My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.2 Corinthians 12:9
It’s Mother’s Day weekend and I honestly can’t think of a more appropriate occasion to write about grace. I thought I understood the meaning of grace. It seemed rather simple to apply it to the many situations I faced or dealt with. I found it easy to extend and offer grace. That was until I became a mother and realized I needed a truck load of grace!
Grace is defined as “undeserved favour”. It’s the act of kindness beyond what is due. So, when you offer kindness to someone who’s wronged you or hurt you, you’ve extended grace! But, how about when you’re the one needing grace?
Becoming a mother has been my greatest joy! Yet, it has been my greatest challenge. I tend to be a perfectionist in all I do. I also like to have control over situations, and realistically speaking, that’s impossible. And, nothing shakes those two tendencies more than when I became a mother. I struggle with the balance, and because of that, I tend to be hard on myself. No one knows this internal struggle because the controlling side of me wants to keep it all together. Maybe there’s a few of you that can understand?
This brings me back to a few years ago, when Bria was only a couple of months old. I was learning to balance life with three kids under 6, and I felt I was failing big time. The inward struggle was so real that I felt as if I was drowning. Barely able to keep my head above water, I struggled to catch my breath. I felt like an incompetent mother. I felt like everything I attempted to do, I failed! I felt as if all my kids would remember was “mommy’s breaking moments”. That’s when I made a phone call to my brother, Adam. Frankly, if there’s anyone who knows me well it’s my brother. He understands the essence of who I am. The reason for that, I believe, is because we have Greeley blood running through our veins. Adam is very good at offering compassion and empathy. He understands the struggle. It was that day he taught me the most valuable lesson I ever learned in motherhood.
As I cried on the phone and poured out my heart, Adam did what he does best…listened. At the moment I stopped to take a breath, he interjected, “Dawn, I have to ask you something. Do you remember all the times Mom failed? Do you remember all the times she messed up? Do you remember every time she lost it? Do you remember her tears? Her every frustration?”
I sat quietly for a minute and reflected on all Adam asked. “No,” I responded. “Of course there are some moments I remember, but truthfully, the good moments far outweigh any bad moments.”
“Exactly!”, Adam responded, “That’s grace! That’s God’s grace in operation! Your children are not going to remember your worst moments. They’ll remember your best moments!”
God’s grace is always sufficient! He continually extends undeserved favour when we need it most! I love the amplified version of Hebrews 4:16 – “Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favour] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment].”
You see, God knows we are going to fail. He understands our struggles. He understands that although we put our best foot forward there will be many times we’ll stumble. His grace is always available to us. His power is made perfect through our weakness, because it’s through our weakness we realize our great need for Him.
God’s grace is perfectly displayed through our children! They are so quick to forgive and offer a hug even when we feel we don’t deserve it! Some of my hardest days were made better when freshly picked dandelions were handed to me with so much unconditional love. It’s grace in the form of what we consider, a weed! Those pretty yellow flowers reminded me of two things: His grace is sufficient, and regardless of my failures and mess ups, I am deeply loved by the greatest gift ever placed in my arms… my children!
That’s why I can mother graceFULLY.