I could hear the strain in her voice, the despair. My sweet friend had walked nearly half of her rather large brood into adulthood and now that she had the time, she was reflecting on the journey. Only, what she was remembering, what she was focusing on, were her mistakes and missteps.
My heart was breaking for her. She has been a loving, attentive mother and her kids are wonderful human beings.
But I could so relate to what she was going through. How often had I taken a dim view of my own mothering efforts? Holding up my parenting report card only to find far too many low marks. Never mind that I was the person giving myself these poor grades.
Why do we moms do this to ourselves?
Whatever the reasons, I have found that a few good verses committed to memory are extremely useful.
Because, when we hide God’s word in our heart, we’re always packing heat. No conceal carry permit required.
We simply pull out His word, which is stronger than any double-edged sword, and wield it as needed. It is powerful enough to separate truth from lie in our hearts and minds.
And the truth is, a sincere and contrite heart God does not despise. (Psalm 51:17, NIV 1984)
The verse came to mind one day as I lamented my shortcomings and it was an immediate comfort. It helped me see that although I have made mistakes, I was sincere in my mothering. And I sought Him.
But I sought His help, especially in the really hard parts of the unnesting journey.
My guess is that you have also been sincere and contrite throughout your mothering journey. I’m pretty confident of this because you wouldn’t be reading a post from a blog like Unnesting if you weren’t.
So, I’m going to tell you what I told my friend.
Be kind to your tender, mama heart and keep in mind, the journey isn’t over.
The unnesting stage is just the beginning of a new chapter in the parent-child relationship. If there are things you need to apologize for, apologize. If there are areas where you need to grow, do the learning needed for that growth to occur.
Ask God to heal any wounded or broken places in the relationship between you and your young-adult children.
Listen, God knows your strengths and your weaknesses. He knew you would bring those into your parenting efforts. And still, He chose you to be the mom to your kids.
You are the mama God chose for your kids. You. He chose you. He knew you were exactly the mom your kids needed.
Friend, we are called to do the good work God places before us. When we are faithful to the call of mothering – not perfectly, not without error, but when we are faithful to simply do what God gave us to do, to the best of our ability, then we are in good standing with Him.
Rest in that.
And cling to Him, the One who gives us strength when we pass through The Valley of Weeping. The One in whom our hope is found.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their woundsPsalm 147:3