Despite trying to be moderate in the amount of activities I allow my kids to sign up for, now that my young daughter has a life, her activities have tipped the scale. I’m struggling to keep up. Toss in some medical issues I’m worried about, and my fuse is very short.
So when one of my kids is moving slowly, and I know the extreme ripple effect that’s going to have on the intricately timed taxi service I’m running, I loose my cool. Although it’s not okay for my kids to go off into la-la land when there’s someplace we need to be, it’s also not okay for me to blow up when they do. So begins the “I’m a terrible mother” spiral.
I know anxiety is at the root of it all. Even though I turn to God when I’m fearful, I pray surface prayers when I’m worried. Deep underneath, I’m clutching onto fear with both hands. God will only take my fear away if I release my vise grip on it.
So I wonder: Why? Why don’t I trust God enough to hand over something I don’t want in the first place?
Of course it’s a control thing. I want to be in charge of my own life. But it seems ludicrous to me that I would want to keep the control of fear and anxiety too. I know they choke off the peace and joy in my life. Why am I choosing to hold them so tightly?
I think maturity, or the lack thereof, is my missing piece.
As far as the seed that fell among thorns, they are the ones who have heard, but as they go along, they are choked by the anxieties and riches and pleasures of life, and they fail to produce mature fruit. (Luke 8:14)
In the Parable of the Sower in Luke 8, it doesn’t say that the seeds choked by the anxieties of life don’t produce any fruit. It says they don’t produce “mature” fruit. It sounds like my faith life.
I do turn to God for just about everything. But sometimes I do so just to check a box, to convince myself I’m including Him. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I can see that I still try to be the one in charge of our relationship.
If I withhold my trust, my deep, at-my-core trust, I’m not all in. I’m offering God an immature faith with strings attached: If You answer my prayers the way I want You to, I’ll believe in You more deeply. Then I’ll give You my complete trust. It’s like offering someone a green banana: it may seem like a nice gesture on the surface, but the fruit inside is bitter and hard. Who wants that?
The amazing thing is, God does. He’s willing to accept our immature faith, and our unripened fruit. Despite Him knowing we’re capable of more, He loves us exactly where we’re at.
But I want a more mature faith, and a deeper relationship with God. I want to hand Him my complete trust, no matter what storm is brewing in my life. I want the deep peace and calm He wants to envelope me in so no matter what chaos is going on in my household, I’m still patient with my children.
They say there’s absolutely nothing God can’t do if we just ask. So my new prayer is for God to increase my trust in Him, and decrease my need for control.
Copyright 2017 Claire McGarry