I’m sitting on the bathroom floor sobbing, out of answers, full of questions and torn between wanting to run away and not having the strength to take another step. I’m stuck somewhere between discouraged and defeated, battling anger and burdened with sadness.
You can dream about fighting giants “out there” but never imagine that demons might be right at your front door, working hard to bring down the house.
All that talk about changing the world and growing a following and working to “be somebody” and “build your brand” can have you distracted and looking in the wrong direction- looking out and ahead when right here is where we make our mark.
Right here in our daily clashing of souls and tempers and characters refined like iron sharpening iron. Right here in the mess of the home and the friendships and the family that we love to pieces and drive us to the brink of insanity.
This is where we make our mark.
And yet, days like today, I’d like to run from it. Give me an audience of 10,000 to speak to and then walk away from, instead of the messiness of digging in with the two little souls I’ve been entrusted to raise. I don’t want to deal with the sin that glares ugly when we collide, both in their hearts and mine. Tears run, tempers flare and I’m left feeling like someone, anyone, could do a better job at this than I do. Yeah, I’m shaping them all right but not the way I’d like.
I think those demons circling the house would love nothing more than to bring the roof crashing in on all of us and see another family ripped apart by pride and selfishness, another Image-Bearer kept down by guilt and shame and a whole lot of regret.
Sometimes the bravest thing you can do is to get out of bed and face another day.
To love when you’re all spent and have nothing left to give.
To pick up the pieces and try to make a better choice today than we did yesterday and just keep taking one step and then another.
And to tell the Devil that while he may have won that battle, he does not win the War. You can have that moment, sir, but you do not get the day and certainly not the rest of the Story.
So I stand in the middle of our living room, a tiny place here in Malta we’re calling home for two months, and I speak truth to myself, to the air and to anyone who happens to overhear one crazy mama battling:
That Devil, he’s a liar, a destroyer of destinies and of dreams.
Yeah, I’m a mess. But today’s failures were seen before I was even born and still that Carpenter-Man went to the cross and covered them in Love’s red blood.
We’re going to keep tripping up in failure as a family, but we will choose to fall forward towards the Throne of Heaven.
We will fall with our faces down, pleading for the grace we know we need and the forgiveness we know is so freely offered.
My children do not need a perfect mother. They need a mother who daily admits her need for those nail-scarred hands, a mother who is a failure in perfection but a warrior in persevering faith.
All you mamas and papas out there, you know that’s easier typed than lived. But we’ll keep trying because their soul-shaping and ours depends on it.
This is where we make our mark. This is our following, our tribe and the circle of influence in which we have been placed.
Because really, how many lives can you touch and help mold in a lifetime?
That Carpenter-Man, he chose just twelve to disciple, pour into and spend his days breaking bread with while correcting and encouraging.
And maybe for you it’s not the kids in your home but the neighbors on the block, the coworker sitting across the hall or the barista who regularly serves you coffee.
Maybe your mark will be made in the people watching you up close and not through a screen?
Maybe your greatest following will really only be five but what if it transforms your community, changes your city, and renews your country?
Maybe we change nations and take down evil and defeat giants by shifting our gaze from “out there” to right here, right now, and the person crying out for love right in front of our face.
What if today we tried to do one brave thing by pressing in when we want to run away, by keeping voices calm and hearts open when we would rather scream and lash-out?
What if we cried out for help in our weakest moments rather than try to stumble along in our brokenness?
And what if we reminded ourselves, and that Devil seeking to devour, that we were bought with a price, counted worthy of extravagant love, not because of our own doing, but because of grace that never runs out? And no amount of lying whispers from him can change that.
As I tuck First-Girl into bed, I whisper to her heart and mine, “Tomorrow is a new day and there’s grace enough for all of it. It’s a privilege to be your mama.”