But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God. Gal 4:4-7 (ESV)
As we settle into the New Year I am ambushed by a rollercoaster of emotions, expectations, resolutions and other “tions”. Many of the “tions” are good, honorable and worthy of consideration. Many are a result of fear and judgment.
Let me give you a quick snapshot: It is time to take down the Christmas decorations, to pack them away enjoying nostalgic moments of the joyous season. As they are put away and the house is put back to normal, it will of course be a new and improved normal. It will be cleaner and more organized. Broken items will be fixed and those small household repairs that have been put off for a while will be attended to. I will be able to start the new year with a clean slate in my home. As good, honorable and worthy of consideration as these simple, realistic intentions sound that is not how it goes down in my house. People make themselves scarce when it is time for the tree to come down. The broken items end up going into a drawer with last years broken items because sale shopping and football games become the priority. Those small household repairs require several trips to the hardware store and time runs out before the demands of work overtake any free time you thought you might have to work your way down that “to do” list. I am not prepared to take this lying down. I sprout horns and demand to know why everyone around me is not as committed to my list as I am. My tunnel vision to accomplish my goals becomes the priority. My identity is tied up in my ability to achieve. I am afraid that my family will know that I am a failure as a wife and mother. I am afraid that I am losing all control and “people” will find out that I really am not Wonder Woman.
I have to take a deep breath, take a step back, take a hot shower and “get a grip”. That involves full disclosure: I am a failure as a wife and a mother and I am not Wonder Woman. When the ambush comes I must remember that what I am is better than the identity I am seeking. I can get lost in all the adjectives of things I cannot do or be. I can drown in the failures that loom large in front of me. I must remember that what I am is better. I am redeemed and I am adopted. I am an heir, a daughter of the King because God sent his salvation, a light for revelation to the Gentiles for me. I am thankful for the mess, for the life that is not perfect, for the house that is falling apart, for the broken person that I am. That brokenness and that failure is what brings me to the foot of the cross again and again. I need my Savior. I need my Redeemer. I need Jesus, Abba! Father!