Monday, January 14, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: God's Strength is Perfect and He is Enough


Motherhood, Plans and Perfect Strength
A devotional by Amanda Wen

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” ~2 Corinthians 12:9 (NIV)

My whole life, I’ve been able to do pretty much anything I set my mind to. Good grades, musical achievements, college scholarships, you name it. Studying, preparing, practicing, and Doing All The Right Things, combined with the natural talents God gave me, meant I could usually meet the lofty goals I set for myself.

And then, ten years ago this month, I became a mom.

Motherhood was radically different from anything this overachieving Type A control freak had ever experienced. The All-Natural Drug-Free Peaceful Birthing Experience I’d planned ended in a medically necessary C-section. My plan to nurse exclusively ran up against the dual roadblocks of low milk supply from me and a less-than-ideal latch from my darling son. My vision of rocking a contented sleeping baby was dashed against the rocky reality of colic. Despite all my hard work, preparation, and Doing All The Right Things, nothing turned out the way I expected.

But even worse for this hormonal, postpartum mama? The discovery that I do not have a natural talent for mothering. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my newborn son more than anything. But that zing that comes from when God’s gifting perfectly intersects with His calling on your life? That didn’t happen for me. All those things that seemed to come naturally to other mothers, things like rocking and playing and soothing and comforting, those things I thought were intuitive for all mothers? Many of those were the exact opposite for me.

However—and this was something I didn’t realize until years later—that was okay. Because God was with me. He was guiding me even when I couldn’t see it or feel it. And, as 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, His strength was being made perfect in my weakness.

God kept me going during all those sleepless nights. He provided strength and endurance when my son wouldn’t stop crying. He provided my caring, supportive, patient, and incredibly laid-back husband. He sent a passel of friends to stop in with meals, advice, an extra pair of hands, and a listening ear. And, after six months or so, He provided a way for us to move to my hometown to be closer to family, a decision for which I’ve been grateful countless times for countless reasons.

For the last ten years, my number one fear has been that I won’t be a good enough mom. But I’ve recently realized that, on my own, I’m not a good enough mom. I never was, and I never will be. But, again, that is okay. Because I have God. And He is enough.

Philippians 4:13 is a very popular verse, but I think it can be misinterpreted. Sometimes we want to make it a rubber stamp, a catch-all for following our hearts and chasing our dreams and assuming Jesus will enable us to do it all. But the verse in context is actually about contentment. About how, even when Paul was at his wits’ end and things weren’t going as he planned and he was dealing with the mysterious thorn in his side that God refused to remove, he had peace. Joy. He’d learned the secret of being okay whether he had everything or nothing, when things were awesome and when they weren’t: he could endure because God was with him. Making perfect his weaknesses and filling in the gaps with His strength. Enabling Paul to fulfill God’s plan, not his own.

He does that with us, too.

So now, ten years down the road, I’m grateful motherhood didn’t come naturally to me. Not being able to do it on my own forced me—in the best possible way—to become totally dependent on God for the ability to care for my children. Ten years ago—and every day since—he’s come through for me. His strength has been made perfect in my weakness.

What areas of your life don’t come naturally to you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments, and to pray for God’s supernatural strength to be evident in your situation. 

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Author Bio:
Amanda Wen is an award-winning writer of contemporary inspirational romance and split-time women’s fiction. 

A first place winner in the 2017 Indiana Golden Opportunity Contest, she also placed first in the 2017 Phoenix Rattler Contest, the 2017 Great Expectations Contest, and the 2016 ACFW First Impressions Contest, among others. In addition, she was a finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis Contest. 

Amanda is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and regularly contributes author interviews for their Fiction Finder feature. She’s also been spotted onstage with the worship team at recent ACFW conferences. Amanda is represented by Tamela Hancock Murray of the Steve Laube Agency.

In addition to her writing, Amanda maintains an active and rewarding career as a freelance cellist, frequently performing with symphony orchestras, string quartets, and her church’s worship team. She lives in the Midwest with her amazing husband and their three adorable and hilarious Wenlets.

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Connect with Amanda:
Facebook: www.facebook.com/authoramandawen

4 comments:

  1. I enjoyed reading this, with a smile. I think the hardest yet most rewarding job is of that as a mother.
    Yes, I agree, God doesn't give us everything and that keeps us humble. I think about Paul, in prison dark and dank, in chains and yet he sang hymns.
    He is a great example of having Gods peace.

    All the best of blessings for your books success Amanda.

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  2. Thank you so much!! I appreciate it! Thank you for stopping by!

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  3. I can so relate, Amanda! Becoming a mom changed the way I looked at everything, and oh the stress! In our weakness He is definitely strong. Thanks for sharing, Amanda! I always love your devotionals.

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  4. Hi, Robyn! Thanks so much for your comment! The number one thing people told me before I had my first was, "It'll change your life!" How true that was.

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