I went to a women's conference last year, and the theme was Exodus 14:14,"The Lord will fight for you, you only need to be still." There was a lot of talk of battle and a victorious Lord who would fight all for us. Then one of the speakers posed a question- Is there a battle in your life that you have not invited the Lord into? Perhaps you think it's too small, or too big. Maybe it's a battle you've been in all your life and you just don't think God will want to help or CAN help. But the Lord wants to enter into that battle in your life and free you. Heal you. Move within you.
I loved what she was saying but I didn't really have a battle that came to mind. My life was peaceful, and richly blessed with a happy marriage and 2 cute little boys. So when I got in line for reconciliation, I just had my normal list of things, still convinced there wasn't a battle going on in my heart. However, when I sat before the priest and started to speak, my voice caught and tears streamed down my face as the name of my battle escaped my lips, 'I feel like I'm failing at motherhood'.
My admission shocked me. I felt like for the most part it was going well. But I sometimes yelled, snapped, or felt annoyed that I had to clean yet ANOTHER spill, change ANOTHER diaper, make ANOTHER bottle...and in that moment in front of the Lord in reconciliation, HE is the one who pointed out my struggle. He knew that motherhood was not what I had expected. Yes, I knew it would be difficult, and challenging, and overwhelming; But I figured, "I'm a Catholic woman who always wanted babies and love the Blessed Virgin Mary. I'm pro-life! Everything about motherhood is gonna be amazing!!" And some of it is. But it is HARD. Not like-I- need-a-nap because-I'm-sleepy-hard. It was like- I'm-running-a-marathon-I-didn't-even-know-I-entered- hard. Sobbing-in-the-living-room-while-both-boys-are-also-crying-because-I-feel-so-overwhelmed-hard. And I was afraid that if I admitted that I felt like I was failing, that somehow just SAYING those words made them true.
The thing is once I got the words out the Lord rushed into that battle of what kind of mom I WANT to be vs what kind of mom I AM, and began healing me almost instantly. He showed me my gifts and strengths- and allowed me to see my weaknesses as an opportunities for growth. He showed me that failure is just a part of life and it's going to manifest itself in so many ways. And that FAILING does not equate FAILURE. Stumbling is not the problem, giving up is. Sometimes we just see flaws. We see ourselves screaming at our children, and dry chicken, and loads of laundry, and dishes...so...many...dishes....And we don't see the Lord standing at the center of all of that offering His grace.
We are more than these little moments of failure. We are Daughters of a great King who has gifted us with little children to love and raise up to be holy. That is not a easy job, it isn't suppose to be. However, I would venture to say, it is an amazing job that we are capable of. God believes in us and our abilities. So whatever your battle, invite the Lord into it. He will fight for you, you only need to be still.