Motherhood Redeemed – Part 1

motherhood Redeemed

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

 

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.

 

Say hello to Michele-Lyn, from - A Life Surrendered and be blessed my friends.

 

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.
 

September

Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your story Michelle-Lyn! Such a beautiful story of God’s amazing grace! You Shine so brightly. I love your heart!

    I love you both September and Michelle-Lyn! You are both inspirational and beautiful inside and out.
    -Kristin

    • Kristin,

      I appreciate your words of encouragement here. Coming from you, they mean so very much. God is faithful and I give Him all thanks and glory.

      Thank you, friend. <3

  2. You know I love your story, Michele-Lyn, the beauty of you and your daughter on His canvas. Keep sharing how He saves. We need to hear it. Thank you, September and Michele-Lyn.

    • Jennifer,

      You’ve always been so encouraging through all this blogging journey and sharing of our stories. I am grateful for your friendship and you love. You are a gift. And God is so faithful to us! Blessings, friend.

  3. Lisa Cook says:

    September, I do not know you but we share two commonalities. Our love for God and this beautiful friend Michele~Lyn ❤ I love her, her story of redemption and the God of her story of redemption. Every time I hear [or read] her words I find strength to overcome. The demands of a wife, motherhood, sisterhood, pastor and well, life….often leave me utterly overwhelmed but we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the word or our testimony! Thanks for your words again, Michele. They render the enemy powerless and us full of hope!

    • Lisa,

      Your words humbled me. Your friendship and support has been a gift of grace, even before I even began this blogging journey. You never cease to amaze me with the generosity of your encouragement and your love. Thank you <3

  4. Michele-Lyn, I am so thankful you shared your story with us. Your testimony is a perfect example of John 3:30, which says that He must increase, I must decrease. The evidence of Christ’s increase and redemptive power in your life is humbling. Your words have encouaged me and I’m sure will encourage many others. Thank you.

    • Deb,

      What can I say to such a comment? Thanks doesn’t seem appropriate, unless it’s thanks to God. And then I’d have to say, all the glory is due His name. It’s all Him. Only Him. I can say you’ve encouraged my heart. Thank you for that, thanks so very much.

  5. septemberanne says:

    So blessed by the humility in your life and the testimony you are sharing with so many moms Michele-Lyn. Thank you!

    • September,

      Thank you for believing in me enough to give me the opportunity to share in your space. I’m humbled, honored and blessed, and grateful beyond words. I am looking forward to getting to know you more. What I’ve learned already has inspired me, and encouraged me to press on as a mama, yes, but also as a women of God.

      Blessings new friend. <3 Love and thanks to you.

  6. Ro elliott says:

    Michele…I love your story and your heart…you speak with honest humility…I don’t ever do this…but maybe I feel a little more free since I am not blogging at this point….Here is a post I wrote titled grace for the gaps…I pray it encourages you and other young moms….

    http://tuningmyhearttopraise.blogspot.com/2012/08/grace-for-gaps.html

    • Ro,

      Sweet friend, I visited your post and read, and re-read your beautiful, powerful, truthful words. Wow! I didn’t realize how much I missed you. Thank you for sharing the link with me. I’ve saved it as worthy of remembering. :)

  7. Amazing words Michele-Lyn! It truly is all about Him and His strength through us. Thank you for sharing your story!

  8. Thank you for being real, and sharing your heart

    • Laura,

      I wonder sometimes about sharing, but if could help another mama know they are not alone in the struggle, then it is more than worth it. Thank you for taking the time to visit here with us. :)

  9. Oh my! This was just what I needed to read today! When you said you still struggle as a Mama I burst into tears. I am struggling, but not in vain, and not alone..thank you for sharing!!

    • Amanda,

      I know what that’s like, to read words that resonate within us so much so, that we are moved to tears. It’s like a breakthrough, isn’t it? God breaking through to a place we might have kept behind closed doors, maybe trying to fix it all ourselves. Then God enters in and we realize we cannot do it without Him, and then surrender. But there’s rest in that, too. And then joy for strength. He’s so good. :)

  10. “Though I struggle, it’s not about release from the struggle, but allowing Him to change me through it.”

    I love this and need it. Your words are beautiful and capture my heart to press into Him deeper, especially when I struggle. Thank you. God’s redemption is beautiful and powerful and displayed right through you and your daughter, and your family!

    • Christin,

      You are a beautiful encourager and have been a constant support on my journey. I’m blessed by you and I’m so glad you came by for a visit and take time to comment, too.

