A Mama’s Prayer

This morning, I spoke at a “tea and testimony” event for a Mom’s group at church. I love public speaking, but there’s something about sharing my personal testimony that makes me uneasy. How much of my life do I share, and what is relevant to my spiritual walk, and if people really know the mess I was before I became the mess I am now, will I have any credibility?

On the drive to the church building, I rehearsed the few details I would divulge. I hyped myself up and felt like I was totally prepared.

I was wrong.

When I stood at the podium, everything I’d rehearsed completely  left my mind. I started sharing things I had no intention of sharing, and couldn’t stop the words coming out of my mouth. Trial after trial came spewing out, and I was headed down a fast-talker’s path of no return. Some things I shared today, I had completely forgotten about until I shared them. And the kicker? I can’t tell you 90% of what I said during today’s verbal vomit. I have no idea. I stood up to speak and God said, “I’ll take over from here, Val…” and my story was just a vessel for his purpose.

I was moved by my own story. As conceited as it may sound, when it was all out on the table, I realized how amazingly faithful God has been in my life through every kind of suffering. Every victory. Every hurdle. Every triumph. My life changed 1,000 times, but He never did. My path took 1,000 different directions, but He stayed firm. My choices could have led me to 1,000 different deaths, but He restored, rescued, and renewed me time and time again.

After this morning, it doesn’t feel uncomfortable to show my battle scars or even rip the bandages off my still-healing wounds. I no longer find it awkward to admit I’ve been broken time and time again. And in that brokenness, He is still completely capable of piecing me back together.

I came home this evening from leading a painting party and helped get Little Miss ready for bed. Little Man had already been tucked away in his crib. We said bedtime prayers, and Little Miss gave me good night kisses.

A Mama's Prayer (1)

I went across the hall to Little Man’s room to make sure he hadn’t strayed too far from his blanket, and carefully covered him up. I kissed his forehead, and began to pray over both our kids. Recounting the struggles of my youth today gave me a new perspective on the lives of my own children. I would give anything to prevent them from making the same mistakes I did, but I know the days will come soon, and be many, where they’ll do the wrong thing. It’s part of growing up.

As I know they’ll make mistakes, fail to think things through, or even to realize the consequences for their own actions, I can’t let fear of the “what ifs” or even of what I know to be true from my own experiences, hold me back from enjoying who they are right now, or from how I get to be a part of their lives this very day.

I reached over the crib rail and placed my hand on Little Man’s sweet little shoulder. I prayed for God’s provision for my children. That just as He has never left me, He would continually be by their side, providing for their greatest needs. Not just their needs, but allowing them to pour into the needs of those around them. Give them an eye for the suffering or those who lack what they can support, and give them the heart and provisions to care for themselves and others.

I prayed for God’s protection over my children. Not just from physical harm or ailment, but from spiritual deflections, peer bullies, evil, and deception. I have been deceived, played, and toyed with as a result of the selfish plans and desires of others. And let’s not overlook the selfish desires and plans of my own. I put myself in harm’s way far more often than necessary, and it’s quite by God’s protection I’m still here today. I prayed He would protect my kids, and not just in the way of physical security, but in the way that they would guard their heart against sin, and their desires would be worthy of pursuing.

I prayed His promises over my kids. The promises spoken in scripture are as true today as they were the day they were written down. I prayed my children would impress those upon their hearts – far earlier than I ever did – and live their life to realize the weight His promises carry. So much of my life was spent searching for the wrongdoing of others, so I could justify what I was doing “right”. I had no idea what God had promised for me, because I was focused on what was promised for those who didn’t know Him. I was focused on avoiding hell, rather than pursuing Christ. I missed out on so much joy. So much hope. So much freedom. I prayed my children would carve those promises on their hearts, and remember them daily. No matter what they face or have to wade through in life, God has made promises for and to them.

One thing I’m learning on a continual basis, is how our story really has very little to do with ourselves. Our story has to do with the One who writes it. My life, my trials, and my experiences are all part of who I am and who I’ve become. They’re also all part of who He’s allowed me to be, so I could realize His power and how He’s carried me along every step of the way.

I prayed my kids, one day when they’re asked to share their testimony, will realize it’s not their story they’re telling. It’s His.

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