For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
I am not perfect. I know I will never be perfect in this world.
So why do I still try to be?
The Good and the Bad of 2016
As I look back on the past year of 2016, there were lots of good moments and lot of bad moments:
The Good: seeing Corra grow into a sweet little girl who is curious about everything. She is such a joy in my life. Every day is a new adventure of learning and discovery. Her little brain just seems to be working overtime these days. She is so tender and loving; she loves spending time with people. She needs quality time with those she loves and is very social. Often times she will come up to me and point to her toys and say, “sit?” with a sweet face and urging tone–she wants me to sit and be with her while she plays. How can I say no to that face???
The Bad: this past year I have raised my voice, been angry and frustrated, selfish, indifferent, impatient, and ungrateful towards Corra. Somedays I wonder, “who am I, and why am I so frustrated, angry, and tired sometimes? Why does this job feel harder than anything I have ever done in my whole life? It’s just one sweet little girl! I used to teach 20 little people at a time all by myself! The demands of a mom and housewife are tough. Even Josh says that my job is harder than his, and that is saying a lot because being an engineer is no walk in the park. Being Corra’s mommy has stretched me beyond anything I have ever done. There are days when I just don’t feel like I am cut out for this job, but then I remember that God gave her to me to raise and disciple. Even though I am most certainly not a perfect mom (or perfect person in any shape or form), I am the just the right mom for her. I am so thankful for you, Corra!
If I learned anything in 2016, I learned that I need the gospel every day. I need to hear the gospel and about God’s good grace every day. I cried many days this year telling myself that I am not good enough to be Corra’s mom. The lies in my head said that I shouldn’t get angry, frustrated, or impatient with her. I need to be perfect if she is going to have the best chance of being the woman God wants her to be.
I put too much pressure on myself this past year. I put a burden on myself that one should not have to carry. I can’t bring Corra to salvation by being the perfect mother. I can’t really do anything to make her believe in Jesus. I can teach her and proclaim the Word of God to her every day, but it will be God and God alone that brings her to Himself. I pray daily that I can be a tool to bring her closer to Him, but I don’t have to be perfect to do that.
The Beauty of the Gospel
I believe the gospel with my whole heart, but I have such a hard time living it. If I want Corra to know that she doesn’t have to be perfect (or do anything) to earn God’s love, I need to model that and show her that in the way I love her. I want her to know that I love her no matter what. I want her to come to know Jesus as her Savior, and that He will love her no matter what. Ultimately, I want her to know in every fiber of her being that she doesn’t have to do anything to earn God’s love, and she can do nothing to lose it. All she has to do is believe that she is made righteous through Jesus’s righteousness. There is nothing more beautiful than the truth of the gospel.
I am learning that God’s will for Corra’s life will be done. I have to let go of trying to control everything (I think I will always be learning that), especially Corra’s outcome in life. I will never be perfect in this life. There were so many messages in my childhood that told me I needed to be perfect in order to be a good Christian. It is a lie I believed for many years, and I am still trying to let it go. Satan wants me to believe that I have to be perfect to earn God’s love. He wants me to parent with the fear that I am going to mess Corra’s life up with every mistake I make. Satan wants us all to believe that Jesus just simply isn’t good enough to save us-that we have to try harder, be better-reach perfection. He wants us to doubt God’s love for us, rely on ourselves, fail, and ultimately fall into sin and despair.
I don’t want Corra to ever believe the lie that she has to be perfect. Ever.
But I need to let go of that lie too. For my sake and for her sake, I need to hold onto the gospel with my whole being, with my whole heart. Leave the lies of the world, of perfection, behind. Leave the lies that I am a horrible mother and will mess up my daughter’s future. I want to stop trying to be perfect for God, but instead obey Him because He is awesome. My wish for my life and legacy is that I will have glorified God with my whole life out of love and thankfulness for His great love. God has us both in the palm of His hand. He offers grace, forgiveness, guidance, truth, and freedom when I obey His Word and let perfection go.
God’s love is so deep and vast for His children. I have tears welling up in my eyes as I write this, because it has only been in the past few years that the truth of God’s deep love for me is finally seeping into my soul. I still have a long way to go, but it has changed my life.
Celebrate the Gospel Every Day!
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit…
My ultimate goal for 2017 is to celebrate the gospel every day. And I am so excited about it! In big ways. In little ways. On ordinary days and extraordinary days. I want the message of God’s grace and the gospel of Jesus Christ to permeate my daily life in a profound way. I want Corra to see that Jesus and his salvation is a thing worth celebrating every day. I want to let go of the chains of perfection and comparing myself to others, and live in the deep truth that I am worthy because I belong to Jesus. I was nothing before I knew Him, but now I am considered a child of God.
Every day at lunch, I pray that Corra will seek, knock, and find the truth of the gospel as I have. I pray that she will not seek perfection as the world seeks it, but that she will seek to know God with her whole heart. I pray that her obedience to God’s Word will not be because of a drive for perfection, but because she is so thankful for God’s salvation and wants to glorify Him with her whole life. I don’t have to be a “good enough” mom. God is good, and Corra is a precious gift from God. You are in God’s hands my sweet Corra Grace, and I love you so much.
Do you need to let go of perfection? Do you need to celebrate the gospel every day as a reminder that you are made perfect through Jesus, who is perfect? I pray that you will soak up the gospel every day this year. Don’t walk towards Jesus, RUN into His awaiting arms as a child runs to her daddy.
To God be the glory,
***Stayed tuned for the second part of this topic in the next week or two. I will write about the more tangible ways that I will celebrate the gospel every day as a stay-at-home mom: Celebrating the Gospel Every Day, Part 2