It’s been no secret that lately I’ve been struggling with being a mom to my kids … feeling overwhelmed, underqualified, impatient, tired and exasperated. Then I had a wake-up call and my attitude has changed. The past week has been one of the best weeks with my kids (minus the tantrums my 2-year-old threw over the weekend at bedtime). This change of heart and mind was confirmed by the sermon I heard on Sunday.
I will admit that I cannot remember much about what our pastor said, but one phrase stuck out. I can’t remember the context, either. (Sorry, Pastor Dave. Saturday night was a rough one with Izzy.) But I recall hearing something about God invading our lives, and something in my mind clicked with that concept.
I remember exactly how God took over my life, when I let Him, but He began invading it long before then. He was wooing me from a young age, through my uncle, my grandparents and friends. I just didn’t get it until I was 19. Actually, I’m not sure I totally “get it” now, but I know one thing: I’m not the same as I was then.
God ruined my life. At least, the life I was living. I was depressed, insecure, desperate for love, on the verge of jumping into a sexually loose lifestyle and ignorant of who I was or what I wanted out of life.
God changed all of that. He gave me joy, security, unfailing love, purity, acceptance, purpose and hope. He ruined the path I was on, and I am forever grateful.
In a similar way, my children have ruined my life. They, too, invaded my life and took over. In a whole new way, my life is not my own. They’ve ruined me for selfishness, laziness, monotony, greed, and independence. Without them in my life, I could do what I wanted, when I wanted, anytime I wanted. I could spend all the money I had on myself and be my own person. Those things are attractive, sometimes, and please don’t think I’m in any way condemning or judging you if you don’t have children. I just know myself and how I would be as a person if God hadn’t given me children.
Sometimes I’m frustrated that my schedule revolves around theirs, that I have to share whatever I’m eating or drinking with my daughter if I’m consuming it while she’s awake, that I can’t even go to the bathroom without her opening the door or calling out, “Mommy, where are you?” And, at times, I’m a little jealous that I have to buy the kids new clothes every few months while my tired wardrobe decays further in my closet. (Except for the new pieces I got for my birthday; thanks Mom and Grandma!)
I may not have known what I was in for when my husband and I decided to have children (at least the first one!) but I knew sacrifice would be involved. The same is true of my faith. In both cases, I can’t stay the same person I was or even do a lot of the things I used to do. Most of the time, that’s a good thing.
I like this song “Miracle” by Audio Adrenaline. The chorus says:
“You took my dreams
And stole my schemes
And turned my life upside down
You took my heart
Stole every part
And made it a miracle”
I wouldn’t trade this miraculous life for what it was before, but when I entertain the thought of going back, I have to remember that this was no hostile takeover of my life. With God and with my kids, I surrendered the ground I was holding and welcomed the invasion.