46. Who Are We Trusting?
May 5, 2022
Last week we chatted about feeling like a failure, and the list of hard demands we feel as mothers. We left the episode with the challenge of reflecting on what’s going on for us in those moments of big feelings, of weakness and failure. We were considering what lies we might be believing in those moments, then reframing to consider what truth we needed to remind ourselves of.
How did that go for you? Did you notice anything happening for you? What did you learn about yourself or God in those big moments?
I noticed how much I strove for perfection. To keep my house perfect, to be the perfect and supportive wife, to be a perfect mum. Lots of my big feelings came from when I was trying so hard to be perfect, but wasn’t measuring up to my own standard of “rightness”.
I also noticed - doesn’t our culture tell us that we should be, and can be, perfect.
That we are women who can have it all - the career and family and holidays and lifestyle we dream of.
Gone are the days of a magazine each month showing the ideal, our feeds are refreshed by the minute and full of influencers who are showing us how they are killing it at life, using literal augmented reality to make walls whiter and faces flawless. But it sends the message over again that you can be like them too.
Then, when you look up and see handprints on walls and a face of wrinkles and pimples… well geez.
And the hard thing is,we want to be their kinda perfect, don’t we?
It it looks pretty appealing.
And at the heart of it, we want the good life. We want comfort and happiness and all the things we’re told we can have.
And we love our family right? We want to give them the best.
And mumma, I see how hard you’re working to do that.
I know that you bust your butt to please everyone.
And I know how much it costs you.
I see those tears that slip down your face after hard school drop off.
I see you staying up late cleaning so the house runs smoothly in the morning.
I see you using rest time to cook that meal your husband loves.
I see your yawns from staying up late to do youth group runs.
I see your shaking hands as you call in sick to care for your child, disappointing your boss AGAIN.
I see you missing out on new jeans because the budgets tight and your daughter needs new soccer shoes.
I see you step on the scales and wonder how on earth you’ll find the time or energy to do something about it.
I see you tired on the couch, reading one more chapter of that parenting book because you have no idea what you are doing.
I see you mumma. I know you. I am you.
I wonder, what is this all stemming from? It’s the expectation thing again, isn’t it?
It’s the fear that we’re not going to meet the standard put on us, and that we put on ourselves.
And as christian women, we have this added element of wanting to be the ideal christian woman.
To keep serving and loving those around us.
To model Jesus well.
We want those in our lives to love him like we do.
We want to raise Christian kids! We want them to love Jesus! We want them to be in heaven with us forever.
We want to serve God. We want to please him. We want to thank him for what he’s done for us. We want to live the way he’s asked us to live.
But somewhere along the way, something seems to happen where our initial motives of love, of following Jesus, of being servant hearted change course.
This desire to be perfect, to do everything right, to do what we things best, creeps in.
So much of this conversation reminds me of the two ways to live analogy.
Have you heard it? It’s a way of explaining the gospel with a bunch of boxes and drawings but the gist of it is this: God created the world and he ruled it and it was good. We reject Gods rule and choose to live with ourselves in control. It goes on to explain how God wouldnt let it be like that forever, he sent Jesus who took our sin for himself and is now ruler.
We’re left with a choice: submit to Jesus as our King, or go our own way and face the consequences that come with it.
We want these things so badly, that we end up doing what we did in the garden.
We choose to wear the crown and do it our way.
Our focus becomes what WE think is wise. What WE think is most important. What WE think is best.
But really, is that how God says it should be?
What has he called us to mumma?
What should we be striving for?
Obedience to Christ.
We’re called to abandon our self reliance, abandon our own efforts to please God and earn salvation.
We’re called to completely trust in Jesus. Relying on him alone.
It’s a continuing attitude of believing in Jesus, - turning from our own attempts, our own resources and committing ourselves to Gods plan, Gods ways.
You might interject here and say, “I know this Laura. I know that I can’t earn my own salvation. I’m not doing that. It’s only because of Jesus I’m going to heaven”.
And I agree my friend. I KNOW there is nothing I can do to earn my salvation.
But I wonder. How often are we actually abandoning trust in ourselves?
How often are we casting ourselves unreservedly on the mercy of God?
How often are we depending on the power of the Holy spirit for our daily strength?
Faith implies complete reliance on God and full obedience to him. How are we going at this?
I would be the first person to put my hand up, wave it around and say, “I trust God”. But all it takes is a little bit of hardness, a little bit of something not going the way I thought it should go, or a hint of suffering and that arm I have waving in the air starts to go still, starts to lower towards my ear, then casually slip down to my side hoping noone would notice.
Trusting God is something that I think every christian will ebb and flow in how well they do. Often it is easiest to trust him when life is going well. I think it’s Gods kindness to give us hard times, it reveals the areas in our life that we are dependent on ourselves and our own wisdom and strength or what we cling to and idolise most. Its those hard times that reveal what our hearts are clinging to, and encourage us to turn and seek and trust God.
I thought I’d finish by reading a few bible verses about trusting God. I’ve put them up on the website again. Why don’t you print it off and have a go memorising them this week. Fill your mind with these verses in hope the truth of Gods word comes to you faster next time you find yourself trusting in yourself and own strength.
2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The LORD, the LORD himself, is my strength and my defense ; he has become my salvation.”
10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
19 And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.
10 Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
8 Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.
1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.
7 “But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. 8 They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.