(Picture of my girls BEFORE the “take the baby and run” incident! I promise they don’t normally ALL dress the same….I found these dresses at Costco and well…they love the color purple. I know one day they won’t all want to wear the same dress so I’m enjoying it while I still can.)
Part of living and leading like Jesus is living an authentic life. My husband knows I’m not a “perfect” wife. My children know I’m not a “perfect” mom and if you were in the restaurant this past Sunday, you too would have known my life isn’t “perfect.” But you know what, the more I get to know Jesus, the more I’m done with “perfect.” There is only one who is perfect and it’s not me.
Yes, if you were in that certain restaurant this past Sunday, please allow me to apologize. My youngest was “that child” and yes, I was “that mom” who was running, yes running out of the restaurant with a screaming child. A child who was a little too tired after church to sit through a Sunday afternoon lunch with our whole family. I knew the risk, yet I still choose to see if we could do it……and failed miserably. Sunday after church luncheons with one and a half year olds just don’t go that well these days. I knew better. And so after the 10th time of trying to get her mac-n-cheese into her little mouth, all by herself own mind you, and failing yet again……she had finally had it and let the WHOLE restaurant know! I grabbed her and ran for the nearest exit, catching some of the glaring faces as I sped past. I tried to smile and mouth, “so sorry” as I hurried to the doors…doors that seemed MILES away.
Once outside I tried soothing her, walking with her and distracting her…..but nothing was working. Finally in desperation I prayed, “Lord please let the car be unlocked because I have no where else to go.” (Remember, I had ran out of the restaurant not thinking I should have picked up my purse…..it’s called survival mode) In God’s goodness, the car was indeed unlocked (I’m normally very good at locking my car) and she and I were able to have a good cry once we were safely buckled in…..yes, I don’t know why I put my seat belt on too, partly out of habit and partly because I needed to be held together in the seat also.
I sat in the car crying and thinking of YOU! Yes, you. I thought, “Ohh if they could only see me now.” They would all KNOW that I’m not perfect and then it hit me. Maybe some of you need to read these types of stories too. Maybe you have struggled in your life, in your parenting, with your families trying to measure up to something that was never intended for you to measure up to. If I’m speaking to you, please know this…..we all lead sin stained lives. We all have days where we feel like failures. We are ALL in need of God’s generous grace. You are not alone.
In Luke 12 we see Jesus giving a warning to His disciples even though thousands of people had gathered to listen to Him speak….gathering to the point they were trampling on top of one another, (vs 1) Jesus first addressed the disciples, and warned them about being on their guard again hypocrisy. Don’t be tempted to “pretend.” Don’t pretend to live one way like the Pharisees do out in public for everyone to see and yet live a different life in private.
“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”- Luke 12:2
Let’s be the same person in public as we are in private.
Our families are watching.
Our friends are watching.
And yes, even strangers in restaurants as you run for the exits are watching.
I’ll be honest with you, I struggle with the desire to please. I am happy when I can make someone else happy. And though that doesn’t seem like a bad thing on the surface, it can cause a lot of pressure, turmoil and stress on the inside.
I don’t like running out of restaurants with a screaming child.
I don’t like feeling like a failure.
But then I read further in Luke 12 to verse 5:
“But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him. Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.”
Jesus lovingly reminds the crowd….and me, that I am not to fear what others think of me. He releases me from the pressure to pretend.
I’m not to fear anyone except God…..the one who created me. The One who LOVES me. The One who knows all my flaws, short comings and sins….yet hung on the cross for me anyway. Yes, fear Him because He is the ONLY one who has power over my life. Fear Him, meaning…..realize He is holy. Fear Him in a good way, an honoring way…not in an “I’m scared of God because He is mean” kind of way, but because God is good. God is love. And because He loves you and knows you….even down to the number of hairs you have on your head.
Be you…flaws, failures and all … run to Jesus like a mama running out of a restaurant with a crying child….run to him with all your hurts, pain, disappointments and heartbreak. He loves you.
Do you struggle with feeling like you have to have it “all together”? What truth has God spoken into your heart today concerning His love for you and his desire for you not to pretend?
Love God Greatly!