“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love, and of self discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Life has sent me more than my fair share of curve balls, and you may have had your fair share as well. Often these are simply inconveniences that force us to swap up plans or judge more than we probably should. It's stressful, and in the moment, this usually feels like a huge deal. But, generally they're not life-altering. Then there's the other kind of curve ball. Something in your life has shifted, has left, or has been revealed that's left your mental and emotional state in a total upheaval. Life as you once knew it does not exist anymore.
I'll never forget the day I discovered my toddler had been sexually abused by a family member. I can tell you exactly where I was standing, what the weather was like, and who was there. I can watch it like an observer outside of my body viewing my life as a movie. The Lord felt far from me in that moment with rage, shock, and emotions I can't put into words, intermingled. I was fueled with energy that made me want to fight and yet felt so weak and shattered I wasn't sure I could walk.
I had many heavy decisions to make in those following months -- decisions that felt impossible. On top of legal discussions, we had to navigate boundary discussions as our extended family dynamic was about to change in a big way. I had to bear the burden of enforcing, comforting, easing, and reassuring. And, I had to be the rock for three children who needed a mom to embody love, support, and healing when I most definitely did not feel any of those things in myself. In His goodness, the emotion of God feeling far from me did not last. God brought His words to my mind at those moments where I was shaken, where I felt like all I could do was curse or weep, there He gave me strength to look past my pain and find delight in my children.
While my life was shattered and my children's was changing, I as their mother had the power to create their new reality while they were young enough to remain in my presence. God reminded me that He made me capable of this. No matter the circumstances, He gave me the power to think clearly when I felt jumbled. He gave me the power to love them when I felt unloved and lost inside. He gave me the power to help them feel secure in the midst of chaos. He gave me the power to have self discipline and decide how we, as an immediate family, were going to weather this storm. Psalm 46:1 reminds us that "God is our refuge and our strength, an ever present help in the time of need." No matter the trauma, the challenge, the curveball, the storm, whatever you want to call it, we are still our children's mother. God knew this time would come and He chose you to be the mother your children would need. We are who they look at to impart Truth in times of uncertainty. How we speak and behave in times of trouble matters. We won't be perfect; we will fail. Sometimes graciously and sometimes without an ounce of grace. And in those moments when God is giving us His power, we may feel anything but powerful. But, I promise you, even the smallest of choices through God's power and our weakness, we and our children reap the greatest of God's promises.
Jesus, on days when grief is heavy, please give me your eyes to see my children. Give me your power, your self discipline, and your courage to make the difficult decisions my children need me to make. Lord, give me divine love and the ability to speak words of Truth that secure them. Your Fellow Able Mom, Hannah Redden