A Case of Mistaken Identity

Lisa Cherry —  July 12, 2010

It happens whenever we go out in public with all our children. We are escorted to our place at the back of the restaurant where several tables are pushed together to seat our large family. The eyes of the other customers turn in unison as if to watch a parade go by.  I can almost hear the muffled counting...1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.

I can guess what the dinner conversation has turned to at the neighboring tables. “They are probably not all their children.” “Do you think those two are twins?” “They’re probably a blended family.”  “I imagine some of them are adopted.” “Probably Mormon.”  “Probably Catholic.”

My eyes scan the landscape for which one will be the brave soul of the night.  It is almost always a female—one who will dare to approach our table as she passes by to the buffet or the rest room.

She will not be able to stifle her curiosity. And I love it!  She offers a pleasant compliment on the size and shape of our brood, and then she begins her inquiry. The questions take one of several familiar paths that nearly always lead to the same destination.

She looks straight at me and says very sincerely, “I just don't see how you do it. You must be super organized and super patient. I can't seem to handle my own two (or three or four) children, let alone ten!”

I am tempted to feel just a tiny bit of pride rise up inside. But immediately I remember my most recent forgotten dentist appointment, or my loud motherly lecture on dirty socks.

There’s no room for pride here. I can’t just toss this woman a platitude.  Actually I’m not at all what she thinks.

The truth is that in my own strength, I am a desperate woman—completely helpless and undone. I am utterly over my head in pressures, expectations, demands, and laundry.

Yet I have found a secret that has changed my life into the most amazing adventure I could ever imagine. It was never meant to be a secret, and I long to share with the visitor to our table at the restaurant.  How can I adequately explain to her what I have discovered?

Sisters, we were never meant to live this life in our own strength. Our creator God knew this from the time He walked with His first daughter, Eve.

Husband, babies, toddlers, teenagers, houses, jobs, in-laws, stomach flu, and work-out centers are too much for us! We are not able to be superwomen! I am not a superwoman. I am just plain ole me.

That's why God sent His son to live His life in me.  In 25 years of mothering, I have never found the "supermom" power I dreamed of.

But 19 years ago I found something even better. I found the supernatural power of God. I found the truth of 2 Corinthians 12:9 which says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”

I used to think those were just words on a page. But now I know that for those who truly belong to Him, those words are literally true!  So I smile at the curious stranger, hoping that she will be able to look past me and my family, and hear my message.

His supernatural power has allowed me to do what seemed impossible to my natural mind. 10 healthy pregnancies. 10 natural deliveries. 10 potty trainings. 12 years of parenting teens. 25 years of sibling conflicts. 29 years of marriage.

In fact, His power proved enough to deliver me from my greatest mothering nightmare of all:  Nearly losing my daughter to the madness of teen sexual abuse with depression, suicide, rebellion, cutting, and eating disorders.

Nothing is impossible for our God. Therefore nothing is impossible for me. All He asks? An exchanged life. I give Him my life. And He gives me His. I am His daughter. He is my Dad. Completely. Totally.   No more running around looking for the next artificial crutch to prop my life up. I have found the power. And He is enough.

His power is sufficient for you!  Do you know Him?  Will you make the exchange: your inability for His supernatural ability?

  • http://www.houseofroseblog.com Mandy Rose

    Love this post!

  • manychallenges

    I also get stares where ever go with my oldest who is severely autistic and has no real way of communicating. He can breakdown like a 2 year old trying to get his way but it's just his frustrations from not being able to talk to us. People can be ignorant assuming he's misbehaving. I try not to let it bother me and I often get those statements of "I don't know how you do it." I often wonder how myself. I have a really hard time relating to other Moms too because their "battles" seem so small compare to mine. But I gain strength through prayer and hoping one day I will be able to have a conversation with my son.