As we celebrate Mother’s Day, we reflect on motherhood. No matter our own state, our identity remains closely tied to the relationship we have with our own mothers.
I have two godly examples of Christian womanhood: my mom and my mother-in-law. They model patience and kindness, showing me ways to better love my family. So, when I entered motherhood I wondered why I struggled so deeply. After all, I had godly examples who taught me God’s Word and ways, yet I couldn’t seem to get through one day without wondering if I was enough.
I found myself asking this question frequently as a new mom; 10 years into motherhood, I still wonder. Am I “mom” enough? Am I “wife” enough? Am I “Christian” enough? As a Christ-follower, my supreme purpose is to pursue Christ. I found that when I became a wife and then a mom, I began to pursue perfection. I wanted to be good, to laugh off the mishaps that accompany parenting, to be gracious in all situations, to have perfectly planned days, to cook meals and keep house well, to be the best in every situation.
These desires are good and beneficial, when they are the fruit of abiding in Christ and growing in His grace. But when they become our main desire, as opposed to the fruit borne from relationship with Christ, they become burdensome taskmasters.
The harder I worked towards becoming a better version of myself, the more frustrated I became. The relationships I desired to nurture and strengthen actually began to suffer because of my desire for perfection. I kept believing that if I was more organized, more financially secure, more godly, more perfect, then I would be accepted by God. If I had a better personality or a better job or a better marriage then somehow I would be “enough.”
Over the past few years, God gently and patiently stripped away the layers of my heart to expose idolatry: my worship of myself, my ideals and desires. He graciously taught me that I must seek to serve, not to be served. I must exchange my thoughts for His ways. I must seek His glory, not my own.
I began to understand that God does not require perfection of me—He simply desires obedience and surrender. All of my deficiencies are covered by a grace anchored in His perfection, not my own. I have discovered that His grace is sufficient in every circumstance.
When you’re single, when you’re married,
When your friends are all pregnant, and you have a miscarriage—again,
When you’re overwhelmed with children, when your arms are empty,
When you’ve lost your patience,
When you’ve said the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way,
When you’re broken and weak,
When you’re depressed and don’t know how to carry on…
God’s grace is enough. His acceptance of me rests on His character, not my performance. And I’m slowly learning, that is enough.
Katie Walker is wife to Mike and mother to four children. The Walkers have been serving in Absecon, New Jersey, since early in 2017.