I’m thrilled to have my friend Colette Loudin sharing a post with us today – this post is so personally challenging to me, and I know it will be to you, too. Please give her some share love on Facebook, Pinterest, etc., and check out her blog Lessons from the Sparrow.
I hugged him close as he clawed and scraped and tried to kick his sister over and over again. He was so frustrated, and I was too. He grunted and groaned quietly as he thrashed about, giving no ear to the message his dad was preaching right in front of him. I tried to calmly restrain him as tears streamed down my face.
“Sundays are just so hard, Mom.” I know, sweetheart. I know they are. But they’re worth it, too.
This precious son of six years is life and energy and cuddles and punches. He’s the one that hears the gospel over and over and over again as I hold him close and talk through what went wrong. He brings tears and fears and joy and laughter. Sometimes I don’t know how to love him well. Sometimes I wonder if I’m getting in the way of his seeing Christ. Sometimes I absolutely lose it on him. Because I can’t understand how in the world he could do the very thing we just talked about not doing. And then I see me. And my sin. Over and over and over again. The Israelites followed that path. And so often I have, too. And God disciplined them. He showed grace. He broke, and He mended. He fought for His people. And God disciplines me. He shows grace. He breaks, and He mends. He fights for me.
My eyes closed and opened to look at my husband standing behind the pulpit. And this vision came into my mind—my tough child, grown. A man, tall in stature and wise in heart. Standing at that same podium in that same church. The sunlight beaming through the stained glass behind him. And as he speaks to the people whom he now joins in faith, he looks at that front row where he spent his youth. I’m there—the whispers of years and time have painted my hair and kissed my face. And as he looks at me on that front pew, our eyes meet. A flood of memories washes over him. Our battles against sin…together. His face softens as he remembers the hard Sundays. And he understands in that moment the beauty of those struggles. The reward of it all.
My heart quieted. There was hope in that vision for me. Hope that, maybe one day, I will see the fruit of this labor.
“Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6
I have no guarantee that my son will grow into a wise man who follows the Lord. There’s no protocol I could follow to produce a man of faith. That is entirely in the Lord’s hands. And there’s a freedom in that, too. It doesn’t depend on me. However, I do have the holy and heavy responsibility to diligently display God’s patience and goodness and grace to my children. To fight alongside them toward victory. Bearing the daily weight of that in the living out brings weeping and sorrow in response to my son’s sin. It is no easy thing to mother.
This Sunday, we will sit together and pray. He will pray, as he often does, that God will help him to listen and to obey. That God will calm his body and mind and help him do what he knows he should do in the church service. And he might find victory this Sunday. And he might not. But when he messes up, I will hug him close, love him gently, and speak the same truth into his little big heart. And I’ll hold that sweet vision ever before me. That one day, just maybe, I shall come home with shouts of joy because of the beautiful work God has done within him through these years of sowing. And I will look my precious, grown boy in the face, and our hearts will join with the Israelites in proclaiming, “ The Lord has done great things for us; we are filled with joy.”
Colette is a lead pastor’s wife and mother of four whose passion is to awaken women to the great need of rightly studying the word and being an active part of the local church, no matter what season of life they are in. She loves all things birth and newborns, conversations about food allergies and gut health, and reaching out to the overlooked. You can follow her blog at lessonsfromthesparrow.wordpress.com.