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Jesus - Gap Filler

I’m not sure when my husband and I became one of  the “older” couples at church but it seems that that is now the crowd we fall into. Because we married young and had children young, we are now in the season of “empty nesting” young. Each season has had its joys and struggles but I have found this season to be particularly sweet.  

My husband and I have rediscovered the joy of it just being the two of us in the house together again. Well, in truth, we’ve discovered joy we had never previously known prior to having our kids.  Our first child was born before our 2nd wedding anniversary so, there hadn’t been much joy in those first few years. We were young, immature and struggling to build a life and family on two very broken foundations.  28 years later with much intentionality, hard work and so very much grace from God both of us are much more likable and have the ability to love one another abundantly more than we were capable then.  

Watching my young adult children grow into more of the fullness of who God created them to be has been a gift. In the last two years each of them have married, adding to their lives and our family in beautiful ways.  On Father’s day we were gifted with our first grandchild!  A little one that has quickly captured all of our hearts.  

This mama heart is so full.   Watching my son…my baby…fulfill the role of both loving husband and doting father.  There simply aren’t words to accurately portray the impact it has on me.  

I look around though and I remember the seasons before.  I see the young mamas chasing toddlers.  I hear the reminders and gentle rebukes to children growing.  I can sometimes sense the tension held captive in the interactions between adolescents and frustrated parents wanting so much to lead and guide without stifling or pushing away.  

Marriage can be hard.

Parenting can be  hard.  

Life can be hard.  

And so, in this season when I am in the midst of reaping from the years of tears, hard work and intentionality sown in our own lives, I have felt led to look for opportunities to water those in earlier seasons.  

This evening we enjoyed the company of a family in the midst of those child rearing years.  I listened as this young mama poured out concern regarding her eldest child moving toward adulthood. 

 “Have we given them all they need to be okay?”  

“Have we taught them all that they need to know?”  

“Are the mistakes that we’ve made as parents going to mess them up permanently?”  

I understood.  I had felt those things. I had those questions. 

“No.” was my answer.  

No, you have not given them all they need to be okay. 

No, you have not taught them all they need to know.

No, your mistakes aren’t going to mess them up permanently.  

I reminded her that as parents, we are human, we are flawed and we are limited.  We all do the best we can with what we know and what we have.  The Holy Spirit is always there to lead and guide us and hopefully between the time our children are born and launched we have learned how to lean into Him, hear His voice and be led by Him.  Even then though, in our humanity we fall short of being all that our children need.  

Our children need a Savior.  We, as parents, play a vital role in their lives, but not that one.  God alone is the very one that will give them all they need to be okay.  He alone has the ability to teach them all they need to know.  And, as the redeemer of all, it is He that will heal and restore the wounds in their hearts caused by us or others.  

Jesus is the gap filler.  In every place our children are missing something that they need, He is the one, the only one,  capable of and faithful to meet that need.  

And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all. ~ Eph 1:22-23

I believe that if we can accept that we can not and will never be ALL that our children need, it will relieve some of the pressure that we put on ourselves to try to be that very thing.  

All we can do is the best we can do.  Do your best Mama and rest in the truth that Jesus will fill in the gaps.  He is the filler of gaps, the healer of hearts and the one that loves the ones that you love more than you love them.  

And He loves you too.  Can you comprehend that as much as you love your children, you are loved even more by the one who calls you His own?   The one who IS love, you are His child.  Whatever season you find yourself in, Daughter of God, I encourage you not to forget to allow Him to be your gap filler and the healer of your own heart.  We parent better when we have allowed ourselves to be parented.  We love better when we have allowed ourselves to be loved.  Those places that your parents fell short, missed the mark, and wounded you…He is your gap filler.

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