Sunday, December 04, 2011
The Gospel for the Good Mom
I hate that I can't sleep. I'm tired of watching reruns of The Office. I was tired when I went to bed. Dead tired like every other night. But once the lights are off my mind is on, ready to make big out of what is little.
I replay the stupid question that I asked that was never answered and wonder what others thought. I remember that the kids' lunches aren't packed and that my mom is sick. I hate my apathy for buying Christmas gifts and wonder why I find gift giving such a bother. But even more, I hate my newly discovered cynicism. I barely know what that means but after looking up the definition on Wikipedia I think that God might just be right about me.
I wonder if I'm well liked, I wonder if what I wrote or said today offended or impressed. I'm obsessed with myself when the lights go out. Obsessed with wanting approval so that I can sleep peacefully. If everyone is happy with me; my husband has his needs met, the kids are content, then I can rest.
But is that really it? Is my sleep contingent on how I am esteemed? Better yet is my happiness dependent upon others approval?
My desire to be good hunts me down and finds me lying awake at night. Good inasmuch as my identity. "Good Wife", "Good Friend", "Good Mom", "Good Writer", "Good Daughter", "Good Christian" good, good, good.
And when I can't prove myself worthy of these titles I scramble. I get to work trying to find ways to approve of myself, to earn my standing. But this all seems a bit far from the gospel if you ask me. Is good really what I need to be?
What happened to my true identity? Do I hang that on the back of the bathroom door before I climb into bed? Does my memory fade in the horizontal position?
I find myself wondering who I am, scheming to be better in the morning and then I stop. I am drawn to prayer. Asking Him to remind me of who I really am. I'm not going to wake up in the morning as "Mom Extraordinaire" my husband will have no reason to bow down to a "Wife Above Rubies" I will not have published a book in my sleep becoming an "Influential Writer".
No. I will wake up as me. A "Sinful and Flawed yet Loved and Welcomed, Righteous Daughter." A title that cannot be stripped, destroyed or forfeited. A title that needs no living up to. One that cannot be gained or lost in the midst of a sleepless night. I am His and He keeps me. I cannot be unredeemed.
I need no other approval then that of the only One who's approval matters. And that approval I have a gazillion times over. I need not be esteemed by anyone but the one who has diligently pursued me since the dawn of time. In His love I remain forever and always not because I have done good, not because I am doing good and not because I will be good but only because He is good.
Good when He came to earth, was born and placed in a manger.
Good when He lived sinless, perfectly loving those who hated Him.
Good when He was mocked and spit upon.
Good when the scourging He endured ripped into His flesh exposing His true human state. A body that He suffered in for me.
Good when spikes were driven through His flesh, muscles, tendons and joints to secure Him to the beam of His death.
Good when the sky turned dark. Pitch black. Forsaken, bearing the weight of my sins.
Good when in the darkness He suffered the agony of being separated from the perfect and complete union with the Father.
Good when He rejoiced in His suffering, knowing it was right for our sake.
Good when He called us His brothers and sisters.
Good when it began.
Good when it was finished.
And He continues to be good. Calling us righteous, serving us through the Spirit. Interceding on our behalf.
Lying awake at night, trying to prove myself as good melts away in comparison to this. No, I'm not good. No, I don't need to be good. There is only One who is truly good so that I don't have to be. And now I am free to sleep knowing His goodness is mine and will always be.