When I look back at my mothering years, I get lost in the memories of just how broken I was as a mother. I didn't really notice it in my early years, when babies were first born and motherhood was just beginning. In fact, things looked pretty good from the outside. We looked like a sweet little family. And God knows, I tried. I've always driven myself to do it right. I wanted to be the best mother, the best wife, the best everything.
But, I lived each day carrying around ugly baggage. This baggage, this brokenness, drove me in the way I made decisions. It was the force behind ways I protected myself, ways I interacted in relationships. It shaped my behavior and the way I related to my children and husband. It wasn't until my 2 daughters were preschool age that circumstances in my life forced me to begin to face my brokenness. So, many of my mothering years were spent trying to raise children (added baby #3) while much of my focus was on dealing with my 'junk'.
How can a broken mom raise not-broken kids? I can see the brokenness in my children. They are amazing, talented, smart, funny adults. They love with commitment. They are kind. They are sensitive. They are engaged in life. They are hard workers. They are passionate and individual thinkers. But, they are broken. They have scars and hurts that are deep in their hearts. They have ways of protecting themselves. They have fears. As a mom, I want to rush in and fix it. I don't want my kids to hurt. I don't want them to struggle. But I can't fix it - in them or in me.
Broken. Isn't that why Jesus came? God knew of our brokenness. God knew we couldn't fix it our self. God knew we would come up with tons of ways to try. And we still do. We try to be good enough. We try to do it right. We try. But we can't. This, to me, is the simplest message of God's love gift to us: I am broken. I can't fix it. God sent His Son. Jesus. Jesus fixed it.
In God's eyes, I am not broken. My kids are not broken. We are perfect and complete, because Jesus gave himself as a sacrifice for us and fixed forever our brokenness. To walk in that truth is freedom. The brokenness is there, yes, but that's not what I need to focus on or carry around feelings of regret about. I am whole. My kids are whole. Not because us our efforts - even though the 'dealing with stuff' still continues - but because the 'fixing' is finished. It was finished on the cross.