Jesus, take the wheel!

Susan Gordon   |   September 27, 2018 

 

I have already written about my struggles with anger in another post a while ago. Many months have passed and I find myself talking about and thinking of the same struggles. Although I thought I had identified the problem, I clearly have not been able to navigate it in such a way that it’s behind me.

This time, in place of one toddler, I have two little boys at hand. My eldest is about to be four and the younger one is one and a half. Like a typical household with two little boys, my house is often a war zone. There is constant snatching of toys from the other’s hand or grabbing the last piece of treat from the other’s plate. I often feel like a referee, most often an angry one who wants to give red cards to every one and bench them for the rest of the day. However, life doesn’t have the same set of rules of a football match. Sigh!

When things seem to be getting out of hand, I usually have two responses. One is to ignore it and wait it out or to shout at the top of my lungs that my children are forced to obey me. I must admit that both these strategies work, but precisely for the first hour of the day. As the day progresses they sort of get used to my shouting or I am not in the mood to let things slide. By noon, both parties are usually exhausted.

Recently , I had to force myself to quieten my spirit to actually think about this struggle and to stop justifying it as a “phase”. Every time I lost my cool, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t doing the right thing. But I found it easier to justify it as the natural response of any human being. “Even Jesus got angry” was my go to defence. But I never believed it in my heart, not even for a second. Now please don’t get me wrong - we as parents are called to discipline our children and sometimes anger is an unavoidable accompaniment. However, if we feel guilty about being angry, then probably that wasn’t the most apt response in that particular scenario.

I chanced upon a quote recently which said, “Nobody makes you angry; you decide to use anger as a response.” It made me question the motives and the reasons behind my anger. I have realised that more often than not, the reason for my anger has nothing to do with my children, it has more to do with my comfort and expectations. My two littles, both under 4 years have no idea what dreams and expectations their mama has for them. They just want to have fun and throw tantrums. Truth be told, I am more disappointed with myself for not being able to be the parent I thought I was going to be.

My husband recently pointed out that I hold him to impossible standards as a parent while I myself fail in the same areas that he does. I justified myself at the time of the dispute but what he told me never left my mind. After much soul searching I have realised that I always hold my husband and children to impossible standards while giving myself a lot of room to fail. That wasn’t a pleasant realisation to say the least. I dug much deeper and found out that this was because I have given up on myself a long time ago. My low self-esteem and insecurities are things that I have brushed under the carpet a long time ago and I wasn’t going to revisit them voluntarily. Now that I have nothing to credit myself for, I had to gain my identity from someone else and my poor husband and children were bearing the brunt of it.

At the heart of it all, I know that while acknowledging Jesus as my Lord and Saviour, I was also trying to run my own ship. Leaving it all to Jesus while enjoying the freedom that he’s given me on the cross and the identity of being called His daughter is the only thing that’s going to free me from the fear of failure is a lesson I always knew in my head but never let sink into my heart. My husband’s reputation or my children’s well-behaviour are not the things that I need to draw my identity from. It should only be from Jesus’ work on the cross.

"Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God." Romans 5: 1,2

I know that I will fail again and that my life isn’t magically going to be filled with unicorns and rainbows. Nonetheless, I also know that my father has lavished His great love on me and that he will bring to completion the work He has started in me. I boast in the hope of His glory and not in my children or my husband.

Pray with me as I dive in to the deep end of 'letting Him take the wheel'.

 

Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash

 

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suzangeorge@gmail.com'

Susan Gordon

Susan Gordon is a Malayali married to Vivek, a Delhiite and now lives in Bangalore . She has a love of words and was an editor at Oxford University Press for three years. Now she spends her days as a full-time mum running behind her sons Liam and Ryan. If and when she gets time, she enjoys baking, going for walks, dreaming about her Pinterest alter-ego and reading blogs.
suzangeorge@gmail.com'

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