Raising boys, I am well familiar with the Force and all the other wonders of the Star Wars universe. This George Lucas brainchild puts words to the dueling forces in my heart. The life of a mother touches the best of me and worst of me and it can happen all within a moment. One minute I am wielding the power of good–nurturing, training and teaching my little tribe. The next minute the seed of evil spouts. Darth Mama emerges with venom and volume.
I can hear Master Yoda in my mind, “Do not give way to anger. Power of the Dark Side it is.” The thing is, anger is only a symptom. What is the hidden evil lurking in my heart that fuels Darth Mama?
I believe the many faces of fear speak lies and threats that go straight to what I value most. There is a question that haunts me: Am I good at this thing I’ve given these years to? Am I doing a good job as a mom?
How do you think you measure such a thing? It is impossible. In a frantic attempt, I sometimes look to my left and my right. The quickest, though most deceiving, way to assess is to try to gain some feedback on my performance by comparing my kids to other people’s kids, or to compare what I do as a mom to what other moms do. What a disaster! Such a shaky scaffolding on which to build security! What about what other people say about my kids? But they don’t see the messy side, the private side of our lives. I can’t trust that either. What about waiting to see how my kids turn out? Can you feel the pressure mounting? Pressure makes emotions boil faster. Darth Mama is coming out again.
What is the better way? How does one become a Jedi mama? What is a sure foundation for my security and self worth? How do I build a solid starting place? Perhaps, it is not mine to build. Perhaps it is found in someone.
Isaiah 33:5-6 (NIV)
The Lord is exalted, for he dwells on high;
he will fill Zion with his justice and righteousness.
He will be the sure foundation for your times,
a rich store of salvation and wisdom and knowledge;
the fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.
It is a promise! God will be the sure foundation for our times. He will be my stronghold, my secure place. I love that His foundation is not empty. It is full of good things I need: salvation, wisdom and knowledge. What mother doesn’t need those things? So how does it work? How do I set myself on this foundation?
“The fear of the Lord is the key to this treasure.” There is a fear that is righteous and holy. When the other fears in my life are loud, it is this righteous fear which suffers. Am I a good mother? Will my kids turn out? Do they respect me? On and on the murmurs in my mind go. When I set my heart and mind on the Lord the murmurs dim. Instead my prayers are, “Examine my heart, Lord? How have I offended you?” “Thank you for your unending love for me.” “Thank you for guiding me.” “How can I obey you today?”
When my fear is locked in on the Lord, filling my kids’ schedules is a matter of obeying my good Father rather than a race to make my kids better than everyone else’s. When I ask if I am a good mama in the fear of the Lord, the answer may have an element of correction to it. But His “rod and staff comfort me”. They are a relief. He also equips me to change. I know I am not a perfect mother, but it is a such a comfort that God fills me with the things I need to become the woman He wants me to be.
My God is also the Good Shepherd. His voice is not always full of correction. He also brings me rest. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside quiet waters. (Psalm 23)” This foundation is full of love, approval and peace.
How do I enter my Jedi training each day? How do I latch onto my sure foundation? Isaiah 33:5 states it simply, “The Lord is exalted…” As I exalt the Lord in my heart and my home I come under His care and guidance. The Force, His Holy Spirit, gets to take charge of my heart. When the Lord is lifted up, I am filled with faith and hope. When the Lord is on high, there is less pressure on me to have it all figured out. He knows the way. I can follow Him.
So, if there are any other Darth Mamas out there, take courage. Exalt the Lord in your heart and home. Make Him bigger. Spend time thinking about the majesty of who He is. Grow the fear of the Lord in your life. It will unlock treasures. Know that you are not alone. Many of us, if not most of us, face the Dark Side. But you are not powerless to resist it. He is with you.