August 3rd was finally here! The day our group was leaving for MOPS Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. This thing draws 2500+ moms every year to worship, laugh, cry, attend workshops, network with other MOPS groups, etc for three days. Three days away from the kids! Three days of just girl time! The estrogen levels at the Gaylord Opryland go through the roof during Convention(well, not literally through the roof since the Gaylord is some sort of awesome biodome).
Anyway, we packed up and headed to Marietta, GA for the night. 2 cars of women and luggage! The next morning we finished our journey to Nashville, got checked in, freshened up and made it just in time for the opening workshops. After that, we had a quick in room dinner of pizza and then headed to the special Thursday night even that MOPS had dubbed as Storyboard: Make the Most of your Mothering.
I have to admit that at first, I was a little skeptical of what they were trying to accomplish. Our life is a story – with characters, a plot, conflict, and a finale – all the basic elements of writing a story. Yeah, yeah, I know all that. Every great story has a conflict – conflict brings about change – yadda, yadda. My mind is saying, “I know all this, but how is this something I can take and apply to my life?” And as the evening developed, the puzzle started to become clearer. Kathi Lipp spoke and was terrific. Sara Groves performed throughout the evening and she’s phenomenal. Her music has such honest and moving lyrics, and her sound is incredible.
And the final speaker of the night was Max Lucado, minister at Oak Hills Church in San Antonio and Christian author extraordinaire.
He was the one I was most looking forward to hearing that night, and he didn’t disappoint. He has such a gift of storytelling – taking events that happened in the Bible and retelling them in ways no one else has, ways that hit you personally and help you see these people in the Bible as real and not just a story character.
Max Lucado talked often that night of the compassion of Jesus and how the Lord reached out to those society scorned and abandoned. Jesus touched the leper and healed him; Jesus reached out to a widow and raised her only son from death; and Jesus stood before a crowd ready to stone an adulteress. And that last story from John 8 is the one that really hit me where I sat.
Here was a woman, caught in the very act of adultery, that was drug from the bed she was in to the court of the temple where Jesus was teaching. The Jewish leaders looked directly at Jesus, stones in hand, and asked him what the law said to do in this situation. Jesus just stooped down and scribbled in the dirt in the middle of this bedlam. The woman was full of fear, imagining the pain of the stones that would at any minute be flung in her direction. The crowd demanded an answer again and again. Finally, Christ stood back up and looked at them and basically said, “Sure, stone her. But let you who is without sin throw the first stone.” Each person there in that temple court had to evaluate their lives at that moment and each had to realize that they were far from perfect and had broken the Law in some form or fashion. So, oldest to youngest, they each left. And here was Jesus, stooping again and writing in the dirt while each man left. Finally, after each had left, Jesus and this woman were alone. This woman must have been in awe of what she just witnessed, and then Christ stands up and asks a simple question, “Where are your accusers?”
And this is where Max Lucado took it past this story and applied it to each woman in that audience, including me. Revelation 12:10 calls Satan “the accuser of the brothers (and sisters).” It tells of how day and night he attempts to accuse us before God. But just like the adulteress was accused and Jesus stood before her and the angry crowd, Jesus has done the same before us. He has defeated the accuser and we are His! So, when we hear the voice in our head accusing of us not being a good mother or not being a good friend or not being worthy of Christ’s love or whatever that voice in our head tells us we aren’t good enough for, we can rest assured that Jesus is standing there! That voice is full of lies and all that matters is what Jesus told the women when he asked, “Where are your accusers, did no one condemn you?” She replied “No one, Lord,” and He responded, “Neither do I.”
That voice that condemns us has been defeated by the Voice of Truth.
And I started talking to God then, telling him that I had sin that I was letting keep me down. I knew that my anger was holding me back from moving on. My guilt of being a mean mom was eating at me and there was no way I could change and be the mom God meant me to be without letting go of the voice of the accuser. And Storyboard at Convention all made sense. The story of my mothering could be rewritten. It wasn’t over, He makes all things new! I was broken and I confessed that to God and asked him to put the pieces back together. I am so grateful I am a child of God and my accuser has no power over me!
I know that I am not alone in trying to filter out all the voices that attack me and try to keep me down. It is Satan’s most powerful way of attacking us, especially as mothers, to keep us from fulfilling our God-given potential. Satan wants to derail our story and keep our finale from being a great one. But if you are reading this, remember – that voice that zaps your confidence, that voice that feeds your self-doubts is not from God. That is a voice of the father of lies! And if you are a Christian, God is our father and He is Truth. Listen to that voice instead!
I left that session Thursday feeling for the first time in a very long time that I was going to be okay. I knew I would have much work and changes before me, but I felt better.
But the weekend was not over yet, and I still had much, much more to learn.
NEXT: Shoulder Rubs, Confession, and an Epiphany about Prayer
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