Let them tell this story: She was always being remade

Photo by the amazing and lovely Erin Molloy Photography

I’m a stressed mom. I’m stressed too often. I worry that August’s most prominent memory of his childhood will be my contorted anxiety face leaning over his carseat, snapping at him and plugging his seatbelt in tight. Sometimes he asks me, “Mama, are you stressed?” Sometimes he tells Chris when he comes home: “Mommy was really stressed today.”

Oh, how I hate that. That is not the story I want for my boys’ childhood. Sweet Lord, I beg from my gut, unweave that story. Put a new one in its place…

Tuesday, when were running late to dinner with some relatives I haven’t seen in years, I felt panic missile-blast (to use my son’s lingo) my insides when August wouldn’t hurry into his seat. He was crouched on the floorboard of the back seat, refusing to climb in. I yelled. I slammed my bag into the passenger seat. I sighed as if my sweet, wide life was oppressive, as if these children had made me late. (The truth: I was never on time before I had children. It’s almost always not their fault; it’s mine.) I called my husband as I pulled out the driveway, saying we were late and I was so frustrated that my relatives would have this impression of me, The Late Person. Mostly, I just talked at a high pitch and made the “Ugh!” noises Chris has come to expect from my late afternoon phone calls.

He sighed: “Well, Mama Monk, what are you going to do about it?” And I groaned. How dare he play that card, like I’m actually supposed to practice what I talk about around here? I hung up and drove tapping my hand on the steering wheel for a few blocks while August’s sweet voice was singing along to the cd. I was completely unable to hear the miracle of that boy’s voice, the glory of a 3-year-old’s vocal chords vibrating rhythm and melody.

We stopped at the light and I squeezed my mind tight enough to hear August’s song, long enough to consider Chris’ words. Then I thought about all of you. The light turned green. I prayed, turning the corner onto the access road by Mopac.

I prayed: Lord, Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me a sinner.

I prayed the words over and over until my mouth was sighing Lord, Lord, Lord.

And, miraculously, my heart pounded strong and matched the sound of my little boy’s voice behind me. I widened my eyes and the world was open again. The tunnel walls fell down and light shimmied in and I breathed. Wow, Jesus, I thought. This time, you fixed me fast.

And that’s true. God is healing me, I know. I know it because each time the slick black slime seeps through my mind and down onto my tongue and slides through my arms and legs to drag me into the dark tunnel, I’m remembering more and more quickly that the tunnel is not my home. The dark slime does not have a bed in my brain anymore. All of this life-the beauty of Brooksie’s chubby legs waddling down the sidewalk, the glory of the budding vines in the backyard, the patter of the rain outside my window-all of it has the potential to break me open into the light and soft curve of God’s goodness.

So, maybe the stressed mom will be the story my boys tell. But, right alongside it, let them tell of the mom who prayed in the car, her left hand on the steering wheel, her right lifted out, offering her broken spirit.

Let them say, She was broken. Let them say, She was always being remade…


Filed under the Praying Life

23 Responses to Let them tell this story: She was always being remade

  1. gail martin

    shivers reading this story. the good kind. the holy kind. the real and hopeful kind. thanks for a good honest word of faith to start the day.

  2. Pam

    Love you sharing from your heart…mostly because you write so incredibly well what we all think and feel and just don’t know how to express! Blessings on your day. God is amazing all the time!

  3. Haley

    Thank you for this. Me too.

  4. I’m with Gail. Shivers, too. This is beautiful. And thank you for painting that honest picture—that’s my life, too, contorted seat-buckling face, panicked late-afternoon pleas with my husband to fix it or at least commiserate. And yet you’re right… it’s a wide, lovely life…

  5. “Let them say, She was broken. Let them say, She was always being remade…”
    I love this. Thank you for being honest about your struggles as a mom. This was so encouraging and a sweet reminder of God’s mercy. I think I will sit with a notepad and paper to take notes when I read your postings ;)

  6. pastordt

    Micha - I have no idea what story my kids tell about me, but I know what I tell about my own mom: “She was broken…she was always being remade…” And it brings tears to my eyes to write that down. Tears of gratitude and joy. Hang in there, kiddo. You’re on the right road. And that Jesus prayer? The greatest gift to my prayer life EVER. It has a miraculous calming effect in the midst of pressure/anxiety/even actual physical pain. Thanks for this - a great way to start my day today.

