There are some moments during this season that are just so hard. It’s not just the kids getting on my nerves or the busyness of our days in the field; it’s the overwhelming inability to breathe some days.
In this season of heightened emotions—the long days and even longer nights—more often than not, I find myself constantly having to use restraint with my kids. For me to hold my tongue and soften my voice. For me to rest my hand on my chest and slow the fierce beating of my heart so that it doesn’t become a beating with my words. And for me to stop in the midst of a heated moment, take a deep breath, and let Jesus lead my next step.
But oh, there are moments when I don’t let Him lead me.
I stand at the kitchen sink night after night, and here I found myself again last night, scrubbing dishes and choking back tears; I take my aggression out on my trusty skillet as the hot, soapy water runs over my worn hands. It’s the only outlet I have that lets me take out my frustrations so I don’t blow up at my kids as they fight for the millionth time today.
As I continue to scrub, they continue to bicker behind me, and I feel my anger continuing to boil just under the surface until finally I can’t take it anymore. I drop my skillet and slam down my scrubber onto the counter and sharply turn my head and yell at the kids, silencing their voices.
In that moment, the levee has broken, there is nothing else holding back the flood of emotions that is spilling out of my heart and down my face. The shouting continues only for a few moments, but as the last word leaves my lips, I already feel the shame ripping through my soul. And as I fully turn myself around, I see the three little faces staring back at me and I am completely undone.
These three tiny people on my kitchen floor . . . these little souls I have been entrusted with, with wide eyes and moldable hearts . . . they don’t deserve to get the parts of me that are boiling over. Their hearts don’t need anger poured over them in a moment that I can’t control myself. And they certainly don’t need to watch me lose my crap night after night after night and not see a change in that over time.
But I’ll tell you what they do deserve to see.
They do deserve to see my brokenness. I am allowed to show them weariness, and the fight against my flesh, and my striving for control from the Spirit. They are allowed to see my struggle, hear my prayers for change, and when I am wrong they should see a humbled heart on my knees if front of them in repentance.
Because if not me, then who?
Mamas, we all struggle. And we have been told we shouldn’t let our kids see our weaknesses or show them the most vulnerable parts of our hearts that we are trying to change. But can I give you some freedom today? Let them see you struggle . . . and then turn it over to the Lord. Let them see your weak spots . . . and then see how God’s power is made perfect in them. And when you make the mistake of lashing out, let them see what “I’m sorry” looks like . . . and let them extend you grace.
Because if not you, then who?
Let them see, mama. Let them see how broken can turn into beautiful.
This article originally appeared on From Blacktop to Dirt Road
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