved one. . .) God is strengthening our faith in HIM.
That’s the “joy” of trials. Resting in HIM.
So don’t get me wrong, children are a beautiful blessing. They give me so much joy and love and laughter . . . and pain and agony and grief. (Sort of like we do as God’s children)
Yet, it is through these tough times when God has called me to mold them as a mother that He is also molding me as His child.
So, is wrangling 3 littles to stop fighting and acting on their sin nature TOUGH STUFF?
Is cancer, or crisis, or death also TOUGH STUFF?
But is God using these things to strengthen our faith in Him?
God has given me my family. He uses their presence in my life to show me so many facets of His character . . . and mine. Even the ugly nasty hag I can be sometimes.
But I am so thankful that God is a good Father who knows just what to hand me to show me my sin. And through that same hand of love, He gives me everything I need to know true joy in Him and Him alone.