You know how some dates are just marks on the calendar, and then something happens on that very average date, forever changing it to a date I’ll never forget?
June 4, 2018 - The day God gently told me I needed to “invite the crushing” so my life could be poured out. Just like the bread and the wine of Communion, grain and grapes are multiplied through the crushing. Naively, but trusting, I said, “Lord, if You are the One who is doing the crushing, then yes. I invite it because I invite You.”
July 4, 2018 - I saw my mom for the first time in a couple years. There was brokenness in our relationship. I wanted to take a step towards reconciliation and I think she did, too. Our reunion wasn’t magical, but I was encouraged. Maybe we could move forward?
July 6, 2018 - My mom’s spirit very unexpectedly slipped away from her wing-back chair and joined the unbroken presence of her Perfect Father God.
Thus began a season of crushing I could never have imagined. Loss, sickness, more loss, pain, hard goodbyes, depression. For months.
I picture my mom’s dresser in her bedroom. All lined up with cups. Not physical cups. Figurative cups - all of them representing good things that she wanted to pour into me. Some of them were empty because she gave them to me.But others were full. Full of things she wanted to give me but, for some reason, didn’t or maybe couldn’t.
But the cups. They were there. Probably my whole life. She wanted to put those cups to my lips in life but just couldn’t do it.
And then I thought of all moms. I thought of me.
Don’t we all have cups of good things we want to give our kids? Cups of courage, strength, love, grace, joy, discernment, purpose. But shame can keep us from thinking we have the authority to give them to our kids if we aren’t drinking from them ourselves. Or maybe it’s inadequacy. “I don’t know the first thing about joy. Obviously. So what makes me think I can help my kids drink from a Joy Cup?”
I’m thinking about Rahab from the Bible. She was a prostitute. She had zero percent of a reason to trust any man. But she willingly entered into a trust contract with two spies from Joshua’s army, literally putting her life and the lives of her family members in their hands. She didn’t drink Trust along with her coffee in the morning. But she found it within herself to pick it up anyway in order to protect her family from imminent destruction. (You can read the whole story in Joshua 2-6.)
You may be thinking, “What did she have to lose? Her city was going to be destroyed anyway.”
True. But she took a risk for the sake of freedom. Freedom for herself and freedom for the ones she loved the most.
Are you willing to take that risk?
This preceding text is an excerpt from my latest book Arrows Make Terrible Crowns: How the Holy Spirit healed my view of motherhood.
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