This morning I had the honor and privilege of speaking to almost 100 moms at the MOPS group (Mothers of Preschoolers) that meets at our church. A few months back I was officially asked to share our family’s story and serve as the speaker for the annual Christmas tea, which left me with plenty of time to pray and figure out what words to share.
I’m normally not nervous speaking in front of others, but for some reason this opportunity has weighed heavily on my heart. I wanted to get it right. Not to put the focus on me – quite the opposite really – but to make sure that the focus was instead on our Lord.
This morning I felt calm while sharing our message. Telling the story of my pregnancy, the day Charlie was born, and how things unfolded in his first year. I was honest about my fears, feelings that I had as a mom, and my original reaction to the Lord in anger. I shared how the Lord began to soften my heart, showing me His truth and revealing the lies of the enemy and this world that I had bought into. I spoke of how the Lord showed me how he saw Charlie – and every one of us – as His perfect children. How He values each and every life, no matter the world’s perspective. I proclaimed that Jesus was the Son of God and that because He died, we will be saved. I also told them that I believe that the enemy is also alive and well – thriving really – in our world.
I told them of how I have changed the way that I mother. Initially after Charlie was born my type A, “control freak” personality took over. I reasoned that while I may have lost control in one area in my life, I wasn’t going to lose it in others. And yet, I was still empty and unsatisfied until I learned to give up the control I seemingly held and gave it all over to the Lord – placing Him at the center of our family. I shared with them how telling our family’s story has made us more transparent, and has led others to do the same – that we all have a testimony to share and are called to do so. And I ended telling them that I wouldn’t change our experience for anything in the world. That I have come to realize that I am thankful that the Lord gave us Charlie – just as he is.
Afterward, I received many complements, words of encouragement, shared stories and testimonies, and teary hugs. This was a morning of blessings for me.
Yet why wasn’t I at peace after such a wonderful morning of fellowship with other moms?
Once in my car I was bombarded with thoughts of things I hadn’t shared. Topics that “completed” our story and would have been more relevant to the moms listening. I was overwhelmed with the sense that His message hadn’t gotten through. In my head I ran through what I had shared earlier. I couldn’t remember if I had shared what a blessing it is to honor the Lord by mothering Henry and Charlie. And did I tell them that I finally realized that I had no more reason to worry about Charlie’s future than I did Henry’s? That even as a mom I discovered that ultimately it isn’t me that is in control? That it took me such a long time to realize all this, to finally humble myself and give it all over to the Lord? Did I cover everything? Did I remember all of the important details?
The details. Those darn little things that trip you up on an otherwise seamless day. Without really understanding why, in the last few weeks I have been all wrapped up in details.
Big details and little details. Selecting a Christmas card. Decorating the house for Christmas. Buying the “perfect” gifts. Writing and rewriting my notes for the Christmas Tea. Worrying about things that really aren’t in my control and aren’t that noteworthy to begin with. And while my type-A, perfectionist personality does believe that there is some importance in details, I’d have to say that for the most part they often cause more worry and demand more attention than they deserve.
Earlier this week while I was worrying about something (then praying for forgiveness for worrying, worrying, and praying – you get the idea – ) I got it. “The devil is in the details.” Sure it’s a tired old cliche, but that saying hit me out of nowhere and I was struck by it’s double meaning. While it didn’t really resonate with me at the time, this morning while driving home after MOPS, I remembered that saying again. It occurred to me that in all reality I was under a sort of spiritual attack. My Lord isn’t after me to remember all of the little details, but the enemy is. That’s how we give him entry to spread his seeds of doubt. But our God – he isn’t much for the details. His request is quite simple. We are to give it all over to Him, to seek His good and perfect truth. It’s not as complex as the enemy would have us believe and the Lord doesn’t make it difficult for us to seek Him – asking for forgiveness and proclaiming our faith in Jesus. But the enemy has. He loves to point out our weaknesses, and tangle a web of confusion that makes it difficult for us to see the pure love that the Lord has for us.
So as I write this I will do what I did while driving home. I will once again proclaim my faith in Jesus. That I am so thankful that He chose me to be Henry and Charlie’s mom. That it is such an honor and blessing to mother my children in the name of the Lord. And all of those other details? I’m not worried.