You know when you meet someone that God just could not wait to “introduce” you to, and then the meeting happens – and it is like a moment where you just stand frozen in time at the beauty in the person He created?
This woman – this writer – this momma – is the very person God chose to bless me with, and I am beyond excited to share her with you Part 1 today and again next Tuesday here at One September Day. You can find Michele-Lyn and her beautiful family here at A Life Surrendered, where God is using her humility to change lives.
Michele-Lyn shares her story of motherhood and redemption here today. Sharing the amazing story of her journey and God’s beauty and plan of redemption – in everything.
I’m graduating my eldest daughter next month. She’s my first of four — homeschoooled. Possibly because of it, I’ve found myself quite introspective and retrospective. Asking questions like, “What could I have done differently?” “Why wasn’t I wiser, more patient, engaged?” “Why didn’t I pray more?” “Why didn’t I play more?”
The problem when we are retrospective is we can also lose perspective.
When I do, I allow my regrets, shortcomings, mistakes and inadequacies as a mama to overtake all else, instead of allowing what Christ accomplished on the cross for me to. “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.” (2 Corinthians 3:5 AMP)
We forget that sometimes, don’t we?
I’m a long way from my own introduction to motherhood and to God, which both came when I was still a child myself. Fifteen years old and pregnant, not with a choice, but a life. A child possessing the freedom of choice, and the law presuming I also possessed the power to predict that ending the life that was growing inside of me, would bring a better end than keeping it.
I had an appointment for an abortion, and there was no parental consent needed to follow through. The cost and “just ignore the protestors out front,” was the only information the lady on the phone offered. I was $70 away from her death, yet someone already paid the ultimate price for her life — she redeemed by His own. And God, not $70, stood between the life and the death of my daughter.
Before this, my childhood was God-less, for the most part. Six months prior to my getting pregnant, my own mama gave her life to Jesus. And had it been six months later, she might have agreed or even demanded I terminate the pregnancy. But when Jesus rescued my mama, He rescued my baby and I, too. I was defenseless against the unconditional love my mama offered me. And it did not take long for Jesus to captivate me with His love and for me to surrender my life. I kept my baby, and here I am — eighteen years a mama, and eighteen years, both wholly His.
Because of His redeeming love I’m able to tell you all this. I’m able type these words. I can tell you I married a man of God who has loved my daughter as his own since we met, and I had 3 more children with him, and for fifteen years we’ve been a family, and we are blessed.
Yet, eighteen years later, I’m still learning how to be a mama. I’m still learning to walk with God. I’m still learning to walk by grace — always in the process. I’m still broken, and desperately in need of a Savior. There is a work of transformation still taking place in me. There is a still a distance I must go.
The reality is I still struggle as a mama. I struggle with getting dinner on the table at night, all of us eating together as a family. I struggle with being angry sometimes and yelling at my kids. I know I let them watch too much TV, and struggle with that guilt, too. I struggle sometimes, with being unhappy as a mama, wondering what my days would look like if they weren’t filled with laundry, dishes, crumbs and quarrels. And then I struggle with struggling, thinking I should be further than this.
And though I’d like to say I didn’t, and that I am able to capture each and every ugly moment and find its beauty — I fail. And when I feel the load I bear is too heavy, I know I’ve taken the place of the Burden-bearer. The same One who says, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
And if I should struggle, let it be to seek Him, and do whatever it takes to find Him. Because when I do, it’s His perspective I find.
Though I struggle, it’s not about release from the struggle, but allowing Him to change me through it.
Though I fail, it’s not about the mistakes I’ve made, but what He’s done to redeem me of them.
Though I’m faulted, it’s not about my weakness, but His strength made perfect in it.
Though I lack, it’s not about my inadequacy, but His adequacy.
Though I’m flawed, it’s not about being perfect, but allowing Him to perfect me.
Though I fall, it’s not about my failures, but his accomplishment on the cross, and that He meant it when He declared, “It is finished.”
Though my past is filled with brokenness, it’s not about the broken pieces, but that He makes me whole.
And I can look back at how far I’ve come and now I see it – the ugly made beautiful, His grace abounding, His love covering a multitude of sin. Now I see, He has redeemed me.
“It’s not that I have already reached this goal or have already been perfected, but I pursue it, so that I may grab hold of it because Christ grabbed hold of me for just this purpose…I myself don’t think I’ve reached it, but I do this one thing: I forget about the things behind me and reach out for the things ahead of me. The goal I pursue is the prize of God’s upward call in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:10-14 CEB)
Even as a mama? Especially, as a mama.
Have you been to the same moments, thoughts and experienced redemption like Michele-Lyn has? You are just as important as a momma and all of your struggles mean something to Him!
I asked Michele-Lyn to share here today, because our lives are such a contrast in journeys, but the same redemptive power – and motherhood in all of its beauty and hardship can bring forth fruit.
How are you today friends? I would love for you to share how Michele-Lyn’s story has spoken to you.