I have been doing a lot of thinking about what it means to speak my truth. What it means to actively work to keep thoughts that reflect me in a positive way at the front of my mind. What it means to not only think these truths, but also live these truths out in my daily life. In my devotional this week, I have been reading and studying from a set of my favorite verses that I have read time after time during the last 5 1/2 years. The timing of this being part of my devotional this week has been spot on. I love when God purposefully places these little reminders in our life at the perfect moments when we truly need it.
The verses are from Philippians 4:4-9, “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable- if there is any praise- dwell on these things. Do what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.”
I pray hard, but I don’t always feel peace. I think all the truths about God and how He is present and purposeful in our lives, but I don’t always feel peace. I know the Lord is always with me, but I don’t always feel peace. I have wrestled with what must be wrong with me that is preventing me from experiencing this peace from God that I am supposed to feel in incredibly challenging circumstances. It is not until I reread verses 8 and 9 this week that I realized it takes more than just thinking the truths about God, but I need to be keeping the truths about myself in my mind as well. When my thoughts tell me that I am not good enough, that I am not capable of making incredibly hard decisions, and when I beat myself up about not doing enough for my children, I become overwhelmed with anxiety in my role as a mother, especially to a child with disabilities. God created me. Just as I see my son as fearfully and wonderfully made, I often need to remind myself that I am fearfully and wonderfully made as well. I am able to fill this role as a mother to a child with medical complexities because of the strength and abilities that God gives to me. God would not want me filling my mind with the lies my thoughts create. I need to be speaking my truths that God has instilled within me in order to find the true peace that only God can provide.
Although I do not doubt God and who He is, I often times doubt myself and my ability to parent a child with medical complexities. This doubting is what prevents me from feeling that true peace that only God can provide. I have been allowing lies and fears about myself as a mother consume my thoughts, which has fed my anxiety through some of our most challenging times. While knowing who God is has given me a peace during our challenges, I felt consumed with anxiety about myself and my role in our life. Being a mom to a medically complex child has given me a huge responsibility to make enormous decisions for Rhett’s life. Decisions that have not only affected Rhett’s life, but the lives of my whole family. While I would speak truths about God, I was not doing the same for myself. I was not always confident in my decisions that I made for Rhett, I questioned my ability to be the mom he needed, and I was afraid of doing something wrong that could hurt him or something worse. These were the thoughts that left me constantly feeling such a weight on my shoulders. I realize that these are the thoughts that often leave me feeling anxious. In those verses, God is telling me to speak my truths!
Whatever is true: God has created me to be the mother I need to be for my children.
Whatever is honorable: I am honoring God by by doing the tasks that motherhood calls me to do.
Whatever is just: God has given me a voice to advocate for what my child needs.
Whatever is pure: God extends grace to me, and I need to also have grace with myself.
Whatever is lovely: This life may not be what I expected, but it is still beautiful and full of joy.
Whatever is commendable: As long as I am doing my best, that is enough. I am enough, and can do this job well with the guidance and strength God has given me.
These are the thoughts that I need to keep in mind. I not only need to think them, but I need to live them out as well. When I speak my truths into my mind, it is speaking them into existence. It releases my anxiety as I feel more confident in my abilities to parent Rhett. God wants me to know that I am valuable in the role he has placed me in. God wants you to know the value of yourself, and to think about those things. He created you, after all, and He makes no mistakes.
While I hate seeing Rhett face so many challenges, and our family having to go through so many difficulties, I have learned that I honestly would not change our life. While I wish I could change many of the circumstances Rhett has had to face and continues to face, he is fearfully and wonderfully made. He is made perfect exactly as he is. I can have confidence in knowing that God will equip me with what I need in order to be the best mom to Rhett. While I still struggle many days, especially on those days that are especially challenging, Rhett remains the greatest gift despite the many unfortunate circumstances we face together. This is our unique story. A story of bravery, perseverance, strength, and faithfulness. These are our truths.
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