Motherhood has a way of holding a mirror up to your life – or at least, for me, it did. I’m talking about one of those magnifying mirrors with extra light for added visibility. Oh, the blemishes! But it wasn’t the blemishes on my face that disgusted me – although I can assure you, they were there. What became visible in that mirror of motherhood were the blemishes on the inside. It was…gross. My Bobbi Brown warm ivory creamy concealer worked wonders on my face, but I needed something for my heart.
I could no longer ignore that my life, for the most part, had been all about me. Sure, I’d had moments of putting others needs ahead of my own. But once that got too painful or uncomfortable, I’d quickly scamper back to my comfort zone. Even my prayer life was selfish. How often I prayed for my own needs with little mention of others. I looked into the mirror and saw a tired, endless cycle of vain attempts to keep life happy, comfortable, carefree, painless…a life without growth. A life all about me.
I felt God tugging on my heart, telling me to let go…of my own will…of my own way of doing things, of my desires, my excuses…even my failures. The more my focus was on self, the more empty my life seemed. I remembered the words Jesus spoke in Matthew - If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give up your life for me, you will find it. That truth resonated in my head but had yet to make it’s transforming mark on my heart.
Over the last year, God has been faithful in showing me that real joy comes from pouring myself into the lives of others – and for me, that starts in the home with my husband and my son. What an awesome responsibility He’s given me. I get to be head cheerleader in the lives of my boys. (And after not making the cheer leading squad twice in junior high – this is pretty cool.) I’m asking God to develop within me a servant’s heart…a heart that delights in putting their needs ahead of my own.
As hard as it is to admit, this doesn’t come naturally. I stumble often. I’ve learned the hard way that I can’t get a heart transplant without spending some serious quality time with my Physician. I’ve learned that the second I shift my focus off of Christ and onto myself, my new found joy vanishes and I’m left discontent. My “selfish” self has not wanted to go quietly and comes up with all sorts of reasons why denying myself is just plain silly. It’s put up one heck of a fight. Seriously. HBO should charge money on pay-per-view to see this fight…it’s a doozy. But I know how the fight ends. The Spirit is triumphant. He who created a good work in me will see it through to completion.
I hope I’m always looking into the magnifying mirror and not the one at Nordstroms that makes everything look good on me – because I know I don’t wear selfishness well. It’s very unbecoming on me. My desire is to always be clothed in the Spirit…to wear God well.