I drove along in silence. The radio played in the background, but otherwise a lull in coversation accompanied our commute across town. My six year old, normally a persistent chatterbox, sat still in her seat, and her lack of typical laughter was noticed by me. Was it my fault?
We had left in a hurry, and it seemed like this was the norm. After all, it wasn’t easy leaving the house with three little kids in tow. I didn’t just get myself ready to go. I got everyone ready to go. Four people to feed, bathe, dress, potty, and buckle up. And why was it that only I could locate missing shoes? Where did all the shoes go? Was there a vortex somewhere in our house?
Regardless, every exodus from our home started out looking fine and dandy, but somehow came to a conclusion with me yelling, “hurry up! We’re running late! I told you to put on your shoes twenty minutes ago! Well, why didn’t you tell me you couldn’t find your shoes?!” Sometimes I became exceedingly flustered, and in those cases I might mutter things I later would regret. Today was one of those days.
So there we drove in silence with the angry, guilt-ridden mom behind the wheel, and I wondered to myself, when will I ever get it right? When will I stop letting my frustration win, or my anger get the better of me?
“I hate when we get in a hurry. It makes going somewhere fun not much fun.”
That’s what my six year old had said, and like a knife her words turned inside my mommy heart and sunk into my mommy brain. I made things not much fun. Why did I get mad over something so inconsequential? Her words replayed in my mind, and I prayed. Heck, I had been praying. I’d been praying for a while for this particular issue. Every time I became angry, lost my temper, raised my voice, and became the “yelling mom” I was overcome with guilt. I would pray for God’s forgiveness, and I would pray that He help me break my rage. Why couldn’t I overcome it?
As I drove along questioning that very thing I picked up on the lyrics of a very familiar song on the radio, but for the first time the words spoke something different to me.
When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
As the words emitted from the radio the Lord spoke directly to my heart.
I’m not just the King of the world, Brie. I’m also the King of you.
This King, this good Father, this Savior of my life, He wasn’t just the Ruler over the earth. He was also the Ruler over me. He had control of my life, and in these instances where I felt so out of control, that is where He could work the most. By surrendering and accepting His power in my life I could loosen the reigns that I kept yanking so haphazardly. He wasn’t just some far off King in a castle, but rather the majesty of my soul. I couldn’t change certain things about myself, but the Lord could.
At that moment I let go. I let go of my guilt. I let go of my inability to change. I let go of my regret, and I let go of my mistakes as a mother. I welcomed His Holy Spirit in its place. I realized that though I was powerless to break certain chains, my God was not. He was the chain-breaker, and He was the King of my soul.
Philippians 3:12-14 (NIV)
12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.