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Moving Beyond Self-Doubt -- For Mothers

May 8, 2017
by Becky Harling

“That we might not rely on ourselves but on God.” -2 Corinthians 1:9

I know through the years of raising four kids there were many moments when I felt inadequate. If ever there was a job with a lot of pressure to perform it’s motherhood.

I remember holding my infant son moments after he was born. I looked into those big blue eyes and panic set in, what did I know about raising a son? At the time, my husband and I were living far from family and friends serving as missionaries in the country of Sudan. For some strange reason I felt a tiny bit more confident raising daughters. But now, cradling my son in my arms I longed for supernatural wisdom and divine revelation.

         | God answered my prayers for my son in ways I could never have imagined.

In my heart I prayed, “Lord, I have no idea how to raise a son. I’m so thankful for him but, so fearful that perhaps I’ll irrevocably screw this up! Please help me.  In the moments when I don’t know what to do will you please show me your wisdom? Will you show me what it looks like to model confidence for him and also point him the direction of faith? Will you show me how to affirm his manhood and raise him to be the man you desire him to be? Every time I don’t know what to do God, I’m going to look to you.”  That prayer was critical, not just for raising my son but also for raising my daughters.

What I learned during the journey of raising kids was that my feelings of inadequacy might have been a blessing. Every time self-doubt washed over me, I ran to God. Gradually, I began to view my inadequacies as an invitation to deeper dependence on God. As I faithfully leaned into Christ, He supplied the wisdom I needed for the moment. I didn’t always do it right but thankfully my kids were great at forgiving. More important than every little decision I faced with the kids was the growing dependency I developed on the Lord.

Harlingchild1       Harlingchild2

My son Josiah is now married with two children of his own. God answered my prayers for my son in ways I could never have imagined. I am confident that when he and his wife don’t know what to do – they’ll run to God.

If you are a mother today and feeling so inadequate for the task of parenting, may I encourage you? View your inadequacies as invitations to lean into the Lord. You won’t do parenting perfectly. In the journey you’ll make mistakes and that’s okay. Just keep crying out to God for wisdom and cling to Him. You’ll not be sorry you did. One of the greatest gifts you can give your kids is a deep dependency on God himself.



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