I asked the other day for you to tell me what your Isaac is; as in, what one thing do you value in life more than the blessings of God? What do you hold on to tightly despite the fact that he asks you to put HIM first? Abraham COULD have done that with Isaac. In fact, I expected him to. After all, he had been promised a son for 25 years before the promise came true. He and Sarah had already tried to 'help' God. Once Isaac was finally born and Abraham could see this living, breathing son that would fulfill all the things God had promised to him-he must have truly felt blessed by God.
Then God told him very plainly to take Isaac to the top of the mountain and sacrifice his son-Isaac(the one who had been promised for 25 years before they got him) on an altar. God was testing Abraham to see if Isaac meant more to Abraham than God. It was a test that Abraham passed with flying colors. So did Isaac, for that matter. Then God unleashed blessings over both of them abundantly.
So, what is God calling me to release and trust Him with? I seriously reflected on this at length. It is my children/family. Specifically, it is the dream of being the perfect mom married to the perfect dad with perfect children. Oh my goodness, I have always wanted to be a super mom. I grew up with very little parenting-very broken. In fact, I never really wanted to have children because of that little fact. I was convinced my flaws and past would mess up any children I might have, so I made up my mind not to have any. Then I met my Prince Charming, got married and part of that 'dream' package would include children. I tried desperately to start fixing myself as soon as I found out I was pregnant with numero uno. I also tried to work on fixing Erik. We had less than 9 months to whip ourselves into super parents.
Now I am many years and three kids into the game. I don't feel a bit more equipped today to be a mom than I ever did. Today, I checked out 2 resources that promise to make me a better wife and mother. My expectations of what will actually come out of these resources...well, pretty slim. I have read about 6000 self-help books on marriage, family and parenting. It would take a whole village and at least six miracles to make me what I long to be in the wife and parent category. I want to be perfect. That is my goal. Sounds good? I want my family to be perfect. I want the perfectness of my family now to make up for the lack of perfection I grew up with. I want to somehow prove that I am worthwhile and the best way to do that is to be perfect.
I want to be the Proverbs 31 woman. I want my husband and children to arise and call me blessed. I want to be known as a good person, wife and mom. I long for someone to tell me how wonderful my family is and feel like I can truly take the compliment to heart and savor it like choice wine. Instead, I feel much more like Job's wife. Mean and spiteful. I feel like my parenting skills vacillate from strict and overprotective all the way to permissive and neglectful. It seems as though everyone else in the world has a plan of action and I am winging it. I worry all the time about failing my family and what will that mean? What will it look like? Will they stray as far off the path as I did? Have I ruined them already? Should I just throw up my hands and quit now? Should I even bother to read one more book?
AND YET I HAVE A HOPE. These are not really my children, not exactly. They are sent to me from a God who claims to know what he was doing when He chose me. They belong to Him. My insecurities and fears are not reality. At times I mess up, other times-success!
So what is my Isaac? The perfect family. Well-adjusted, smart, beautiful children. Son-in-laws that are salt of the earth. (someday) Children that grow up to be perfect and have perfect spouses and perfect children.
With my reality being so far from my goal, you would think this would be an easy thing to sacrifice...it isn't. I'm not even sure I can. My prayer is that God will give me the wisdom to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can and wisdom to know the difference.
Please Lord, help me realize that you NEVER called me to perfection.