Each woman spoke about her own personal experiences as a mother and/or a woman, both beautiful and painful, and challenged our sister to keep her eyes focused on the Lord during the good times and the bad.
I appreciated the vulnerability these women willingly showed because it would have been easy to give a simple and cheerful, "Enjoy them while they're young because the time goes so fast!" without exposing the depths of their own hearts.
They chose to be real - honest - thoughtful - and draw from their own personal knowledge, trials, hurts, and successes to encourage their sister as she prepares for the birth of her first baby. Her daughter.
Each testimony was intimately wonderful and touching, but there was one statement that buried itself into my mind more than the others.
The guest expressed moments of feeling like a failure because she could not meet the needs of her children, or worried that they might suffer later in life because of her choices. And then she revealed what the Lord had shown her through studying the Word and praying for wisdom - and she said this:
"God did not intend for you to be your child's EVERYthing."
I LOVE this statement!
It is absolutely TRUE.
And - it is completely freeing!
God is the only all-sufficient One.
He is the only One who can meet every need, fix every problem, heal a broken heart, enhance every strength, diminish every weakness, save a soul, defeat sin and increase holiness, and offer wisdom beyond what the world has to give,
No parent on earth can do the same.
We can try.
We can succeed in part.
But we cannot, nor should we try to be our child's EVERYTHING.
It is a futile, exhausting, and needless pursuit.
And this truth brings freedom.
We are not God.
We are not the Holy Spirit.
The Trinity is full, and not looking for candidates.
God did not intend for us to be our children's everything, because He is their everything!
He does not ask us to do it, and He knows it is impossible.
The pressure we feel to raise 'perfect children' does not come from the Lord.
It comes from within.
He knows our limits. He knows our weaknesses. He knows we are flawed.
He knows we need Him more than our next breath ... and so do our children.
What precious knowledge this is for the mother who feels like she cannot quite "keep up" and constantly observes holes and gaps when she looks into the hearts, minds, and needs of her children.
His grace is sufficient for us.
His mercies are new every morning.
His faithfulness is great.
He is the Alpha and Omega.
He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
He is God.
We are not.
And HE is the only One who will ever be everything to anyone.
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.
Yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. I Corinthians 8:6
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of His glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3