  7. Brian

    I have only read your two latest blogs and they have both brough me near tears. Thank you for your honesty. It hits right where alot of people live including me. Thank you.

  8. April

    This is lovely. Thank you for sharing so vulnerably and articulating something that so many of us moms can relate to.

  9. birthjoy

    I remember the day that I didn’t know what else to do but cry out loud, in front of everyone and everything, and beg the Lord to enter into my hot and hellish mess, right then and there. I can still remember the looks on my two boys’ faces. I’m not sure what my kids would say about me and that day (and the thousand others like it that have since followed) but I know this, I never want to forget their story: that they witnessed the grace of God, raining down among them.

  10. My oldest once said “why do you cry so much at the breakfast table.” I didn’t know the answer-I knew the logistics-parenting solo in the morning with two crazy boys to get ready for school, and me for work, and lunches, and bed making and breakfast-they need to eat right? yes, I knew the logistics, but in that moment, I knew, deep down I was broken. I was broken in the most holy of ways-vulnerable and peeled there for him to see. So while I try often not to cry as much at the breakfast table-I think there is something so good in children seeing us real and needy, and not in that-we can’t meet their needs kinda way-but that we need a Savior and a Redeemer….Oh there are plenty of times for laughter, for dancing to silly music, for long walks and sleeps taken together-all that is good stuff they will remember, and they will remember that their mom cried in the mornings and clung to her God like no one’s business!!!

  11. sarah

    wow. so beautiful. thank you.

  12. Kate

    Found your blog accidentally (read providentially) and think your writing is beautiful. Really identify with much of what you share…especially here. My nearly 3 yr old said recently (after a particularly stressful morning for me with her colicky 2 mo old brother) when asking me to play “mommy, can you just try and smile?”. I wanted to cry (for probably the 17th time that morning!). I pray for grace to use those moments to help her learn about feelings and their power (helpful and sometimes not so) and that mommy is still growing and learning, too. I love the imagery of being remade. Blessings to you in this process.

  13. Granny B

    I love this message. Even at 70 - I pray my kids will say she was broken and always being remade. . . . Through all the years - lots of brokenness — and lots of grace. God had stayed faithful through it all - constant in His re-creation of this mom/grandmother to bring her to the person He created her to be. Thank you, loving God. I pray my children know how much I love You.

  14. Jen

    We love because we are loved.
    How He loves. How easily we lose sight of His peace, of the beauty of creation He has placed around us.

    Thanks as always for the holy reminders you bring into my day, whenever I read your blog.

  15. Pingback: Being Remade | Y.Y. Jenny Lee

  16. skboyett

    I love this. Every mom has those moments…some are just not honest enough to say it. And I love what you said about God is healing you. A friend of mine once said, God is loves us always. And we have the tendancy to beat ourselves up because we did it again. We went to that place again. We had that thought again. But he sees those times, and loves it when we realize where we are and we turn to him faster than before. He is so good.

  17. SD

    This made me cry today! The past couple of days I have been in that same frustrated place, praying for God to help me have patience and peace. You have brought me hope that God can use these moments!
    A couple of nights ago, my two year old pulled my hair (again) as I was putting him in his seat. I walked around to the driver’s seat, frustrated, and when I got in the car he was apologizing, and then he folded his chubby little hands and said “dear God, help mommy kind.” I still don’t know if he was praying for me or for himself, but the realization that he knows where to turn in those moments made my heart sing.
    Thank you so much!

  18. Pingback: Worth Reading and Watching: Being Remade, Disability and Religion, Life With God, and Failing Lent « Thin Places-Faith, Family and Disability

  19. Beautiful post. Each time “the slick black slime seeps through my mind and down onto my tongue and slides through my arms and legs to drag me into the dark tunnel” it is then I read your blog : ) You (and lots and lots of prayer) are the best at restoring my hope. Thank you!

  20. Julianne

    A friend just “shared” this on Facebook. I am crying because this is so ME. I just read it to my 10 yr old. She is used to hearing my apologies for my behavior.

  21. leigh

    oh, this was so beautiful…

  22. Ann

    This made me cry. Take heart He has overcome the world and He is bigger than our emotions! Thank you for your beautiful honesty!

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