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I'm NOT Eating That!!

I could feel my blood pressure rising and the tone of my voice changing, as the panic started to kick in and the need for control over the current situation started to take over. There I was battling my kid again and what was the battle this time? Breakfast. And it wasn't even that he didn't want to eat breakfast, no I knew he's hungry and I knew he needed that nutrients in his body before he started this day. No this was simply that he didn't like what was set before him. If he had his way, he would live on chicken nuggets, bagels and mac and cheese. But because I know what that would do to his body and his immune system I cannot in good conscience allow that to be his main diet. So, as my job entails as his mother, I have to make some things that maybe aren't as delicious to his palette but will nourish his heart and soul.

And the panic I'm feeling? It's because I know what it's like to be hungry and I know what it's like to feel nauseous from not eating and starving myself and I so desperately do not want that discomfort for my little boy. I'm willing to do anything to prevent him from feeling that pain. He doesn't know yet what that feeling feels like. And so, his proud heart wants to defy everything that I know to be best. In his mind my years of experience pale in comparison to what he thinks he needs in this moment. And when battle after battle, like this, starts to wear my down, I'm often left feeling like all that I do as a mother to show loves to this little man is taken in a completely different way by him. All he hears and sees is that mommy wants to make my life miserable. She doesn't know my true need; she doesn't understand what's best for me. She doesn't hear what I'm saying. And maybe that he even thinks I don't love him. And that thought, along with the knowledge if he doesn't eat, he will suffer the natural consequences of hunger pains later and that will bring tears of his own at some point this morning, brings tears to my eyes.

I know I'm losing this battle and I so desperately want to win, not for the sake of winning but to protect my boy from hurt. It's then the quiet voice of God reminds me that all I see and hear in this little boy is so often my hearts attitude towards God. God graciously provides us a table of mercy and love and we turn up our noses again and again saying you don't understand me. You clearly don't hear my demands and needs. You must not love me; you must not be trustworthy. This is not what I asked for, this is not what I want and I refuse to eat it.

Now I don't think God goes into a complete panic when we decide to go a different way. No, in fact, he allows us to do what our free will desires and lovingly opens his arms when we fall down and turn with tears in her eyes saying, Daddy I should have listened. And I praise God for this! And even gifted with this insight, I have to marvel at how child like our hearts and minds still are when it comes to trusting our Father. How foolish, stubborn and proud our hearts are despite the times that he shows us over and over that his best IS the best and that he is so trustworthy and faithful. Just like my son, I look at God and I question his intentions. I don't really trust that they are good and that he has my best in mind. I choose to go hungry spiritually from his food, from his word, from the people giving wise counsel around me. To go hungry from all the nuggets of sugar-coated cookie truth he is trying to hand me, I still say, no. I'd rather do it my way, I'd rather go hungry.

I'm so thankful for the Love of My Savior. That he doesn't give up on me. That he isn't human so he doesn't get angry like I do when my children decide they want to go their own way. That he never grasps for a sense of control because he always is in control. And I'm so thankful for a God who allows me to go hungry so that I can know what it's like to be in want and so I can know what second-best taste like.

There's been seasons of my life where I have prayed and prayed for something and finally God's given it to me and I think now I'll be happy, now I have it all, now I have what I always dreamed of. And for a short time I am happy as God allows me to experience and chew on the food I asked for. And then somehow things start to slowly but surely crumble, one Jenga piece at a time until all the blocks are on the floor. The hunger pains for true nutrients - God's best, are so loud they ring in my ears. And I'm so confused on how what I thought was God's best, and what I thought it was I needed, was so clearly not. The key words here are, what I THOUGHT.

And so, when I'm tempted to think that God was mean or cold hearted to seemingly rip these things I loved and desperately wanted, from my hands, I'm gently reminded God never said that’s the meal he wanted me to be eating. He always had something better. I just refused to acknowledge it. What I'm beginning to realize is this, that these things God allowed and then took away, where things that God never wanted me to have. I mistook them for his best by manipulating circumstances and pushing boundaries. When all along God was lovingly calling my heart to something far beyond what I could see and was settling for. I'm realizing now that the age old saying, to have loved and lost is better than to have never loved at all, has a grain of truth to it.

See in God's grace and mercy he allows me to see and feel those relationships and go through those seasons so that I can feel the lack, until my heart can humbly turn to him and say Daddy, I want the breakfast that you wanted to give me. I'm hungry. I'm hungry for you, for your word, for your love, for your people, for your truth. For YOUR best. And he says okay and he reaches out his hand and leads me back to the table prepared for me in the presence of my enemies and allows me to eat peaceful and free. Each time I have memory of those losses that felt so devastating, I'm beginning to be so thankful for them because it reminds me that what my best is, is nothing compared to what my Savior has planned for me. In fact, it pales in comparison to the love that I now experience at my father's table eating from the nourishing food of his word. What felt so cruel was actually a gift. I'm so thankful I got to experience less than so that I can be so confident in where I now stand in what God wanted for me.

Now equipped with this knowledge and the example of Jesus all I need now as a mama is the courage to allow my children experience lack, to meet natural consequences. To fail. Gift them with free will the same way my heavenly father does and allow them to fall to their knees and surrender all that they desire, all that they deem the perfect fit for their needs, so that they can look up and see Jesus and allow him to fill all those voids. And it's one of the scariest revelations to my heart and the scariest stage of parenting thus far. I know God has been preparing me for these moments, preparing me to slowly but surely let go of my children and entrust them to Jesus and God's been gently prying these children for my fingers. I know the harder I hold on to him them, the less they're going to know about Jesus and the harder life is going to be when difficult circumstances come. I want them to know how to turn to Jesus. I want them to know what it's like to fall, to fail and then to be wrapped in the mighty arms of our Savior who says, you're still good enough and you're so loved! And nothing you ever do will change that! And when they know that about their Jesus, they'll know that about their mama too.

So today will you pray with me Mamas? Pray for courage for all of us to step up and step out and let go. Surrender our children to the only one who can fill them with his best and protect them from all evil and love them unconditionally. Free them to make their own mistakes so that Jesus can step in and fill in all those holes for our kids. Because only he can prepare the best meal for them at his table.

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