I Am No Expert: on how to be a bold beginner

bold

“Because of Christ and our faith in Him, we can now come boldly and confidently into God’s presence. So please don’t lose heart because of my trials here…When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and earth.”

Ephesians 3:12-15

 

The season I’m in is a gift. Somewhere, on the periphery, I know that. But mostly I’m struggling to notice what is so sweet about it as I rush around over-analyzing, fearful, constantly asking if I’m getting it right.

I have not yet figured out how to sit still in the midst of all the unknowns and just let myself be who I am, where I am, learning.

It’s new territory, this parenting thing. In spite of all my preparation, I do not get to skip being a beginner. And I’m realizing that I will not enjoy this season if I’m determined to be an expert. Experts are not allowed to be overwhelmed. Experts don’t fall to their knees and ask what they should do. Experts don’t find the simple things difficult.

I love that this verse in Ephesians describes us as bold and confident; not as we face down challenges and struggles, but as we ask for help to face them. 

What a concept. To be bold and confident in my role as a beginner. Perhaps God’s best for me is not to become an expert at knowing what to do, but to grow into a practiced seeker of His help To freely and happily ask for directions and feel that I have done nothing wrong. To let go of the pressure to handle this myself.

I believe that parenting bravely and confidently is within reach for me. I long to be out from under the thumb of fear and insecurity. But I think that only happens when, instead of running in circles, desperate to figure out what I’m doing wrong and how to fix it, I take what weighs on me and follow the pattern of Ephesians 3:15:

  1. I think of all this
  2. I fall to my knees
  3. I pray to the Father

I like the progression of these three steps.

three steps 2

Think of all this:” it’s like permission to walk around my mind and gather it all up: all the anxiety, all the fear, all the disappointment and failure and frustration, all the questions, all the heavy things, all the tension, every single thing that just feels off.

Fall to my knees:” an acknowledgement that these things are heavy and overwhelming. That maybe it’s not just me, but the things I’m facing are hard. That I don’t have to stand up straight and presentable and be able to talk about them with an even tone and a steady gaze. I can get down low on my knees and let my eyes well up and my voice waver. This place is safe for those in a humble, broken posture. It is a place for unloading, and we rarely do that while we stand totally erect.

Pray to the Father:” Unload. Let it out. The worries, the concerns, the confusion, the “What do I do now’s.” Psalm 55:22 literally says to throw down, hurl, or cast off my burdens onto the Lord. Confidently. Boldly. Passionately. I am invited to ask Him, to tell Him all that troubles me, to collapse in His presence, rip it off my back and thrust it into His hands. Yours, Lord. Yours. Yours. Yours. Not mine to carry anymore.

I do not have to meet this, even the smallest part of this, even the middle-of-the-night-when-no-one-else-is-up part of this, alone. I am instructed to be a bold seeker of His help, to fall to my knees and let the burdens fall and look at Him with expectation in my eyes.

I am no expert. I am a beginner, and I am allowed to be.

confident

I can shrug and smile and say “Mommy’s not sure what to do here.” I can stare down my utter novice-ness and my many questions and my clumsy handling of each situation and say “This is okay. I am right where I’m supposed to be.”

This is not a story of perfect marks and zero mistakes. This is human and real and beautiful and it rides on the shoulders of a capable God who is excellent at crafting redemption and healing and light from the messiest of situations. He erases my shame and shoulders my burdens and reminds me that this does not depend on me.

I am a beginner and I will learn to be a bold one, because I do not have to be sure of myself to be sure-footed, and whenever I need an expert, I know exactly where I can find one.

 

“So we can say with confidence, the Lord is my helper, so I will have no fear…”

Hebrews 13:6

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