Moving Beyond Self-Doubt – For Mothers

with 16 Comments

“That we might not rely on ourselves but on God.”

2 Corinthians 1:9

Today is Mother’s Day and I am feeling sentimental.   I know through the years of raising four kids there were many moments when I felt inadequate. If ever there was a job with a lot of pressure to perform it’s motherhood.

I remember holding my infant son moments after he was born. I looked into those big blue eyes and panic set in, what did I know about raising a son? At the time, my husband and I were living far from family and friends serving as missionaries in the country of Sudan. For some strange reason I felt a tiny bit more confident raising daughters. But now, cradling my son in my arms I longed for supernatural wisdom and divine revelation. In my heart I prayed, “Lord, I have no idea how to raise a son. I’m so thankful for him but, so fearful that perhaps I’ll irrevocably screw this up! Please help me.  In the moments when I don’t know what to do will you please show me your wisdom? Will you show me what it looks like to model confidence for him and also point him the direction of faith? Will you show me how to affirm his manhood and raise him to be the man you desire him to be? Every time I don’t know what to do God, I’m going to look to you.”  That prayer was critical, not just for raising my son but also for raising my daughters.

What I learned during the journey of raising kids was that my feelings of inadequacy might have been a blessing. Every time self-doubt washed over me, I ran to God. Gradually, I began to view my inadequacies as an invitation to deeper dependence on God. As I faithfully leaned into Christ, He supplied the wisdom I needed for the moment. I didn’t always do it right but thankfully my kids were great at forgiving. More important than every little decision I faced with the kids was the growing dependency I developed on the Lord.  My son Josiah is now 28 and his wife Shaina will give birth to their first son any day. God answered my prayers for my son in ways I could never have imagined. I am confident that when he and Shaina don’t know what to do – they’ll run to God.

If you are a mother today and feeling so inadequate for the task of parenting, may I encourage you? View your inadequacies as invitations to lean into the Lord.  You won’t do parenting perfectly. In the journey you’ll make mistakes and that’s okay. Just keep crying out to God for wisdom and cling to Him.   You’ll not be sorry you did. One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is a deep dependency on God himself.

How have you dealt with your feelings of inadequacy as a mother? What has helped you in your journey?  Leave a comment and I’ll enter your name into a drawing for a free copy of Finding Calm In Life’s Chaos.

 

16 Responses

  1. Heather
    | Reply

    Becky,

    What encouraging words! Viewing my emptiness as an opportunity to be filled by Jesus is something that I have just begun learning (& trying to practice) this year & it’s so encouraging to know that this truth will translate into motherhood as well! What a gracious & awesome God we serve! Thank you for the reminder to delight in my weakness, because when I am weak, then I am strong! 2 Corinthians 12:10. <3

    • Becky
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      Thanks, Heather!~ Love the verse you shared!

  2. Gloria
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    Becky, thank you for these words of wisdom. I am a young divorced mother of 2. And I constantly worry if I am doing the right thing for my children. And I feel lost and alone. Sometimes I try to put my happiness first by dating and I justify it by saying “Well, if I’m happy than my kids will be happy, too” But, then I am reminded that that is not the case. God has showed me time and time again that I am not ready for another relationship, but I feel so lonely that I just keep throwing myself into another relationship but all I end up doing is hurting myself or the other person. I would really love to read your book How to Rewrite Your Emotional Script. I believe that book would help me heal a lot of personal problems that I haven’t been able to get over and which are causing my failed relationships.

    • Becky
      | Reply

      Dear Gloria,

      Thanks for your honesty! Just this morning, I read in John 6:36 that Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” He is the only one who can meet our deepest needs. Can you email me at becky@becyharling.com

  3. Stephanie Wright
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    As a mother, yes I have had many moments of fear bordering on terror. I have raised two children to adulthood and now my fear rests in my job as a grandmother of two adorable and precious girls. Will I be able to help illuminate their way to the most romantic and wonderful Man who will hold their hands, fill their hearts, and woo them with unbounding love? I pray that I can show them the love that I have found in God that has stood the test of time and has only gotten better over the years. Motherhood can be tricky and yet exhilarating. Grandmotherhood is a ride so worth the wait!

    • Becky
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      Stephanie, it’s such a wonderful gift to pray over your grandkids! Hugs!

  4. Cyndi
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    I have felt inadequate many times. Being a military wife of over 26 years I had to do a lot of raising both of my kids alone due to the many deployments my husband has been on. I brought them up in church and teaching them about the Lord but my husband did not have the same thoughts about God and the church that I did. As the kids grew older and now both adults I look back and wish things would have been different. I see where I would have changed some things. Both of my kids know the Lord as their personal savior but they are not walking with him at the moment. I think to myself “was it the way I brought them up”? I cant help to feel inadequite as a mother. I only pray that they will return to a life of putting the Lord first in their lives.

    • Becky
      | Reply

      Hi Cyndi,

      You have really had to depend on the Lord in ways some of us never have while having a husband deployed!~ Always remember, God was the perfect parent but His kids sure screwed up in the garden! It’s so great that you pray for your kids – many moms give up. Don’t qut – your prayers will pay off!~

  5. Melanie
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    As a single mother I find myself thinking I have to do it all alone sometimes, what a wonderful reminder of who is REALLY there to help me 🙂

    • Becky
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      Melanie, you are doing a great job!~

  6. Sandra
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    Reading your blog brought back many memories of those times when fear or worry would set in and all I could see ahead was just another disappointment or failure. But as I began to set my eyes on God by taking my fear and worries to him, I could see him at work in each situation. In each situation, growth came to me personally as God walked me through the trials. Successfully blending a family of 4 children has become a badge of honor to my husband and I. After 22 years, our children love one another as though they were natural born siblings. And better yet, they all still love us as parents. Today, Mother’s Day is a reminder that wonderfully things do come out of trials when we trust in God!

    • Becky
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      Hi Sandra,

      Successfully blending a family deserves some type of huge reward!!! How amazing to see what God has done in 22 years!

      Hugs to you,
      Becky

  7. Sherry Roberts
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    Becky ~ Thank you for blessing us with this on Mother’s Day. It was such an encouragment! Many times I feel like I am probably screwing up my kids and feel like such a failure in the Mom department, but then remember God’s promises and truths. My favorite line in your blog post today is, “One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is a deep dependency on God himself.” AMEN!!

    Happy Mother’s Day ~ You are such an amazing and inspirational woman to so many. I hope your day was wonderful and blessed! : )

    • Becky
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      Hi Sherry! Thanks for your sweet words. I’m right there with you and constantly need the reminder that a dee dependency on God is where it’s at!

  8. Tammy Keys
    | Reply

    Miss You Becky! Thank you for your words of wisdom….still!

    • Becky
      | Reply

      Thanks, Tammy! Huge hugs to you!

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