      The supply of His grace, strength and power is unlimited, and I forget that sometimes, when I try to handle it all myself. He waits patiently for us, doesn’t He? Faithful Father…

  11. KristinHillTaylor says:

    I totally have chills. The kind of chills that remind me this world is not all we have. God has so much goodness and beauty and redemption in store for us. Life is precious and I’m so thankful for this testimony.

  12. Catina Cruz says:

    Such a perfect story of God Grace and Mercy in action!!! I am honored and Blessed to call Michele sister! Her words reveal truth and encouragement thanks Michele for stepping out and sharing your gift and Love with us!

  13. I love you, I love your perspective, I love this Jesus who brought us together. You are an amazing gift.

    • Kris,

      And you know how I feel the same about you. And I’ll add, I’ve learned so much from your humble example of following Christ in this journey. I love you!

  14. Pure beauty Michele-lyn…thank you for your courage and boldness and how you’ve pointed us to Him!

  15. We have much in common, Michele-Lyn including our mutual adoration of September. Thank you for sharing your story for His glory!

  16. Thank you for reminding me of the power of redemption in my motherhood.

    • Trina,

      September has helped me to recognize the same. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to share of His love and redemption.

      And words you spoke at Allume are still working on my soul today. Thank you. :)

      I’m also grateful for your sweet visit.

  17. Becky Daye says:

    God’s redeeming love! How awesome and wonderful He is!!! Thanks for hosting Michelle-Lyn, September. Two beautiful women in one beautiful space!

    • Becky,

      I give thanks to God for His love and redemption! And you’ve left such gracious words. :) I am so grateful to September for hosting me, here. It is truly an honor.

  18. I was feeling soo unredeemed lately! thank you for these reminders tonight!! and I give thanks that my redemption isn’t based on my feelings!! :)

    • Julie,

      I have to remember also, though my feelings run up and down and all around dragging me with them sometimes, His truth remains. I’m with you, friend. :)

  19. Thank you for the heartfelt post. As my children are grown, I still struggle to make sure I did something right.

    • Margaret,

      So often I question whether I am enough, and the truth is I never will be. So the question I must ponder is, “Is God enough?”

      And of course we know what that answer is. Or at least we know and need our heart and mind to agree. :)

  20. Kathy Schwanke says:

    What a beautiful story and you are beautiful! Thank you for sharing your story of the goodness and mercy of God chasing you!

  21. Thank you for sharing this story. I admit that I struggle with letting my kids watch too much tv and losing my temper. I really loved the part about the struggling and letting God teach us during the struggle.

    • Jessica,

      Yes, I like that part, too. It’s not my idea or my way, but I’m so glad it’s God’s way. And His way is one of grace and mercy. His ways are so much better than our own. <3

  22. Wow, Michele-Lyn – I so needed to read this post. Thank you…I wish I could see His hand more clearly with my daughter at this time…but I will have to wait and trust.

  23. “then I struggle with struggling, thinking I should be further than this.” YES! Me too! but “it is not about the broken pieces, but that He makes me whole.” What a mighty, good, faithful God we serve! Thankful for your words, Michele-Lyn. Always so blessed by you.

  24. TraciMLittle says:

    what a beautiful, redemptive post! amen! Love this.

  25. Michele-Lyn, I am so touched by your story. Sitting here this morning in the quiet of my home as the kids all still sleep, I am forever looking back on my horrible mistakes as a mama. “why did you yell, why did those words come out of your mouth, why are you so angry, why didn’t you just read her one more book,” and of course my list goes on longer than I would like. :( But reading this, gives me hope. Hope in that He still loves me when I fail as a mama, and feel so many times I fail Him. This is something I struggle with on a daily basis, but like you said I need to stop looking back at the mistakes and stumbling’s and look more towards His love.My walk with Jesus is still fairly new and I hunger for so much more…just wish I could figure out how to get “there” THANK YOU. ♥

    • Thank you for sharing your story and heart with me, the mama I only know as Guest. But I also know you because I see myself in your words. And yes, we do have hope. He is our Hope. The same Savior who died while we were yet sinners, is the same Savior who will walk with us in this journey, the whole journey long, while we are still yet sinners.

  26. This post spoke so loudly to me today. I read it on my lunch break and its so hard to hold back the tears. Gonna lock myself in my closet when I get home, read it again, indulge in a good cry and let my savior fill me up again!!! Thank you for always being so real.

    • Norman,

      I must have missed this comment. It makes my heart full to think of another rejoicing and praising God! I am thankful for the opportunity to share my story. And I am grateful for friends like you who bring so much encouragement! You’ve blessed me again. I will see you soon. :)

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