I remember that one of the particular things I was struggling with during this period was feeling negatively about all of the things that being a mother of a busy toddler was keeping me from doing. I was looking at all of the things that I was missing out on and letting them convince me that my child was a burden, inhibiting me actually living and enjoying my life well. (I know these feelings aren't pretty, but that's the ugliness my heart was going through at that time. I can assure you that I feel very strongly about my calling as a mother, and although there are hard days, I consider my children, and being a mom a blessing and pure joy).
I was looking selfishly at everything and how it was affecting me. Things like community group, where I would spend most of my time wrangling an energetic child rather than being engaged in group discussion, started to seem unfair. I wondered why I even bothered to go if I didn't get to participate in the discussion.
One day I took the opportunity to discuss these negative feelings with an older, wiser, more spiritually mature woman who I was spending time with. I played the victim all too well and mentioned all the things that were hard for me and I was unable to do in this season of life. Then she, full of grace, shared with me some insight from the time she was spending in the book of John.
John 1:6-7 There came a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to testify about the Light, so that all might believe through him.
John 1:31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
John 3:16 “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.(and there are many other verses in John with this phrase)
She shared with me that this was my "so that". I was sacrificing/ doing these things so that my child would be included in community, one day coming to a relationship with Christ, and to raise up the next generation.
This was truth being spoken to me straight from the Lord. It hit me so hard it almost felt like my heart was going to stop.
Of course I had already known in my head that one of the greatest Christian principles is loving others, and putting the needs of others above my own needs. That in making Jesus Lord of my life, I chose to die to myself and find life in an through Him. Yet somehow the application of these principles had alluded me. I had somehow gotten so small minded that I couldn't get my eyes off of myself and how things were affecting me to see the bigger picture. I had lost sight of the fact that my life is not my own and is not about me.
It was like a light bulb had turned on. Of course I should be putting the needs of others above my own. Of course I should be joyfully spending time with the children (who were so important to Jesus). Of course this has eternal impact, probably even more so than the conversations, or me centered things that I thought I was missing out on.
It was a great encouragement to take a step back and consider the "so that's" of my current circumstances, and refocus on why I do the things I do, and have made and continue to make certain decisions.
So friend, if you're feeling frustrated, worn down, tired and weary, I encourage you to take some time to reflect on your "so that's", and to above all else, seek His love, rest, and peace, because without these, all of the things/ acts/ sacrifices that we do and make are futile.